West Palm Beach Birth Injury Lawyer
For every 1000 babies, 6-8 children are born with birth injuries in the United States. Research has shown that out of these, 50% of birth injuries could possibly have been avoidable and may be the result of the negligence of the medical team involved during the birth.
Birth injuries can have detrimental effects on the child, the mother, and their family, which can last a lifetime. While some of these injuries may be noticeable immediately, such as the baby turning pale or blue due to lack of oxygen, etc. Other symptoms of a birth injury may surface later in life. These include behavioral problems, impaired motor skills, and so on. In the most serious cases, the baby/s or the mother may lose their life during the birth.
If you or your baby have been hurt in a birth injury case in the state of Florida, we are ready to help you file a claim for damages against the practitioners at fault. Depending on who was involved, you may be able to file a claim against your doctor, the nurses, the midwives, and any other medical practitioners present during the time of birth or in charge of monitoring you and your child during pregnancy and immediately after the birth. Contact the legal team at Frankl & Kominsky Injury Lawyers for a free consultation and case evaluation.What is a Birth Injury?
Birth injuries may occur when a woman is in labor or even during the delivery itself. The physical pressure exerted on the mother and the child during the process of removing the child from the birth canal may lead to birth injuries. These injuries can be small or have dangerous consequences such as nerve damage in the child. In some cases, the mother may also be harmed due to a birth injury, and her life may be at risk.
Even if the mother and her child are monitored closely during the entire pregnancy period and during the birth itself, failure to identify signals for problems that need to be diagnosed and treated puts them both at risk.
Birth injuries can also result from surgical errors when medical practitioners fail to comply with certified medical standards. These practitioners can be charged with a claim for medical malpractice.Main Types of Birth Injuries
The mother and the child are at the risk of sustaining a number of different birth injuries such as:
- Brain damage or broken bones in the child due to the pressure of delivery.
- Restricted oxygen supply to the baby during birth, which may cause permanent disabilities such as cerebral palsy, which affects a person’s ability to move around and their general posture.
- Brain injuries and skull fractures caused by the improper use of forceps.
- Excessive blood loss and seizures in the mother due to complications in the procedure.
- Erb’s palsy caused due to nerve damage during the birth – while Erb’s palsy may be treatable, the medical expense involved is still quite high.
- Bleeding under a cranial bone which causes health problems like jaundice in the baby.
- Epilepsy caused by head trauma during the birth.
While several birth injuries are treatable or may allow the patient to recover on their own over time, others may lead to a lifetime of physical or mental impairment.Birth Injuries That Lead to Injury Claims
Serious birth injuries include:
- Brain damage
- Hemorrhaging in the mother that may lead to loss of life
- Stillborn babies or babies who pass away soon after being born.
Birth injuries may arise due to a number of errors, including but not limited to the following:Lack of Proper Communication
Medical practitioners may not clearly convey to women, the precautions they need to follow when they are pregnant all the way up to the birth of their child. They may also set unrealistic expectations in the mother about the type of care she and her baby will receive through the entire process of the birth of her child.Careless in Tracking the Baby’s Progress – Insufficient Prenatal Testing
Throughout her pregnancy, the mother will have a number of appointments to track the baby’s progress. This includes monitoring the heart patterns, the growth, and position of the fetus, etc. Carelessness on the part of the health professional may lead to them misreading the child’s heart patterns, not noticing any errors which may lead to serious problems during and after birth.
Common pregnancy and birth complications that need to be monitored include:
- Preeclampsia: high blood pressure and organ damage in the mother’s body due to her pregnancy. In these cases, the child may need to be delivered ahead of time to avoid serious physical harm to the mother (which in itself leads to additional complications).
- Eclampsia: a complication in patients experiencing preeclampsia, which leads to seizures during pregnancy (it is possible in patients who have no previous history of seizures).
- Placenta Previa: a condition that causes women to bleed during their pregnancy and birth. This needs to be monitored closely by doctors who are required to provide pregnant women with tips to avoid excessive bleeding during pregnancy and may also require a C-section. The risk of not taking proper precautions during the birth may cause the woman to hemorrhage and potentially lose her life.
- Placental Abruption: this can reduce the supply of oxygen and other nutrients to the baby and may lead to heavy bleeding in the mother. It puts both the mother and her unborn child’s life in danger.
Since many pregnancy and birth complications have overlapping symptoms, medical practitioners need to be vigilant in order to make the correct diagnosis and keep the mother and the baby safe.Untrained Midwives
While all midwives practicing at a proper medical facility need to be licensed, the board they receive their certification from may vary. Furthermore, their expertise and skills are also quite different. An inexperienced midwife may not be able to react to emergency situations during the birth or be able to follow the standard birthing procedure, which may be the cause of a birth injury.Medical Malpractice During Labor and Delivery
Nearly half of all birth injury cases are the result of negligence by the medical team during the labor and delivery time period. This may include performing a natural birth when a C-section is required (or vice versa), etc. In some cases, medical practitioners realize the need for a C-section once the natural delivery is underway or when it becomes too dangerous for both the mother and the baby to undergo surgery. Excessive use of the labor inducing drug Pitocin, failure to treat jaundice, improper use of forceps or vacuum extractor during the delivery may also lead to complications.Incorrect Prescriptions during Pregnancy
Doctors are required to monitor all the medication being consumed by a pregnant woman because certain medicines can lead to birth injuries. Even medication for other health concerns such as acne may contain ingredients that can cause complications in the baby or during birth.
