According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of labor and delivery injuries has increased 75 percent over the past decade. From 2008 through 2009, for every 129 hospital births, there was a birth involving severe complications. Unfortunately, complications during labor can affect both mother and baby and can cause severe birth injuries to occur.
At Steinger, Iscoe & Greene, our birth injury attorneys know how severe the consequences of a birth injury can be. Improper prenatal care or a mistake made during labor and delivery can change the course of a child’s whole life and can leave families coping with tragedy. If this happens to you or a loved one, you do not have to cope with the consequences of birth injury on your own. Our attorneys are here to help you to hold the doctor, hospital and healthcare providers accountable so you can secure the compensation you need to get medical help and cover all losses.
Types of Birth Injuries
There are many different types of birth injuries that can occur when there is a problem during labor and delivery. Some of the most common birth injury cases that our attorneys handle include:
- Cerebral palsy
- Erb’s palsy
- Brain damage
- Shoulder dystocia
- Untreated jaundice
- Depressed skull fractures and other bone fractures
- Meconium aspiration
For many of these birth injuries, there is no cure. For example, a child with cerebral palsy will have permanent impairment of motor functions and may suffer from cognitive impairment, learning disabilities, seizures, blindness and deafness. While the condition isn’t progressive and doesn’t get worse, it also does not get better and some children will require medical assistance and adaptive devices for their entire lives.
How do Birth Injuries Happen?
There are two primary causes of birth injuries: trauma due to external force and injury as a result of oxygen deprivation to the brain. Doctors and other healthcare providers can make many different mistakes that result in these types of birth injuries including:
- Failure to diagnose problems during pregnancy, such as preeclampsia or maternal infections like toxoplasmosis
- Aggressive use of the forceps or vacuum extractor
- Excessive use of the labor-inducing drug Pitocin
- Delay in ordering a necessary cesarean section
- Failure to monitor and properly respond to signs of fetal or maternal distress
- Failure to treat jaundice
- Epidural/medication errors
In these and other situations, a doctor or care provider has made a mistake that resulted in mother or baby suffering harm. The care provider must pay for the mistake and ensure that victims are fully and fairly compensated.
Getting Help from a Birth Injury Lawyer
To recover compensation for a birth injury, it is essential to prove that the doctor, hospital or healthcare provider failed to live up to the obligation to provide reasonable care to patients. If no healthcare provider with the same background would have made the same errors under the circumstances, then the provider who offered the substandard care can be held accountable.
Compensation for birth injuries should include payment of all medical bills for treatment the child will need for life. Compensation should also include payment for pain and suffering, emotional distress, lost wages and pain and suffering. The damages in a birth injury case can be very high. A recent John’s Hopkins study indicates that injuries of children under aged one were a leading category of cases producing medical malpractice payouts exceeded $1 million.
Because of the high stakes, it is essential to speak with an experienced birth injury attorney to ensure that you get the money you and your family need and deserve. At Steinger, Iscoe & Greene, our attorneys have extensive experience with birth injury cases and we are here to help. Give us a call or contact us online today to learn more.