Birth Injury Lawyer
Childbirth is arguably one of the most beautiful experiences in the life of a parent. Most pregnancies and deliveries performed in the United States occur without complication. Tragically, however, the miracle of childbirth can be spoiled when improper medical care or negligence on the part of doctors or nurses results in a birth injury that will change the lives of the child and parents forever. Cooper Law Partners helps families of babies who were born with severe health complications due to the negligence of their health care providers.
Not every birth injury is caused by negligence. But many birth injuries are caused by healthcare professionals who make unforgivable mistakes during pregnancy and delivery or fail to provide the proper care after the birth of the child. If potential harms to the baby are not properly communicated to the mother and family, or if an injury occurs as a result of negligence on the part of the delivering physician, nurse, or other health care provider, the baby, mother, and other family members may be eligible to pursue damages.
What are Birth Injuries?
Birth injuries are not the same as birth defects. Birth injuries are usually defined as any damage sustained during pregnancy, delivery or immediately after delivery. Factors that may lead to a difficult or dangerous delivery and injury include:
- The size of the mother’s pelvis
- The baby’s position
- The size of the baby
- The number of pregnancies a woman has experienced
- Cephalopelvic disproportion, small maternal stature or maternal pelvic abnormalities
- Prolonged or rapid labor
- A condition characterized by a deficiency of amniotic fluid known as oligohydramnios
- Breech or abnormal birthing position
- Use of mechanical devices such as mid cavity forceps or vacuum to extract the baby from the mother
- Low birth weight or extreme prematurity
- Fetal macrosomia
- Large fetal head
- Fetal anomalies
Some birth injuries are unavoidable, while others are caused by medical negligence. Birth injuries can cause lifelong complications that require expensive medical treatment, therapy, and care for the remainder of the child’s life.
It is essential that health care professionals monitor both the baby and mother during pregnancy and labor for signs of distress such as fetal distress and hypoxia (oxygen deficiency). If they do not, devastating injuries such as brain damage, nerve damage, cerebral palsy, and death may occur. Cerebral Palsy, one of the most devastating health problems caused by medical malpractice during labor or childbirth, is believed to occur due to a lack of oxygen in the infant’s brain during the birthing process. Tragically, cerebral palsy has a lifelong impact on affected babies and their families because it includes several neurological problems that impact muscle coordination, sometimes causing problems with posture, gait, muscle tone, and muscle coordination. Symptoms sometimes include exaggerated reflexes, floppy or rigid limbs, and involuntary motions.
Other serious birth injuries include:
- Bone fractures
- Erb’s Palsy
- Facial paralysis
- Swelling of the baby’s scalp
- Subconjunctival hemorrhage
- Incorrect medication or dosage
- Failure to perform timely cesarean
- Fetal death
- Klumpke palsy
- Shoulder dystocia
- Vacuum extraction injury
- Bruising or forceps marks
- Brain damage
- Cerebral palsy –
- Meconium aspiration syndrome (MAS) – A medical condition in which meconium, the earliest form of an infant’s stool, is present in an infant’s lungs during or before childbirth.
- Nerve damage
Fortunately, the long-term prognosis for the majority of birth injuries is promising. However, some birth injuries may require lifelong treatment and care. It is important to remember that not all symptoms of birth injuries will appear during infancy and the early years of a child’s life. In some cases, birth injuries related to cognition, such as problems with fine motor skills and other developmental disabilities, may not be noticeable until the child gets older.
How Cooper Law Partners Can Help Victims of Birth Injuries
When delivery complications occur, families should contact a Cooper Law Partners birth injury lawyer to help them evaluate their case and determine whether they should sue the responsible parties. The parents of children who suffered birth injuries due to healthcare provider negligence may be entitled to compensation for damages, including the child’s:
- Medical expenses
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish
- Scarring or physical deformities caused by the birth defect or treatment
- Past and future medical expenses
- Future loss of earnings for the parent(s) caring for the child
- Extraordinary care (hiring caregivers, physical therapy, special education, etc.)
If, heaven forbid, a child died due to a birth injury, family members may be entitled to compensation for the wrongful death of their loved one, including:
- Conscious pain and suffering of their child prior to death
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish from the loss of a child
- Funeral expenses
Our team fully understands the challenges created by birth injuries, both immediate and in the long term. Victims and their families are encouraged to seek the advice of the birth injury lawyers at Cooper Law Partners to learn more about their rights and how to proceed with their case.