In the United States, three babies born every hour suffer from a birth-related injury—that’s 72 babies per day, and 539 per week. These injuries, many of which can be devastating and permanent, include Erb’s palsy, cerebral palsy, intracranial hemorrhaging, and spinal cord injuries. Many families that experience birth injuries must secure 24/7 care for their injured newborns, sometimes indefinitely. If you need help understanding you and your child’s legal rights following a birth-related injury, today.
Brain injuries sustained at birth can range from moderate to severe, and may be caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain, physical trauma from a prolonged delivery, or an infection transmitted from the mother to the child. Many birth injuries are preventable and the result of medical malpractice or negligence. The majority of obstetricians, midwives, gynecologists, and nurses are diligent, professional, and easily able to recognize and resolve potential problems; however, injuries do occur. If your child sustained a brain injury at birth because a member of your healthcare team failed to follow standard procedures or properly manage delivery in a timely manner, then you have not received the highest possible standard of care, and may have a strong case for seeking compensation from those responsible.
Birth Injury versus Birth Defect
Birth defects, also known as congenital disabilities, are genetic, and most are not preventable. Birth injuries result from harm during the baby’s delivery, and many are preventable. Birth injuries often result from human error, such as medical malpractice or negligence. Common causes of birth injuries are:
- Vacuum extraction delivery
- Forceps delivery
- Umbilical cord problems
- Placental abruption
- Uterine rupture
- Premature rupture of the membranes
- Premature birth
- Prolonged and arrested labor
- Anesthesia mistakes
- Fetal stroke
- Abnormal presentations
- Preeclampsia and eclampsia
Common types of birth injuries include:
- Cerebral palsy resulting from lack of oxygen to the brain during labor or delivery
- Brain damage from skull fractures due to forceps pressure or lack of oxygen
- Death from complications during labor or delivery
- Injury to the brachial plexus from stretching or tearing the nerves in the neck or shoulders
- Facial disfigurements from the use of forceps or a vacuum extraction
How much compensation a family that experienced birth injuries or a newborn’s death may be entitled to depends on the specific circumstances surrounding the incident, including the type, severity, and anticipated short term and long-term effects of the injury. Some signs and symptoms of injury may be evident immediately following the birth, while others may not be detected until the child begins to miss expected developmental milestones.
Some signs and symptoms that can immediately follow a child’s birth, and that may indicate a potential injury or other problem include:
- Facial and head trauma
- Cardiac or respiratory irregularities
- Poor muscle tone
- Discoloration of the skin
- Facial paralysis
- Difficulty feeding
- Problems sleeping
Other symptoms may develop slowly over months, or even years. Given this long potential delay, hire an experienced attorney to review your case and assess your options as soon as you notice any signs of a birth-related injury. Ivan M. Diamond has significant experience representing the parents of children who have suffered injuries at birth. Mr. Diamond understands the emotional trauma that can accompany any physical injuries, and provides legal guidance to families who are suffering.
Contact the Law Offices of Ivan M. Diamond today to schedule a free consultation to assess the validity of your claim. Mr. Diamond will evaluate who may be held responsible, and the potential for recovering compensation for your child’s injuries; he has wide availability, and is willing to meet with you at night after work, or at the hospital.
The Staggering Cost of Raising a Child With Special Needs
Raising a child with special needs, or who suffers from a lifelong birth-related injury, can be costly. Mobility issues, developmental delays, cognitive impairment, and learning disabilities all create challenges that may require constant and/or long-term medical care. Affording this additional, and sometimes unexpected, childcare is a challenge for many families, and paying for an attorney to pursue justice for your child may seem impossible. Fortunately, the Law Offices of Ivan M. Diamond charge a contingency fee; which means your attorney will only collect attorney’s fees if he successfully secures you and your family compensation for your child’s injuries.
While not all birth injuries result in permanent disabilities or the need for long-term medical care, they can still be costly, and may include specialized treatment and extended hospital stays. Regardless of whether your child sustained a short term or long-term injury at birth, you and your family may still be eligible to seek compensation for the following expenses:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages for parents to be with the child at the hospital and at home
- Pain and suffering for what your child endured
- Mental anguish
Additionally, families may be eligible to seek compensation for future expenses related to any birth injuries, including:
- Medical expenses
- Prescription medication costs
- Home modifications to accommodate any injury
- Occupational, physical, and behavioral therapies
- Specialized educational methods
- Adaptive equipment
If you have experienced the heartbreak of a birth-related injury, contact the Law Offices of Ivan M. Diamond today at (718) 588-2000, or online, to help get your life back on track. It is never too soon to have an attorney begin reviewing evidence related to your child’s injury, and to start developing a case strategy. No child should be forced to endure a shortened lifespan, many years of specialized care, or death due to a preventable birth-related brain injury. Your family may have a strong personal injury claim, or a wrongful death claim if birth injuries caused the death of your child, and hiring an experienced attorney can help to ensure you secure the compensation that you deserve.
Having an experienced personal injury attorney on your side can help during negotiations with insurance companies, hospital attorneys, and health care providers. Do not sign any documents except your child’s birth certificates without first speaking with an attorney. The lawyers representing the insurance companies do not have your best interest in mind; their primary role is to mitigate the responsibility of their clients, and ensure the lowest possible settlement amount.
There are numerous services available to victims of birth-related injuries, and the New York State Department of Health publishes a directory of those services. Finally, make sure to consider your child’s financial future as well as your own. You are able to create a special needs trust to hold any money you may receive as a settlement or damages award, which will prevent the loss of any federal benefits (such as Medicaid or supplemental security income) that you may also be entitled to. The Law Offices of Ivan M. Diamond can help further explain these possibilities as well.
Call The Law Offices of Ivan M. Diamond for a Free Consultation
No amount of compensation can fully make up for your child’s death or permanent disability sustained at birth, but seeking justice can help heal medical, financial, and emotional wounds. Let the Law Offices of Ivan M. Diamond handle the legal aspects of your claim while you focus on you and your family’s health. Call us at (718) 588-2000 or write to us online.