Some children suffer injuries during labor and delivery. In many cases, these are minor injuries that go away on their own with no long-term effects. But in other cases, a birth injury might cause serious and long-term effects that affect the child for the rest of her life.
Parents of children who suffered from birth injuries have the right to file a civil lawsuit if a medical professional’s negligence caused the injuries. Get help from Ron Meyers & Associates PLLC by calling (360) 459-5600.
Types of Birth Injuries
Below are some birth injuries that infants might suffer during the labor and delivery process.
- Brachial plexus injuries like Erb’s palsy or Klumpke’s palsy
- Cerebral palsy
- Fractures (clavicle, etc.)
These are just a few examples of injuries; many others are possible. If you’re unsure whether your child suffered harm, bring him or her to a doctor for medical evaluation.
Causes of Birth Injuries
There are a number of risk factors that affect the child’s risk of suffering a birth injury. For example, if the mother has any health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure or obesity, the baby may be more at risk for a difficult birth and injuries. Doctors or other medical professionals should take the mother’s health into account and take any necessary precautions.
In some cases, a birth injury occurs because the attending physician uses excessive force to extract the baby from the birth canal. Sometimes, a physician will use forceps or a vacuum extractor to help free the baby. Whether such force is necessary depends on the situation. Delivering a baby in distress may warrant using more force than necessary, for example. Review the circumstances with a lawyer, who can secure a medical expert’s analysis.
In other cases, a birth injury is the result of insufficient monitoring by medical staff before or during the birth. For example, failure to identify fetal distress that would necessitate an emergency delivery may lead to oxygen deprivation, which in some cases might contribute to cerebral palsy. Again, a medical expert can review the circumstances to help decide if a doctor was negligent.
Birth Injuries and Medical Malpractice
Some birth injuries aren’t preventable and occur regardless of the quality of the physician’s care. For example, a child might sustain minor scrapes because the physician needed to use forceps to aid delivery. In some cases, a doctor may be warranted to fracture the child’s clavicle to free its shoulder.
Other birth injuries, though, occur only because a physician or other healthcare professional failed to uphold his duty of care and was negligent. If a birth injury would not have occurred but for the physician’s negligence, then the physician may be liable for the injuries and their effects.
If you believe a medical professional caused your baby’s birth injury, you have the right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. An attorney can help collect evidence and secure medical testimony to establish negligence, link the negligence to the child’s injury and prove damages.
Parents may file a birth injury claim against the doctor within three years of the date of the child’s injury. If your lawsuit is successful, it may recover compensation for damages like medical bills, any medical equipment the child will need and more. Review the full list of damages your case may pursue with a lawyer.
Talk to a Lawyer at Ron Meyers & Associates after a Birth Injury
No parent should have to witness his or her child suffer serious injuries because of a medical professional’s negligent care. If this has happened to you and your family, take action immediately. At Ron Meyers & Associates PLLC our attorneys will work to make sure you get the legal representation you need and deserve. To get started today, reach us now at (360) 459-5600.