It is estimated that nearly 4 million babies are born in the United States every year, many of which happen without complications. Unfortunately, it is also estimated that 7 out of every 1,000 children born in the country sustain some form of birth injury that can range from minor to severe.
Although not every single birth injury that occurs is the result of medical negligence, many are and, if you believe your baby’s birth injury was caused by medical negligence, you will need a skilled medical malpractice attorney on your side to fight for the compensation you deserve and to ensure the responsible party is held liable for your baby’s injuries.
At Richardson Richardson Boudreaux, we are dedicated to helping families of babies who sustained birth injuries at the hands of a negligent medical professional. Backed by over 150 years of collective legal experience and an educated and trained nurse, you can rest assured your case will be in good hands with us.
WHAT IS A BIRTH INJURY?
A birth injury is a specific kind of injury that happens during birth that causes a disability or disorder in an otherwise healthy infant. While birth defects are usually unavoidable, birth injuries tend to be caused by medical negligence that can occur during pregnancy, the delivery process, or immediately following delivery. Some factors that could potentially lead to a difficult delivery and result in an injury or injuries to a newborn baby include:
- The size of the mother’s pelvis
- The position of the baby
- The size of the baby
- The number of pregnancies the mother has previously experienced
- Prolonged labor
- A large fetal head
- The use of assistive birthing tools, such as a vacuum extraction tool or forceps
- Pelvic abnormalities in the mother
Birth injuries are not always minor and, in fact, some can result in permanent disabilities and lifelong complications that can require costly medical treatment or round-the-clock care. Medical professionals must properly monitor both mother and child throughout pregnancy and labor to detect early signs of fetal distress in order to avoid these terrible injuries.
Some of the most serious injuries that a baby can sustain as a result of medical negligence include:
- Erb’s palsy
- Cerebral palsy
- Brain damage
- Facial paralysis
- Nerve damage
- Shoulder dystocia
- Klumpke’s palsy
- Fetal death
Many of these injuries, such as cerebral palsy, have lifelong effects and cannot be cured. This is why it is imperative to file a lawsuit and recover damages that cover the costs of your baby’s current and future medical bills.
CAN I FILE A LAWSUIT FOR A BIRTH DEFECT?
Birth defects, unlike birth injuries, are typically unavoidable and are usually an abnormality that cannot be prevented, even with proper medical care. However, in some rare cases, some birth defects can be attributed to medical negligence during prenatal care, for which you could file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Of course, determining whether you have a viable case or not can be impossible on your own, which is why it is important to hire skilled legal assistance if you suspect the defect your baby is suffering from was caused by a medical professional’s actions. An experienced attorney will have valuable resources at his or her disposal to ensure that, if your baby’s defect was the result of medical negligence, the responsible party will be held accountable for it.
CAUSES OF BIRTH DEFECTS
As mentioned above, birth defects are usually a result of genetics. This can be broken down into three categories: single gene defects, chromosomal defects, and multifactorial defects. If your baby’s birth defect was the product of his or her genetics, you would not have a viable birth injury case since these defects are not preventable nor are they the result of negligent medical care. There are also environmental factors that can potentially lead to factors that can potentially cause birth defects. Some environmental causes include:
- Alcohol consumption
- Prescribed or illegal drug use
- Infections, such as sexually transmitted diseases
- Chemicals, pesticides, insecticides, and other toxic substances
In cases where a medical professional prescribed a medication that ultimately resulted in a child’s birth defect, you could have a viable medical malpractice case for which you can pursue fair and just compensation. There are several drugs and chemicals that have been linked to birth defects. Some of the most common ones include:
- ACE inhibitors
- Anticancer drugs
- Bisphenol A
Additionally, the manufacturer of these and other drugs can potentially be held liable for any resulting birth defects if it is determined that the products are unreasonably dangerous or they lacked a sufficient health warning that stated the risks associated with using their product.
HELPING VICTIMS OF BIRTH INJURIES
If your baby sustained injuries as a result of medical negligence, you could be entitled to compensation for your child’s:
- Medical costs
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish
- Scarring or physical deformities
- Past and future medical expenses
- Future loss of earnings the parents might suffer as a result of them caring for the child
- Extraordinary care, such as special education or hired caregivers
COMPASSIONATE OKLAHOMA BIRTH INJURY ATTORNEYS
Realizing that your child was injured by a medical professional you put your trust in is an emotionally devastating experience. You should not have to suffer in silence or shoulder the burden of having to pay for someone else’s mistakes.
Instead, take action and reach out to a skilled and compassionate legal team to fight for the compensation you and your family deserve. At Richardson Richardson Boudreaux, our team of birth injury attorneys and nurse is here to provide the exceptional representation you need during this difficult time.
BIRTH INJURY FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
Who Can Be Held Responsible For A Birth Injury?
Anyone who was involved in the medical care of the expectant mother and child during delivery, birth, or shortly afterward (neonatal care) may be held responsible for a birth injury if they were negligent. In some cases, the medical institution (hospital, birthing center, medical practice, etc.) may be held accountable.
What Do I Do If My Child Suffered A Birth Injury?
If your child was injured during childbirth, you should immediately seek remedial medical care. It’s crucial for the safety and well-being of your child. If you suspect that medical negligence was the cause of your child’s birth injury, a lawyer can give you peace of mind by helping you to find the truth.
Why Should I File a Birth Injury Claim?
Deliveries can be unpredictable, and not every birth injury is preventable. However, if a physician is negligent in providing prenatal care, or makes a medical error during or after the delivery that results in serious injury to the infant, then he or she can be held responsible for medical malpractice, and monetary damages can be assessed. A successful action can provide your family with reimbursement for past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, and even the cost of future care for your child.
How Much Time Do I Have to Bring the Claim?
It’s important to remember that Oklahoma law states that birth injury cases must be filed within seven years of the time the injury occurred, for minors under the age of twelve years old. To make a clear determination about whether have a birth injury claim, please contact our Oklahoma birth injury lawyers at Richardson Richardson Boudreaux for a thorough review of relevant medical records.