When a newborn enters the world, doting parents get to bring home a healthy baby to love and care for on most occasions. Yet, in some cases, injuries occur during childbirth, resulting in devastating effects for newborns and their families. In fact, almost 50,000 babies per year sustain a birth injury. Coping with the aftermath of a birth injury is overwhelming for parents, but knowing that the injury was preventable adds a layer of frustration to the situation.
If your newborn was injured during childbirth, you might be entitled to compensation related to the injury. No amount of money will restore your baby’s health, but recovering damages can help with medical expenses and financial stress that comes from missing work to take care of your infant. Call an experienced birth injury attorney at The Law Offices of George Salinas in San Antonio at (210) 225-0909 to discuss the details of your case.
What are Types of Childbirth Injuries
Stanford Children’s Health reports the most common birth injuries, which include:
- Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common motor disability in childhood. Almost 90 percent of those diagnosed with CP have congenital CP, which is related to brain damage before or during childbirth. Brain damage that happens anytime while the brain is still developing might result in Cerebral Palsy.
- Caput succedaneum is swelling on a baby’s scalp that develops during delivery resulting in bruises for some babies. This condition is often a result of the misuse or overuse of a vacuum used for delivery.
- Cephalohematoma is bleeding that occurs under an infant’s skull often appearing hours after birth as a lump on the newborn’s head.
- Horner’s syndrome is facial paralysis that is often a result of the misuse of birthing tools. Pressure on a baby’s face in labor and/or birth might bruise or tear facial nerves resulting in paralysis.
- Brachial plexus palsy, also called Erb’s palsy, is a result of an upper arm injury during childbirth. The brachial plexus is the group of nerves that transmits sensation in the arms and hands. When it is injured a baby lose movement of their arm, shoulder, and/or hand.
- Bone fractures and skull fractures are common childbirth injuries, especially broken collarbones. The clavicle might break during a breech delivery.
- Epidural injuries such as brain injuries, stroke, and coma might occur during labor.
- Spinal cord injuries might occur from blunt force trauma or infection during labor and delivery.
Medical Malpractice and Birth Injuries
Although some injuries naturally occur during childbirth, many occur due to negligence by a medical professional. The obstetrician or family doctor that tends to a mother’s delivery and birth and their affiliate hospital are most often held liable when negligence occurs during childbirth; however, nursing staff and other medical professionals might share liability in certain situations. Several negligent acts that constitute medical malpractice might lead to birth injuries, including:
- Misuse of birth tools such as forceps and vacuums
- Failure to diagnose fetal distress during pregnancy and during labor
- Failure to treat fetal distress during pregnancy and during labor
- Failure to perform a cesarean section when necessary
- Failure to monitor the baby’s oxygen intake
- Administering the wrong amount of drug for an epidural
- Cutting the umbilical cord too soon after birth, resulting in loss of oxygen
The Texas Medical Board issues licenses to medical professionals and investigates malpractice complaint. Although your lawyer will guide you through the claims process and advise you when the right time is to initiate a lawsuit, you can get the ball rolling by starting a claim with the Texas Medical Board if you suspect that your newborn has suffered a birth injury because of the negligent actions of your doctor or another medical professional.
Seeking Compensation When Your Newborn Is Injured During Childbirth
If your infant sustained a birth injury because of a medical professional’s negligence, you might be entitled to recover damages related to the injury. Medical malpractice claims are complex cases that often include the doctor and the hospital at the very least, and they require procedural elements absent in other personal injury cases, such as an expert to review the case and certify that malpractice occurred. You need the expertise and finesse of a skilled birth injury attorney to guide you through the process, but here is an overview of the most common damages that you might recover:
- Medical expenses including long-term hospitalization, surgeries, medication, diagnostic testing, and more
- Future medical costs when the injury results in a long-term condition or disability
- Lost income from taking time away from work to take care of your infant
- Lost future income, referred to as lost earning capacity, for your child
- Non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, but they are capped to $250,000 per claimant per institution and a total cap of $500,000 in the event that multiple facilities or doctors are involved with a birth injury
Texas has a two-year statute of limitations for medical malpractice suits, but they extend it for minors. Those under the age of 12 have until they reach age 14 for you to file a claim on their behalf. Not all birth injuries present symptoms right away, and some may take years. Missing or severely delayed developmental milestones during your child’s formative years might be an indication of a birth injury.
Contact a Skilled Birth Injury Lawyer in San Antonio Today
We are empathetic to the challenges that having a child with a birth injury brings to you and your family. Birth injury cases do not require that you pay attorney fees up front: instead, we will recover fees from any compensation that we secure for you. If your infant has sustained a birth injury because of the negligence of a medical professional, you need to focus and getting the proper medical care and learning how to help your baby cope with symptoms. Let the experienced birth injury attorneys at The Law Offices of George Salinas in San Antonio advocate for you and your baby. Contact us online today or call at (210) 225-0909 for a free consultation.
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