Birth Injury Attorneys in New York
Birth injuries and birth defects that are caused during labor are devastating tragedies that leave families worried, angry, confused, and unsure as to how to handle the next steps in their baby’s life—and possibly for the child’s lifetime. The best medical care may be prohibitively expensive and many families are unable to manage what is needed for an injury that was caused by the neglect of someone else.
Injury during birth, to mother or child, may constitute medical malpractice. Medical malpractice or negligence takes place when a health care professional or facility does not treat a patient in compliance with the accepted standards of the medical profession and if a patient becomes injured or ill while under medical care. Should the patient’s condition or illness worsen due to the alleged inappropriate care or negligence that also constitutes medical malpractice.
New York Medical Malpractice Law
Under New York Medical Malpractice Law, individuals with valid claims of medical injury, including birth injuries, may be able seek compensation from doctors, hospitals, and other medical personnel or facilities who/that are allegedly responsible for the baby’s/babies or mother’s birth injury. Parker Waichman LLP is an expert in New York personal injury law, including birth injuries, and the provisions for what damages may be claimed, including medical expenses, pain, suffering, and lost income.
Parker Waichman LLP’s New York attorneys have a long and successful history in New York and understand the heartache of having a baby born with a birth injury or who dies or the mother suffering injury or death during childbirth. Parker Waichman has decades of experience in working with families in an effective, compassionate, confidential manner, fighting for you so that you may focus on your family.
What Causes a Birth Injury or Birth Defect During Childbirth?
Close to 157,700 potentially preventable injuries were suffered by mothers and newborns during childbirth in one year alone. Medical and surgical instruments, including forceps and vacuums comprised the greatest number of injury rates, according to the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. Although the birth injury rate has decreased by over 20 percent since 2000, the number of medical mistakes made in New York hospitals remains very high. The incidence of birth injuries in 2017 is seven in every 1,000 live births.
Injuries may occur when an obstetrician or other member of the OB/GYN team makes an error during a birth that harms the baby during delivery, including using excessive force, administering dangerous drugs or drugs that sicken the baby, and pulling on the baby’s neck as the baby moves down the birth canal causing shoulder dystocia. Shoulder dystocia leads to brachial palsy, a condition that leads to significant nerve damage at the base of the baby’s neck. This damage may cause your baby to be unable to walk or use his or her arms and hands.
Some types of birth injuries include:
- Bone Fractures
- Brachial Plexus Injury
- Brain Damage
- Broken Bones
- Cerebral Palsy
- Cesarean Section (C-Section) Errors
- Clavicle Fracture
- Collarbone Fracture
- Erb’s Palsy
- Facial Paralysis
- Forceps Injury
- HIE: Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy
- Scalp Lacerations
- Shoulder Dystocia
- Umbilical Cord Problems
When a child suffers a birth injury such as cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, or shoulder dystocia, it is often a result of negligence such as birth and delivery trauma, C-section injuries, hypoxia and brain injury, neonatal error, HIE, and pediatric malpractice.
It may be difficult to determine the cause of cerebral palsy as the reason for the condition may vary significantly from one person to another; however, in some cases, cerebral palsy may be caused by labor difficulties such as the baby receiving an insufficient amount of oxygen during or after birth. Duration of labor may also cause cerebral palsy.
For example, when labor lasts for more than 18 hours, the labor is considered a risk factor in the development of cerebral palsy, especially if there is more than one birth taking place. Should the baby be dropped soon after birth, this may also lead to cerebral palsy.
Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) is a type of brain damage that occurs when an infant’s brain does not receive sufficient oxygen and blood during childbirth.
Other C-Section Delivery Errors
A Cesarean delivery, known as a C-section, is a surgical procedure used to deliver a baby under specific circumstances. In some cases, the C-section surgery may be planned ahead of time should pregnancy complications or the mother’s prior history suggests that a C-section is the best course of medical action. In some situations, the need for a Cesarean delivery may not be known until the mother is in labor. In the United States, Cesarean sections comprise approximately 20 percent of all deliveries performed.
When C-section mistakes happen, results may be catastrophic. Failure to perform a timely C-section or to follow surgical protocol during the procedure may cause serious injury and death for the mother and her child. There are two fundamental errors that may occur during a C-section delivery: Failure to perform a timely C-section and errors during the C-section due to hospital staff negligence or incompetence. In addition to normal surgery risks, dangers exist if the C-section is delayed or mishandled, causing injuries to the mother and baby.
If a C-section is not performed within sufficient time in some cases, the procedure may lead to oxygen deprivation and other problems for the baby and may involve a failure to note signs that labor is not progressing or that the baby is experiencing fetal distress during delivery. These delays may lead to cerebral palsy, brain damage and even death and may cause injuries to both the mother and baby, including internal organ perforation or damage, nerve damage, heart and lung problems, blood clots, and hemorrhage.
Filing a Birth Injury
If you or someone you know is interested in filing a birth injury lawsuit, contact the personal injury attorneys at Parker Waichman today. For more information call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, and Florida
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