A child’s birth is supposed to be an exciting, joyous event—especially for the parents-to-be. When something goes wrong during labor and delivery, the mood can quickly change, and the situation can become stressful or even dire. When a medical professional’s actions contribute to the injury of a child, legal action may be available. That’s where a Columbia, MO birth injury lawyer can help.
At Thomas Law Offices, we believe injury victims deserve the best chance at recovery. Birth injuries can be challenging to prove. Fortunately, our attorneys have extensive experience representing medical malpractice victims. We can evaluate your situation to determine how best to protect your child and your financial situation.
Common Types of Birth Injuries
Birth trauma can result in a variety of injuries. The most common birth injuries include the following:
- Brachial palsy. This injury results in damage to the group of nerves that supplies the arms and hands. As a result, the baby will lose its ability to flex and rotate the arm, and special exercises will be needed to maintain the arm’s range of motion while healing occurs.
- Caput succedaneum. This is swelling of the soft tissue around the scalp. The swelling can go away within the first few days after delivery, but sometimes there are complications. Babies who are delivered via vacuum extraction can experience this.
- Fractures. The most common fractures an infant can experience during labor and delivery are of the clavicle and collarbone.
- Bruising. If forceps are used during the delivery process, they can leave bruises on the baby’s scalp and face.
- Facial paralysis. Forceps can also damage the baby’s face and the facial nerve. If that happens, there will be no movement on the side of the face where the nerve was bruised.
If your baby was diagnosed with a different birth injury, you could still have a potential claim. Our attorneys will be able to determine if pursuing legal action is available to you.
You may hear birth injuries and birth defects used interchangeably, but these phrases actually mean very different things—especially when it comes to filing a birth injury claim. While a birth injury is something that happens during labor and delivery, a congenital disability happens before. There are a number of reasons birth defects can occur, but they are usually not related to negligence. Many birth defects are genetic, as opposed to resulting from someone’s actions.
Why Birth Injuries Happen
You expect your labor and delivery team to provide you with the best care possible. If that doesn’t happen, you’ll want to know why and who to hold accountable. While there are a number of reasons your child may experience a birth injury, some negligent actions are more common than others.
One of the most common reasons birth injuries happen is because of inexperience and a failure to provide care within the required standard of care. Doctors are supposed to treat patients in a manner similar to how others in their specialty would. If they fail to do so, it’s possible they could be held accountable.
In addition to failing to provide care that meets the required level, miscommunication is also an issue in hospitals. If your records aren’t processed properly, or everyone on your care team isn’t kept up-to-date with your care and what you and your baby need, issues could arise.
How to Hold a Hospital Accountable for a Birth Injury
The cost of prenatal care, labor and delivery, and doctors’ fees vary by state. According to CBS News, the average cost to give birth in Missouri is $15,444. That number can quickly rise in the event something goes wrong at any point in the process.
When a doctor or nurse makes a mistake and additional measures need to be taken to protect you and your baby, your hospital bills will increase. You, however, shouldn’t be responsible for paying for someone else’s negligence. Let’s take a look at how you can hold a hospital accountable for your baby’s injury.
If you suspect your baby was injured during birth, keep track of what you’ve witnessed and what you’ve been told by doctors and nurses. It’s not uncommon for an attempt to be made to hide the birth injury by a complication of sorts.
The sooner you get in touch with an attorney, the sooner they will be able to begin conducting an investigation. They will look at medical records, hospital bills, witness statements, and more to determine if there are grounds for a claim.
In the event you choose to pursue a personal injury claim, your lawyer will need to build a case that proves the doctor or provider breached their duty of care and caused you or your baby harm that resulted in unexpected financial losses. Once that is established, your claim can be valued, and your lawyer will fight to ensure you receive the compensation you’re eligible for.
Why You Need a Birth Injury Attorney
While you could pursue an injury claim on your own, it’s not something we recommend. Not only could you jeopardize your chances for full compensation, but you’ll also have less time to focus on your family and any medical care your baby might need.
When you get in touch with a birth injury attorney from Thomas Law Offices, they will start by listening to your story and getting an understanding of what you’ve been through. Once we have an idea of your legal options, we will explain them to you and help you decide what to do based on your circumstances and best interests.
If you choose to pursue a claim against the hospital, we will conduct an investigation, gather the necessary documentation, and look to expert witnesses to explain why what happened never should have occurred. We will do everything to try to settle your claim through negotiations, but hospitals and insurance companies aren’t always willing to settle. If that’s the case, we can help you pursue a lawsuit to get a verdict from a judge or jury.
The birth injury claims process can be complex, and we don’t want your family to experience any more stress than it already has. We’re here to guide you through the process and fight for your right to a fair recovery.
Contact Thomas Law Offices
Learning your child sustained a birth injury that could have been prevented can be devastating—especially if the injury comes with lifelong consequences. At Thomas Law Offices, we believe negligent doctors and other medical professionals should be held accountable for the actions or inactions.
If your family has been affected by a labor and delivery injury, our Columbia, MO birth injury lawyer can help. We have extensive experience representing injury victims, and we’re prepared to take your case on next. To learn more about your family’s legal rights and options, schedule a free case evaluation with our law firm. The sooner you get in touch with us, the better your chances will be of receiving full and fair compensation for your losses and damages.