The birth of a child should be one of the most joyous times for parents. However, when a negative labor and delivery experience taints your child’s birth and results in injuries during childbirth, it can be traumatizing and financially draining.
If your child has suffered a birth injury, consider taking legal action to pursue justice and just compensation. A birth injury lawyer at The Joel Bieber Firm is ready to help you.
What Is a Birth Injury?
Simply put injuries during childbirth is an injury a newborn suffers at birth that affects them long-term, often changing the course of their lives. Some birth injuries may also affect the mother’s well-being.
Birth injuries can arise due to negligence by your healthcare provider(s). The medical team responsible for your pregnancy, labor, and delivery owes you and your baby a certain standard of care. When there is a deviation from this standard of care, birth injuries are more likely to occur.
You might have a valid birth injury claim if you or your baby suffered injuries during childbirth. Do not hesitate to speak to a birth injury lawyer for valuable guidance.
Common Injuries During Childbirth
Several types of birth injuries exist, ranging in severity. Some of the most common kinds of birth injuries affecting babies include but are not limited to:
- Bruising or forceps marks
- Dislocated shoulders
- Facial paralysis
- Brachial palsy
- Caput succedaneum
- Subconjunctival hemorrhage
- Cerebral palsy
- Erb’s palsy
The list of possible birth injuries is extensive. Some injuries require short-term medical treatment, while others affect a baby for the rest of their lives.
Birth injuries often arise during childbirth, but in some cases, failure to provide adequate care during pregnancy has a significant impact on the likelihood of injuries during childbirth. Some of the causes of birth injuries include:
- Improper use of extraction devices, like forceps
- Failure or delay in diagnosing or treating fetal distress
- Failure to perform a c-section when medically indicated
- Failure to diagnose or manage high-risk pregnancy
- Failure to adequately monitor progress during labor and delivery
- Administration of too much Pitocin
It is critical to understand that some birth injuries are inevitable. A baby may suffer a birth injury despite a doctor’s best efforts to prevent it. For this reason, it is crucial to have a birth injury lawyer review your case to determine whether your situation would qualify for a birth injury claim.
Proving the Existence of injuries during childbirth
It is not enough to claim your baby suffered a birth injury; you must also establish certain elements. Proving a birth injury requires establishing the medical provider owed you and your baby a duty of care, they breached their duty of care, the breach caused the birth injury, and you suffered damages.
Duty of Care
First and foremost, you must establish that a doctor-patient relationship existed with the provider who caused the birth injury.
When a physician treats you during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, they owe you a duty of care. Providers who do not have a hand in your medical treatment owe you no duty; therefore, proving the existence of the relationship between you and the defendant is critical.
Breach of Duty of Care
When your treating provider deviates from the accepted standard of care, they’ve breached their duty to you. A physician’s act or omission is usually the cause of their breach.
Causation is often one of the trickiest parts of a birth injury case. To successfully prove negligence in your birth injury claim, you must create a connection between your provider’s act or omission and the birth injury.
For example, if your doctor failed to notice your baby was in fetal distress, which resulted in oxygen deprivation and subsequent brain injury, you could prove the correlation between the failure to diagnose and the birth injury.
Causation is also where the defense puts up the biggest fight, attempting to argue that the injuries during childbirth were caused by something other than the defendant’s negligence. This is only one of the reasons having an experienced birth injury lawyer handle your claim is so important.
Some birth injuries are minor, and babies can recover within hours or days. However, when a birth injury is more serious, you can expect to suffer losses as a result.
The final step in proving the birth injury is proving the existence of damages. Every case is unique, and damages depend on the details of the situation, but damages can be tangible or intangible, including:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Damages for birth injuries often entail medical costs necessary for taking care of a child for the rest of their lives. When birth injuries are particularly serious, victims grow up with lifelong health issues and an inability to live normal lives, resulting in extensive expenses.
A birth injury lawyer can help determine how much your injuries during childbirth case is worth in order to pursue maximum compensation on your behalf.
Evidence to Prove Injuries During Childbirth
Birth injury cases are made stronger by providing irrefutable evidence. The right evidence depends on your particular circumstances but commonly includes:
- Medical records during pregnancy, labor, and delivery
- Medical records of a baby’s injuries and treatment
- Doctor’s notes
- Expert testimony from medical professionals
You can trust your birth injury lawyer to request and obtain the best evidence for your case.
Discuss Your Case with a Birth Injury Lawyer at The Joel Bieber Firm
The legal team at The Joel Bieber Firm understands that money cannot take the place of a happy and healthy child. However, we also realize birth injuries can have a negative financial impact, only adding to your mental and emotional stress.
If your child has been the victim of a birth injury, we want to speak with you. Contact us today to schedule your consultation with a birth injury lawyer.