A birth injury is a physical injury a baby suffers during the birthing process. Birth injuries can occur from prematurity, abnormal size, abnormal position, and mistakes made by the medical staff. If you have had a baby that suffered a birth injury, you may be entitled to personal injury compensation.
Common Birth Injuries
Several types of birth injuries can take place. The most common birth injuries include:
- Bruising and/or forceps marks
- Facial paralysis
- Bleeding under one or more cranial bones
- Soft tissue swelling in baby's scalp
- Broken blood vessels in eyes
- Brachial palsy
- Fractures, especially to the collarbone or clavicle
Mistakes During Birthing Process
Your obstetrician can make a mistake for a wide number of reasons. As you can see, the results can be very damaging, or even deadly. Some of the mistakes made during the birthing process include:
- Administering wrong or incorrect dosage of medications
- Excessive force
- Using forceps incorrectly
- Unable to recognize fetal distress
- Failure to perform necessary cesarean section
Can You Prove Malpractice?
Unfortunately, some birth injuries are unavoidable. If there was nothing your doctor could have done, then you don't have a case. However, if your doctor's actions or negligence resulted in your baby's birth injury, then you can file a medical malpractice lawsuit for your baby's personal injury.
Along with proof of negligence, you need to have proof of injury as well. If your doctor made a horrible mistake, but luckily, there was no birth injury as a result then you don't have a case. If there is no birth injury, the only thing you can do is file a complaint about the doctor with your state's medical board.
After Birth Injury Is Discovered
After you discover your baby has a birth injury, immediately seek medical care. It's important to have your baby checked out so he or she can have the surgeries, medications, therapy, or any other medical care needed. Ask for copies of all medical records. After seeking medical attention, call a personal injury lawyer.
*IMPORTANT* Do NOT sign anything given to you by the hospital's insurance staff. After the hospital discovers the birth injury, they will likely approach you immediately. They may try to get you to sign papers. The papers will likely say the birth injury was unavoidable and your doctor isn't at fault. If you sign the papers, you can't take it back and you won't be able to file a lawsuit against the hospital. Politely decline anything the hospital tries to get you to sign related to the birth injury.
Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
Many reputable personal injury lawyers work on contingency. This means you will not have to pay your lawyer until he or she wins your case. Once your case wins, you will pay your lawyer a predetermined percentage of your award amount. Along with no retainer fee, there should be no consultation fee either.
However, you want to ask when you call lawyers to make sure. Meet with at least 3-5 lawyers before you decide whom you want to hire. Your lawyer will be working on a very personal case for you, so you need to feel completely comfortable with the lawyer that you decide on. Once you pick a lawyer that you feel is the best fit, you can get stated on your case.
Preparing For Your Lawsuit
For your lawsuit, you will need documents proving your case. These will include:
- All documents with information about your child's birth
- All medical records from care your child receives after birth
- Home journals about your child
It's important to write down everything. Keep a journal at home where you document everything your child does. This will strengthen your case by showing how the birth injury has affected daily life for you and your child.
Don't be afraid to file a lawsuit. Caring for a child with a birth injury can be very expensive, stressful, and time consuming. It's important to receive the compensation that you deserve. Seek immediate medical attention for your child and hire a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.