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Birth Injury: When is a Lawyer Necessary?

Michael Becker

Although complications are not uncommon in labor and delivery, there are circumstances in which they are preventable. When something goes seriously wrong and your child suffers a birth injury as a result of a doctor’s or nurse’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation through a birth injury malpractice lawsuit.

Determining whether or not someone has a valid claim will require help from a birth injury lawyer. But not just anyone will do. It’s important to hire someone who is familiar with these types of cases.

Reasons to Hire a Lawyer Who Specializes in Birth Injuries

One of the basic reasons to hire a birth injury lawyer is for help determining if complications before, during or after birth were avoidable or not. Although careless or reckless actions on behalf of a medical provider are sometimes obvious, this isn’t always the case. Therefore, an investigation may need to be conducted in order to verify the possibility of medical malpractice.

It’s important to hire someone who has not only expertise in legal matters, but can utilize experts for medical and birth injury expertise. Birth injury malpractice lawsuits can be especially complicated when it comes to distinguishing between unavoidable complications and those that were directly connected to negligence.

Further, when injuries are disabling, disfiguring or life-altering in any way, the effects on a family can be significant. Not only financially but emotionally as well. Therefore, hiring a birth injury lawyer will ensure that all damages available are adequately addressed in a claim.

Types of Birth Injuries That May Warrant a Malpractice Lawsuit

Some of the more serious birth injuries that can impact the child and family for long-term or for a lifetime include:

  • cerebral palsy (a neurological condition that can impact movement, learning and other functions which is sometimes caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain);
  • brachial plexus injuries (nerve injury that can lead to weakness or paralysis of hand, arm and shoulder, which can be caused by unnecessary force during delivery);
  • facial paralysis (may require surgery and can be caused by improper use of birthing instruments);
  • fractures (collarbone is one of the most common, which can be the result of using incorrect delivery techniques); and
  • brain damage (can range from mild to severe and could be the result of oxygen deprivation).

No matter what the type of birth injury, a lawyer can help establish if medical negligence was the cause. Although there are many circumstances under which this can happen, some examples of negligence include failing to monitor the baby/mother, not treating complications, delay in performing a C-section when it was medically required, not recognizing signs of fetal distress and other negligent actions.

Damages Available in a Birth Injury Malpractice Lawsuit

Another important consideration when hiring a lawyer is understanding all of the different types of damages that a family could be entitled to recover. Not only should immediate needs be taken into account but future ones as well; for instance, ongoing medical care and treatment that may be required, special education services, or help from a caregiver.

Medical bills, a parent’s lost wages when he/she must care for the child, pain and suffering, and reduced quality of life are just some of the specific types of damages that could be addressed in a birth injury claim. If the baby did not survive, then the family may be entitled to compensation that addresses this loss.

There can be a lot at stake when a child’s birth injury results in disability. Thinking to the future will be critical in order to ensure that all of the child’s needs are met. Contact The Becker Law Firm, as we are focused on birth injury cases and can assist with filing a birth injury malpractice lawsuit.

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