Bringing a new baby into the world is a momentous occasion that should be marked with joy and celebration. However, for many families, injuries that occur at birth mar this special milestone, leaving parents devastated and frustrated. Birth injuries occur at a rate of around 5 in 1,000 births, many of them causing permanent damage that will follow the child for life. Birth injuries, unlike birth defects, are nearly always caused by senseless negligence and are preventable. If your baby experienced a birth injury, you owe it to your family and your child to hold the responsible party accountable, and a Los Angeles birth injury attorney can help.
Many babies are born with birth defects, which are problems that the baby develops prior to birth. Most birth defects are not preventable. However, a birth injury results when the baby is subjected to physical trauma during the actual birth itself, largely due to incompetence or bad decision-making on the behalf of a member of the medical team.
The causes of birth injury often result from improper standards of care used by those you trust to help your child arrive in the world safely. Improper forceps use or use of suction to assist delivery, delay in performing a C-section or diagnosing fetal distress, or opting for a vaginal birth following a caesarean delivery are common errors. Some injuries that may be sustained at birth due to negligence on the part of the attending OB/GYN or other medical professional include:
- Brain damage resulting from oxygen deprivation
- Cephalohematoma, which is bleeding into the skull
- Shoulder dystocia when the baby’s head becomes lodged against the mother’s pelvic bone
- Nerve damage causing facial paralysis
- Erb’s palsy that can cause paralysis of the arm
- Broken bones, especially the collarbone
- Lung problems
As a parent, you likely feel helpless seeing your child suffer due to the irresponsible behavior of others. It’s no doubt an emotional time in your life, and to add insult to injury, the medical malpractice at birth on the part of an obstetrician, midwife or other medical professional can lead to huge medical costs that burden your family for the foreseeable future. Ongoing medical care and sometimes convalescent care for life is not uncommon in serious birth injuries.
Birth Injury Compensation
Although each birth injury claim is unique, the goal of the claim is to lessen the financial impact the birth injury has on the child and family while ensuring the child gets the care needed in the future. Compensation awarded may be comprised on medical costs, future medical care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, accommodations for the home, special education costs, counseling and psychological services. In addition, non-economic compensation may be awarded for pain and suffering and emotional distress. Most claims for injuries at birth are settled out of court; however, in some cases, an experienced Los Angeles birth injury attorney will need to litigate your case at trial.
Contact JML Law and our compassionate and knowledgeable Los Angeles birth injury attorney today to weigh the merits of your case and discuss your legal options going forward.
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