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What Constitutes a Birth Injury Lawsuit?

Jul 12, 2022

Expectant mothers and soon-to-be infants are vulnerable during labor and childbirth. While giving birth is much safer today than it was decades ago, thanks to advancements in modern medicine, complications may still arise and cause birth injuries to newborns.

What Constitutes a Birth Injury Lawsuit?

Some types of birth injuries are unavoidable, even with the highest level of medical care. However, birth injuries may happen due to the medical negligence of hospital staff like obstetricians, nurses, nurse practitioners, lab technicians, anesthesiologists, and physician's assistants. Hospitals, clinics, and pharmaceutical companies may also be at fault for birth injuries.

If your child suffers severe injuries at birth due to medical errors, you may be able to file a birth injury lawsuit. A successful lawsuit can help you recover financial compensation after taking legal action against the medical provider liable for your child's preventable birth injury. With the help of an experienced birth injuries lawyer, you can get the justice you deserve, recoup your financial losses, and get your life back on track after your child's injury during the delivery process.

What Are Birth Injury Lawsuits?

A birth injury lawsuit is a legal action filed to seek justice and financial compensation for the medical negligence of doctors, nurses, or other medical professionals responsible for a child's injuries. Parents are often compelled to file birth injury claims in Wyoming once they discover their child suffered from a preventable birth injury caused by medical errors or negligence.

During a birth injury lawsuit, attorneys representing the plaintiffs and defendants build cases and try to reach an agreement to settle the case. Compensation won after a medical malpractice case can help cover medical expenses associated with the injury and give your child a shot at a better quality of life.

The compensation you receive after a birth injury lawsuit may help pay for:

  • Medications
  • Surgery
  • Special education costs
  • Mobility aids
  • Physical therapy
  • Adaptive equipment
  • Nursing and special care

Types of Birth Injuries That Could Require an Attorney

After medical negligence leads to your child's birth injuries, there are different types of birth injury lawsuits you can file depending on your specific case. A knowledgeable birth injury lawyer from Wyoming can help you find out if you are eligible to file a claim after your child sustains birth injuries during the birthing process. Here are various types of birth injuries that may require the help of a lawyer.

Birth Defects

A birth defect is a problem that forms while the baby is still in the womb. Teratogenic drugs and untreated infections may lead to birth defects in newborns. A teratogen is any substance that interferes with the normal development of a fetus.

During pregnancy, your physician should avoid prescribing drugs that risk birth defects, including medications like isotretinoin, sulfonamides, and nitrofurantoin. These drugs may cause birth defects such as anencephaly, cleft lip, and heart defects.

Undiagnosed infections during pregnancy may also lead to birth defects. Zika virus, chickenpox, syphilis, genital herpes, rubella, toxoplasmosis, and cytomegalovirus are potential causes of birth defects. Infectious diseases may lead to severe fetal harm and cause functional birth defects, such as hearing loss or visual problems.

Medical professionals should exercise accepted standards of care when prescribing drugs for pregnant mothers to avoid a compromised delivery process. If a doctor prescribes a drug that causes harm to the fetus or fails to diagnose an infection during pregnancy, both the mother and fetus may be at risk.

Birth Trauma

Sometimes during delivery, a baby may suffer physical injury as a result of medical negligence. This is considered birth trauma. Injuries to the baby that result from mechanical forces such as traction or compression can cause birth trauma. Large babies, prematurity, prolonged labor, abnormal birthing presentation, and dystocia are some of the causes of birth trauma.

Birth trauma can also happen when a doctor uses excessive force during delivery. If your infant's birth trauma is caused by negligent medical mistakes that could have otherwise been prevented, you should consider filing a birth injury claim.

Wrongful Death

The wrongful death of a fetus can happen when medical professionals don't exercise the accepted standard of care before, during, or shortly after delivery. If a doctor doesn't quickly respond to trauma, your newborn's injuries, if severe,  may become fatal. Hemorrhaging, damage to the spine, and severe skull fractures are some of the causes of wrongful deaths in infants. Lack of oxygen, which eventually leads to brain damage, can also lead to the wrongful death of your newborn.

Spastic Quadriplegia, Perinatal Asphyxia, and Brachial Plexus Birth Injury

Perinatal asphyxia is described as a failure to establish breathing at birth. Lack of oxygen or a decrease in blood flow can lead to birth asphyxia. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 900,000 deaths occur every year due to perinatal asphyxia.

Spastic quadriplegia is a form of cerebral palsy characterized by spasticity that affects the whole body. It is the most severe form of cerebral palsy, affecting both legs and arms. Children with spastic quadriplegia usually cannot walk and often experience other developmental issues such as intellectual disability.

Brachial plexus birth injury is an injury to an infant's brachial plexus nerves during a difficult delivery. This type of birth injury can happen when a newborn's neck is stretched to one side, causing nerve damage. It may also happen due to prolonged labor, a large baby, or a breech presentation. 

Cognitive Impairments

Medical negligence during pregnancy and delivery can result in preventable brain damage and associated cognitive impairment. This type of birth injury may occur when medical professionals fail to diagnose signs of fetal distress during pregnancy and delivery. Lack of oxygen or loss of blood during the birthing process may lead to cognitive impairment.

An Outline of the Legal Process for a Birth Injury Lawsuit Case

Although every birth injury lawsuit in Wyoming is different, most cases follow a similar process. A birth injury lawyer with experience in the trial process can guide you throughout the claims process, ensuring you file your case before Wyoming's statute of limitations expires. Here's what to expect during a birth injury lawsuit:

  • Free case review at The Spence Law Firm
  • Gather evidence such as medical records, diagnostic reports, and deposition testimony
  • Send a demand letter
  • File a birth injury lawsuit
  • Proceed to the discovery phase
  • Negotiate a settlement
  • Settlement or, if need be, a trial and appeal

Hire Experienced Birth Injury Lawyers To Get the Compensation You Deserve

Medical negligence by doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals during delivery may force your child to require long-term treatment and care. Such permanent birth injuries can often be prevented when physicians apply the accepted standards of care during childbirth.

If you believe your child has suffered birth injuries due to medical malpractice, contact The Spence Law Firm for sound legal guidance. Our experienced legal team helps parents get justice and compensation after birth injuries due to medical negligence. Get started today to find out if you qualify to file a birth injury lawsuit.

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