A birth injury caused by a negligent medical professional can alter the course of a person’s life before it even begins.
Birth injury victims who survive fetal distress or a traumatic delivery failure often suffer a permanent injury that lasts a lifetime. Brain injuries, in particular, can cause severe impairments that prevent typical cognitive development.
If your family suffered a personal injury due to subpar medical care in Lexington, KY, a Kentucky birth injury lawyer from Thomas Law Offices is ready to meet with you.
Your family may be entitled to substantial compensation that can go toward your child’s future care, treatment, and support. Every injured child deserves the highest quality of life. Our law office devotes an area of legal practice to helping victims of a Lexington birth injury secure the resources they need to enjoy a life of health, safety, joy, and wellbeing.
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How Birth Injury Attorneys Help Families
You have the right to make an informed decision regarding your legal options after birth-related medical complications. Whether the child, mother, or both sustained injuries, a Lexington birth injury attorney can guide you through the process of filing a malpractice claim against a negligent facility or practitioner.
Dedicated legal advocates from our law firm can help your family in the following ways:
- Analyze and provide guidance on the Kentucky laws that apply to your case
- Draw from our extensive knowledge of past cases involving birth injuries to advise you of your legal rights and options for recovering compensation
- Use our relationships with top professionals in the medical community to gain the testimony of expert witnesses who can support your case
- Negotiate a fair settlement with the hospital’s insurance company, or litigate your case at trial if a satisfactory out-of-court decision cannot be reached
- Calculate and fight for maximum compensation for both economic damages and non-economic damages resulting from your or your child’s injuries, including
- cost of medical care
- future medical bills
- lost wages
- reduced future earning capacity
- future pain and suffering, and
- emotional distress.
A free case evaluation at our law firm comes at no cost or obligation to you and your family. The Lexington attorneys of Thomas Law Offices focus only on the practice areas that allow us to do the most good in our clients’ lives—and we have developed our skills to handle these cases as effectively as possible. As a law firm that always puts the attorney-client relationship first, we will continually strive to support you, giving you peace and security to the best of our ability.
Reach out to our personal injury law firm to schedule your free consultation.
What Is a Birth Injury?
The National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) defines birth injury as “an impairment of the neonate’s body function or structure due to an adverse event.” The term birth injury can generally be used to describe any type of physical harm suffered by a baby or mother during pregnancy, labor, delivery, or neonatal care.
Even under the best medical care, complications can arise during the birthing process. But the birth injury cases handled by the Lexington birth injury lawyers at Thomas Law Offices are the ones involving medical malpractice committed by a healthcare provider.
Medical staff involved in the care of the mother and child have an obligation to anticipate, monitor, and promptly treat any issues as they develop. Any carelessness, inattention, oversight, or irresponsibility on the part of a nurse, doctor, or technician can quickly escalate into a dangerous situation for mother and baby.
A birth injury may be caused by medical negligence such as:
- Failing to order a cesarean delivery (C-section) when one is needed
- Missing an umbilical cord wrapped around the child’s neck
- Applying too much force when employing vacuum extraction
- The improper use of forceps
- Failing to recognize symptoms of a seizure
- Not adequately monitoring fetal heart rate
What Are the Most Common Birth Injuries?
In our experience as Lexington birth injury lawyers, no two birth injury cases are exactly alike. There are, however, several types of birth injuries that most commonly result from negligence committed during the delivery and birth process.
Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common childhood motor disorder. Symptoms may include difficulty walking, problems with movement or posture, or spasticity. Damage or a lack of oxygen to the child’s brain before, during, or after birth can cause cerebral palsy.
Brachial Plexus Injuries
Injuries to the nerves between the neck and shoulders are known as brachial plexus injuries. If these nerves are damaged during delivery, the child can suffer permanent impairments in the arms and hands.
Shoulder dystocia occurs when the baby’s shoulders are not able to pass smoothly past the mother’s pubic bones. This can result in severe postpartum hemorrhaging in the mother and brachial plexus injuries, broken bones, and Horner’s syndrome in the baby.
Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)
HIE is a broad category of brain damage resulting from a lack of blood and oxygen to the brain. This is one of the most dangerous types of birth injuries and can result in permanent impairment or death.
Cephalohematoma is a condition in which blood collects under an infant’s scalp. It is often the result of the inappropriate use of forceps or vacuum tools. Although less severe than some other types of birth injuries, cephalohematoma can lead to complications, including jaundice, infection, skull fracture, or anemia.
When undue pressure is placed on the baby’s head, causing the scalp to swell with fluid, it is known as caput succedaneum. Like cephalohematoma, caput succedaneum is not generally life-threatening, but can lead to a number of recoverable health issues.
