Birth injuries can be devastating for families, leading to lifelong disability or even death. However, families may be able to seek compensation if the injury resulted from malpractice. Unfortunately, thousands of children sustain injuries or die at birth, but these injuries and deaths are often avoidable and are the direct result of improper care.
If parents believe that their child’s birth injuries could have been prevented, they may be able to seek legal assistance.
What Is A Birth Injury?
Birth injuries consist of any type of harm that babies endure during, before, or shortly following delivery. Babies frequently sustain mild injuries during delivery, but they don’t typically require treatment. In some cases, injuries may be serious and have no cure, potentially leading to lifelong disabilities that require long-term care and financial support.
Birth complications are relatively rare in the U.S. and serious birth injuries don’t frequently develop. The rarity of birth injuries makes these cases particularly serious, as birth injuries often indicate that a medical professional involved may have engaged in malpractice and failed to meet the standards of care in place.
Types Of Birth Injuries
There are several types of birth injuries that could develop during or immediately following childbirth. It’s important for professionals and parents to look for signs of fetal distress to identify injuries as soon as possible. The signs may not become apparent until long after birth in some cases.
Potential birth injuries include:
- Brain damage
- Infantile spasms
- Birth hypoxia resulting from lack of oxygen at birth
- Brachial plexus birth injury, or Erb’s Palsy
- Infantile seizures
In addition to these, other possible injuries may include bruising, spinal cord injuries, bone fractures, skull crush injuries, or even infant or maternal death.
While birth injuries can heal over time, some may develop into serious conditions that affect the child for the rest of his or her life. Many of these injuries are the result of malpractice, such as failure to respond to medical emergencies during birth or properly monitor the fetus for any potential issues. As a result, it may be possible for the child’s family to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against liable parties, which may include doctors and other staff.
The Consequences Of Birth Injuries
Certain injuries that result in disabilities like cerebral palsy (CP) can require lifelong treatment, care, and financial aid that are both emotionally and financially taxing for children and their families. Families will need to cover the costs of therapy, doctor’s appointments, medications, and medical devices, all of which can result in steep costs throughout the child’s life.
However, if parents believe that their child’s injuries resulted from medical malpractice, they may be able to recover compensation to cover all of the costs associated with those injuries. To begin seeking compensation, the child’s family will need to be able to prove that the injury was preventable. If they can prove that medical staff could have prevented the birth injury, the child’s family may be awarded compensation to cover both economical and non-economical damages.
While compensation may not be able to restore the child’s health, it can help families get the financial support they need.