Medical Negligence Harm Your Child?
Santa Clara Birth Injury Attorney Explains Your Legal Options
A birth injury often causes permanent impairment that affects a child’s entire life. This may be tragic for both parents and child because most birth injuries are preventable. While some are the result of unforeseen complications, many others result from malpractice or negligence on the part of a health care professional. These errors may occur during pregnancy, labor or delivery, and may damage the child’s nervous system, muscles or brain. In some cases, medications or treatments administered to the mother may affect the baby’s growth, causing birth defects and impairment. While a lawsuit cannot undo the harm to your child, the compensation you may receive can help you afford medical treatment and other care necessary to give your son or daughter a comfortable future.
It is estimated that five out of every 1,000 babies born in California are hurt during birth. If your child suffered an injury during birth and you believe negligence or improper medical care was the cause, then you have the right to seek compensation. A birth injury claim may help you recover from the physical, emotional, and financial trauma you have suffered. An experienced Santa Clara birth injury attorney at the Law Offices of Braid Pezzaglia can help you explore and exercise your legal rights.
What Are Common Types of Birth Injuries?
A birth injury typically happens during labor or shortly before labor. However, medical mistakes at any stage of pregnancy could also harm the baby. Some birth injuries result from trauma, often during delivery. These may include:
- Cerebral palsy. This condition occurs when there is damage to the part of the brain that controls mobility. Cerebral palsy characteristics include muscle spasms and tightness, plus decreased function in the arm and leg of the affected side. In severe cases, an extensive injury may affect all limbs and cognitive impairment may result.
- Brachial plexus injury. The brachial plexus is a cluster of nerves in the upper arm and shoulder. Injuries to this nerve can affect arm mobility and sensation.
- Erb’s palsy. A brachial plexus injury may result in Erb’s palsy, which causes partial or total paralysis of the affected arm.
- Fractures. Medical negligence during delivery may result in broken bones, especially if a physician tries to turn or pull the baby from the birth canal.
- Traumatic brain injury. Trauma to an infant’s head can easily cause damage to the brain tissue. This may result in developmental and learning delays, or physical impairment.
In addition to birth injuries caused by trauma, serious damage may also result if the infant’s brain is deprived of oxygen during labor or delivery. Hypoxic brain injuries result from partial loss of oxygen, while anoxic brain injuries happen due to total loss of oxygen. A child can suffer life-long disability or even wrongful death due to this damage. Oxygen deprivation often results from compression of the umbilical cord, prolapse of the umbilical cord, separation of the placenta and rupture of the uterus. Any of these conditions requires an emergency C-section to prevent birth injuries to both mother and baby.
What Are Common Causes of Birth Injuries in California?
Many birth injuries are completely preventable when physicians correctly diagnose and treat maternal and fetal risk factors. However, if healthcare workers fail to monitor mother and child, or make other mistakes, then preventable birth injuries may result. If your child displays signs of birth injuries, then an experienced birth injury attorney will begin by investigating your treatment to determine the cause and the liable party. Common causes of birth injuries include:
- Failure to monitor fetal heart rate
- Medication dosing errors
- Failing to detect and treat infections
- Failing to treat placental abruption or problems with the umbilical cord
- Injury from incorrect use of vacuum suction or forceps during delivery
- Delay or errors in C-section
- Delay in diagnosing and responding to distress in the fetus
Any of these actions may constitute medical malpractice, entitling you to a recovery for your child through a birth injury lawsuit. However, many birth injuries take weeks or even months to start causing symptoms, so it can be difficult to determine the exact cause alone. A qualified lawyer can take steps to investigate your medical history and consult with experts to identify the liable party.
Child Hurt During Delivery? Contact a Birth Injury Attorney in Santa Clara
When a child suffers serious birth injuries, damages in a claim can include initial and future medical expenses, rehabilitation, in-home care or lost wages for the parent, special education, and reduced enjoyment of life. If you believe the injuries you or your child suffered are the result of a healthcare professional’s negligence, then it is important to begin pursuing a claim as soon as possible. The sooner you contact a birth injury attorney, the sooner the investigation into your claim can begin. There is also a statute of limitations in California that applies to filing birth injury claims; this may limit your chances of recovery if you wait too long.
If your child has been seriously injured during labor or delivery, contact our law firm to schedule a free consultation with a birth injury lawyer. We have offices in San Jose and represent clients throughout Santa Clara County.