In addition to the common birth injuries listed above, there are a range of health issues and physical damage a fetus or newly-born child may suffer. Other injuries that may result from fetal distress, medical errors during the birthing process, or improper care after birth include:
- Brain damage
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord damage
- Facial paralysis
- Cranial nerve damage
- Neonatal death
In the most tragic instances of medical negligence, a family may lose a child. If your family is suffering the aftermath of a fatal birth injury, we advise that you reach out to a trusted Lexington birth injury attorney equipped to handle wrongful death cases.
Your family deserves justice and the opportunity to heal. The birth injury lawyers at Thomas Law Offices have experience in these types of birth injury claims. We can offer you a free consultation to discuss your legal options.
Birth injuries do not just affect the child. Birthing mothers frequently sustain serious physical injuries when medical malpractice leads to a complication in the birth process. And other family members can suffer severe emotional injuries as well.
Medical complications due to the negligence of medical professionals can cause a mother to suffer:
- A ruptured uterus
- A prolapsed uterus
- Vaginal tears
- Postpartum hemorrhaging
- Psychological injuries such as PTSD, anxiety, depression, and guilt
The medical care required by both mother and baby can be substantial. Birth injury lawsuits can help injured families seek justice and recover losses. Our Kentucky birth injury attorneys fight for maximum compensation on behalf of clients injured by medical negligence in Lexington, KY.
What Kind of Negligence Causes Birth Injuries?
Birth injuries result from the actions of health care professionals who fail to meet the standard of care required of their position. Negligence can come from the actions of doctors, obstetrics and gynecology (OB-GYN) professionals, nurses, surgeons, technicians, anesthesiologists, hospital staff, and other medical care providers.
When one of our birth injury attorneys investigates your case, we will generally look to three stages at which an act of negligence may have occurred to harm you or your child: the prenatal stage, the labor and delivery stage, and the postpartum stage.
Negligence at the Prenatal Stage
The mother’s treating doctors and nurses have an obligation to provide conscientious care during pregnancy. This includes noticing and immediately addressing any issues that could complicate the pregnancy, such as:
- Gestational diabetes
- Cephalopelvic disproportion (when the birth canal is too narrow to accommodate the child’s size)
- An umbilical cord around the baby’s neck
- Illness or infection
- Breech position of the baby
Negligence During Labor and Delivery
At this critical stage, all attending staff members must be attentive to the immediate needs of the mother and child. Nurses and doctors are responsible for:
- Monitoring the baby’s heart rate and blood pressure
- Monitoring the condition of the mother
- Using tools like vacuums and forceps properly when appropriate, without too much force
- Knowing when a C-section is needed and performing the procedure in a timely manner
- Clear communication between staff to effectively react to issues if they arise
- Administering medications or epidurals properly at the appropriate stage when needed
Negligence Following Birth
Poor postpartum care in the hospital can be a form of negligence. Negligence in the hours, days, or weeks following the birth of a child can include:
- Improper care in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)
- Failure to notice signs of seizure or stroke
- Failure to prevent or treat infection
- Improper newborn care and feeding
- Failure to notice or treat chronic disease in the mother or child
- Failure to address postpartum hemorrhaging
- Discharging patients too soon
How Long Do You Have To File a Birth Injury Claim in Kentucky?
A statute of limitations places a time limit on the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit after suffering a personal injury. Birth injuries are considered a type of medical malpractice under Kentucky law, making them subject to a one-year statute of limitations.
There are certain exceptions to the one-year statute of limitation, and there may be circumstances under which you have more time to take action. You will need to meet with a Kentucky birth injury attorney promptly after the injury is discovered to discuss your case.
If you do not take legal action before the deadline, you will no longer have the option to pursue justice through a civil personal injury lawsuit.
The economic damages associated with a birth injury—like medical expenses, lost wages, and diminished earning capacity—can be financially crippling. Just as significant are non-economic damages like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and permanent disability.
Do not let your choice to seek justice be taken away by the clock. Act quickly to learn more about your rights and the best means of recovery for your family.
Contact a Lexington Birth Injury Lawyer Today
A compassionate Lexington birth injury attorney from Thomas Law Offices is available to meet with your family right away.
It is nearly impossible to go up against a negligent health care facility on your own, especially in the wake of trauma. But with one of our birth injury attorneys by your side, you can be sure that you have the ally you need to gain justice. We’ll fight to make sure your child has the substantial compensation they need to enjoy the highest quality of life.
Schedule a free consultation to meet with an experienced lawyer at our Lexington, KY office location.