Birth injuries can bring devastation as well as life-long effects to both parent and child. Many times, birth injuries result in disability, meaning the child will need extensive care for the rest of their life. In some instances, parents may wonder if their child’s injury resulted from medical negligence, but they are unsure of the steps to take next.
Medical malpractice is not the cause of every medical condition that a newborn suffers. However, in many cases, child health care providers are not ready to admit that their errors could have resulted in a newborn’s injury.
An experienced Middletown birth injury lawyer at Aeton Law Partners can help your family get the justice and compensation you deserve. Our attorneys understand common birth injuries and the medical mistakes that cause them. Call 860-785-2099 to schedule a confidential consultation with us today free of charge!
- 1 Birth Injuries and Medical Negligence
- 2 Common Types Of Birth Injuries
- 3 How Do I Know If Medical Negligence Caused a Birth Injury?
- 4 What Kind Of Damages Do Birth Injury Claims Cover?
- 5 How Can An Attorney Help With My Birth Injury Case?
- 6 What Is the Statute of Limitations for Birth Injury Claims in Connecticut?
- 7 How Much Does Hiring a Middletown Birth Injury Lawyer Cost?
- 8 Get a Free Consultation and Start Your Birth Injury Case
Birth Injuries and Medical Negligence
Medical negligence can cause birth injuries when medical professionals fail to meet the standard of child care acceptable within the medical community leading to a mother’s or child’s death or injury. During a child’s delivery, medical professionals should observe an appropriate level of caution and practice good judgment.
Almost 157,700 childbirth injuries occur each year. Medical negligence during complicated delivery can take many forms. They include:
- Failure to monitor the baby’s heartbeat and detect distress
- Delay in ordering a C section resulting in an infant suffering a birth injury
- Improper use of birthing tools during delivery
Improper Forcep Usage
Misuse of forceps during delivery can cause skull fractures as well as nerve damage in the infant’s chest or neck.
Improper Vacuum Use
In complicated childbirth, a doctor may use a vacuum extractor to assist with the delivery. This tool uses suction to pull a baby out of the mother’s womb by attaching it to the baby’s head. Doctors delivering babies through vacuum extraction must take extra caution. Using too much force can leave a baby with bleeding in the eyes, brain damage, or stretched nerves in the neck, which can cause Erb’s palsy or a brachial plexus injury.
HIE, which in full means hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, is a type of brain damage that affects newborns. It is caused by oxygen deprivation during birth. HIE can cause permanent physical and cognitive impairment and can even be fatal.
Common Types Of Birth Injuries
Birth injuries could be the result of almost any care provider breaching their duty of care. It could be a physician, a physician’s assistant, an anesthesiologist, a midwife, a nurse, a surgeon, a pharmacist, a hospital, or any other medicare entity. Some common examples of birth injuries include:
This condition occurs when the soft tissues of the baby’s scalp swell significantly due to traveling through the birth canal. It is more prevalent in babies delivered by vacuum extraction. The swelling is usually not a problem as it goes away after a few days. However, it can lead to other conditions like jaundice.
Brachial Plexus Injury/Erb’s Palsy
This birth injury occurs when the group of nerves responsible for controlling arm and hand movement (brachial plexus) is injured. It mostly arises when there are complications delivering the baby’s shoulder (shoulder dystocia). Erb’s Palsy is one form of brachial plexus palsy. The likelihood of the baby ever making a full recovery depends on the severity of the brachial palsy.
Cerebral palsy is a congenital disorder that affects muscle tone and movement. It can be caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain during delivery.
This injury causes an infant to bleed under the cranial bone – the region between the skull and its fibrous covering. It usually appears as a lump several hours after birth. The cephalohematoma may take between 2 weeks and three months to vanish completely. Babies can develop jaundice if the cephalohematoma is serious.
Facial paralysis may occur when the baby’s facial nerves are injured due to pressure exerted on the baby’s face during labor or improper use of forceps during delivery. Facial paralysis goes away after a few weeks if the damage on the facial nerves is minimal. However, surgery may be required if the nerve was torn.
Clavicle or Collarbone Fractures
This is the most prevalent fracture during childbirth and is especially common in infants born in breech deliveries or whose birth involved shoulder dystocia. You should limit the infant’s movement to speed up the healing process.
How Do I Know If Medical Negligence Caused a Birth Injury?
If healthcare providers cause avoidable harm to a newborn or mother during delivery, this is medical negligence.
