As a parent, there are few things more important in life than preparing to welcome the birth of a child. When a doctor’s negligent, reckless, or wrongful actions cause your child to suffer, you may be left wondering: Is birth injury preventable?
At Prince Law Firm, we understand how difficult it can be to watch your child suffer what was most likely a preventable injury. You may be racked with guilt, wondering if it was your fault or if there was anything you could have done. The reality is that you are not the medical professional; your obstetrician is. You trusted their expertise only to be let down.
Every child deserves the best possible start in life. If your newborn suffered a birth injury during the labor and delivery process, your family may be owed compensation for their pain and suffering, medical bills, and much more.
What Is a Birth Injury?
A birth injury is a physical injury suffered during childbirth that may affect the newborn, the mother, or both. Also referred to as birth trauma, a birth injury is often related to the direct inaction or negligence of a health care provider during the birthing process.
A birth injury is not to be confused with a birth defect. A congenital birth defect is the presence of a physical or functional abnormality at birth, which is the result of a chromosomal disorder or genetic inheritance. Many parents are aware of birth defects prior to the birth of their child, as obstetricians use ultrasounds, genetic screenings, and other prenatal testing that diagnose birth defects.
At Prince Law Firm, we advise all parents who are uncertain whether their child’s condition is a birth injury or birth defect to seek a second opinion with a pediatrician or a neonatologist. Birth defects and birth injuries may co-exist, so a birth defect diagnosis does not necessarily mean that your newborn was not further injured by the negligent actions of a health care provider.
When necessary, we also partner with medical experts to substantiate claims of medical negligence.
Is Birth Injury Preventable?
In most cases, birth injuries are entirely preventable. In the months leading up to the birth, obstetrician/gynecologists (OB-GYNs) should monitor all pregnant patients for potential birth injury risks, including the following:
- Cephalopelvic disproportion (a pelvic shape that is not conducive to vaginal birth)
- An expected birthweight of nine pounds or more
- Maternal obesity
The presence of any of the above risk factors may necessitate a different approach to the labor and delivery process. In some cases, additional monitoring may be sufficient, but OB-GYNs should be prepared to move forward with a cesarean section (C-section) if the mother and baby are at a high risk of suffering birth injuries.
Unfortunately, we have worked with many clients who did not have any risk factors for birth injuries prior to going into labor. OB-GYNs should properly monitor all laboring patients regardless of their perceived risk. Fetal heart rate monitoring is one of the most effective ways to determine whether a newborn is experiencing fetal distress that could lead to an injury.
In addition to lack of monitoring, a birth injury may also be caused by:
- Failure to perform a timely C-section
- Improper use of forceps or vacuum
- Attempting to deliver a baby that is breech (feet first)
Common Preventable Birth Injuries
In our years of experience representing families who have been harmed by a negligent or reckless OB-GYN, we have identified some of the most common birth injuries:
- Brachial plexus injuries
- Cerebral palsy
- Brain damage
- Caput succedaneum (swelling of the scalp)
- Facial paralysis
- Cephalohematoma (bleeding outside the skull)
- Bruising and forceps marks
- Subconjunctival hemorrhage (broken blood vessels in the eye)
- Bone fractures
Children born with birth injuries often face a lifetime of challenges related to their condition. While the parents we meet with are often doing everything in their power to make sure their children receive the best possible care, the cost associated with this type of medical care in Marion, IL is out of most people’s reach.
Whether your child requires physical therapy, adaptive medical equipment, a mobility device, or ongoing surgical care, medical bills should never create a barrier between their needs and what care they are able to receive. That’s why our law firm partners with families to help them secure compensation from the health care professionals who caused them harm.
Who Is Liable for a Preventable Birth Injury?
If your child suffered a birth injury, your family might have grounds to file a birth injury lawsuit. This lawsuit will seek to hold the at-fault parties liable for their actions. Defendants that may be named in a birth injury claim include:
When we take on a medical malpractice lawsuit involving a birth injury, we launch a thorough investigation into the matter to determine every possible defendant. If someone played a role in your child’s injury, they should be held accountable.
Dedicated Trial Lawyers Advocating for Illinois Families
We understand the sensitive nature of most birth injury claims. When we meet with families, they are often in the process of mourning the life they expected to have while also learning what it means to be a true advocate for their child. The attorneys at Prince Law Firm approach every case with the respect and dignity that our clients deserve.
The insurance company knows that we mean business, and we are proud of the results we have secured for our clients. If you choose to align yourself with our law firm, we will work to settle your case outside of court. Medical malpractice cases can be complicated, though, especially when a birth injury is involved. Even as we work to settle, our trial lawyers will prepare for the possibility of going to court, so we’ll never be caught unprepared.
Do not let the clock run out on your right to secure compensation for your child. Contact our law offices today to schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable and compassionate birth injury attorney.