Birth injuries are among the most dangerous and life-changing injuries. Childbirth has many potential complications, and if a doctor or someone on their team makes a mistake, it could lead to permanent damage to the child or the mother. Medical facilities are not always forthright when mistakes occur, and parents with children who suffered birth injuries are often left wondering if their child’s injuries were a simple misfortune or the result of medical negligence on the part of doctors and their staff.
If your child has been diagnosed with Erb’s Palsy, brain damage, or another condition that is the result of a birth injury, it could be due to the negligence of another. If you’ve dealt with this firsthand in Lakeland, you may have legal options. At Morgan & Morgan, our birth injury attorneys have decades of experience handling birth injury claims and know just how devastating they can be.
If you or a loved one has dealt with a birth injury, contact Morgan & Morgan’s Lakeland office or fill out a free case review form to find out more about how our attorneys may be able to help.
What Causes Birth Injuries?
While not all birth injuries are the result of a doctor’s negligence, many are. Our Lakeland attorneys handle cases where the injury was caused by a healthcare professional’s negligence, such as:
- Failure to diagnose a potential complication prior to delivery;
- Failure to examine the mother’s medical history;
- Error(s) in administering medication or anesthesia;
- Inadequate monitoring of the mother and child before, during, and after delivery;
- Infliction of infection;
- Delayed responses to fetal distress;
- Failure to perform a timely C-section;
- Improper use of forceps and vacuums while helping the child through the birth canal;
- Failure to warn the mother of known risks, depriving her the right to make an informed decision; or
- Failure to adhere to complete the procedure as other physicians would under the same circumstances.
One of the most common types of birth injuries in Lakeland involves nerves in the neck and shoulder. When a physician applies too much force to a baby’s arm or neck during delivery, nerves in the spine or brachial plexus can be damaged, resulting in conditions such as Erb’s palsy or Klumpke’s palsy. Erb’s palsy is associated with too much force, difficult deliveries, and prolonged labor.
Treatment for Erb’s palsy can potentially take years before any sort of recovery is made, leading to large medical bills for physical therapy and possibly surgery. Even then, there can be permanent damage. Similarly, nerve damage elsewhere in the body — such as the face — can cause numbness, weakness, and paralysis. While the condition is often reversible, it can be permanent if the nerve damage is severe enough.
In other cases, complications during birth can deprive a newborn of oxygen, resulting in brain damage. This can lead to permanent cognitive delays as well as motor conditions such as cerebral palsy. These types of conditions are often permanent and can require a lifetime of medical care to manage and mitigate.
What do You Need to Prove to Win a Birth Injury Lawsuit?
There are four elements to a birth injury lawsuit that your attorney must establish to prove the medical professional performing the delivery was negligent. Those four elements are:
- Doctor/Patient Relationship: The attorney has to prove that the medical professional who caused the injury had an established relationship with the patient. Those involved with the birth process (doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists) have this relationship. In having this relationship, a duty of care is established wherein the medical professional has a responsibility to act as other professionals would in the same circumstances.
- Breach: Once a doctor/patient relationship is established, the physician or other parties are not automatically responsible for injuries sustained during childbirth. The attorney must show that the healthcare professional breached the duty of care owed to the mother and child through some negligent act or omission. It is vital to the success of a claim to prove negligence occurred; however, it is the most difficult to prove and will require extensive research on part of the attorney.
- Injury: The attorney must also show that the doctor or other party’s negligence was the cause of the injury the mother and/or child suffered.
- Damages: Lastly, the attorney must demonstrate that the injury caused the patient or family to incur identifiable damages, either physically, financially, or emotionally.
Contact Morgan & Morgan for Your Birth Injury Claim
At Morgan & Morgan, our attorneys have a track record of success helping families hold doctors accountable for birth injuries by helping their victims recover the necessary compensation to give their children the best possible life. There is no up-front cost to hire one our attorneys, and you won’t pay a cent unless our attorney wins your case. Call us today or reach out to us online to have your child’s case evaluated for free to find out if one of our birth injury attorneys can help you.