When to Contact a Birth Injury Lawyer
October 18, 2018
A traumatic birth injury is every parent’s nightmare. Dreams of bringing home a healthy baby are shattered, and the future is suddenly uncertain and frightening. The idea of caring for a child with special needs, with the emotional and financial hardship that entails, may be overwhelming.
A birth injury is devastating enough, but what happens when the birth injury was caused by a medical mistake that could have been prevented? What should parents do?
The first step a parent should take is to contact an experienced birth injury lawyer. While parents may feel they need time to recover from the trauma before taking action, this is not a good idea. A birth injury case can be lengthy and complicated, so it is important to begin as quickly as possible.
Types of Birth Injuries
- Cerebral Palsy – When a newborn is deprived of oxygen, usually during labor and delivery, the baby can be born with Cerebral Palsy, an umbrella term that includes several chronic conditions that affect movement control. The symptoms usually appear in the first few years of life and range from mild to severe. Neurological damage and cognitive impairment may or may not be present.
- Other types of brain damage – Brain damage can occur as a result of a reduced oxygen supply due to an obstruction or other problems during delivery. It can also be caused by a mechanical injury or physical trauma that occurs during birth.
- Shoulder dystocia or Erb’s Palsy – This may occur when an inexperienced or improperly trained physician damages a newborn’s brachial plexus, a delicate part of the shoulder. Negligent actions such as the improper use of forceps may cause this type of injury.
- Brachial plexus injury – This injury results in pain and is often accompanied by a limited ability to move a hand and/or arm, or an inability to lift the arm above shoulder level.
- Facial nerve damage – Facial nerve palsy due to birth trauma is the loss of controllable (voluntary) muscle movement in an infant’s facial nerve. It is caused by pressure on the face just before or at the time of birth and usually occurs during difficult deliveries, such as when the baby is larger than average. It can also be caused by the improper use of forceps.
Medical Mistakes That Can Cause Birth Injuries
While many birth injuries are not caused by negligence, others can be attributed to preventable mistakes made by a physician or other medical professional.
Here are some examples:
- Failing to perform a Cesarean section when the fetus is in distress or getting too little oxygen
- Inadequately monitoring the mother during pregnancy and throughout the labor and delivery
- Misinterpreting test results during pregnancy or failing to conduct necessary tests
- Improper monitoring during the pregnancy and/or the labor and delivery when the mother has a condition such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, asthma, renal disease, lupus or thyroid disease
- Failure to monitor and take proper action when there are signs that a fetus may be at risk for birth injury; such as a long and/or difficult labor, improper use of medication or other substances by the mother during pregnancy, an abnormally large fetus or a breech birth
“Proving a birth injury was caused by medical negligence requires the expertise of an experienced birth injury attorney,” says Mark Bernstein of The Sam Bernstein Law Firm. “Our birth injury lawyers have the knowledge and the compassion to handle your case with sensitivity and outstanding legal skill.”
If you or a family member has given birth to a child diagnosed with a birth injury or Cerebral Palsy, call us immediately. We will fight to win the compensation you and your family deserve.
Birth injury law is complicated, but finding the right lawyer is simple.
Call 1-800-CALL-SAM today for a free, no-obligation consultation.