A birth injury of any kind can be a devastating experience for any family. Birth injuries include any injuries sustained by a mother and/or her child during the childbirth process. Attending physicians must be sure to follow the appropriate standard of care for the patients’ condition and take appropriate medical action to prevent birth injuries. Unfortunately, birth injuries caused by negligence can and do happen all over the country at an alarming rate. Parents who experience birth injuries must know their options for legal recourse as these incidents typically cause catastrophic injuries that can last a lifetime or even result in fatal injury.
At McLachlan Law, APC, we understand the devastating toll any birth injury can take on a family. The birth of a child should be a joyful occasion for any family. Sadly, a birth injury caused by a medical professional’s negligence can easily turn the event into a tragedy. Our team provides comprehensive and reliable legal counsel through these difficult cases, so you can rely on us to provide the detail-oriented and responsive legal representation you need during your case.
Why Should I Hire an Attorney?
It is vital to seek legal representation when you are facing any type of injury case, especially one as emotionally distressful and legally challenging as a birth injury claim. Your family needs to recover, but it is also crucial to fight for compensation for your losses and the medical complications your child will experience due to their birth injury. Hiring an experienced California birth injury attorney to handle your case can allow your family the time and space to recover with peace of mind knowing your case is in capable hands.
Your attorney can help you build a birth injury claim from the ground up, gathering the evidence and documentation you need to prove liability for the birth injury your family experienced. A California birth injury lawyer can also clarify the legal statutes you are likely to encounter as your case unfolds, helping you and your family approach the case with more confidence. Perhaps one of the most important reasons to hire a California birth injury attorney is to ensure you and your family receive the maximum amount of compensation for your losses that the law allows.
Common Types of Birth Injuries
A “birth injury” can apply to any injury to a mother and/or her child that occurs during the childbirth process. Some birth injuries may only result in temporary medical complications, while others cause irreversible or even fatal harm. Some of the most common causes of birth injuries in the United States include:
- Cerebral palsy. This condition results from brain damage caused by physical trauma or oxygen deprivation before or during childbirth. Cerebral palsy can have a wide range of effects, and no two children will have exactly the same symptoms. Some children with cerebral palsy only display minimal symptoms and experience slight developmental delays, while others become profoundly disabled and unable to live independently.
- Brachial plexus injuries. The nerves around the shoulder and collarbone run into the upper arms. When a baby passes through the birth canal, their shoulders are typically the widest part of their body that must clear this passage. If a doctor is too forceful in extracting a baby in this position, it can cause devastating consequences. Brachial plexus injuries can result in partial paralysis of the upper body, potentially causing developmental delays in the muscles and other tissues of the arms.
- Injuries from surgical instruments. Some childbirth procedures involve risky variables, and sometimes the attending medical team must use surgical instruments to address these issues quickly and effectively. Vacuum extraction devices and forceps, when used correctly, can sometimes provide the additional help the attending doctor needs. However, these instruments can also cause severe injuries, including lacerations, puncture wounds, and facial injuries.
- Failure to monitor patient vitals. The team overseeing a childbirth procedure must be sure to carefully monitor both the mother’s vital signs and the child’s, addressing any apparent problems immediately with appropriate treatments. Failure to monitor patient vitals can lead to respiratory depression, organ failure, hemorrhaging, stroke, and various other potentially fatal medical complications.
- Misuse of medications. When the childbirth team administers medication, including epidural shots or other painkillers, they must only do so when medically necessary and follow all applicable standard of care procedures for the use of any medication.
These are just a few possible birth injuries a family can experience when their attending medical team fails to uphold the standard of care for the procedure.
Proving Fault for a Birth Injury
A birth injury case is a form of medical malpractice case. While functionally similar to a standard personal injury claim, a medical malpractice claim involves a few additional important factors that require the attention of an experienced California birth injury lawyer. If you believe your doctor or another medical professional failed to uphold the standard of care for a recent childbirth procedure, contact us. Your attorney can guide you through the process of establishing their liability.
In any medical malpractice case, the plaintiff must prove that a formal doctor-patient relationship existed between the plaintiff and the defendant. Next, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant failed to meet the standard of care for the situation in question and directly caused the plaintiff’s damages. In a birth injury case, the damages can be quite substantial, potentially including lifelong medical expense coverage for the victim and significant pain and suffering compensation for the family.
Find Your Legal Team Today
The right California birth injury lawyer can help their client recover compensation for medical expenses, lost income, lost future earning capacity, and pain and suffering. A medical professional who committed gross negligence during a childbirth procedure may even lose their medical license and face punitive damages depending on the severity of their actions.
If you and your family are ready to take legal action for a recent birth injury, McLachlan Law, APC can help. Contact us today and schedule a case review with an experienced and compassionate California personal injury attorney who can guide you through the emotionally challenging and legally complex proceedings you are bound to face as your claim unfolds.