Do You Have a Viable Birth Injury Claim?
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Nancy J. Winkler with Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C..
Birth injuries occur when a mother or infant is injured during the labor and delivery process. Birth injuries may or may not occur as the result of medical malpractice, or a mistake made on the part of the medical professionals helping with the birth. Birth injuries can go on to affect a child and their family on a long-term and even permanent basis; if you suspect a birth injury may have occurred due to medical negligence, it’s important to contact a birth injury attorney to discuss your situation. A birth injury claim may help pay for expenses including past and future medical bills, lost wages, and life care expenses for you and your child.
Common birth injuries include the following:
- Brachial Plexus Palsy (Erb’s Palsy)
- Bone fractures
- Caput succedaneum
- Perinatal asphyxia
- Intracranial hemorrhage
- Subconjunctival hemorrhage
- Facial paralysis
- Spinal cord injuries
- Cerebral palsy
It is important to note that some conditions such as cerebral palsy (CP) may or may not occur as the result of a birth injury. In most cases, CP occurs while the child is still developing in the womb. However, in circumstances generally considered to be rare, CP may occur when a child suffers oxygen deprivation during the birth process. Many long-term birth injuries are the result of oxygen deprivation which could be alleviated by an emergency C-Section or other medical intervention.
Signs that you may have a viable birth injury claim include but are not necessarily limited to:
- The medical staff who assisted with the birth are unwilling to discuss details with you.
- The medical staff is unwilling or reticent to share your medical records.
- The medical staff does not want to release the fetal monitoring strips.
- A Cesarean Section (C-Section) could have been performed earlier and possibly prevented the injury.
- Medical staff members were inattentive during the birthing process, especially to the mother’s concerns or the fetal monitoring strips.
- Forceps or a vacuum extractor were used in the birthing process.
- Medicine was given to induce labor.
- The statute of limitations for birth injury cases in your state has not already ended. In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for this type of claim is two years from the date of the injury.
Depending on the situation, the above may or may not indicate medical malpractice. It’s important to remember that most medical professionals are highly trained and dedicated to the health and wellbeing of their patients. Some birth injuries may occur as the result of unavoidable poor outcomes. The true test of whether or not a birth injury was caused by malpractice is whether or not medical professionals with the same training in the same situation would have reasonably been expected to behave differently. If so, this could imply that a standard of care was violated and that one or more parties could be liable for medical malpractice.
Birth injury cases can be extremely hard to prove without an experienced attorney.
If you suspect a birth injury was caused by medical malpractice, it is especially important to contact an experienced birth injury lawyer. Not only can the medical records needed to prove your case be difficult to obtain, but they can be even harder for the average person to interpret. Birth injury attorneys have access to expert resources that can quickly assess the mother and infant’s medical paperwork to identify whether or not an error might have occurred in their care, or if the outcome was largely unavoidable.