The birth of a child should be a joyous occasion. While not every pregnancy and birth is the same, there are protocols that doctors and nurses are supposed to follow to keep the mother and baby safe. If something goes wrong and it’s because of a poor decision a hospital employee made, the victim can pursue compensation for their losses. If you’re in a situation like that, a birth injury lawyer from Thomas Law Offices can help.
At Thomas Law Offices, we provide strong, quality legal representation to victims of negligence. We understand the challenges associated with you or your child sustaining a birth injury, and we’re prepared to fight for your right to a fair monetary award.
Birth injury claims are often complex, so it’s crucial to have an attorney by your side. When you get in touch with our firm, we’ll review what you’ve been through and what you’ve lost and determine if filing a claim is in your best interest. One of the first things we will do is determine how and why your child sustained a birth injury.
The Difference Between a Birth Injury and Birth Defect
You may have heard the terms birth injury and birth defect be used interchangeably, but there is an important difference between the two that could impact your ability to take legal action on behalf of your child.
A birth defect can be diagnosed before birth, during labor, or after delivery, but the condition forms during pregnancy. Congenital disabilities can result from teratogens, which are agents that disturb the development of the embryo or the fetus. Examples of teratogens include prescription medications, illegal drugs, and alcohol. Genetics can also predispose a baby to birth defects. Examples of congenital disabilities include cleft lip, down syndrome, craniosynostosis, and congenital heart defects.
A birth injury happens during labor and delivery or just after birth and causes injury to an otherwise healthy newborn. Common examples of birth injuries include the following:
- Brachial palsy
- Bruising or forceps marks
- Caput succedaneum
- Facial paralysis
- Bone fractures
- Subconjunctival hemorrhage
- Nerve injuries
If your child has been diagnosed with a birth injury, you’ll want to determine the cause. If malpractice played a role, compensation might be available. You can also seek financial recovery if you, as the mother, were injured during the labor and delivery process. If you suffered severe tearing, bleeding, or other complications, it’s possible your care team did not provide you with the medical attention you needed or deserved.
How to Determine if Malpractice Caused a Birth Injury
Malpractice refers to situations where medical professionals fail to act like a skilled healthcare professional would have in a given situation. For a birth injury claim to be successful, you have to be able to prove that the doctor or medical facility failed to act in a reasonable manner during your admitted time.
Not all birth injuries are the result of medical negligence. Factors like overly large babies, premature babies, prolonged labor, abnormal fetal positioning, and maternal weight can affect whether or not a birth injury occurs. If those situations don’t apply to you, you and your child may be victims of malpractice.
Examples of medical errors that lead to birth injuries include failing to recognize an infection during gestation, administering incorrect drugs, failing to monitor heart rate during pregnancy, failing to follow delivery procedures, improperly using delivery tools, and botching a surgery like a cesarean section. Those, however, aren’t the only situations that warrant a birth injury claim. If your child has sustained injuries you believe are the fault of a medical professional, you can hold them accountable and ensure you have the funds you need to prove your child with a high quality of life.
Consequences of Birth Injuries
While some birth injuries heal with time, others come with life-long consequences. If your child was injured during birth, they could have to cope with developmental delays, seizure disorders, paralysis, and more.
In addition to the emotional toll those conditions can take, there are also high costs associated with treating birth injuries and helping a child reach their maximum medical improvement. If you’re in a situation where your child now has a disability, you could be looking at a lifetime of hospital appointments, treatment centers, and never-ending medical bills.
When your labor and delivery doesn’t go as planned because of someone else’s error, you don’t have to have to figure out how to handle everything on your own. Our law firm is well aware of the consequences associated with birth injuries, and we’re here to help you prepare a strong claim, so you have what you need to keep your family afloat and ensure your child receives the care they need.
Compensation Eligibility for Birth Injury Victims
The compensation you’re eligible for with a birth injury claim depends on how you’ve been affected by hospital or doctor’s negligence. Your lawyer will collect the applicable documentation and evidence they need to value your claim.
The first component of your potential compensation is economic losses. These refer to calculable damages, like medical expenses and lost wages. Depending on the harm done and whether any existing conditions are present, you may be able to seek additional funds for future medical care and diminished earning capacity.
More personal losses, like pain and suffering, are considered non-economic damages. These are harder to calculate, so your attorney will consider the extent of your suffering, any lasting injuries, major temporary and permanent changes to your life, and what similar cases have been valued at in the past.
Hospitals like to avoid bad press, so the majority of birth injury claims are settled behind closed doors. With a strong case, your attorney will negotiate a full settlement offer on your behalf. If, however, the hospital is unwilling to come to agreeable terms, you can pursue your case in court. When you file a lawsuit, the outcome will ultimately be decided by a judge or jury via verdict. Filing a lawsuit can significantly extend the amount of time it takes to end your litigation matters. Still, our lawyers are ready to fight for you and do what we can to ensure a favorable verdict.
Thomas Law Offices Can Help
If you or your child has been injured during labor and delivery, you deserve help covering medical expenses and lost wages. When you seek legal representation from Thomas Law Offices, a birth injury lawyer can guide you through the claims process and ensure you understand your legal rights and options.
The sooner you file your claim, the better your chances are of maximizing your recovery. Not only will your lawyer have ample time to conduct a thorough investigation and build a strong case, but you also won’t have to worry about running into issues with the statute of limitations.
Whether you’re looking to start a claim, or you’d like to learn more about how best to handle your family’s situation, schedule a free case evaluation with our law firm. We’ll review what you’ve been through and provide you with sound advice on how to protect your family and your future. Contact us today for more information.