Birth Injury Lawyers – Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Complication in the process of labor and delivery can result in a wide variety of problems for a newborn baby. These problems have become known as birth injuries in the medical and legal community. One major cause of birth injuries is oxygen deprivation, which commonly occurs when the umbilical cord is compressed and/or twisted in the birth process. The other main cause is mechanical trauma which may occur when the baby assumes an unusual position at the time of birth.
Some red flags during pregnancy or birth are:
- Excessive bleeding
- Long labor
- Fetal distress
- Excessive water retention and weight gain
Birth injuries that occur during labor or delivery are:
- Meconium aspiration
- Fetal distress
- Excessive bleeding
- Brachial plexus
- Cerebral palsy – brain damage
- Shoulder dystocia
Medical malpractice errors are responsible for 98,000 wrongful deaths each year. More people die from medical mistakes than from all car accident deaths. Doctor error, hospital negligence, and accidents involving medication errors cause injuries to over 1.3 million persons a year.
A lot of birth injuries are obvious although some are not. Parents may notice swelling, bruising and lumps on their baby’s face and/or head. When a baby with a paralyzed face cries, only part of her face moves. It is pretty clear that something’s wrong. A baby with Erb’s Palsy or broken bones may seem okay at first. Many parents also do not immediately realize that their child suffered a brain injury and has cerebral palsy. If your child has Cerebral Palsy you may notice a variety of problems: he or she may have trouble rolling over, reaching and holding things, sitting up, crawling and walking, seeing, hearing and speaking. Cerebral palsy can also cause mental retardation and seizures. If you suspect your child has a birth injury, you should discuss it with your physician and consult with a lawyer who has experience in birth injury lawsuits.
When a child dies the lawsuit goes from being a medical malpractice case to a “wrongful death” case. In a wrongful death action, the lawsuit is usually filed by the parents for the benefit of the parents. In a wrongful death action, there are generally no damages awarded to the child, with the possible exception of damages that may have arisen when the child was alive (pain and suffering, for example).
In theory parents are supposed to be able to recover what they would have received from the child in terms of money and services; however, whatever amount that ends up being is reduced by an estimate of what the parent’s would have spent on the child. In most cases, the amount spent on rearing a child outweighs the amount that parents receive from a child. Funeral expenses and reimbursement for medical expenses are generally available. Many states allow parents to recover for non-economic damages. In this case, the damages are based on an estimate of the money value of a child’s love and companionship.
What happens during a birth injury lawsuit depends on the laws of the state where your child was born. Your lawyer will either file a lawsuit against your doctor, your hospital, and any other party who might be responsible for your child’s birth injury or will notify the parties that you intend to file a lawsuit. The involved health care providers will then notify their medical malpractice insurers about the lawsuit. At that point, the handling of the defense of the lawsuit is turned over to the medical malpractice insurer and the medical malpractice defense attorneys.
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