Throughout the months leading up to the birth of a child, many parents-to-be dream about the moments after delivery. They think about meeting their baby for the first time. It is a day that is meant to be marked by joy, excitement, and awe. As many of us are parents, we personally know the anticipation and excitement for who that child will become.
Sadly, many families experience the devastation and disappointment of birth injury each year – and of those, a few result from medical professionals’ negligence. When there is a birth injury, the moments following childbirth and the ongoing injuries, disabilities, or trauma can sadly overshadow the joy of that day and change the future of your family’s life.
What Is a Birth Injury?
A birth injury is any kind of injury a baby suffers before, during, or immediately after birth. When a child is born, they may experience a number of injuries.
Some types of birth injuries in infants:
- Cerebral Palsy
- Erb’s Palsy (brachial plexus palsy)
- Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy
- Newborn Jaundice/Kernicterus
- Newborn Cephalohematoma
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Vacuum Extraction or Forceps Complications
- Intraventricular Hemorrhage (IVH)
- Periventricular Leukomalacia (PVL)
- Infant Skull Fracture
- Shoulder Dystocia
- Klumpke’s Palsy
- Horner Syndrome
- Infant Chorioamniotis
- Group B Strep Infection
- Infant Meningitis
- C-Section Injury
- Caput Succedaneum
- Epidural Injury
- Infant Torticollis
- Infant Cervical Dystonia
As you can probably tell, there are various birth injuries in infants. The list above doesn’t even include all of the types of birth injuries our firm has seen. To learn more about the most common birth injuries, read what we’ve previously written on the topic.
Birth injuries result from a variety of conditions. Babies with a high birth weight, premature babies, the size and shape of the mother’s pelvis, delayed birth/prolonged labor, abnormal birthing position, lack of oxygen, and medical negligence can cause birth injuries.
Additionally, mothers can be injured during or after giving birth. Some common injuries to the mother during childbirth include uterine rupture, vaginal or perineal tears, preeclampsia, anesthesia or epidural errors, and cesarean section errors. Some injuries to the mother are commonplace, while others are not and may be cause for concern. While birth injury malpractice typically refers to an injury to the baby, if negligence is the cause of harm to the mother, she may also have a reason for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Birth Injury Vs. Birth Defect
Many people confuse birth injuries and birth defects. The easiest way to differentiate between the two is by considering how they develop. A birth defect develops while the baby is in the mother’s womb. Perhaps it’s caused genetically, by drug use, an infection, or an illness in the mother. Often birth defects develop in the first three months of pregnancy. Birth injuries develop immediately before, during, or immediately following birth.
My Child Experienced a Birth Injury. How Do I Know If It Was Malpractice?
Birth injuries happen daily; some are more severe than others. Some are preventable, and others are not. Doctors, nurses, hospitals, and other healthcare providers are responsible for providing care at a certain level for each patient. You may think, “Ok, my child was injured during birth. Was it malpractice or just unavoidable unfortunate circumstances?”
Determining if you have a birth injury malpractice claim first depends on determining a breach of the standard of care. When healthcare providers do not meet the standard of care, they are acting negligently. Their negligence can result in medical mistakes that may cause injury to the mother or her child. If a provider’s error injured you or your child, you might have a childbirth injury case worth pursuing.
Most often, birth injuries happen, and they are not due to the negligence of a healthcare provider. Many birth injuries are unavoidable. But, when birth injuries are caused by negligence, the trauma and “what ifs” of the experience can further the pain and suffering of many.
Nurses, doctors, PAs, or other care providers will often tell parents that the child’s injury was unpreventable. However, trust your gut if you have reason to believe any provider did not meet the standard of care and their carelessness caused the injury. If you think your child’s birth injury was due to medical negligence, contact our team of trusted Oklahoma birth injury lawyers today for a case evaluation.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Understanding the term “medical malpractice” may be helpful as you begin to consider pursuing a birth injury claim. Childbirth malpractice is one type of medical malpractice, and both are considered under the umbrella of personal injury law.
Medical malpractice has a few key characteristics, and they are also valid for childbirth malpractice cases. Under the law, these characteristics are:
- Breach of standard of care
- Negligence resulting in injury
- The injury resulted in damages
In cases of childbirth malpractice, damages can vary in size, cost, and scope. At Maples, Nix and Diesselhorst, our team works with clients to build a case that will be successful in helping you and your family obtain compensation to cover all the costs of birth injury treatment past and future. Previous verdicts and settlements for childbirth malpractice cases have resulted in millions of dollars in compensation for our clients.
For example, damages considered may include:
- Medical bills and expenses (past and future)
- Emotional damages or pain and suffering
- Loss of wages of parent(s) due to caretaking needs
- Adaptive equipment or home/environmental modifications
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Life care plan
- Other related expenses
How Can a Birth Injury Attorney Help?
Proving childbirth malpractice is often complicated, laborious work, but the closure, financial compensation, and sense of justice are worth the effort for most families. Working with a team of experienced Oklahoma birth injury attorneys, like the team at Maples, Nix and Diesselhorst, will mean having a partner in your pursuit.
After experiencing the trauma of your child sustaining a severe birth injury, you’ve likely already faced many challenges alone. We’ll join you in your fight for accountability and justice. When you reach out to our team, we’ll likely take the following steps as we begin to pursue your case.
- Free case evaluation and establishing the attorney-client relationship
- Begin to build your case, collect evidence, review medical records, better understand your child’s birth injury, explain our findings to you, and more
- File the lawsuit and then begin collecting even more evidence
You can expect our team to take personal responsibility for seeking the best outcome for you, your child, and your entire family. You will find honest, compassionate, and dedicated partners in our team.
When to Contact A Birth Injury Lawyer
It’s important not to delay contacting our team if you think you or your child sustained injuries due to childbirth malpractice. We look forward to hearing from you, building a relationship, and seeking the justice your family deserves. Contact our team for a free case evaluation.