Birth Injuries — Obstetric Malpractice Claims
The birth of a child is often a joyous occasion and time for celebration. When complications arise during childbirth, parents rely on medical professionals to safely deliver and care for their newborns. While the vast majority of childbirths go smoothly, medical errors by hospital staff during labor or immediately following delivery can result in serious birth injuries including cerebral palsy.
If your newborn child has been injured due to medical malpractice, contact the Alabama birth injury lawyers at Belt & Bruner, P.C. today to find out how we can help you pursue a medical malpractice claim. Call our law firm at (205) 933-1500 or use our online contact form.
How an Alabama Birth Injury Lawyer Can Help
Medical mistakes in the course of childbirth or neonatal care can have long-term consequences for newborns and their families. At Belt & Bruner, P.C., an Alabama birth injury lawyer will understand how devastating birth injuries can be and are committed to helping victims of medical malpractice obtain the compensation they deserve.
We have over 65 years of collective experience handling medical malpractice cases. We have obtained several judgements and million dollar settlements in medical malpractice cases and we always fight for the maximum compensation possible for our clients.
Compensation for Birth Injury Claims Due to Medical Malpractice
When your newborn child is injured due to the negligence of a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional, you may be able to recover compensation through a personal injury or medical malpractice claim. Depending on the specific circumstances of your case, you may be able to receive money for:
- Physical pain
- Mental anguish
- Physical impairment
- Loss of earning potential
- Medical expenses
- Punitive damages
Proving Liability in Birth Injury Cases
Liability is a legal term used to describe who is financially responsible for medical negligence. Although your doctor, anesthesiologist, or other medical professional may have failed to meet the expected standard of care and be responsible for your injuries, their insurance company is likely to pay for any damages that are awarded through a medical malpractice lawsuit or settlement.
It can be difficult to prove liability in birth injury cases. Often, when a baby is hurt, the parents or other witnesses are unaware of the exact cause. It can take an in-depth investigation and medical experts to determine who is to blame.
Common Medical Errors During Labor and Delivery
A significant number of birth defects are the result of medical malpractice by licensed health care providers. Some of the most common types of obstetric medical errors include:
- Negligent prenatal care
- Failure to diagnose or detect a condition that may place an infant at risk
- Failure to recognize that the fetus or mother is in distress
- Failure to monitor and timely respond to complications that arise during labor and delivery
- Negligent use of vacuum extraction or forceps
- Delay in performing a C-section when it is medically necessary
- Improper administration of Pitocin, which is used to induce or speed-up labor
- Negligent neonatal care
Common Types of Birth Injuries Caused by Medical Malpractice
Thousands of birth injuries occur every year in the United States. Some of the most common birth injuries associated with medical negligence include:
- Cephalohematoma – When blood collects between the newborn’s skull and periosteum. This can lead to complications such as jaundice, anemia, hypotension, and infection.
- Cerebral palsy – A disorder that impacts muscle tone, movement, and motor skills caused by damage to the developing brain either in the womb or during the birthing process.
- Perinatal asphyxia (also known as hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy) – When there is a deprivation of oxygen to the newborn baby’s brain and other organs during or right after childbirth. The severity of resulting injuries can vary depending on how long the asphyxia occurred. In severe cases, it can lead to death or organ failure.
- Caput Succedaneum – Swelling or edema of a newborn’s scalp that is most likely to occur during a prolonged or difficult delivery.
- Erb’s palsy – This is a form of brachial plexus palsy in which the infant cannot move their shoulder or arm due to nerve damage.
- Fractures – The most common fractures during childbirth are to the clavicle (collarbone), humerus, and femur. Fractures typically occur during vaginal breech deliveries.
- Intracranial hemorrhage – Accumulation of blood within the cranial vault, of which there are four main types–subdural, subarachnoid, intracerebellar, and periventricular-intraventricular.
- Spinal cord injuries – Physical trauma to the infant’s neck during delivery can cause spinal cord injuries resulting in permanent nerve damage, paralysis, and even death.
- Kernicterus – A rare, but serious type of brain damage caused by excessive jaundice.
Resources for Birth Injury Victims
If you or a loved one has been injured due to medical negligence during prenatal care, labor, delivery, or post-natal care, you should reach out to an attorney right away.
Filing a Complaint
You can also file a complaint against the medical professional who was negligent in your situation through the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners or the Alabama Section of the American Board of Obstetricians and Gynecology. If the negligence involved a pharmaceutical error, you can also file a complaint with the Alabama Board of Pharmacy.
Find Another Doctor
If you or your child were injured by a medical provider, you should find another doctor right away. You can find doctors who provide high quality medical care or a second opinion through the Children’s of Alabama Physician Directory.
Contact an Alabama Birth Injury Lawyer Today
Contact us today at (205) 933-1500 to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled medical malpractice attorneys.