Your Complete Birth Injury Guide
From the moment a mother finds out she is pregnant, it is important to make sure proper monitoring is done and that the mother is completely aware of the situation. There are a number of factors of which to be aware, such as vital signs, heart rate, and glucose. The doctor must make sure that the mother and baby are monitored or there may be an increased risk of a serious birth injury. This is a situation that not many mothers are aware of, making it difficult to fully understand what’s happening, what it means for the child, and how it affects the lives of baby and the mother.
At Hampton & King, our Houston birth injury attorneys want to make sure you are fully aware of what can happen during the pregnancy and labor process. While it is important to make sure you and the baby receive the best possible treatment, you must keep in mind that you have the right to take legal action if a birth injury was caused by negligence. Our firm provides a complete birth injury guide you so you can understand what birth injuries are, what causes them, who can be held accountable and more.
Types of Birth Injuries
When it comes to birth injury types, there are several that can affect you or your baby. The effects can range from muscle-related damage to brain trauma to physical or mental disabilities. Birth injuries are wide ranging and can be caused by a number of factors, but understanding some of the causes is important. For instance, the umbilical cord may wrap around a baby’s neck, causing perinatal asphyxia in which the baby does not receive enough oxygen to the brain. This situation can result in a serious brain injury or even worse, death.
Other birth injuries can include cerebral palsy, brachial plexus, Erb’s palsy, Klumpke’s palsy, and Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE). Statistics show that roughly 6 to 8 babies out of every 1,000 are born with some kind of birth injury. This correlates to about 28,000 babies born each year with a birth injury. Some of the most common include hypoxia, bone fractures, spinal cord injuries, facial paralysis, and intracranial hemorrhage.
Birth Injury Causes
Birth injuries can occur either during the pregnancy, during delivery, or immediately following birth, and for a number of reasons. Different birth injuries are caused by different factors, but may commonly include:
- Failure to monitor fetal heart rate or distress;
- Umbilical cord compression or prolapse;
- Delayed delivery;
- Use of forceps or vacuum.
These actions can result in serious injuries and it is important to determine who is liable in these types of accidents. This is why you receive help to determine liability, examine the birth injury, potential causes, and more.
Depending on the situation, there are a number of parties who may be considered liable in a birth injury case. Sometimes, liability falls on the doctor who is performing the delivery or who was to be monitoring the mother and baby over the course of the pregnancy. In other situations, however, liability may fall on the hospital if it did not monitor the baby properly or if the nurses did not communicate essential information to the doctor. If a nurse is monitoring the mother and baby during labor and fails to notice need for an emergency delivery, the hospital may be held accountable as well.
Many effects of birth injuries require long-term care and treatment. Some cases require numerous surgeries to help correct the problem. It is a situation in which the baby’s quality of life may be affected and future use of a wheelchair or other needs for assistance is necessary. As the child grows, he or she may also need to undergo physical therapy. These may be all parts of a claim if you decide to pursue legal action.
Filing a Claim
It is important to understand that you may have legal options if your baby suffered a birth injury. As devastating as birth injuries are to the health of your baby, they can also impact your financial well-being due to medical bills, future medical needs, and special equipment you may need to buy. You may be able to file a claim designed to help you seek compensation from the liable parties and help you cover expenses accrued over the time you or your baby spent in the hospital or for future medical treatment.
Damages To Which You May Be Entitled
Depending on the situation, you may be able to file a claim seeking damages for pain and suffering, hospital bills, and future treatment. If you — the mother — were injured by some kind of birth injury, and were forced to miss an extensive period of time from work, a claim may cover the lost wages as well.
Before you do anything, it is best to speak with a Houston birth injury lawyer. Having skilled representation on your side can help you determine the cause of the injury, who was liable, and what action may be taken. Our firm is dedicated to protecting the rights of individuals who have suffered at the hands of someone else.
Call us today to discuss your potential claim.