A birth injury lawyer can help you get compensation for birth injuries suffered by your child or injuries you suffered during the birth of your child, caused by medical malpractice.
What are birth injuries?
Birth injuries caused by medical malpractice are one of the most painful injuries one can ever experience. First, a lot of birth injuries can cause lasting effects on the child, which might require expensive medical treatment during the child’s lifetime. Second, the pain a parent can experience when the child is not fully equipped with all senses in order to be capable of independent adult living can be distressing. Third, it can be unforgiveable for a parent when a child dies because of birth injuries caused by medical malpractice. For this reason, if your child has experienced birth injuries, it is important to get counsel immediately to see whether this is caused by medical malpractice.
Birth injury as a cause of action
There are many birth injuries a baby might sustain. Some may not even be related to medical malpractice. Whether or not a birth injury is caused by medical malpractice will ultimately depend on medical expert testimony in order to correlate the birth injury with medical malpractice as the proximate cause.
In order for birth injury cause of action to prosper, the following must be proven:
Duty of care
You must show that the doctor owed a duty of care to you and your child. This can be proven by showing the existence of a doctor-patient relationship.
Breach of duty
You must prove a negligent, careless, or wrongful act or omission to provide treatment constituted the doctor’s breach of his duties to you and your child.
You must prove that such act or omission constituting the breach was the cause of you or your baby’s injuries.
You must prove that you sustained immediate and future financial damages due to the breach. The following damages can be claimed:
- All medical expenses, including past and future (these needs may be covered in a Life Care Plan, which we can help you set up)
- Assistive equipment or professional at-home care
- Reduced earning capacity (for parents who are unable to work due to the injury)
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Disfigurement and scarring
Period to file birth injury lawsuit
When dealing with a period to file a lawsuit, do not trust any websites. Contact an attorney right away. If you miss the deadline, your lawsuit will be dismissed even if you have a good case.
In New York, your birth injury lawyer should file your claim within 30 months from the date of the alleged malpractice for injuries committed against a minor. However, the time period to file for injuries committed against infants is extended to 10 years from the date of medical negligence or within 2 ½ years after infant reaches 18 years old, whichever is earlier.
If you plan to file a lawsuit against federal, state, city, town or other public hospitals or health care facilities, the period may be shorter and may require a notice of claim within a required period of time before filing the lawsuit.
Your lawsuit in New York must also contain a Certificate of Merit, which, under CPLR 3012-a, is required to state that your law firm has reviewed the details of your case, has consulted with a medical professional, the medical professional agrees that your case has merit, and that the care you received deviated from the acceptable medical standard.
Types of typical birth injuries caused by medical malpractice
Typical birth injuries caused by medical malpractice are cerebral palsy, brain damage, encephalopathy, Erb’s palsy, hypoxic ischemic injury, premature birth, stillbirth, brachial plexus injury, bone fractures, asphyxia, spinal cord damage, facial paralysis, forceps injury, oxygen deficiencies, fetal distress injuries, and neonatal death.
These injuries can be caused by negligent actions of doctors or hospitals who negligently provided prenatal care, prolonged labor and delivery, failed to diagnose a potential complication prior to delivery, failed to perform a timely C-section, failed to examine the mother’s medical history, failed to adequately monitor the mother and child before, during, and after delivery, failed to respond with timeliness to fetal distress, error in administering anesthesia, and the improper use of forceps.
Although not all birth injuries are caused by medical malpractice, it is important to be aware of the common birth injuries so you can take appropriate action, investigating properly, if your child has experienced any of these birth injuries.
How do you prove birth injuries?
Your birth injury lawyer should be able to gather and collect evidence through the process of discovery. The documents to be collected would include the child’s and mother’s medical records, eyewitness statements and accounts of the procedure and surrounding circumstances, medical professionals’ notes concerning the delivery and patient, previous history of the doctor providing medical care, and notes of the doctor’s description of the procedure and a consultation with an expert to find potential omissions, complications, inaccuracies, or any other deviation from the usual standard of care.
Like any other case, your birth injury lawyer must exhaust all means necessary to arrive at a reasonable amicable settlement. This will be a less expensive and less litigious process, especially since your claim anyway will usually be paid for by the insurance company. If settlement negotiations fail, your lawyer may recommend the filing of a case to protect your rights.
Birth injuries can be very disheartening. To ensure your grief will be well-compensated, it is important to see the advice of legal counsel immediately after discovering that your child sustained birth injuries. Although it may not mean anything at that time, an ordinary lay person may not be able to fully differentiate whether such injuries were normal during birth or caused by medical malpractice.
A birth injury lawyer will immediately be able to tell you whether your claim has a leg to stand on or nut. Should you need assistance in the evaluation of your birth injury case, Should you need assistance at the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin are here for you. We have offices in New York, NY, Brooklyn, NY and Queens, NY. You can call us at 718-509-9774 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.