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Birth Injury Lawyer in Waltham
Future parents are typically ecstatic when they find out they’re going to have a baby. Babies bring the promise of new changes in the world. Parents will raise them from infancy into adulthood, witnessing each milestone of their child, from learning to talk to achieving in sports or school.
When a new mom first becomes pregnant, she faces months of preparation for birth. Regular doctor appointments are necessary, as is preparing the baby’s nursery. She may spend a lot of time learning how to care for a newborn and ensuring that the baby will have everything it needs in its first few months of life.
If your child sustained injuries during delivery, you might need legal assistance to obtain compensation for past and future medical expenses. A birth injury lawyer in Waltham at Morgan & Morgan can assist you in your legal claim. Contact us today using our online form to schedule a free case review.
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Birth Injury Statistics
Birth injuries aren’t as rare as you may think. While childbirth safety has dramatically improved over the last 100 years, newborns still sustain injuries during birth. On average, approximately 30,000 babies are born with birth injuries annually. This means that as many as 6.6 babies of every 1,000 suffer birth injuries.
Boys are more likely to sustain a birth injury during the delivery process. Since most boys have a higher birth weight and longer length than girls, they are more likely to become stuck in the birth canal. Forced deliveries, where the physician uses forceps or a vacuum to pull the baby out, increase the potential of a birth injury.
Few birth injuries are mild. Over 80% of birth injuries require significant medical attention and treatment. Treatment may last over several weeks or be lifelong for specific conditions.
Mothers who give birth in rural areas are more likely to experience birth injuries during delivery. In contrast, newborns born in major metropolitan hospitals are less likely to encounter a birth injury.
Babies born to White or Asian-Pacific mothers face a higher potential of birth injury. Hispanic and African American newborns are much less likely to sustain a birth injury during delivery.
Sadly, almost 21,000 infants die during the delivery process each year.
What are Types of Birth Injuries?
Birth injuries usually occur just before, during, or after delivery. They can take several forms, but most result in damage to the nerves, brain, or bones of a newborn child. Sometimes, the birth injury symptoms aren’t immediately evident until several weeks following delivery.
A few of the more common types of birth injuries include:
Cerebral palsy is one of the most devastating birth injuries, with serious, long-term repercussions for the newborn. Cerebral palsy commonly occurs during difficult deliveries, when the mother struggles with vaginal birth. Doctors may use forceps or a vacuum to remove the baby from the birth canal.
Cerebral palsy may develop if the baby goes too long without oxygen, or if the tools used to assist the birth push too hard on the newborn’s skull. Brain damage during birth is usually permanent and leads to difficulty with movement and potential intellectual disabilities.
Asphyxia is similar to cerebral palsy in that it occurs during difficult deliveries when the baby goes too long without oxygen. When the brain doesn’t receive enough oxygen, it results in permanent brain damage.
Babies with asphyxia typically have a bluish hue to their skin. Physicians and nurses must attempt to get the baby to breathe to prevent severe brain damage. If they don’t take the appropriate actions, damage may worsen and become permanent.
Brachial Plexus Injury
The brachial plexus includes nerves extending from the spinal cord to the bottom of the arms. Sometimes, the brachial plexus becomes damaged due to a small birth canal or the use of tools during the delivery process.
If doctors or nurses attempt to force the birth too strongly, they may damage the brachial plexus. Damage may result in difficulties lifting the arms.
Sometimes, a newborn will sustain fractures to the collarbone or skull during delivery. Babies with broader shoulders are typically more challenging for mothers to birth, as they may be harder to push through the birthing canal.
Skull fractures may occur during arduous and prolonged deliveries. A physician may push too firmly with forceps, which cradle the newborn’s skull and encourage them through the birth canal. Since a newborn’s head isn’t fully developed, even mild pressure may lead to a fracture.
In rare cases, a physician or nurse may drop the newborn following birth, resulting in a skull fracture.
How Can a Birth Injury Lawyer in Waltham Can Help?
If your newborn sustained injuries during birth, you’re likely emotionally devastated. Your hopes and dreams of smoothly raising your child through each stage of life decrease. Instead, you must obtain medical care and the therapy they’ll need to manage their disabilities.
In the worst cases, newborns die as a result of birth injuries. Parents encounter long-term grief, which may be entirely disabling. They’ll never know what their child could have become, their likes or dislikes, or the friends they might have made.
