Birth injuries are always devastating. Parents eagerly awaiting the joy of growing their family are suddenly thrust into a nightmarish situation where their newborn’s life, and maybe the mother’s life, are in jeopardy, or they have suffered potentially lifelong injuries.
Working with lawyers experienced in these cases is crucial as birth injury lawsuits are complicated. They also take a long time as North Carolina’s court system is slow. In general, it can take a couple of years to resolve a birth injury claim.
During that time, parents usually shoulder all or most of the burden for care and medical costs. Some injured children need constant monitoring, and parents often must take turns providing 24-hour care. While these cases typically take a lot of time, contacting a lawyer as soon as possible is essential if your child is injured during labor and delivery. Prompt action is necessary, so we can gather medical records, get experts on board and prepare your case.
Assessing Whether Negligence Has Occurred
Thankfully, most babies are born without complications, and some birth injuries aren’t caused by medical malpractice. They can also result from unavoidable medical conditions. However, many are caused by a doctor’s actions or inactions before or during labor and delivery.
While every birth comes with risks, doctors and nurses are trained to handle emergencies, especially OB-GYNs. Birth injuries can result from a doctor’s poor technique or misusing a medical tool or device. Some of the most common birth injuries include:
- Cerebral palsy
- Shoulder dystocia
- Erb’s palsy
- Oxygen deprivation or hypoxia
- Spina bifida and other spinal cord injuries
- Brain injuries
- Nerve injuries
- Medication errors
- Forceps or vacuum extractor injuries
A good indicator of whether malpractice occurred is whether the delivery room is calm or hectic during childbirth. In nearly all the cases we’ve handled, parents describe the scene as “chaotic.” When severe injuries occur, babies are usually rushed to intensive care, where they immediately undergo “cooling” to stop brain damage from happening. Doctors may also have to perform an emergency cesarean section or C-section.
Gathering Evidence And Working With Experts
Along with statements from parents, we waste no time getting access to all medical records, including doctor and nursing notes. But the fetal heart monitor strip is typically the most vital piece of evidence. The device records every second of the delivery, pinpointing when the baby became distressed and the impact of actions taken from there.
Next, we work with experienced OB-GYNs who examine the heart monitor data, medical records and other evidence to assess what actions took place or what steps should have happened that could have led to a better outcome. The experts we partner with are not only seasoned medical professionals but are also experienced in front of juries and able to communicate their findings clearly.
We also work with financial experts who understand how to calculate economic and noneconomic damages. Medical costs can quickly skyrocket when a baby spends weeks in intensive care, and parents may be forced to miss work to care for them. Here are the differences between these two types of compensation:
- Economic: This includes current and future medical expenses, ongoing therapy, lost wages and future loss of income and earnings.
- Noneconomic: This includes pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress and loss of companionship.
North Carolina sets limits for noneconomic damages, but no caps exist for economic compensation. Since birth injuries happen at the beginning of someone’s life, it’s essential to work with experienced financial experts who understand how to calculate these expenses.
Working For The Most Favorable Outcome
Birth injuries are devastating and complicated. While we focus on protecting your rights and pursuing fair compensation, we also have substantial experience helping parents through the grieving process. We understand that a birth injury does not have to define your child’s life. When children get the treatment they need, many live long, productive and happy lives.
It’s our job to focus on protecting your financial future and hold negligent medical professionals accountable when malpractice occurs. We also strive to help you get your child get the necessary treatment as soon as possible so they can become the best possible version of themselves.
The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.
Other answers about Birth Injury
I had a normal pregnancy, but when I was giving birth my baby swallowed meconium. My child was born alive, but then died at the hospital after birth. How can I find a birth trauma lawyer in New York to see if there is a valid medical malpractice case and file a lawsuit for my child who passed meconium during delivery and died due to the doctor's negligence?
When a baby passes meconium during labor or delivery, it can sometimes be a sign of a doctor’s mistake; in other words, medical malpractice. …Sponsored answer by Anthony T. DiPietro