What Are Common Birth Injuries?

Celebrating a child’s birth should bring joy to everyone involved. However, when medical providers make mistakes during a woman’s pregnancy, labor, or delivery process, serious injuries may happen, affecting every aspect of the newborn child’s life. The child may suffer one or more injuries or be left with a severe illness after birth, depending on the extent of the medical provider’s negligence.

If you believe your child may have suffered a birth injury due to a medical provider’s negligence, you should seek the legal help you need immediately. A knowledgeable birth injury attorney in your area can examine your circumstances with you, along with pertinent medical records, to determine if you can pursue a medical malpractice claim against your medical provider.

Although no monetary compensation can ever make up for a birth injury, it can bring about a sense of justice for you and your family and pay for your child’s expensive, ongoing medical care.

A birth injury lawyer can first help you file a claim for medical negligence or malpractice if you are eligible to do so. Your attorney will pursue a fair settlement or, if necessary, litigate your case in the court system and take it to a civil jury trial or binding arbitration proceeding.

Finally, your attorney can explore your potential legal options, answer all your questions, and help you make intelligent and well-informed decisions throughout your entire case.

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Common Causes of Birth Injuries

Birth injuries usually occur when a medical provider or medical facility commits one or more negligent acts.

One of the leading causes of birth injuries is improper techniques that medical providers employ in the delivery room. Delivery room doctors and nurses must act reasonably when caring for expectant mothers in the delivery room and follow all medical protocols. When providers fail to follow these protocols throughout the delivery process, severe injuries to the mother and child may result.

In some instances, for example, the medical team’s carelessness can cut off the baby’s oxygen supply during delivery, resulting in a severe brain injury that prevents the child from fully functioning later in life. Additionally, too many individuals in the delivery room during the birthing process can distract the medical team, and individuals may not wear the necessary face coverings or other PPE.

At other times, a birth injury can happen when a provider does not monitor the fetus’ heart rate regularly, especially during birthing and labor. Medical providers have a duty to constantly monitor the fetal heart rate and take prompt action if they determine that the heart rate is abnormal. If the provider fails to take the necessary steps to bring the fetal heart rate within normal limits, serious birth injuries may happen.

A birth injury might also happen when a delivery room nurse or doctor unnecessarily delays performing a C-section on the mother. Waiting too long to perform this procedure may result in oxygen deprivation in the child’s brain. As a result, the child may suffer from severe and irreparable medical complications going forward.

Medical providers also have to refrain from giving their patients too much pain medication – even if the mother is constantly requesting it. If the obstetrician or anesthesiologist provides the mother with too much medication – or gives them the wrong type of medication – they might harm the baby.

In addition to continuously monitoring the fetal heart rate, delivery room doctors and nurses must constantly measure the mother’s vital signs. If the mother’s heartbeat increases or decreases abnormally, or some other medical complication arises in the delivery room, then the provider has a duty to take prompt action. Failing to do so can lead to a birth complication that affects both the child and the mother.

Finally, delivery room doctors and nurses are also responsible for using the proper tools and equipment, including forceps and clamps, when delivering a baby. When providers fail to use delivery room equipment in the appropriate manner, a puncture wound or other serious harm to the child can result.

If your child suffered a likely birth injury from a medical provider’s careless or negligent behavior, talk with an experienced birth injury attorney as quickly as possible.

Your lawyer can retain a qualified medical provider to determine that medical malpractice actually occurred. Your lawyer can then file a medical malpractice claim and pursue monetary compensation through either a favorable settlement or litigation result.

Common Types of Birth Injuries That Result From Medical Mistakes

When a medical provider makes a mistake during the birth or delivery process, several different types of birth injuries can happen.

Common types birth injuries that result from medical negligence include:

  • Forcep marks or bruising on the child’s body
  • Brachial palsy, which can lead to some form of paralysis or weakness in the child’s arms
  • Bone fractures or breaks in the child’s bone
  • Facial paralysis
  • Head and brain damage, usually resulting from a lack of oxygen
  • Cephalohematoma, due to blood accumulation beneath the child’s scalp
  • Subconjunctival hemorrhage, where a blood vessel on the eye’s surface breaks
  • Cerebral palsy, frequently resulting from oxygen deprivation during the delivery process

If you suspect that your child’s birth injury was a direct result of medical negligence or malpractice, you should speak with an experienced birth injury attorney right away. Your lawyer can review the evidence in your case and explore all of your legal options with you.

If you can move forward with a medical malpractice case, your attorney can assist you during every stage of the claims-filing process and work to obtain a fair settlement offer from the medical provider’s insurance company.

What Types of Complications Can a Birth Injury Cause a Child?

A severe birth injury can affect every aspect of a child’s life going forward. Sometimes, the signs and symptoms of a birth injury may appear shortly after a child’s birth. At other times, these signs may not appear until many months or years later.

If you notice any of these symptoms as your child is growing or developing, you should contact a medical provider for help right away.

