Women who are looking forward to the birth of a baby don’t expect anything to go wrong in the process. Unfortunately, sometimes they do.
Physicians, hospitals, and other medical professionals involved in childbirth owe the expectant mother a level of care during the pregnancy and until the baby is delivered. Failure to provide the proper level of care can be determined to be negligent, causing unnecessary injury to the baby.
Should healthcare professionals fail in their duty of care, the parents have legal options. A personal injury attorney can help evaluate the case, gather evidence, subpoena witnesses, and bring suit or negotiate an appropriate settlement to compensate the injured party..
What Is A Birth Injury?
This is any type of injury or trauma suffered during the pregnancy or during the birth process resulting from recklessness or negligence by a healthcare provider, especially if there are complications. Birth injuries can have multiple causes, including:
· The baby’s size and position
· Length of labor
· The use of forceps or other instruments during delivery
· The mother’s health, including conditions like gestational diabetes
These injuries can take many forms, such as:
· Broken and fractured bones
· Bell’s Palsy
· Brachial Plexus injury leading to Erb’s Palsy
· Cerebral Palsy
· Brain damage resulting from infection or a lack of oxygen
· Swelling or bruising
These injuries can develop shortly before, during, or shortly after birth, resulting from either medical negligence or physical trauma to the newborn. One example is using excessive force during an assisted delivery, such as forceps or a vacuum extractor in lieu of a C-section.
Some birth injuries can potentially slow a child’s development, making them slower than their peers,and possibly difficult to live independently. roper medical care during the delivery process can prevent many of these injuries.
Defects vs. Injuries
Birth defects and birth injuries are two distinct and different conditions that can have serious impacts on a newborn’s health and development. Both require prompt medical attention to manage and treat.
While an injury is something that causes harm to a newborn just prior to, during or after the birth process, a birth defect is a problem that’s present at birth. The cause is usually some type of abnormal development prior to delivery. These are due to genetic factors, environmental exposures, or a combination of both. Defects such as:
· Down’s Syndrome
· Cleft lip or palate
· Heart defects
· Spina bifida
· Neural tube defects
Are not the result of an injury during delivery. Birth defects may not always be detectable prior to birth, or apparent during the first year of life. Birth injuries, on the other hand, may take years to manifest and become apparent.
Wrongful Death Of An Infant
If a baby’s death results from birth injuries, the parents can also file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover compensation from the physician and/or the medical facility that caused the fatal birth injuries. These are the more serious birth injuries such as a complete deprivation of oxygen, circulation problems, or other severe injuries.
Parents whose babies suffered a birth defect may be able to recover compensation, including:
· Medical expenses, including future medical care
· Occupational therapy and other related expenses, such as vocational training or other specialized education
· Expenses related to modifying the parents’ home and auto to accommodate a disabled child
· Pain and suffering
· Emotional distress
Missouri’s time limit, or statute of limitations, is two years from the date of the injury, or the date the injury was recognized. Children who suffered birth injuries can also file a claim on their 18th birthday, but no later than their 20th birthday.
Kansas City Personal Injury Attorney
Contact Popham Law Firm, one of Kansas City’s most trusted personal injury law firms for advice on medical malpractice resulting in birth injury. We will provide a free consultation to help evaluate your case. Call us now at (816) 221-2288 to schedule an appointment.