We all expect our children to be well cared for during childbirth. However, thousands of babies in the US are born with birth injuries, most of which result from mistakes by doctors or midwives.
When your child gets an injury at birth, you’ll need financial compensation to help with the resulting medical bills and other needs. The mother might also need compensation to deal with the emotional distress, especially for birth injury negligence claims compensation involving children.
What’s a birth injury?
Birth injuries refer to any physical trauma that the baby or the mother suffers during childbirth. In newborns, birth injuries – also known as neonatal birth trauma, include anything from bruises to broken bones.
In mothers, birth injuries include everything from vaginal tearing to damage to your pelvic floor. Some injuries are mental or neurological, including nerve damage which results in brain and spinal cord damage.
The consequences of birth injuries can range from temporary to permanent and mild to severe. Some children live forever with cerebral palsy, but its severity will vary from one case to the other.
A child with cerebral palsy might have a slight mobility impairment and average intelligence. Others might have difficulty eating, cognitive impairment, breathing issues, and other changes that make walking difficult.
Erb’s palsy is another consequence of birth injuries. The condition can cause weakness, paralysis, and loss of sensation in a child’s arm in varying degrees. Birth injuries can also result in brain damage, which leads to cognitive impairment, epilepsy, behavioral issues, and developmental delays.
Your child’s birth injury can also result in skull fractures, which can have mild and unnoticeable consequences or be life-threatening.
How common are birth injuries?
While technological innovations have reduced birth injury cases in the US, the problem is yet to be solved. Here are some birth injury statistics to help you understand how common birth injuries are in the country:
- Over 150,000 birth injuries occur to mothers and newborn children in the US annually due to medical malpractice.
- Birth injuries are more prevalent in male children than in females. There’s an average of 1.7 injuries per 1000 male births and 1.5 injuries per 1000 female births annually.
- 2 out of 1000 newborns suffer from oxygen deprivation at birth because of medical malpractice.
- 1.5-4 infants out of 1000 live births have cerebral palsy every year.
- About one to three children in 1000 live births suffer from brachial plexus injuries yearly due to medical negligence.
- Cesarian section delivery increases childbirth trauma risk as a woman ages.
- About 8% of women suffer from prolonged labor, which results in other medical complications.
What causes birth injuries?
Birth injuries arise from various issues. Cerebral palsy, for instance, is a common birth injury in New York, a condition caused by a lack of enough oxygen in a child’s brain during childbirth. Several factors can cause the child’s brain to be deprived of oxygen during childbirth.
Some factors that can cause cerebral palsy include an untreated maternal infection and complications in the mother’s womb or during delivery. For example, a mother’s preeclampsia might cut off the baby’s oxygen supply and result in brain damage.
Physical trauma is also known to cause birth injuries. When the delivery is complicated and long, the baby might sustain birth injuries in the womb or the birth canal because of the pressure exerted by the mother’s pelvis.
If your doctor or delivery professional uses excessive force when pulling the baby or using medical equipment like forceps, it can also result in a birth injury or trauma. When that happens, the Spektor Law team are the New York birth injury lawyers to call to help you file a claim.
When negligence causes birth injuries
There are cases where birth injuries are caused by uncontrollable factors that doctors can’t avoid, while others may result from medical negligence or staff error. For instance, the doctor might use forceps to pull the baby from a difficult using too much force, which might fracture the baby’s skull.
In another case, the mother might show signs that the baby is too large or the labor will be difficult. That could result in birth injuries for the baby if the doctor doesn’t perform a Cesarian section.
What’s a birth injury claim?
A birth injury claim refers to a legal claim made by a child’s parent who has suffered harm during childbirth or shortly after. When filing a claim, you’ll have to prove that medical malpractice or negligence resulted in your child’s birth injury.
With the assistance of the experienced birth injury lawyers at the Spektor Law firm in Queens, New York, you stand a solid chance to get compensation to help you take care of your child. Remember that a birth injury lawsuit may include various factors, so it’s important to track expenses for treating a birth injury. Also, account for projected future costs.
Birth injury claims may include medical bills you’ve already incurred and future lifestyle and medical costs. That may consist of therapy costs, institutional care, in-home medical care, adaptive equipment, medications, and transportation to medical appointments. It may also include intangible fees like pain and suffering for you and the child.
What will a birth injury compensation cover?
