The day your child is born should be the most joyous day of your life. Unfortunately, for some parents, a medical error or birth injury can transform their child’s birth into a nightmare. Birth injuries can cause permanent damage to a child, setting them up for a lifetime of physical and developmental challenges.
At Finz & Finz, P.C., we understand the trauma parents face as they struggle to cope with a birth injury. Although money cannot give back what your family has lost, it can help stabilize your financial situation and meet your child’s ongoing medical needs. Yet, proving that a medical error resulted in your child’s injury so you can pursue the compensation you deserve can be an uphill battle.
What Is a Birth Injury?
Birth injuries are not the same thing as birth defects. Birth defects, or congenital disabilities, are generally the result of a genetic problem or a defect in a baby’s DNA. Defects are not preventable and occur when the baby is still in the womb and developing. Birth injuries, however, are generally the result of a medical error. They are preventable and can be caused by the careless actions of a medical professional during the delivery or birthing process.
Common Causes of Birth Injuries
Labor and delivery are not easy for most women. Although women have been giving birth for thousands of years, the process can lead to significant complications. Trained medical professionals can help mitigate these potential complications by providing a woman and her baby with competent medical care. However, careless actions in the delivery room can cause significant birth injuries to a newborn infant. Some of the most common causes of birth injuries to newborns include:
- Failure to diagnose problems before delivery
- Failure to monitor the labor process
- Inadequate fetal monitoring practices
- Overly aggressive labor and delivery tactics
- Failure to correctly use birthing instruments
- Failure to act when an infant is in distress
- Failure to perform a cesarean section when needed
- Incorrect medication administered
- Incorrect medication dosage given
These actions or inaction can result in birth injuries that may impact a child for the rest of their life.
Types of Birth Injuries
One of the inherent problems with proving that a medical professional caused a birth injury is tracing the injury back to a healthcare practitioner’s actions. In some cases, parents do not recognize that there is a significant health problem until weeks or even months later when their child fails to reach certain milestones. Not all birth injuries are apparent, and it may take time for signs to manifest.
Birth injuries that may impact your child can include:
- Cerebral Palsy – Cerebral palsy is technically a group of disorders caused by damage to the brain. The damage inflicted generally affects muscle movement and coordination, but can lead to intellectual disabilities as well.
- Brachial Plexus Injury– The brachial plexus is a complex network of nerves bundled in the shoulder. These nerves transmit messages from the spinal cord to the arms. When these nerves are injured in the birthing process, it can cause a loss of motion and weakness in the arms and hands. The condition is also known as Erb’s palsy.
- Hypoxic- Ischemic Encephalopathy or HIE – HIE can occur when an infant does not receive enough oxygen or blood flow during delivery. HIE is a significant brain disorder that may lead to developmental delays or intellectual disabilities and can result in death.
- Intracranial Hemorrhage – An intracranial hemorrhage is a form of bleeding that occurs in the skull or brain.
Other forms of birth injuries that may occur due to medical error can include:
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Newborn jaundice
- Bacterial infections
If you suspect that a medical practitioner may have caused your child’s illness or injury, consult with an experienced New York birth injury attorney. An attorney can help you determine what your next steps should be.
Proving a Birth Injury
As with most forms of medical malpractice, several legal components need to be established to prove a birth injury case. First, you must show that a medical provider owed you and your family a duty of care. Next, the medical provider must have failed to act in accordance with an acceptable standard of care. In other words, would a similarly trained medical professional have acted in the same way under the same conditions? Finally, did the provider’s failure cause an injury, and did that injury result in damages?
If all these elements are at play, you may have a birth injury case against the medical practitioner or health care provider. However, it is still up to you to prove your case. Proving that a healthcare provider caused a birth injury takes substantial evidence. A skilled birth injury attorney can review your situation and help gather the information needed to prove your case. Evidence that can substantiate your claim may include:
- Pre and postnatal medical records
- Baby’s medical history and records
- Witness statements
- Employment history
- Expert testimony
Gathering this evidence can be challenging and time-consuming. An experienced birth injury attorney has the resources to uncover the evidence needed to build a compelling case and make the connection between careless actions and a significant birth injury.
Contact a Skilled New York Birth Injury Attorney for Help
All you want is what’s best for your baby. Putting up a legal fight might seem daunting, but recovering the money you need to provide for your child’s ongoing medical needs may be best for your child. The legal team at Finz & Finz, P.C. is ready to fight for you and your child.