Birth Injury Attorney
What is a birth injury?
A birth injury is any type of injury suffered by a newborn child during the labor or delivery process. Although some birth injuries can be harmless, many result in permanent disability to the physical, cognitive, or intellectual capacities of a child. Birth injuries are often avoided by doctors following standards of care, proper monitoring of the mother and child’s health, and immediately addressing any suspected problems that may appear during pregnancy, labor, and delivery.
What’s the difference between a birth defect and a birth injury?
In general, birth injuries are caused by an error during delivery. By contrast, birth defects often involve harm to a baby prior to birth, due to something that occurred during or before pregnancy.
When can you tell if my child suffered a birth injury?
In many cases, doctors and parents know immediately when a child is born with a serious birth injury. On other occasions, serous birth injuries can go undetected until their signs and symptoms start to appear later in a child’s life, typically in the form of abnormal or delayed development.
Common indicators of birth injury include:
- Skin discoloration
- Bruising and/or excessive molding of your child’s head or scalp
- Poor coordination
- Mental retardation
- Extended stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)
- Extreme lethargy
What are the most common types of birth injury?
There are a wide variety of birth injuries, some of the most common ones include:
- Cerebral Palsy
- Brachial Plexus Injuries (BPI) such as Erb’s Palsy and shoulder dystocia
- Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) or perinatal asphyxia
- Bone fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Facial paralysis
- Caput succedaneum
- Head and face hemorrhages
- Stillborn births
Do I have a case for a birth injury lawsuit?
If your child’s birth injury was caused by the medical negligence of a health care provider or hospital, you are eligible to pursue monetary damages through a medical malpractice lawsuit. This means parents can sue the liable parties if their actions—or inactions—led to their child’s injuries.
In order to succeed in a medical malpractice lawsuit, the parents must prove that a doctor, nurse or hospital failed to act in accordance with the acceptable medical standards of care, which caused the injury. The standard of medical care is decided by other medical professionals.
How can I tell if a birth injury was caused by medical negligence?
Although not all injuries to mothers and newborns are caused by medical malpractice, it is not always obvious when a preventable medical mistake resulted in a birth injury. Furthermore, healthcare providers will not admit to parents when errors were made.
That is why a birth injury lawsuit must be accompanied by an affidavit of an independent doctor who has thoroughly evaluated the medical records. If the expert doctor shows a preventable medical error is the reason for your child’s injury, he/she must file the affidavit as an expert opinion with the lawsuit.
What is the time limit to file birth injury lawsuits?
The statute of limitations for an case can vary from one state to the next so it's important to share the state and location in which the injury occured. As an example, according to Alabama’s statute of limitations that apply specifically to medical malpractice cases, you have two years to get your lawsuit filed in the system, beginning from the date on which the alleged malpractice occurred. However, if the cause of action is not discovered and could not reasonably have been discovered within the two-year time limit, you can file a lawsuit within six months from the date of such a discover or the date of discovery of facts which would reasonably result in such discovery.
What damages can I recover?
You are entitled to both economic and noneconomic damages. Although the compensation from a birth injury lawsuit cannot undo your child’s injury, it can help you ease you and your child’s life moving forward.
You are entitled the following damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit:
- Past and future medical, rehabilitation, and therapeutic expenses
- Lost wages and income from parents if they need to stop working to care for their child
- Adjustments and modifications to a home or vehicle to make it handicap accessible
- Pain and suffering of the child and parents
Won’t filing a lawsuit be expensive?
Most personal injury lawyers represent their clients on a contingency fee basis. This means that you won’t have to pay any upfront costs or any attorney fees unless your lawyer wins your case.
What happens if your attorney loses? You still don’t have to pay anything.
Why do I need a birth injury attorney?
Medical professionals and hospitals are backed by a powerful legal team, ready to protect their best interests against all cases and claims. They will not admit fault and will do everything possible to deny your claim. It is imperative to have an experienced lawyer on your side who can investigate your case and build a strong legal strategy on your behalf.
At Hare Wynn, we can help you understand your rights and ensure that you obtain the compensation you deserve. With hundreds of millions of dollars won on behalf of our clients, our personal injury attorneys provide effective and personalized legal counsel for families and their children, committed to getting the best results possible.
For more information about birth injuries, contact us and schedule a free consultation today.