A successful compensation claim will potentially cover all the expenses relating to medical conditions or disabilities caused by the child’s birth injury. That includes:
- Medical expenses
- Future medical costs
- Home care
- Travel expenses to medical appointments
- Lost earnings
- Assistive devices
- Educational and behavioral interventions
The New York birth injury lawyers at Spektor Law can also help you claim non-economic damages. These are intangible expenses like a child’s loss of independence, pain, and suffering.
Should I file a birth injury claim for my child?
Talking to a birth injury attorney is the best way to know whether you have a birth injury claim. Contacting a birth injury attorney from Spektor Law will get you a free case review to determine whether it’s likely medical malpractice or negligence played a role.
Generally, if the medical providers made mistakes that resulted in your child’s disability or injuries, you should file a birth injury lawsuit. If your lawyer proves medical negligence, the responsible medical professional will be accountable for damages.
Many physical injuries, disabilities, and medical conditions fall under birth injuries, and you might be eligible for compensation. That includes common birth injuries like:
- Nerve damage
- Cerebral palsy
- Erb’s palsy
- Brain injury
- Shoulder dystocia
- Brachial plexus damage
- Newborn jaundice
- Vacuum extractor and forceps injuries
Birth injury lawyers also help you claim compensation for wrongful death if the child succumbs to the birth injuries.
What’s a birth injury claim worth?
Birth injury lawsuits offer the highest potential verdict or settlement value than any personal injury case. A birth injury lawsuit’s average settlement or verdict value stands 30% higher than other medical malpractice claims and thrice the average personal injury claim.
The average payout for birth injury lawsuits in New York ranges at $450,000 when settled out of court or around $1,800,000 through a jury verdict. These numbers are helpful for comparison, but the average verdict or settlement amount differs significantly depending on factors unique to your birth injury lawsuit.
Any reputable New York birth injury attorney will try and seek fair compensation based on :
- The degree of medical negligence
- Current medical expenses
- The severity of the child’s birth injury and disability
- Lost wages if you can’t go back to work
- All expected costs for medical treatment, therapy, care, and assistive devices
- Pain and suffering
- A child’s loss of independence
How to make a birth injury claim
You’ll need a legal team to file a birth injury claim. The birth injury lawyer you choose should have experience in medical malpractice or negligence cases to assist you with your lawsuit. This professional will gather all the necessary details and file the claim to initiate the compensation process.
Your legal team will go through the work of investigating your birth injury case and gather the necessary evidence to prove your case. The team will help you establish your medical negligence claims that resulted in a birth injury. They’ll also give you legal representation and fight to provide you with fair compensation.
Trial vs. Settlement
Less than 10% of birth injury cases go to trial and end in a jury verdict. Most birth injury cases are resolved through out-of-court settlements, as no hospital and insurance company wants to waste money and time fighting a losing battle. They’ll try and settle the case out of court, with your personal injury lawyer representing you in the negotiations.
If neither side is willing to agree on the settlement amount, the case might go to trial and a verdict given by a jury. In that case, the judge and jury will examine the evidence presented and the defendant’s arguments, determining whether you’ll receive compensation.
When should I start filing a birth injury claim?
It’s essential to act quickly in filing a claim as soon as you notice your child suffered injuries at birth. The statute of limitations also determines how long a person can take to file a birth injury lawsuit.
In New York, the mother has two years to file a medical malpractice case for injuries caused during the child’s birth. The state law enhances the time for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit for an infant for up to three years.
In case of an infant’s disability from medical negligence, you’ll have up to three years after the end of the disability or the death of the victim. However, New York’s statute of limitation can’t be tolled for over ten years. That means you’ll need to file the birth injury lawsuit before the child is ten when an injury occurs during labor or delivery.
When serious birth injuries result in the wrongful death of a newborn child, the New York law allows you to commence your lawsuit within two and a half years. If the child’s injury was continuously treated, this statute of limitation would run from the last treatment day.
Want a birth injury lawyer in Queens, NY? The Spektor Law firm is here for you!
At the Spektor Law Firm in Queens, New York, we’re dedicated to helping parents overcome the emotional stress and financial hardship that results from preventable birth injuries. We offer aggressive and compassionate legal representation to birth injury victims, giving you the monetary compensation you need for medical recovery and closure. Call 888-797-7755 for a free consultation today!