3,978,497 children were born in the U.S. in 2015, and for most parents, the birth of a child is a memory that will stay with them forever. However, injuries sustained by a mother or child at birth can change what should be one of the happiest days of a person’s life into a nightmare. In 2006, it is estimated that 157,700 avoidable injuries were sustained by mothers and infants during the labor process. Often, birth injuries occur due to poor decisions by physicians, such as the improper use of medical equipment, medication, or a failure to surgically intervene if there are complications during labor.
Unfortunately, these mistakes can leave a child with a permanent physical disability, which in turn, leaves new families with an overwhelming amount of debt due to medical bills, special learning facilities, etc. The impact that a birth injury can have on your child’s life should not be taken lightly, which is why you should always consult with a birth injury attorney to determine if there is any legal recourse against the medical professional or facility that caused those injuries.
Who is Legally Responsible When Birth Injuries Occur?
If your child has been injured at birth, you undoubtedly want accountability from those who are responsible, but birth injuries can be caused by medical facilities or professionals such as nurses, physician assistants, doctors, or hospitals. The exact determination as to who is responsible should always be made with the guidance of a birth injuries lawyer, because this determination is made through the analysis of many factors and ultimately leads to a conclusion of legal liability.
Common Types of Birth Injuries
There are birth injuries that are more common than others. Some can simply be the result of the birth process, while others are the result of malpractice. Injuries due to malpractice can vary significantly and include ailments such as bone fractures, wrongful death, or Erb’s palsy.
Injuries Due to Improper Use of Equipment
There are different tools that doctors use to assist during the childbirth process, especially if the mother is experiencing any complications. Two of the most common tools utilized by a physicians are vacuum cups or forceps. Both of these tools are used to move the child through the birth canal, but the use or improper use of these tools can cause birth injuries.
Common birth injuries due to the improper use of vacuum cups:
- Skull fractures
- Nerve damage
- Brain damage
Common birth injuries due to improper use of forceps:
- Bleeding within the skull
- Skull fractures
- Bell’s palsy (damage to the facial muscles)
Injuries Due to Improper Timing of Caesarean Section
The decision to perform a caesarean section (C-Section) in an emergency situation can be critical to a successful birth, but in certain cases, a doctor might fail to make that critical choice which can lead to serious birth injuries such as oxygen deprivation, seizures, brain damage, and nerve damage.
Injuries Due to Improper Use or Failure to Prescribe Medication
Medication errors occur in 5 to 10 percent of patients admitted to a hospital. Moreover, these errors cost 5.6 million dollars per hospital, and can have a devastating effect on an infant during a pregnancy or childbirth. Medication errors have led to host of different permanent injuries and in some cases, wrongful death.
What Damages can You Recover in a Birth Injury Suit?
If your child has been injured due to the negligence of a hospital or medical professional, you can seek compensation for the injuries to your child and the long-term financial damages you will incur as a result of the injury such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
However, birth injuries are viewed as a form of malpractice. So, you have the burden of proving that the medical professional or facility acted negligently, which will involve not only a legal analysis of medical records but also, gathering expert medical testimony to support your case.
Birth Injuries in Atlanta, GA
At the Law Office of Cambre and Associates, we have years of experience handling birth injury cases. Unfortunately, we have also witnessed the pain and suffering that parents experience as a result of this tragic event, but you don’t have to face this pain alone. Call the Law office of Cambre and Associates today for a free consultation with a birth injury lawyer that will fight for your rights.