Common symptoms of birth injuries that parents may notice early on in their child’s life include low heart rate or blood pressure, fractures to the infant’s skull, Erb’s palsy, low oxygen levels, difficulty with swallowing or eating/drinking, extensive drooling, light sensitivity, and muscle looseness or stiffness.

If you notice any of these early symptoms early in your child’s life, they may indicate brain damage. Consequently, you should consult with a medical provider promptly to obtain a diagnosis. By taking prompt action early in your child’s life, you increase the likelihood that your child can recover from their injuries.

In addition to the early symptoms of birth injuries, other symptoms may occur between one and two years old.

Those symptoms can include:

  • Trouble with coordination, including delays in crawling or walking
  • Trouble standing without the assistance of an adult
  • Intellectual problems, including difficulty with memory
  • Troubling with eating and drinking
  • Difficulty with fine motor skills, including the use of cups, forks, and spoons
  • Inability to use certain body parts
  • Lack of response to loud noises

Finally, symptoms of birth injuries that may not occur until the child reaches elementary-school age include autism spectrum disorder, stiff muscles, difficulty speaking in complete sentences and overall delays in language development, inability to speak or hear, delays in motor skill development, and difficulty drinking, eating, or dressing, without the assistance of an adult.

If you notice any of these symptoms in your child, you should consult with a healthcare provider as quickly as possible. You should also talk with a skilled birth injury attorney right away. Your lawyer can investigate if a birth injury likely occurred due to a medical provider’s negligence. If so, your attorney can help you recover the fair monetary damages you and your child deserve.

How to Prove a Medical Negligence Case Resulting From a Birth Injury

In any claim that involves alleged medical negligence or malpractice, the claimants, or the individual who files the claim, must fully satisfy their legal burden of proof. If they can fulfill this legal burden, they may be eligible to cover various types of monetary compensation, depending upon the birth injury or injuries their child suffered.

To successfully prove a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit, you must show that a medical professional violated their legal duty to act reasonably under the circumstances.

An anesthesiologist, delivery room nurse, obstetrician, or other health care provider might have injured your child. For example, a delivery room doctor might have waited too long to perform a C-section, or they may have provided the mother with too much pain medication, resulting in severe medical complications for the child.

In addition, to successfully satisfy your legal burden of proof in a medical negligence case, you must have an independent medical provider on board who practices in the same area as the at-fault provider who can review all of the available medical evidence in the case, and determine that your treating doctor likely committed a medical error under the circumstances.

The independent medical provider must also determine that based on a reasonable degree of medical probability.

If you can satisfy the required legal burden of proof, you may be eligible to recover various types of monetary damages in your birth injury case – either through a favorable settlement offer from the medical provider’s insurance company or a fair litigation result in court.

Since every birth injury case and medical malpractice case is different, not all claimants will be entitled to recover the same types and amounts of monetary recovery. The damages that a medical malpractice claimant may recover in their case will likely depend upon the severity of the birth injury, the type of birth injury the child suffers, and whether or not the child suffered a permanent birth injury.

Your monetary recovery may include compensation for:

  • Lifetime care
  • Long-term medical expenses
  • Past and anticipated pain and suffering
  • Permanent physical or mental disability
  • Loss of the ability to use a body part

A skilled attorney can maximize the total monetary award you receive in your birth injury case.

Negotiating With Insurance Companies

You need experienced legal counsel on your side in a medical negligence claim. This is because insurance companies will do everything possible to deny medical negligence or otherwise undermine the severity of a child’s birth injuries.

Insurance companies are big businesses, and they only make money when they collect premium payments from insured medical providers. However, they can stand to lose a significant amount of money when they pay a large medical malpractice settlement or jury verdict.

A skilled birth injury attorney can negotiate with insurance company representatives and pursue maximum monetary compensation for your child’s past and anticipated complications. Moreover, if the insurance company refuses to offer you fair monetary damages, your lawyer can threaten the insurance company with medical malpractice litigation in court.

Even if you file a lawsuit, chances are your case will settle during the pretrial process. If your lawyer must take your case to trial, they can introduce evidence in support of your claim and losses, including the testimony of a qualified medical provider, and help you pursue a favorable verdict.

Your lawyer can help you decide whether you should accept a pending settlement offer from the insurance company or litigate your case in court. All families dealing with a birth injury must make this critical decision.

Speak With an Experienced and Compassionate Birth Injury Lawyer in Your Area Right Away

Tatiana Boohoff, Lawyer for Motorcycle Accident cases near Tampa area.
Tatiana Boohoff, Birth Injury Attorney in Tampa.

If you suspect that your child may have suffered a birth injury due to medical negligence, act right away. You need the help of someone with experience in this complicated legal area. A personal injury attorney in Tampa can investigate your circumstances and help you pursue the compensation you and your child deserve.

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Boohoff Law, P.A. — Auto Accident Lawyers – Tampa Office

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Tampa, FL 33603

Phone: 813-725-5606

July 5, 2023
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