No parent-to-be anticipates worst-case scenarios when bringing a new baby into the world, but the truth is that birth injuries occur regularly. Birth injuries occur at the rate of about three per hour, 530 per week, or 28,000 per year in the United States. Around seven babies out of every 1,000 born in our country suffers some type of injury during the birthing process, and around one infant fatalities are due to birth injuries. If your baby sustained a birth injury, you owe it to your child and to your family to seek compensation from the responsible party—usually your OB/GYN, anesthesiologist, midwife or other member of the labor and delivery team. A Riverside birth injury attorney can work with you to identify potential litigants in your birth injury claim.
Causes and Types of Birth Injuries
Birth injuries are generally caused by a medical professional’s negligence. Oftentimes this means that the OB/GYN in your case failed to follow the standard of care that is acceptable across the profession, and the result was an injury that will affect your child possibly for life. Some of the most common causes of birth injuries include delays in delivery, use of forceps or suction to assist the baby in moving out of the birth canal, errors in administering drugs like Pitocin that speed along labor, and placental abruption. Oxygen deprivation and aspiration of meconium, which is the baby’s first bowel movement, into the baby’s lungs are additional common causes of birth injuries.
Some of the common injuries seen due to negligence at birth include cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, respiratory issues, broken bones, bleeding in the skull, brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. In addition, babies injured at birth may experience fetal stroke, which can lead to a range of neurological and physical problems. Sadly, some babies are stillborn due to the negligence of attending physicians and other medical personnel.
It’s important to bear in mind that not all birth injuries are evident at birth. In fact, 7 percent of birth injuries become evident before the child’s first birthday, while a full 14 percent do not become evident until the child starts attending school. When there is a delay in determining that a child experienced a birth injury during birth, it is sometimes the case that the insurer for the at-fault medical professional or hospital will argue that some other problem caused the injury. Having an experienced birth injury attorney on your side is important, especially in cases where there is a lot to lose, since attorneys for the defendant pull out all stops to cast blame elsewhere.
Statute of Limitations for Birth Injuries
In California, the statute of limitations for birth injury claims is much longer than for standard personal injury or medical malpractice claims. This allows additional time for the discovery of birth injuries that do not crop up until the child is older. You must file your claim before your child turns eight years old.
The first step in holding the responsible party accountable for your child’s injuries is to contact JML Law and our Riverside birth injury attorney. We can help you understand your child’s legal rights and evaluate the options that you have for seeking compensation. Schedule your no-cost consultation and case review now.
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