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A birth injury can occur through difficulties during late pregnancy or delivery. In the United States, 7 out of every 1,000 births results in some form of birth injury, which amounts to approximately 28,000 per year. While many birth injuries are minor and only result in bruising, some are more severe and can lead to a permanent disability or even death. In fact, birth injuries are responsible for causing roughly 20% of all infant deaths. In some cases, birth injuries are preventable and may be the consequence of carelessness or negligence on the part of a hospital worker. If your child has suffered an injury during birth, you may be entitled to compensation.
The Boston personal injury lawyers at Bellotti Law Group, P.C. have successfully handled hundreds of medical malpractice cases over many years. Please contact our Boston, Cambridge, or Quincy office today at 617-225-2100 for a FREE evaluation of your case.Common Examples Of Birth Injuries
Some of the most common and debilitating birth injuries involve the infant's brain. Damage can occur if a nurse or doctor is negligent in monitoring oxygen levels during labor. For example, a doctor may fail to properly conduct electronic fetal monitoring or fail to perform a cesarean section when medically necessary. Due to a lack of oxygen, the infant suffers birth asphyxia, which often leads to cerebral palsy (a term encompassing a group of disorders that weaken the victim's ability to control bodily movement). Cerebral palsy is the most common type of birth injury that results in a medical malpractice lawsuit. A second disorder commonly resulting from a birth injury is Erb's palsy (also known as Brachial plexus injury), which leads to paralysis or weakness in the arm. Erb's palsy occurs when a medical professional pushes or pulls on the infant's shoulder during delivery, and stretches or tears the nerve tissue. Other birth injuries entail the improper use of forceps or a vacuum extractor, failure to respond to umbilical cord entrapment, failure to recognize fetal distress, and more.
Birth errors are a result of medical malpractice committed when a doctor, hospital, and any relevant medical staff acts negligently and causes an injury, wrongful birth, and/or emotional injuries. In some cases, a doctor’s medical malpractice can cause injury to the mother or infant. Doctors may neglect to control excessive blood loss after delivering the infant, or they may fail to monitor the baby’s oxygen intake before and after the birth.
In cases where the infant is injured, the parents must bring a lawsuit on behalf of the infant. Parents of the infant can seek general damages, as well as special damages. General damages include compensation for the cost of suffering: such as mental and physical pain and suffering, and the loss of enjoyment of life.
Another type of birth error medical malpractice claim can be an injury to the mother that occurs due to a doctor’s carelessness. Doctors may fail to recognize early warning signs prior to the birth, as well as during. In these cases, the mother may have a claim for medical malpractice and can recover damages for her injuries.
In wrongful birth actions, parents claim that the doctor should have warned them about their child’s impending birth defects. Additionally, the parents’ assert that had they known about the birth defects, they would have avoided the pregnancy or ended the pregnancy. Doctors may be negligent about genetic testing before conceiving a child, and could also fail to detect mental or physical impairments in the early stages of pregnancy.Sources Of Liability
A birth injury that causes a permanent disability in an infant may require lifelong treatment, including occupational therapy, daily care, and other special provisions. This process can have a devastating emotional and financial effect on the entire family. Caring for a child with cerebral palsy can cost close to one million dollars over the span of the child's life. If a doctor, nurse, hospital, or any other entity is negligent in causing a birth injury, they are liable for damages. Medical malpractice lawsuits typically involve claims of disability, past and future medical bills, pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of future earning potential, and much more.
At Bellotti Law Group, P.C., we will investigate any potential source of liability to help you recover the compensation that you deserve. Medical malpractice lawsuits are often complicated and resource intensive. Contact one of our experienced Boston medical malpractice attorneys today to help you understand your options during this emotionally trying time.