Childbirth should be a beautiful experience.
There’s not much in life that can top seeing your child being born.
So it goes without saying that nothing can ever fully prepare a parent to receive bad news after a difficult labor and delivery.
The joyful emotions of welcoming a new child are quickly overtaken by negative thoughts of sadness, anger, and confusion if you get the bad news that something is wrong.
A birth injury is devastating enough, but what happens when the birth injury is caused by the medical professionals you trusted during your pregnancy?
Unfortunately, medical mistakes that could have been prevented occur during childbirth.
What are the next steps for a parent?
Negligence by healthcare providers or those responsible for your care during the labor and delivery process may lead to a birth injury lawsuit.
Birth injury claims can be messy and emotional, and you should never try to handle them on your own.
In the article below, we will discuss birth injury lawsuits and when you should contact an experienced birth injury law firm.
Types of Birth Injuries
Several permanent injuries can occur during childbirth; the most devastating are brain injuries and spinal cord injuries.
Here are a few of the most common:
- Cerebral Palsy – If your newborn is deprived of oxygen, your baby can be born with Cerebral Palsy. Cerebral Palsy is an umbrella term that includes various chronic conditions that affect movement control. Symptoms of CP usually appear in the first few years of life. After that, neurological damage and cognitive impairment may or may not be present.
- Brain Damage – Brain damage also occurs due to reduced oxygen supply, usually because of an obstruction or other problems during delivery. It can also be caused by physical trauma that occurs during birth if a health care provider doesn’t provide proper care.
- Erb’s Palsy – Erb’s Palsy can occur if an inexperienced or improperly trained physician damages a newborn’s brachial plexus. Medical errors and negligent actions such as the improper use of forceps can cause this type of injury.
- Brachial plexus injury – Brachial plexus injuries are excruciating and often accompanied by a limited ability to move a hand or arm or the inability to lift an arm above shoulder level.
- Facial nerve damage – Facial nerve palsy is the loss of controllable muscle movement in an infant’s facial nerve. It’s caused by pressure on the face just before or at the time of birth and usually occurs during difficult deliveries. The improper use of forceps can also cause this injury.
When Should You Contact A Birth Injury Attorney?
If you suspect your child was injured during childbirth, you should contact an experienced birth injury lawyer as soon as possible.
A birth injury lawsuit is a medical malpractice claim.
In most states, medical malpractice lawsuits must be filed within two years after the date of the negligent act or omission that caused the injury.
Or it has to be filed within two years of the date on which the injury was or reasonably should have been discovered.
In most instances, birth injury cases cannot be brought more than four years after the negligent act or omission.
That’s why you should speak to an experienced law firm right away if you seek financial compensation for the injury.
These rules are the statute of limitations.
How Can Birth Injury Attorneys Help?
Your birth injury case will start with a free consultation.
During the initial consultation, your lawyer learns more about your case.
They will need to know things like when you first suspected that a birth injury occurred and how the injury has impacted the lives of your child and your family.
If your lawyer suspects medical errors or preventable mistakes were made, they will take on your case.
Once they begin your case, they will:
Investigate your case – Your attorney will begin the legal process by obtaining and analyzing the medical records from your pregnancy, delivery, and postnatal care. If possible, they will also interview witnesses who can shed light on how the injury occurred.
Consult with experts – After that, they will review your case with independent medical experts to determine whether a doctor, midwife, nurse, or other medical provider failed to meet the recognized standard of care. Experts will also help calculate the damages that should be sought in your case.
Make a settlement demand – Once your case has been investigated and prepared, your legal team will make an initial settlement demand to the medical care provider’s malpractice insurance company. If liability and damages are uncontested, the case can be resolved at this point.
File a lawsuit – If liability and damages are contested, and you can’t reach a pre-trial settlement, your lawyer will file a lawsuit. Once the lawsuit is filed, the formal evidence-gathering process called discovery is initiated.
Take your case to trial – If a pre-trial settlement still can’t be reached, it may be in your best interest to try your case in court. Skilled trial lawyers will present the strongest case possible on your behalf, including presenting expert witness testimony and professionally crafted exhibits.
Collect and disburse funds – Once a settlement or verdict is obtained in your favor, your attorney will quickly collect and disburse the funds owed to you and resolve any liens attached to your recovery.
Damages in Birth Injury Cases
Damages in a birth injury case refer to the costs you and your child are facing due to the injury.
Damages can include various costs, including:
- Medical expenses
- Ongoing care
- Assisted living costs
- Loss of future income or ability to work
- Shortened life expectancy
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Damages in these lawsuits aren’t limited to immediate costs.
They also include the costs a child might face throughout the rest of their life.
You can also receive non-economic damages, like suffering, pain, and a diminished quality of life.
Let A Birth Injury Attorney Handle Your Birth Injury Case
Small medical mistakes made by medical professionals are sometimes severe and require years of intensive treatment, including surgery, medication, and other emotional and physical therapy.
You shouldn’t have to pay for expensive medical treatments if your child suffers severe and preventable injuries at birth.
The good news is that a birth injury lawyer can fight on your behalf to obtain compensation to cover medical bills and other costs after a diagnosis of birth injury.
The personal injury lawyers at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys are ready to help you take legal action for birth-related injuries.
Our lawyers have extensive experience in these cases and work hard to get fair compensation for victims.
Don’t try to navigate the legal system on your own. Contact our legal team so we can fight for you.