What You Need To Know About Birth Injuries And Your Legal Options
A serious mistake during birth is often an expectant parent’s worst fear. However, birth is complicated, and so are the potential injuries that may occur.
At The Skolnick Weiser Law Firm, LLC, we support parents by giving them the legal tools they need to make informed decisions. Our lawyers work with compassion and skill in these sensitive cases.
What is the definition of a birth injury?
A birth injury means a baby suffered harm during pregnancy or delivery. Often, this harm may have been preventable. Birth injuries are not the same as birth defects. Parents may hold medical professionals accountable for negligence that causes birth injuries.
What are common birth injuries?
Major birth injuries commonly involve:
- Cerebral palsy and other types of brain damage
- Erb’s palsy, which is also called brachial plexus palsy
- Other nerve damage, including facial paralysis
- Major swelling or bleeding such as cephalohematoma
- Wrongful death
Mistakes during pregnancy or birth can impact a baby physically and mentally. Some birth injuries may cause lifelong hardship.
What causes a birth injury?
During the pregnancy, doctors might fail to run standard screenings and exams that could catch problems early. The position of the baby, for example, can affect risks during birth. Planning ahead for a C-section versus vaginal delivery may also raise or lower injury risks for both mother and child.
During labor and delivery, several issues could cause a birth injury. For example, using too much force, particularly with forceps or a vacuum, could damage the baby’s bones. Oxygen deficiency may cause severe brain damage or death if doctors do not address it in time.
How can a traumatic birth affect a baby?
Some types of birth injuries may heal, but other injuries may remain for the baby’s lifetime. Injuries to bones, muscles and nerves can give the baby a limited range of motion or paralysis. Brain injuries can lead to mental disabilities, which parents might not discover until the child is a few years old.
Is cerebral palsy a birth injury?
Yes, although whether you have a claim depends on the situation. Some causes of cerebral palsy can involve medical errors, while other causes might involve natural or external factors. Cerebral palsy is a general term for several conditions that impact a baby’s brain.
How can birth injuries be prevented?
Parents should ask questions and choose reliable medical professionals. However, parents cannot guarantee safety themselves.
Doctors and other medical staff must be careful at every stage of the pregnancy and birth process, including aftercare. The right tests and actions might identify issues before they hurt the baby. Correctly responding to urgent or surprising complications can protect both the parent and baby.
How do you know if there’s been a birth injury?
Some birth injuries are immediately apparent, such as with bruising or bleeding, while others can take years to discover. Seeking a second medical opinion may help you find and treat specific problems.
What should I do if I think my baby has suffered a birth injury?
If you suspect that something is wrong with your child’s health, an experienced medical malpractice lawyer can help you investigate and review your options. If there is evidence that medical negligence caused a birth injury, you can seek compensation. Although a lawsuit or settlement cannot reverse the trauma, it can give parents the money they need to help their child.
Call Our Attorneys For More Information
The difficulties of a serious birth injury can be overwhelming for a family. We offer knowledgeable legal advice to help Ohio parents figure out how to proceed. Call 216-861-8888 or email our team to schedule a free consultation.