Welcoming a child into the world is truly a blessing. Unfortunately, there are circumstances where a newborn can suffer an injury during the birthing process. In some cases, these injuries can be purely accidental and the result of some difficulties in the delivery room, but there are also times when a severe birth injury for an infant could have been prevented by better medical care.
This can lead to a greater need for medical care for your child as they grow up, and more expenses for you to undertake. It may be worthwhile to consider filing a birth injury lawsuit to flag physicians for malpractice and help accommodate those needs for your child.
What is a birth injury?
A birth injury sometimes referred to as birth trauma, is a physical injury that may occur during childbirth or a medical issue that may be the result of an unforeseen happenstance during a mother’s pregnancy. Birth injuries are common in situation where an infant is not headfirst in the birth canal or born prematurely. Physical trauma can also be the result of troubles with delivery like the need for devices like forceps, or a difficult and lengthy labor.
Birth injuries can range from swelling or bruising to the head, and potential fractures, to injuries that can require years of medical help. For example, mental disorders like ADHD have been linked to extended labor, umbilical cord-associated asphyxia, and issues during Cesarean sections. All of these issues are intertwined with a lack of oxygen to the fetus that can lead to long-term medical difficulties.
What is birth injury law?
You may have heard the term ‘medical malpractice’. Birth injury law actually falls under the umbrella of such personal injury cases, as they related to:
- Maternal or fetal bleeding
- Fetal distress or lack of oxygen
- Umbilical cord complications
- Emergency Cesarean sections
- A larger fetus and related complications
- Incompetent and improper use of forceps or vacuum extractor
Birth injury law also covers cases related to negligent prenatal care. This could include the failure of a physician, obstetrician, or gynecologist to give proper assessment to a mother’s medical condition, or recognize potential birth defects for the fetus.
Birth trauma cases are generally classified as brain injury, where medical staff fail to properly monitor the birthing properly, and dystocia, which is caused by failing to properly help the baby down the birth canal during vaginal delivery, resulting in various types of palsy and other prolonged complications.
When to Consider Legal Action
If a birth injury has hindered your child’s development or left them with a medical condition that requires a significant amount of care, it may time to consider legal action regarding prenatal care or the medical care provided in the delivery room.
Schwaner Injury Law, a Chicago birth injury lawyer, recommends recognizing the statute of limitations on these cases, as prolonging the decision can leave you unable to file a lawsuit against a doctor or hospital. These statutes vary depending on location, so consulting an attorney is in the best interest if your child has required medical care for a condition since birth.
It is important to maintain care for your child and keep track of the medical expenses you have undertaken as a result of this birth injury. This not only includes bills but other documentation, like a written diagnosis from your doctor, email, or other forms of correspondence with the hospital. Losing a document could have the potential to derail a birth injury lawsuit.
Upon entering the legal process, a case will be built that shows an error from prenatal care through delivery that should be considered malpractice and enough to seek compensation necessary to cover your child’s medical costs.