Birth injuries can turn what was supposed to be the happiest day of a family’s life into a long-term struggle. Injuries to the baby, mother, or both can lead to extraordinary pain and suffering, and medical expenses in both the present and future. This is especially unfair to a family if the birth injury was caused by the negligence of a medical professional, rather than natural causes.
Our New York attorneys have a complete understanding of obstetrics, and strong relationships with expert medical witnesses that can help provide us with a thorough, accurate investigation of your claim. Together, we will work to prove you are owed compensation for the injuries caused during childbirth.
Through both litigation and settlement negotiations, our birth injury lawyers have a successful history of recovering compensation on behalf of infants and mothers who were injured at birth. If you or a loved one has dealt with a birth injury, fill out our free, no-obligation case evaluation form to learn more about what your options could be.
Birth Injury Types
The birthing process is a uniquely sensitive process, and as a result injuries stemming from negligence can be particularly extreme or long-lasting, and on some occasions permanent. Among the types of birth injuries an infant can endure are:
- Cerebral palsy;
- Brachial plexus palsy, including Erb’s palsy and Klumpke’s palsy;
- Brain damage;
- Spinal cord damage; and
- Wrongful death.
If a medical professional’s negligence directly caused any of these injuries, you may be able to file a claim and receive compensation. Cerebral palsy, for example, is a debilitating medical condition that adversely affects muscle movement, muscle tone, and general motor function, and is caused by damage to a child’s brain before or during birth.
If a child develops cerebral palsy as the result of a New York healthcare provider’s negligence, the parents may be able to file a claim for any resulting damages, including present and future medical costs, loss of wages and future earning capacity, loss of enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering.
Medical professionals involved in births must be prepared for anything, and undergo extensive training to learn about the different problems that could occur during a delivery. A failure to recognize these problems - as well as a failure to perform basic parts of the birthing process - is careless, negligent, and unprofessional.
Some of these negligent situations that can lead to birth injuries include:
- Failure to diagnose a potential complication prior to delivery;
- Failure to perform a timely C-section;
- Failure to examine the mother’s medical history;
- Inadequate monitoring of the mother and child before, during, and after delivery;
- Delayed responses to fetal distress;
- Error in administering anesthesia; and
- Improper use of forceps.
What Needs to be Proven in a Birth Injury Lawsuit?
Though in your situation you may feel it obvious that a medical professional’s negligence caused a birth injury, there is still a lot of work that has to be done in proving that negligence, as well as its direct role in the injury.
There are four elements to a birth injury lawsuit that you and your attorney will have to prove. They are as follows:
Doctor/Patient Relationship: The attorney must show that the healthcare professional that caused the injury had a relationship with the patient. In birth injury cases, any party involved in the childbirth process, including doctors, nurses, and anesthesiologists, has a doctor/patient relationship with both the mother and child. This relationship establishes a duty of care, which is to practice in a manner which protects the patient(s) from harm and to perform as other healthcare professionals would under similar circumstances.
Breach: The attorney has to prove that the doctor’s decisions and actions were negligent, and as a result a breach of the doctor/patient relationship that has now been established. This is often the most difficult element to prove and requires an exhaustive investigation.
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.
How Can an Attorney Help Me?
Morgan & Morgan’s birth injury attorneys in New York are uniquely experienced with the specifics and complexities of such cases, and are qualified to determine how best to handle your case. They require elaborate investigations into several different factors.
This investigation can include:
- Reviewing the child and mother’s medical records;
- Gathering witness statements and accounts of the procedure and surrounding circumstances;
- Reviewing notes concerning the delivery and patient;
- Examining the accused party’s history of providing medical care;
- Exploring the history of other parties who may potentially be liable for damages;
- Consulting experts in the field, including obstetricians and anesthesiologists;
- Combing through the accused party’s description of the procedure with an expert to find any potential omissions, complications, or inaccuracies in the report;
- Reviewing the healthcare facility’s history, looking for previous lawsuits or complaints; or
- Hiring a private investigator.
Using the information he or she collects during the investigation, your attorney will create a claim that seeks compensation for your losses. In doing so, your attorney may engage in settlement negotiations, file a lawsuit on your behalf if no settlement is reached, and re-negotiate for a settlement before trial.
If negotiations are unsuccessful, your attorney will prepare for court by using the discovery period to review the opposing parties’ records and files that may not have been attainable earlier; deposing and questioning witnesses and the defendant(s); preparing you for questioning from the defense attorneys; consulting additional expert witnesses to gather more in-depth insight into your claim; and searching for any weak points in your claim or the defendant’s defense.
Contact Morgan & Morgan About Your Case
Do not hesitate to contact a birth injury attorney in New York if you or a loved one is dealing with the aftermath of a medical professional’s negligence. You may be owed compensation for all the damages you have had to endure.
If you’re interested in learning more, contact us and fill out our case review form to receive a free, no-obligation evaluation of your case.