Preventing Birth Injuries
January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month, and many expectant parents do not even know about it, let alone realize there was such a thing. Unfortunately, children can suffer birth injuries because of the actions of doctors or hospitals.
By being an advocate for your baby’s health, you can take an active role in preventing birth injuries. And if your child was hurt because of medical negligence, the Birmingham birth injury lawyers at Hare, Wynn, Newell, & Newton can help you file a claim for compensation.
Common Birth Injuries and What Causes Them
It’s important to know what birth injuries are common and what causes them.
Cerebral Palsy – Cerebral Palsy is a congenital disorder that affects muscle tone and movement. It can be caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain during delivery.
Erb’s Palsy – Erb’s Palsy is a paralysis of the upper arm(s) due to nerves being stretched or torn. Sometimes there are treatments for it, but it takes time and medical care.
Paralysis – Your baby could end up with paralysis in different parts of the body. This can be caused by certain parts of the baby’s body being handled improperly during childbirth.
Spinal Cord Damage – Whether it’s from being turned around the wrong way in the birth canal or from medical equipment, your baby could suffer spinal cord damage. This can lead to significant medical issues down the road.
Skull Fractures – If the doctor has to use forceps during delivery, it can cause skull fractures. This may require surgery to correct.
Talk to Your Doctor About Preventing Birth Injuries
Before it’s time for the delivery, you should talk with your doctor about preventing birth injuries by carefully monitoring the baby, and if necessary, a c-section birth.
Changes in the heart rate can be a sign that the baby is in distress during childbirth. For this reason, make sure your doctor is watching the fetal monitoring strip even if not in your room. You should also tell the nurses you want to know about any heart rate drops or “late heart rate decelerations.”
Birth injuries can happen if labor goes on for too long but things aren’t progressing as they should. Make sure the doctor knows you are willing to do a Cesarean section, also called a c section, if there is any reason the doctor feels it’s best for the baby after labor that isn’t working.
Proving Negligence in a Birth Injury Lawsuit
Most birth injury lawsuits are filed against the doctor and the hospital. If they’re deemed negligent, their insurance policies will have to cover damages.
Proving the doctor or hospital was negligent and therefore liable for damages requires demonstrating four things:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care
- They breached that duty
- Your child suffered injuries or death
- Their injuries were caused by the defendant’s breach of the standard of care
Of course, the doctor owes you a duty of care. It’s their job to safely deliver your baby. If they do something wrong, your baby could get hurt or die. However, proving they fell below the standard of care can be difficult.
Your birth injury lawyer will hire experts to prove that the doctor or hospital was at fault.
What Damages Can You Claim in a Birth Injury Lawsuit?
If your child suffered a preventable birth injury, you may be entitled to the following damages:
- Medical Bills – The defendant is responsible for current and future medical bills for your child.
- Pain And Suffering – You can demand compensation for the pain and suffering experienced by your child and your family.
- Expenses – If it costs you money to take care of your child because of his injury, or if you are unable to work after your child’s injury, you can demand compensation for this.
Contact Our Birth Injury Lawyers Today
Giving birth should be a joyous and wondrous time, but for some, it causes fear and anguish when a baby suffers injuries during delivery. What can parents that experience this do? Contacting the Birmingham personal injury attorneys at Hare, Wynn, Newell, and Newton should be one of the first things you do to get answers to any questions you may have.
For over 100 years, our firm has helped parents who have witnessed their baby suffer unendurable wrongs during delivery, and we are here to help. Contact us today, and we will fight with you to right the wrongs you and your loved ones courageously face.