Negligence Leading To Birth Injuries
Nothing is more devastating for a parent than seeing their child suffer. Perhaps more than any other time of life, childbirth is a time of expectations and joy. When those feelings are juxtaposed against a reality involving a serious injury to your newborn, no one else could possibly understand what you are going through. That being said, help is available for the difficult times ahead.
Understanding the difference between birth injuries and birth defects is crucial. While a birth defect has genetic implications, a birth injury occurs during delivery or shortly afterward. Certainly, some are unavoidable. But sadly, sometimes those injuries are the result of negligence and could have been circumvented. If your baby was born with complications resulting in serious injuries or death, consulting an experienced personal injury attorney may be advisable.
The types of newborn injuries that may occur include:
- Nerve injury: Pressure on facial nerves may occur due to forceps use or other problems. Sometimes this damage requires surgical correction.
- Spinal cord injury: This can be caused by overstretching during delivery, and can be permanent.
- Bleeding in the brain: It can ultimately result in deformities in the skull bones. The outcomes for this type of injury can range from short term to permanent seizures and high bilirubin levels or an underdeveloped brain.
- Perinatal Asphyxia: Resulting from a number of causes, the oxygen reduction can lead to learning disorders, and even cerebral palsy.
Duty of Care
When medical professionals fail to meet the legal standards for duty of care, they may be liable for damages. What might a breach of care look like?
- Failure to monitor the mother and baby adequately;
- Prescribing dangerous medications;
- Failing to recognize and diagnose an infection or nutrient deficiency;
- Using too much force during delivery.
Furthermore, when pharmaceutical companies provide confusing labels or market dangerous products for pregnant women, even though they are aware of the risks involved, those companies may be liable for injuries.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit is based on the discovery rule. In other words, the clock starts ticking at the time the medical problem was discovered. That may be at the time of birth, or as long as several years later. In Florida, you have two years from the time the injury was discovered, and not more than four years after birth. If a fatality is involved, the suit must be filed within two years of the death.
Your child’s health is so much more valuable than any dollar amount could possibly reflect. That being said, if your child has a serious injury, you may be looking years of medical expenses on top of pain and suffering and the loss of the companionship and enjoyment you’d been hoping for. Consider, too, the loss of wages you may have to deal with in order to care for your child.
Let the experienced Daytona Beach legal team at the Law Offices of Robert W. Elton help you through this difficult process. Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation.