Birth injuries vs. birth defects
A birth injury
It is important for your possible negligent birth injury case to give us a call as soon as possible after discovering that your child had a birth injury. Time is sensitive due to the likely statute of limitations. A birth injury can happen while the mother is pregnant, while the mother is in active labor, and during delivery.
Infants who are injured during childbirth usually sustain physical injuries. These injuries can affect the mom or the newborn. The list of different physical injuries to a newborn is long and includes simple bruising, fractured bones, and brain trauma. These injuries can be minor or significant.
The most common types of birth injuries may include the following and appear at different levels of trauma. These injuries occur in the infant due to how the doctor or nurse delivered the infant.
Medical staff may have used specific instruments such as forceps to help deliver the infant. Delivery of the baby could have been delayed, causing the infant’s injury.
Birth injuries can be of short-term duration or permanent and long-term damage. There are possibilities of many types of birth injuries. Our law firm frequently sees the following more commonly reported birth defects.
- Bleeding in the brain
- Herpes encephalitis
- Persistent pulmonary hypertension
- Brain ischemia due to oxygen deprivation
- Dyskinetic or spastic cerebral palsy
- Failing to perform a C-Section
- Cerebral palsy
- Subconjunctival hemorrhage (a common and temporary condition that does not damage the eyes)
- Brachial palsy happens when the doctor has difficulty delivering the baby’s shoulders. This can cause nerve damage to the arms and hands. This can cause a flexibility deficit in the arms. This can be short-term and clear up in a few months. Sometimes the nerves tear, and this causes permanent damage.
- Body bruises after delivery can be caused when the baby passes through the birth canal. The mother’s pelvis bones can bruise the baby. This is short-term
- The doctor’s forceps can bruise the baby’s head and face.
- Vacuum extraction can cause short-term scalp bruising or minor lacerations on the head.
- Bleeding between the skull and fibrous covering. This injury develops several hours after delivery and looks like a bump on the head. Over a few weeks to a few months, the blood reabsorbs into the body and disappears.
- Facial paralysis happens when pressure is applied to the baby’s face during delivery. This can injure the nerves in the face. Forceps can cause this injury. This may heal independently, or this injury may require surgery if the nerve is torn.
- Soft tissue swelling in the baby’s scalp develops as the baby goes through the birth canal. This swelling resolves in a few days and causes no issues.
- Common fractures occur during the delivery process, such as the collarbone. This is caused when the doctor has difficulty delivering the baby’s shoulders. A newborn’s bones heal quickly. The doctor may utilize a splint or a soft bandage to aid healing.
What Causes a Birth Injury
- Baby’s size is too large
Birth injuries commonly arise from simply being born. Birth injuries occur when the baby is too large. Babies who weigh over eight pounds are at a higher risk for birth injuries.
- The baby is poorly positioned before delivery
Sometimes, birth injuries happen due to how the baby is positioned before birth. One example is a breech birth, where the baby’s buttock is born first. This is a difficult birth of the baby, and the doctor and nurse must work quickly to make sure the infant remains safe during the delivery process.
- Babies born before 37 weeks gestation
Certain conditions must be suitable to increase birth injury risks. Birth injury risks are higher for babies born before 37 weeks. While the baby’s body may be fully formed, its body is too fragile, making birth injuries a higher risk. Respiratory status is at stake, as are the tiny, weak bones more at risk for fractures.
- The mother should have had a C-section
The doctor performs C-sections if the mother’s pelvis is not the correct size or shape to assure safe vaginal delivery. If the doctor does not do the C-section and should have done this procedure, the baby is at a higher risk for birth injuries.
- The mother had a difficult and long labor or a difficult delivery
- The mother is obese
- The mother is diabetic
A birth defect
A birth defect happens while the baby is still in the mother’s womb. A birth defect does not usually occur due to the doctor’s negligence in the mother’s prenatal care. A birth defect can be due to genes or DNA in the family line.
A birth defect of an infant can happen naturally at any age of the woman. However, the risk of a birth defect increases as the woman’s age reaches the mid-40s.
Birth defects can be evident at the time of birth. Sometimes birth defects take weeks or months to develop. Generally, no one person is responsible for a birth defect as these defects are found in the mother or father’s DNA.
The average cost of a birth injury settlement
Hospitals, doctors, nurses, and anyone having significant and direct patient contact must carry insurance to cover such cases as birth injuries caused by medical negligence. When things go terribly wrong, this is why malpractice insurance is in place, to pay for negligent actions.
Unfortunately, most insurance companies do not relish paying any money to anyone and will fight hard to make sure the victim (s) does not receive a settlement or pay the victim as little as possible.
Insurance companies are all about money and profit. When insurance companies pay out significant settlements, it decreases that company’s profits. Insurance companies do all they can to ensure you do not get your compensation claim.
It is common for insurance companies to prove that you were the one to blame for your child’s birth injury. These insurance companies do all they can to remove the guilty actions from the doctor and all concerned in your case. They will attempt to prove you the guilty one.
There is nothing worse for new mothers whose heart is breaking over their infant’s birth injury than being told she did this to their child. This tactic used by many insurance companies is grossly underhanded or cruel. Most insurance companies work hard with their attorneys to prevent payment to victims when money is involved.
Sometimes, the victim is made to look like the guilty party in these cases. These parents and their children are going through enough, and we will not allow insurance companies to get out of paying victims what is due to them.
- We fiercely protect the victim’s rights.
- We make sure that our calculations match what covers all past, present, and future bills for the parents and the child. Our attorneys want to make sure the child has enough money to take care of their future needs. The child must have enough money to take care of them for the rest of their life should injuries be lifelong and significant.
If you believe your baby suffered a negligent birth injury, it is vital you seek a settlement for the horrible pain, suffering, and heartbreak. Birth injuries are usually due to medical malpractice. Never let medical malpractice go without penalty.
You are your child’s only advocate, and we work by your side as your advocate. You need to seek justice for what happened to your child through a medical malpractice lawsuit.
A settlement case is primarily due to how the medical professionals acted and interacted with each other, with the mother and the infant during her pregnancy, labor, or delivery.
Birth injuries are a negligent accident to the infant and the mother. Accidents never happen if not for negligent actions caused by people.
Short-term injuries are as difficult to accept as long-term and permanent injuries. Life-changing injuries to a newborn infant, bring many years of physical, emotional, mental, and financial stress for the parents and the child. It is only fitting that someone pays for their wrongful actions towards an innocent family and child.
All birth injury settlement cases are different and unique. None of the issues we handle have the same circumstances. And not all cases end up with the same settlement amount.
Your settlement depends on many issues, such as your child’s type of injury. The injury type depends on whether the damage is short-term or for the rest of your child’s life and how significant the injuries are.
The list of negligent actions is as vast and varied as the injuries. The following are, the more common negligent acts we presented in our client’s cases.
- The medical staff did not use appropriate delivery techniques.
- Someone made a significant medical error.
- There was a failure to monitor the mother or infant.
- Someone failed to read and alert the doctor of fetal heart readings.
- There was improper use of delivery instruments such as forceps deliveries.
- There was a failure to treat injuries to the mother or child promptly.
- The anesthesiologist made a medical error.
It is challenging to calculate monetary settlements because everything depends on the severity of the birth injury and how long the child is affected. The question always remains, “Will the child recover and when?”
Since each case has its own particulars and every case is different and is awarded different amounts of compensation. No victim can fight this battle without a skilled, experienced, licensed, seasoned negligent accident, injury, or death attorney.
However, we sometimes see two different clients who endured the same injuries caused by medical negligence. These two victims have very different outcomes. They have different medical needs and require very different care needs.
Thus, they have very different calculations for monetary settlements. As seasoned negligence attorneys, we can calculate your expenses and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. We work hard to remove the financial stress from your life.
These cases take the expertise of a seasoned legal team to go to bat for you and your family. This legal team,
- Review and investigate every facet of your case, including all medical records.
- We will bring in expert witnesses who will testify on your behalf. These expert witnesses are seasoned in the type of disability your child has and what specific medical error resulted in these injuries.
- These expert professionals review every facet of your case in your medical records, beginning with your pregnancy, labor, delivery of your baby, and the aftercare the mother and child received. These professionals leave nothing unturned.
- Our legal team always tries to settle out of court because no one likes to end up in court with a jury. However, if we cannot reach the kind of settlement we think you deserve, our legal team and expert professional witnesses are prepared to go to court to fight for your rights as a victim of negligence.
- Our expert witnesses write up their reports, and we use these reports in your settlement negotiations. These witnesses are prepared to testify in court if insurance companies and various attorneys do not want to come to a fair settlement.
Insurance companies have many tricks in their trade industry to avoid paying victims. We know all of these tricks these companies use to get out of paying victims compensation for a negligent medical error.
Insurance company settlements
Instead, the victims we represent would settle with the insurance companies out of court. However, if insurance companies do not want to pay the victim what they deserve and pay them enough of a settlement to cover past, present, and future costs, it leaves us no other option than to go to court.
Another reason that victims do not relish going to court because there may be multiple people involved in the negligent action that caused your infant birth injuries. When multiple people are involved in a case, the case becomes highly complex, determining what part each person played in the negligence.
Your only option is to give a seasoned, licensed, experienced, negligent attorney a call. We have the expertise it takes to fight the system.
What are costs to the parents and child involved in a compensation claim?
Severe birth defects often break up families, and divorce happens because neither parent can deal with this tragedy. If it is unlikely that the child could ever do anything for themselves, it is possible that neither parent can handle the situation, and the child is admitted to a long-term rehabilitation facility with 24/7 nursing care.
If this is the case, this will cost the parents millions of dollars. Someone must pay for this tragedy of medical negligence.
The first debt that starts to snowball out of control and depends upon the birth injury is mounting medical expenses. These expenses include past, present, and future recurring medical bills. We can calculate your costs far into the future if that is what needs to be done, depending on injuries.
Medical bills could include the following.
- Doctor bills
- Surgical bills past, present, future
- Hospital specialized care
- Doctor appointments
- Transportation expenses to and from doctor appointments
- Durable medical equipment
- In house nursing care
- Facility care
- Home updates to accommodate the parents and child
- Therapy visits such as physical, occupational, speech, mental health
- In-home nursing care
- Possible future long-term facility and nursing care
Other losses could include some of the following.
- Loss of wages
- The child’s loss of income
- Pain and suffering mentally, emotionally, physically
- Shortened life expectancy
- Decreased quality of life
Birth injury cases that are lifelong could amount to millions of dollars. Most families do not have this kind of money to pay for these possible outstanding debts. One such example is a child that develops cerebral palsy. This birth defect covers everything mentioned above and could tally into millions of dollars.
There are reasons for calling us ASAP for infant birth injuries
There is a good reason you need to call us as soon as possible when you know that there is medical negligence related to your infant’s birth injuries.
Every state has set a legal time element or a window of time that you can sue for negligence in birth injury cases. The state of Pennsylvania says that a victim of a birth injury case has two years from the date of the injury. You must file a claim within that window of time or you cannot file your settlement claim for medical malpractice. This window of time is also known as the statute of limitations.
Perhaps your doctor and you do not realize that the child suffered a birth injury until the two-year statute of limitations has passed. All is not lost. You still need to call us as soon as you find out the facts about the possible birth injury.
We need to have you understand that there have been exceptions to the statute of limitations in Pennsylvania. We will hear your facts, and if we feel you have a good case, we want to get to work immediately to benefit you and your child.
The sooner you call us, the sooner we can get to work for you as we are working past Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations. The evidence seems to disappear in time. We need to recover the evidence of negligent actions. We need to convince the court system that it was impossible to realize these birth injuries earlier and before the statute of limitations took effect.
Sometimes you know immediately after the child is born that your baby suffered a birth injury. Sometimes, birth injuries are not apparent for weeks or months after the child’s birth. As the child grows, your child’s doctor can tell if the child has any unusual development issues within that two-year window.
A few months after the child’s birth is all it takes for your doctor to suspect that your child suffered a birth injury. You need to call us as soon as possible. You need to make sure that you recoup the funds needed to care for your child.
We represent victims wronged by negligence causing a birth injury
If you live in Pennsylvania and your baby suffered a birth injury, please do not wait and wonder if you should call us. It is vitally important to contact us immediately. We have a birth injury claim experience surpassing most law offices in our area.
This call costs you nothing. Our esteemed attorneys want to hear your story. We need to listen to the facts of what happened to you and your baby. We can help you determine if you have a compensation case for birth injury negligence from these facts.
Never let your thoughts about attorney fees keep you from gaining justice for a negligent action toward your child. We do not get paid if we do not win your compensation case. We would not represent you if we did not think you had a sound negligent action case against medical professionals.
*Your first consultation is free. We do not get paid for our services unless you win your compensation case.
We understand that many victims do not want to sue anyone because many victims naturally carry an element of guilt. They explore the facts and wonder if they could have done things differently. Victims wonder if perhaps they are to blame for their child’s birth injuries.
However, if your child’s birth injuries are significant or minor, you need some compensation to pay for all of your additional expenses due to someone’s medical error. If you do not proceed with a compensation case, that medical professional may continue to be negligent in their actions because there are no penalties they have had to pay.
This person is getting away with their wrong actions and unprofessionalism. Birth injuries may repeatedly happen to other newborns unless someone stops this person for their negligent acts. You can prevent this professional future negligence and hurting another infant in the future. Never feel guilty about using a doctor. If that doctor did something wrong, they need to pay for a mistake that could have been avoided.
Our attorneys need to help you work through the emotional and financial stress surrounding a birth injury to your newborn due to professional negligence. Our goal is to help you recoup your losses as best as possible to relieve the financial stress from mounting medical expenses.
Money will never replace what happened to your infant. However, a substantial settlement can make life easier. A settlement helps pay for your child’s past, present, and future monetary expenses.
We understand you are under enormous emotional duress, and we know that a settlement brings you an element of justice and helps pay the unexpected bills. We remain with you during the settlement process and will stay with you far into the future. We are always here to guide and direct your legal moves and answer all legal questions.