When a child suffers injury prior to or during birth because of negligence, the child and the parents may be entitled to compensation for the child’s medical needs. As birth injury attorneys, we can assist you in identifying and evaluating the damages and pursuing a legal claim.
The birth of a child ought to be a joyous occasion. While most Florida doctors and hospitals perform their jobs with excellence, sometimes mistakes occur that severely injure a fetus or newborn child. Injuries in the womb or during delivery, both physical and due to medication, can cause injuries ranging from bruises or fractures to lifelong developmental disabilities. Doctors and other medical professionals owe a very high duty of care to their patients because of their extensive training and the degree of trust society places in them.
Types of Birth Injuries
Birth injuries may occur due to a physical injury in the womb, during a C-section, or during delivery. Injuries may also occur because of a medication error, such as a misfilled prescription or inappropriate prescription. A failure to notice or diagnose a condition could lead to injuries, as when a doctor does not recognize signs of fetal distress, or does not perform a C-section when necessary.
A newborn may experience injuries due to physical trauma, both in the womb and during delivery. Many such injuries are limited to bruises or cuts, but in some cases fetuses and newborns may suffer bone fractures or spinal cord injuries.
Injuries that can have a lifelong impact on a newborn’s health, including severe developmental disabilities, can result from physical trauma, medication errors, or other errors that cause a disruption like a lack of oxygen. These injuries may cause conditions such as:
- Brachial plexus damage: this is the network of nerves controlling much of the upper body;
- Cerebral palsy: a class of developmental disabilities that affect motor control, which can result from prenatal and birth injuries;
- Erb’s palsy: paralysis of the arm or arms caused by nerve damage, particularly the brachial plexus;
- Hypoxia: a condition in which parts of the body do not or cannot receive adequate oxygen; and
- Shoulder dystocia-related injury: a condition in which the newborn’s anterior shoulder, the one facing forward, essentially traps the newborn mid-birth, requiring additional intervention. It can be severely debilitating or fatal to the fetus if not quickly remedied, due to pressure on the umbilical cord.
Liability and Damages
Liability for birth injuries is not limited to the OB-GYN. Nurses, pharmacists, medical technicians, and other medical professionals also have a duty to provide diligent service. Hospitals and clinics may be liable for the negligence or malpractice of doctors and medical professionals under their supervision. Damages may go beyond medical expenses, depending on the severity of the injuries. In cases of debilitating injuries that will cause a newborn to have lifelong special needs, parents may be able to recover the expected cost of long-term care for their child.
The injury attorneys of Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. represent people in Palm Beach and Broward County who have been injured due to the negligence or unlawful conduct of doctors and other medical professionals. Contact us through this website, or call our law firm toll-free at 954-428-9333 for a free and confidential consultation.