The only way to determine if there are grounds for a malpractice claim is to investigate the facts and evaluate the medical and legal issues involved.
Medical negligence could be a factor in the following scenarios:
- Shoulder dystocia
- Brachial plexus injuries
- Episiotomy complications
- Suprapubic pressure
- Anterior shoulder complications
- Erb’s Palsy
The best way to know if medical negligence caused a birth injury is to contact a skilled lawyer right away. Our experienced attorneys can evaluate your case for free and help you hold the responsible party accountable.
What Kind Of Damages Do Birth Injury Claims Cover?
There are several damages, costs, and expenses you can try to recover in a birth injury claim. They include:
Economic damages are awarded as compensation for the monetary losses and expenses incurred due to a birth injury. Such damages can be calculated and proven by receipts, paperwork, and other kinds of documentation. Examples include:
- Past, current, and future medical expenses for the treatment of injuries
- Loss of earnings from the parent taking time off work to care for the child
- Cost of equipment and home modifications to accommodate a child’s disability
- Cost of in-home care services
- Travel expenses related to treating the birth injury, such as trips to a specialist
Non-economic damages are compensation for losses that aren’t financial. Such damages aren’t as easy to calculate and are generally determined by expert witnesses that testify. Examples include:
- Mental distress and suffering
- Permanent impairment
- Physical pain and suffering
Punitive damages are separate from economic and non-economic damages and they are used to punish the healthcare provider or professional for their actions. They are typically awarded in rare cases that involve extreme negligence or recklessness. While they might be rare in medical malpractice cases, they are still awarded. In Connecticut, punitive damages are usually limited to the costs of litigation and lawyer’s fees.
How Can An Attorney Help With My Birth Injury Case?
Without the help of a lawyer, it can be time-consuming and challenging to file a lawsuit. Also, getting compensation becomes more difficult. The legal process is a lot smoother if you are working with a birth injury lawyer, and it gives you time to focus on your child’s medical care.
At Aeton Law, our birth injury lawyers can help in the following ways:
Case Preparation/Filing a Lawsuit
Our birth injury lawyers will conduct a thorough investigation to gather evidence to support your case. We will get in touch with all the medical professionals and request the necessary information and related documentation. We may hire expert medical experts to consult on the case.
We’ll ensure your case is filed on time and in keeping with all the laws and procedures.
Many birth injury cases are resolved out of court with settlement negotiations. Hospitals and their insurance companies usually have skilled attorneys representing them. Our attorneys will negotiate on your behalf for a settlement amount that compensates you for all your damages.
Trial Preparation & Representation
If your case isn’t settled out of court and goes to trial, you need an experienced Middletown birth injury lawyer to represent you in front of the judge and jury. They know the ins and outs of childbirth injury lawsuits and the best way to present your case. Our attorneys will carefully prepare your case for trial and do everything possible to get you the justice and compensation you rightly deserve.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Birth Injury Claims in Connecticut?
If your child’s birth injury results from medical negligence, it is vital to contact a qualified attorney as soon as possible. Like all states, Connecticut is governed by a strict statute of limitations for filing birth injury claims. The court will dismiss your birth injury case if you fail to file a lawsuit within the stipulated time frame.
In Connecticut, plaintiffs can file a medical malpractice lawsuit within two years from the date of the injury date. The clock only starts ticking when the child’s injury is discovered, something known as the “discovery of harm rule.” This rule will only extend the statute of limitations by a year in Connecticut, meaning that you will have up to only three years for any birth injury claim.
How Much Does Hiring a Middletown Birth Injury Lawyer Cost?
At Aeton Law, our birth injury lawyers do not charge any upfront fees. Like all personal injury and medical malpractice cases, we handle childbirth injury claims on a contingency fee arrangement. This means that your lawyer receives a certain percentage of the money they recover for you in the end. You only pay the lawyer if they win your case.
Get a Free Consultation and Start Your Birth Injury Case
At Aeton Law, we feel deeply for our clients whose babies have suffered or even died as a result of a birth injury. No parent anticipates that their baby will be faced with birth injuries. Every parent places massive trust in the professionals responsible for delivering their baby. When this trust is broken, our lawyers are here to help families hold negligent hospitals and healthcare professionals accountable.
If you believe your child suffered a birth injury resulting from medical negligence, reach out to us today. We can evaluate your case and advise you appropriately. We will aggressively seek the best possible compensation. Call 860-785-2099 to take advantage of our free consultation.