What Legal Recourse is Available if Your Baby is Injured During Birth?

After nine, long months of mood swings, anxiety, pain, expectation, and more, it is the joy of any mom to be the first one to welcome a healthy, bouncing, baby boy or girl. But in many cases, whether or not this comes to be, lies in the hands of the obstetrician and other people in the delivery room.

It is unfortunate that in the United States alone, roughly 7 in every 1000 newborns suffer some kind of birth injury according to the CDC. But what’s the way forward if your baby is injured during birth?

Well, the good news is that the law is not blind to these issues. Read on to learn your legal options if you or someone you know has a baby who was injured during birth.

What’s A Birth Injury?

Quite a common form of medical malpractice, a birth injury is just as the name suggests – a physical injury sustained during childbirth. These injuries could affect the baby, the mother, or both. In this piece, however, we shall dwell more on injuries sustained by the baby during birth, which may have several causes.

Common Causes of Birth Injuries

Injuries to the baby at birth may stem from a range of factors. For instance, the baby could be premature (preterm birth), or it could be exceptionally large. Maternal obesity, prolonged labor, and dystocia are also common causes.
In many cases, however, medical negligence malpractice is to blame for childbirth injuries. This is when the attending medical professional fails to observe the standards of care to the expectant mother, perhaps through providing the wrong treatment, making procedural errors, or offering poor treatment.

Types of Injury to the Baby during Birth

Due to one or a combination of some of the causes mentioned above, a newborn may suffer one or several types of birth injuries. However, some of the most commonly experienced types of birth injuries include the following:
- Head Injuries or Brain damage
- Cephalohematoma
- Spinal cord injuries
- Bone and skull fractures
- Subconjunctival hemorrhage (“bleeding into the eyes”)
- Bruising or forceps marks on the facial skin
- Cerebral palsy
- Nerve injuries

Taking Legal Action for Birth Injury

If your baby was injured during birth, it might not take too long to start noticing the signs of a birth injury. You can always confirm this by getting a second opinion from an experienced pediatrician, or OB/GYN. Of course, you might need to provide them with your medical records as well as those of your baby.

Their advice will go a long way in helping you confirm that indeed, your baby was injured during delivery, and you can then consider taking legal action based on the possible or suspected causes.

Suing for Medical Malpractice

As mentioned earlier, medical negligence is among the most common causes of injuries during birth. And if your child suffered injuries at the hands of a negligent obstetrician, you deserve justice for the physical, emotional, and financial suffering you’ve had to bear.

The best way to achieve this is through consulting legal experts with experienced birth injury attorneys. They can counsel and advise you accordingly on the process involved in suing for medical malpractice, and whether you have adequate evidence to pursue compensation. An experienced neonatal attorney will also:
- Explain the kind of damages you might recover
- Estimate the worth of your possible compensation
- Reach out to the doctor or facility in question to negotiate a settlement
- Take you through the statutes of limitations involved if you have to go to court

In all honesty, nothing can be more painful to a new mom than discovering that her newborn was injured during birth. But neonatal injuries indeed do happen, and sometimes medical malpractice is to blame. If this ever affects you or someone close to you, now you have a hint on how to legally approach things.

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Posted - 08/12/2022