What Is a Birth Injury?
A birth injury occurs when an otherwise healthy baby suffers a traumatic brain injury, lack of oxygen to the brain, severe infection, lack of oxygen to internal organs, nerve injury, fractured bones, meconium aspiration or other serious insults or injuries during labor or delivery.
Does My Baby Have a Birth Defect or a Birth Injury?
Birth injuries occur due to something that happened during labor and delivery. Birth defects develop during the developmental or growing stages of the baby during the pregnancy and prior to labor or delivery.
What Are the Most Common Birth Injuries?
- Shoulder dystocia
- Erb’s Palsy or Brachial Plexus Injury
- Brain damage, hypoxia or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy
- Cerebral Palsy
- Sepsis or overwhelming infection
- Cord Prolapse
- Nucal cord or umbilical cord wrapped around the baby’s neck
- Excessive bleeding or hemorrhage
- Premature birth
- Group B strep infections
- Fractured bones
What are the Most Common Medical Malpractice Errors That Can Cause a Birth Injury?
- Failure of the nurse or doctor to respond to a concerning fetal monitor strip or baby monitor.
- Failure to control high blood pressure, eclampsia, or seizures in the mother
- Failure to attempt to stop a premature labor
- Failure to treat an infection or administer antibiotics
- Failure to reposition the mother or give oxygen during labor when needed
- Excessive force or pulling during delivery of a baby
- Improper use of forceps or a vacuum
- Not properly treating a shoulder dystocia to prevent Erb’s palsy
- Administering too much Pitocin or Oxytocin
- Failure to recognize or treat a placental abruption
- Failure to diagnose and treat a trapped or compressed umbilical cord
- Failure to take pressure off of a prolapsed umbilical cord
- Delay in performing a C-section
- Allowing the mother too be in labor too long
- Failure to respond to fetal distress
- Failure to respond to increased bleeding or hemorrhage
Who Is Responsible for a Birth Injury?
Birth injuries can be due to negligence on behalf of your obstetrician, nurse midwife, family practitioner, delivery doctor, nurse, nurse practitioner, paramedic, anesthesiologist, pediatrician, hospital, medical facility, or neonatologist.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit If My Baby Was Injured During Birth?
Statutes of limitations, or how much time you have to file a lawsuit in a birth injury case, varies depending on the laws of the state where the malpractice occurred. It could be as early as one year. When it is a baby or a child that was injured due to medical malpractice, the time to file a lawsuit may be longer. A lawsuit that involves a child may have until the child turns 18 and even sometimes longer. However, in some states, even if a child is injured, the statute of limitation can be only a few years. Each case is different, and each state is different regarding how long you have to file a lawsuit. That’s why it is so important to talk to an experienced birth injury attorney as soon as possible. Once a statute of limitation time frame expires, you will not be able to file a lawsuit no matter how severe the injury or damages are.
What Should I Do if I Think My Baby Was Injured During Labor or Birth?
Just like many other mothers who experienced something go wrong during labor or delivery of their baby, you turned to the Internet for answers to your questions. The injured person, family, or loved one usually has a gut feeling that something just wasn’t right during the delivery. The only way to really know if you have a medical malpractice case is to contact a highly qualified law firm to evaluate your issues and concerns. Our specialized birth injury and cerebral palsy team is made up of doctors, and nurses that have collectively worked over 25 years in the hospital, in the labor and delivery and neonatal intensive care (NICU) units. Two of our nurses, while working in the hospital setting, witnessed thousands of births and the devastating outcomes if the labor and birth were not monitored or treated properly.
My Baby’s Medical Bills Are So Expensive, How Can I Afford a Lawyer?
Plaintiff attorneys, or the lawyers that help injured victims, usually do not ask for any money up front to work on your case. Most plaintiff lawyers will work your case at their expense. If there is an award, settlement, or recovery for you or your baby, the expense to work up your case is deducted from the amount you were awarded. Here at The Beasley Firm, if no award is won, you will not owe us any money.