A birth injury lawyer in Waltham can’t restore your child’s health. However, they can work to obtain the monetary compensation you need to ensure your child has the best opportunities for ongoing medical care.
If your child sustains brain or nerve damage during delivery, they’ll likely need years of treatment and therapy to achieve a higher quality of life. Health insurance can help you cover part of the costs of caring for your child, but it won’t be enough for comprehensive treatment.
To help your child overcome the barriers they face, you’ll probably need a suite of medical professionals, including speech and physical therapists, psychologists, physicians, and special teachers who assist disabled children.
In addition, you may be unable to work if you care for a special needs child. Children with special needs sometimes need full-time care until they develop the ability to perform functions on their own.
A birth injury lawyer in Waltham will review the circumstances of your case and determine whether your physician or nursing team made errors during the delivery process. We’ll consult with medical experts to establish whether the errors likely led to your child’s birth injury.
We’ll also consider the financial impact of your losses to arrive at an appropriate amount of compensation you can use to take care of your child’s future medical needs.
Birth injuries are complex, and you’ll need an experienced attorney who knows the ins and outs of medical malpractice law to win your case. You’ll find a qualified birth injury lawyer in Waltham at Morgan and Morgan.
We are the largest nationwide personal injury law firm, and we’ve handled thousands of successful birth injury cases for our clients.
How to Prevent Birth Injuries?
Often, parents can’t prevent a birth injury. They can’t control the actions of their physician or nursing team. If a medical professional makes an error during the delivery process, they may not realize it until it’s too late.
However, there are a few ways to mitigate the potential of a birth injury.
First, finding a qualified OB/GYN who has significant experience in delivering newborns is crucial. You want to ensure your doctor has spent lots of time in the labor room, with few instances of birth injuries. Choosing a well-regarded hospital for childbirth is also vital.
You don’t want to deliver in a hospital stretched for staff or with limited beds available. Instead, choose a hospital well-known for its labor and delivery department.
As a mother, keeping yourself healthy during pregnancy is essential. Make sure to follow your doctor’s guidance throughout the gestation period. If you develop medical complications before childbirth, ensure that you adequately monitor your condition and follow your physician’s instructions.
Finally, have someone with you in the delivery room during childbirth. Whether the person is your spouse, a parent, another relative, or a friend, they can advocate for you during the birthing process and provide their support.
How Much Can I Receive in a Birth Injury Claim?
Compensation in a birth injury claim varies from case to case. Typically, the value you receive depends on the extent of your newborn’s injuries and the negligence of your physicians.
Parents may receive monetary damages for past and future medical expenses, mental pain and anguish, and the birth injury itself. A court might award punitive damages if the behavior of the physician or their staff was especially negligent.
A birth injury lawyer in Waltham can review the facts of your case to determine the potential damages you may receive.
What Should I Do if I Suspect My Child Sustained a Birth Injury?
If you suspect your child sustained a birth injury, seek advice from a pediatrician. They may confirm your suspicions, especially if you provide concerns you’ve noted about your child’s development.
Sometimes, birth injuries aren’t immediately evident following delivery. In cases where the baby sustains brain damage, signs may not appear for several months. For instance, they may not communicate according to expected standards, or they may not hold up their head or crawl.
Seeking confirmation of a birth injury from a pediatrician can help determine whether you should pursue a legal claim.
How Long Do I Have to File a Birth Injury Claim in Waltham?
Parents have up to three years to file a medical malpractice or wrongful death claim for a birth injury following the negligent act in Waltham. However, while the state allows some time to pursue a claim, it’s best not to wait too long.
Your birth injury attorney in Waltham will need time to assemble the evidence of your case and consult with medical experts. They’ll also need to document the appropriate damages for your claim.
If you fail to file a claim within the three-year time limit, your case will be time-barred. If the claim is time-barred, a judge will likely dismiss your action, and you will be unable to obtain monetary damages on behalf of your child.
Looking for a Top Birth Injury Lawyer in Waltham? Turn to Morgan & Morgan
No one wants to see their child injured, especially during delivery. Unfortunately, it does happen. If your newborn sustained severe injuries during childbirth, you need the assistance of a qualified birth injury lawyer in Waltham.
Morgan and Morgan have over 800 attorneys nationwide, and we can help you obtain the justice you deserve for your child. Contact us today via our online form to schedule your free consultation.