A birth injury is the impairment of a child or mother due to trauma during birth. The trauma may be caused by a complication of the birth process or by the action or inaction of a medical professional.
Birth injuries can have consequences that impact the child or mother for the rest of her life. The costs of birth injuries are often debilitating for families. In extreme cases, birth injuries can lead to the death of the child and/or mother. No family should be faced with such a devastating loss.
Birth Injuries to a Child
There are many conditions that may result from a birth injury to a child. Issues like shoulder dystocia can lead to birth injuries for both the child and mother. The main categories of birth injuries are those to the brain or nervous system.
- Brain injuries. Birth injuries may include head trauma like an epidural hematoma, a bleed that puts pressure on the brain. Such injuries may cause brain damage or death. Injuries causing a loss of oxygen or blood to the brain during birth could result in cognitive impairment or lead to other neurological conditions like cerebral palsy.
- Nervous system injuries. Birth injuries to the nervous system can cause facial paralysis or brachial plexus injuries. Conditions resulting from a brachial plexus injury during birth include Erb’s palsy and Klumpke’s palsy.
Birth Injuries to a Mother
Mothers can also suffer severe injury and infection if proper care is not taken during the pregnancy and birthing process. Conditions like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia can lead to birth injuries for the child and mother if not treated properly.
Birth injuries to the mother such as pelvic trauma, uterine rupture and hemorrhage cause both physical and emotional pain and suffering. Trauma during birth increases the risk of mental health issues like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and postpartum depression.
Birth Injuries Due to Medical Negligence
Often, birth injuries are the result of some form of medical negligence, in which a medical professional or medical provider did not act within accepted standards of care. This can include:
- Failure to perform a timely C-section
- Failure to recognize signs of fetal distress
- Mismanaged labor and delivery
- Improper monitoring of the fetus
- Neglecting to conduct specialized tests during pregnancy
- Misreading of tests conducted during pregnancy
- Improper use of vacuums or forceps during delivery
- Failure to prepare for and respond to hypoxia, when the child is not receiving enough oxygen
- Failure to respond to severe dehydration at birth
Although not every birth injury is sustained as a result of negligence, it is important that you contact an experienced attorney if you suspect medical malpractice had anything to do with the birth injury experienced by a child or mother.
Damages in Birth Injury Settlements
If a medical professional’s actions or inaction led to a birth injury, you may decide to file a lawsuit. Damages fall into four categories:
- Past and future medical costs
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced quality of life
- Lost wages
Useful Documentation for Birth Injury Settlements
As with any lawsuit, documentation of damages can help ensure that you receive appropriate compensation for the birth injury. Examples of useful items for establishing damages may include but are not limited to:
- Records showing costs for medical visits and specialists, including therapists
- Medical records of the mother and child
- Costs for specialized equipment
- Calendars showing work missed due to care for child or mother’s recovery time
- Projections of costs for the future care of injured parties
What Factors Can Affect Birth Injury Settlements?
The average birth injury settlement has many moving parts. The following factors will play a role in how your settlement is determined.
- Birth injury type. There are several types of birth injuries, each with different levels of severity. Your settlement will depend on the level of impairment, whether the injured party was the child or mother, and the duration of the condition.
- Location. Every state has different laws when it comes to birth injury settlements. Finding a birth injury lawyer with knowledge of your state’s legal procedures is important to ensure that you get the right information.
- Timing. The amount of time that passes between the injury and when you file a lawsuit can impact the likelihood of a settlement. This is due to the statute of limitations for your state. If you suspect that the birth injury was caused by malpractice, it’s important to seek legal assistance as early as possible.
Janet, Janet & Suggs: Fighting for the Birth Injury Settlement You Deserve
Backed by decades of combined medical and legal experience, our team at Janet, Janet & Suggs has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of victims of birth injuries. We provide personalized attention and dedicated service in every lawsuit to help ensure each client receives the maximum compensation they deserve.
If you believe a birth injury was the result of negligence, do not hesitate to contact us to begin fighting for the compensation you need. The earlier we can begin working on your case, the better.
Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today to find out more about how JJS can help you. We provide our services on a contingency fee basis and do not charge any upfront fees. You owe us nothing unless you recover compensation.