Let Us Answer Your Legal Questions About Birth Injuries
Doctors and other medical professionals are responsible for our well-being when we are at our most vulnerable. Expectant mothers especially should not have to worry about the well-being of their children before they are even born. It is unfortunate that birth injuries occur so frequently across the country, and even more unfortunate that many mothers and newborns are placed in situations where they may suffer severe negative impacts.
The attorneys at Maples, Nix & Diesselhorst in Oklahoma City represent families who suffer the heartbreak of having a child born with a birth injury. The following provide answers to questions we often receive.
What Is A Birth Injury?
Any type of trauma suffered by a newborn during childbirth is classified as a birth injury. According to The Journal of the American Medical Association, “Birth injury may occur in any type of delivery.[and] it is very essential, therefore, that a careful explanation be given to parents, and the most valuable explanation, of course, comes from the consultant who is not present at the birth. This consultant is most often the pediatrician.”
My Child Suffered A Birth Injury. What Should I Do?
First things first, it is imperative that you seek the advice of other medical professionals to determine the best method of treatment for your child’s birth injury. After that, you should retain the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer who will examine the circumstances surrounding the birth of your child, get the advice of experts and other medical professionals as needed, and logically determine whether or not there was any amount of negligence involved in causing your newborn’s birth injury.
How Does A Birth Injury Happen?
Birth injuries may occur in a variety of ways. If an expectant mother is not given the proper prenatal care by her physician, and all obligatory precautions to ensure the safest possible delivery are not implemented, her physician’s care can be deemed negligent. If the physician prescribes the incorrect type of prenatal medication, or an incorrect dosage of a particular type of medication is prescribed to the expectant mother, the physician can be held liable for damages resulting from the negligence.
During childbirth, if a child is not delivered quickly, they are at risk of injury. For example, if a cesarean section is required, then it should be properly and quickly performed to prevent harm to both the mother and the child. However, if the cesarean section is not absolutely essential in preventing harm, then a physician should not perform such a procedure. Ultimately, when a physician fails to provide necessary and proper care to an expectant mother during childbirth, the medical professional can be deemed negligent and therefore should be held accountable for their actions.
What Is The Statute Of Limitations For Birth Injury Cases?
Although your child has the right to sue for birth injury until age 19 in Oklahoma, most parents file civil claims much earlier to pay for the cost of providing the best care for their child.
What Are The Long-Term Effects Of A Neonatal Brain Injury?
Every case is different. However, there are a variety of long-term effects that someone can suffer from. Common examples include epilepsy, seizures, motor disorders, developmental disabilities and cerebral palsy.
Can A Delayed Cesarean Section (C-Section) Cause Brain Damage To My Baby?
The short answer is yes. The baby could potentially be facing brain damage that could lead to future complications.
Is A Hospital Liable For Birth Injuries From Pitocin Or Cytotec?
It is always the hospital’s responsibility to ensure patients’ safety. If Pitocin or Cytotec are not administered properly, the hospital can be held responsible for any injuries that a child suffers.
What’s The Difference Between A Birth Defect And A Birth Injury?
A birth defect occurs when the child is still in the mother’s womb and forms during the pregnancy, whereas a birth injury happens when issues arise during the labor or delivery process, causing a lifelong disability to a newborn.
What Are Some Common Birth Injuries?
Some of the most common birth injuries include:
- Cerebral palsy
- Facial paralysis
- Chronic seizures due to oxygen deprivation
- Brachial plexus
- Fractured collarbones
- Perinatal asphyxia
- Spinal cord injuries
How Long Will It Take To Resolve My Case?
Each client has specific needs. It is hard to give an exact timeline until we have discussed your case. That being said, we understand the tremendous amount of stress this is leaving on your shoulders. We will do everything we can to efficiently and effectively solve your problem.
Are There Limits To The Amount Of Damage I Can Recover?
Again, this is unique to your situation. We will do everything we can to recover the maximum amount of compensation. However, it is important to know that there is a limit on what you can receive for noneconomic damages regarding your emotional distress and pain and suffering, which is $250,000. That being said, you can still sue for the lifetime of disability you or your loved one has been dealing with.