Welcoming your child into the world should be a time of celebration. If your child suffered an injury as a result of a careless delivery however, this time may be devastating instead of cheerful. Between medical bills, time missed from work, and stressed from your child’s injury, you may find yourself overwhelmed with worry instead of happiness.
What are the Most Common Types of Birth Injuries?
Birth injuries can be as minor as a bruise or scrape, or as serious as paralysis. Although there are dozens of injuries that can happen during delivery, common examples of birth injuries include:
- Bruising from unnecessary pressure from forceps
- Bone fractures caused by trauma or careless delivery
- Head injuries caused by excessive pressure during labor or overuse of forceps
- Facial injuries such as paralysis from use of forceps during labor
- Nerve injuries such as injury to the brachial plexus, which can cause weakness or inability to move hands or arms
- Bleeding inside or around the brain from misuse of vacuum tools or forceps
Proving Your Case
To win a medical malpractice case for injuries your child suffered during birth, you will need to prove that the doctor or staff was negligent in delivering your child or supervising your child after birth. In order to prove negligence, you will need to show that:
- The doctor, nurse, or staff member had a responsibility to deliver your child without injury and monitor your child after delivery;
- The doctor, nurse, or staff member made a mistake when delivering your child (like misusing a vacuum extraction tool) or monitoring and caring for your child after delivery (like giving your child the wrong medication); and
- The injury that your child suffered was caused by the doctor, nurse, or staff member’s mistake, and would not have occurred if the mistake was not made.
If all of these factors can be proven, there’s a good chance that you and your child have a firm foundation on which to build a medical malpractice case.
If the doctor who delivered your child made a mistake which caused your child’s injury and the doctor is employed by a hospital, the hospital itself might also be held liable for injuries caused to your child by the doctor’s negligent delivery. Because of this employer/employee relationship, a medical malpractice case for your child’s birth injury may name both the doctor who performed the delivery and the hospital where your child was delivered. This is good news, since hospitals usually carry a large amount of malpractice insurance in the event that the doctor can’t pay for your child’s injuries.
Costs Associated with Birth Injuries
Raising a child isn’t cheap even if the child is healthy, but caring for a child who was hurt during birth can cost a small fortune. You don’t have to bear the burden of all of these costs, though—a lawsuit for your child’s birth injury could result in an award that can cover losses that are both financial and personal.
Medical costs (both past and future)
The cost of delivering a healthy baby is expensive enough; a study by the International Federation of Health Plans concluded that the United States was the most expensive country in the world to give birth in, with the total costs of a complication-free delivery ranging from around $32,000 to $51,000. Even people with insurance pay the price for such a high cost of delivery, since insurance does not usually cover 100% of this cost, leaving new parents with the burden of paying the rest of the bills.
These bills can skyrocket if your child is injured during the delivery process, and may continue for years or even life if he or she was severely injured during birth. Even though these costs can be overwhelming, costs such as these can be accounted for in an award from a birth injury lawsuit. Medical damages that you could receive from a successful medical malpractice lawsuit for your child’s birth injury include:
- Cost of delivery
- Cost of long-term medical treatment if your child was severely injured
- Rehabilitation costs to improve your child’s quality of life
- Long-term care if your child is severely hurt and unable to become dependent
- Medical equipment that your child needs because of the injury
- Prescription medication your child requires because of the injury
If your child was injured during birth, you may have had to leave your job and care for your child around the clock. Unfortunately, caring for your child can be a full-time job with no days off—and, even more importantly, no salary. If you had to give up your job to take care of your child because of his or her injury, your lost earnings may be accounted for when seeking damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
The costs of your child’s birth injuries can’t always be put into a dollar amount. A lawsuit against the doctor or hospital staff who injured your child during delivery can result in awards for injuries that aren’t financial. You could be compensated for emotional distress or pain and suffering that you and your child experienced during and after the injury.
How Much Is My Case Worth?
There’s no magic number when it comes to awards for birth injury lawsuits. A jury will take many factors into account including the amount of medical expenses, a likely estimate of how much taking care of your child will cost in the future, and the pain and emotional toll that the injury caused. It’s completely free to talk to one of our team members to discuss the damages—just call or fill out a case evaluation form.
How do I Pay for a Lawyer?
If you have hesitated to contact a lawyer to help you fight your case because of the cost of hiring an attorney, don’t wait a second longer. When fighting a medical malpractice case involving a birth injury that your child suffered, our lawyers work on a contingency fee, meaning your attorney only gets paid if he or she wins your child’s case. There are no down payments, expensive hourly rates, or financial risks—if you don’t recover anything from your lawsuit, then you don’t have to pay a dime.
Don’t Fight this Alone—Call Today!
If your child was hurt during delivery, having to deal with the aftermath of the injuries is stressful enough. If your child’s injuries are severe, you may feel too busy to pursue a claim against the doctor or hospital staff who caused the injuries. Filing and defending a lawsuit is a long, complicated process that involves paperwork, deadlines, and formalities that have to be followed. Any mistakes in the process may result in the case being thrown out altogether. Don’t feel like you need to fight a medical malpractice case by yourself—the attorneys at Hughes and Coleman have decades of combined experience and are on standby to help you fight your case. Our lawyers are trained to fight for the compensation that children with birth injuries rightfully deserve.
Your chances of winning a medical malpractice case for your child’s birth injury depend on the individual circumstances that you and your child experienced during and after delivery. The easiest way to determine whether you have a strong case is to talk directly to a lawyer. If you think you have a case for your child’s birth injury, call or fill out a case evaluation form to schedule a consultation with us at Hughes & Coleman today. Talking to one of our team members is absolutely free, so you have nothing to lose.