Having a baby can be one of the most joyous times in anyone’s life. Except when you find out your child may have been injured during labor or the delivery process. While some complications are natural and therefore unavoidable, others may be due to the negligence of healthcare providers assisting with the delivery. If you feel your baby may have been injured due to the actions of others, contacting a qualified birth injury lawyer should be your next move.
The experts at The Sevey Law Firm have been helping birth injury victims in northern California for more than a decade. Our experienced staff understands the complex rules surrounding birth accident litigation and know what it takes to win in these kinds of cases. Our goal is to bring peace to those who are impacted.
We offer free, no obligation consultations for our clients and never charge a fee unless we win your case. You owe it to yourself and your child to find out everything you may be entitled to. Call us today at (916) 788-7100 to schedule your appointment.
Common Birth Injuries
Numerous types of birth traumas can affect newborns, all of which differ regarding both severity and potential long-term complications. Many require minimal intervention or can heal themselves over time. However, others might leave children with permanent mental or physical disabilities that they may never fully recover from.
Here are a few common injuries:
- Anoxia – A complete absence of oxygen (with a specific focus on the blood, muscles or vital organs). A void of oxygen can lead to permanent brain damage in the most severe cases.
- Hypoxia – Similar to Anoxia, but with low oxygen vs. none. Though some oxygen is present in the body, the level is low enough that major damage can still occur. Both Anoxia and Hypoxia are common when the umbilical cord becomes pinched or kinked during birth.
- Erb’s Palsy (or Shoulder Dystocia) – There are nerves that run through the spine, neck and arms that control movement for these areas of the body. Pulling, stretching or excessive force during childbirth can damage these nerves and cause temporary or permanent loss of mobility. Erb’s Palsy is often experienced during complicated or difficult births where manual or mechanical intervention is required.
- Brain Damage – Lack of oxygen, excessive force during birth, infections in the mother, jaundice, etc. are a few of the causes of brain damage. Depending on the extent of the injury, children who face brain damage can have lifelong physical and mental challenges they may never overcome.
- Cephalohematoma – Excessive blood pooling under the skin of the skull. Often the result of head trauma when birth-assisting devices (forceps, vacuum extraction, etc.) are used.
- Facial Paralysis – Damage to facial nerves which cause weakness or the inability to control movement of the mouth, eyes, or face. Facial paralysis can occur during a difficult birth or because of extended labor.
- Caput Succedaneum – Swelling or distortion of the baby’s head during or after labor. Usually resulting from excessive pressure or force during delivery. This condition may go away on its own but not in every case.
- Fetal Lacerations – Trauma to the face, bones, cervical cord or other areas due to tools or techniques used during C-Sections. Long-term effects include scarring, disfigurement and possible mental or physical impairments.
- Cerebral Palsy – A condition that affects the brain’s ability to function and the body’s motor skills. Although the exact causes are still under debate, this condition is usually discovered just before, during, or shortly after birth. The effects of Cerebral Palsy include limited muscle control, poor reflexes, lack of coordination and communication or developmental problems.
Birth Defects vs. Birth Injuries
While any child injury is tragic, some are unavoidable while others can be prevented. This is important to remember when it comes to litigation, as not all birthing injuries constitute a valid legal case.
Birth Injuries are typically limited to damages experienced during actual labor or delivery. If the injury was due to the incorrect use of birthing assistance equipment, or improper technique on the part of the doctor or medical staff, then you may have grounds to file a claim.
Additionally, some prenatal injuries may constitute negligence and be subject to compensation. For instance, medications that a doctor prescribes during pregnancy that later result in harm to the mother or child. Prenatal injury claims can be complicated, so it’s best to speak with a qualified birth injury lawyer to determine what your options are.
Birth Defects, on the other hand, are often attributed to natural causes (like genetics) or poor prenatal care while inside the womb. Mothers who drink, smoke or take drugs during pregnancy usually have no grounds to sue for babies born with complications.
Even moms who take the utmost care of their babies – and receive excellent medical treatment during pregnancy – can still experience birth defects for reasons unknown. Again, it’s best to consult with a good birth injury attorney to determine the specifics regarding your case.
Compensation for Birth Injuries
Statistics show that the costs to care for birthing injuries can be enormous. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), caring for a child with Cerebral Palsy alone could exceed more than one million dollars over the course of a lifetime. Couple this with other mental disabilities and the costs go even higher.
This is where consulting with an experienced birth injury law firm comes into play. Knowing what types of damages are subject to compensation can make the difference between comfortably caring for an injured child or facing a lifetime of debt and struggle.
Types of damages that victims may claim include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Supplementary Care (therapy, counseling, medical devices or equipment, in-home care)
- Pain and Suffering (both physical and mental)
- Loss of Income (past, present and future earnings)
- Decreased Life Satisfaction or Enjoyment (companionship, social interaction, etc.)
These kinds of damages are often difficult to determine. Working with an experienced personal injury law firm – that partners with qualified medical and financial experts – can help establish a baseline for these costs over the life of a child.
Choosing a Birth Injury Attorney
Although no amount of money can fully compensate for a child’s injuries, having adequate resources to care for them is the next best step. The attorneys at The Sevey Law Firm specialize in helping birth accident victims and their families.
Our advanced network of doctors, counselors and financial analysts work together to assess your case and determine appropriate compensation. Your family shouldn’t have to struggle due to someone else’s negligence. We do everything in our power to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Call us today at (916) 788-7100 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. There’s absolutely no charge to speak with us, and we’ll gladly provide you with an honest evaluation of your situation. We are a contingency based law firm, meaning we don’t charge our clients unless we win your case.
An event this critical is too important to leave to chance. Contact one of our birth injury lawyers today to protect your rights and secure your family’s future. In California, birthing accident lawsuits must be filed within three years of the incident. Otherwise, you may forfeit your right to make a claim.
Don’t let time expire! Call now and get the process started today.