For conditions that exist during the pregnancy and are likely to increase the chances of birth injuries, medical practitioners are legally required to let patients know about the risks involved and the measures they can take to lower them.Practitioners under the Influence
If a medical practitioner is under the influence when they are delivering a baby, this may lead to serious birth injuries and unnecessary complications in the case.Can You Pursue a Claim for Birth Injuries in Florida?
If you or your child suffered a birth injury, you may have a claim for medical malpractice. Careless or negligent mistakes on the part of medical practitioners can affect your and your baby’s life forever. You can pursue a claim against the parties at-fault to obtain compensation for the damages incurred.Medical Expenses
Birth injuries can involve extensive and expensive medical treatment. This involves surgery, diagnostic tests, rehabilitation, and potential long-term care for injuries that are permanent (such as lifetime disabilities in the newborn child, physical impairments in the mother, etc.). You may be able to recover these expenses through compensation for your current and projected medical damages with a birth injury claim.Pain and Suffering
Birth injuries may leave children with mental and physical disabilities. Apart from the physical pain experienced by the mother, she will have to deal with the additional responsibility of caring for her child’s special needs. The mother may also suffer from post-partum depression and other mental and emotional ailments such as PTSD and anxiety. In these cases, she may even require psychiatric help, which will become an additional expense.Home Modifications & Additional Equipment
Many serious side effects of birth injuries include children growing up with physical and mental disabilities such as cerebral palsy, paralysis, posture issues, and negatively impacted general motor skills. This might require the need for additional equipment such as a wheelchair for a child who is paralyzed, the construction of ramps, and the like within the home to allow the child to move around freely, etc. Some of these expenses are one-time while others incur minor expenses throughout your child’s life.Wrongful Death
Birth injuries put the life of the mother and her child/children at risk. In case either or both of them lose their lives, their family can pursue a wrongful death claim in court.What is a Life Care Plan?
As we mentioned, birth injuries may lead to permanent impairment in your child. This means that you need to plan your child’s future, which includes medical care and additional expenses such as the need for special education, rehabilitation, and physical therapy.
The legal team at Frankl & Kominsky Injury Lawyers are available to work with you to establish a plan for future care.The Purpose of Filing a Birth Injury Lawsuit
While some parents remain silent when they or their children are the victims of a birth injury, it is important to pursue a claim because:
- The medical expenses of recovering from a birth injury are quite high. For patients that incurred permanent physical or mental damage, this expense will last a lifetime. Filing a lawsuit will help you pursue your rightful compensation to take care of you and your child’s medical needs.
- The practitioners involved in the case may possibly become more vigilant in their practice (if they are not already under the three strike rule) and will be careful in avoiding birth injuries in the future.
The Florida Statute of Limitations regarding medical malpractice is two years, starting from the date of injury. In cases where the damage incurred due to a birth injury appears after some time, then the statute is extended to up to 4 years after the incident.
In special cases, under Tony’s Bill, children born after July 1st, 1996, may be allowed to file for damages until the age of eight years. However, the case may not be valid if the parents/guardians were aware of any birth injury and medical malpractice and did not come forward at the time.
It is important to file a birth injury claim as soon as the problem is detected. Contact our attorneys for a case evaluation and to discuss your legal options.The Florida Three Strike Rule
According to the Florida three-strike rule, medical practitioners will have their medical license revoked if there have been three verdicts, proven by clear and convincing evidence, against the physician for medical malpractice claims.Hiring a Palm Beach County Birth Injury Lawyer
Birth injury cases may not always be straightforward. This is because medical malpractice lawsuits generally require medical experts who can verify and validate your claims. Their testimony, in combination with your medical records, will be necessary to establish the fault of the medical practitioners handling your birthing case. The aim is to prove that the medical practitioner’s actions were below certified medical standards in order to be able to recover damages.Start Your Consultation with Frankl & Kominsky Injury Lawyers
Frankl & Kominsky Injury Lawyers have a team of experienced attorneys who are available to assist you with your birth injury claim. We will gather the necessary evidence and documents, including detailed reviews of your medical records. Furthermore, we will also help you find medical experts who are certified and credible to assist with establishing your claim. If you are unable to come in for a consultation, we will come to your home or hospital seven days a week. We are fluent in English, Spanish, and Creole, and we aim to help anyone affected by medical malpractice.
Your first consultation with Frankl & Kominsky Injury Lawyers is absolutely free. Reach out to us through our website or call at:
- (561) – 800 – 8000, Boynton Beach
- (954) – 800 – 8000, Pompano Beach
While advances in technology have reduced the number of birth injuries in the United States over time, the number is still quite high. A large portion of the birth injuries in the States is due to medical malpractice. The medical team’s inability to properly monitor the condition of the mother and the child cause birth injuries that have a lasting physical and mental impact and are costly to treat. If you or someone you love has been affected by a birth injury, you can pursue a claim for damages and obtain the compensation that can help you and your child afford the care you deserve.