Michigan Birth Injury Lawyer
Having a baby should be one of the greatest moments of your life. However, injuries sustained during birth can be life changing, not just for your newly arrived infant, but also for you, the parents. It is your legal right to seek compensation for the injuries and suffering caused by medical mistakes.
The attorneys at Michigan Injury Lawyers are here to advise you when your child is injured during birth. We have successfully helped many parents throughout Michigan claim for medical malpractice that has occurred during the birth of their child. Recovering compensation may be the last thing on your mind, but it is important to ensure that your child will have the financial means available to meet all of their ongoing medical and care costs for the rest of their lives. Our lawyers can help you take the first steps in evaluating your case and handle any claim on your behalf.
The Extent of Birth Injuries in the United Status
According to a 2012 report from Medscape, birth injuries still affect approximately six to eight babies per 1,000 live births. Their report shows that several factors can increase the risk of birth injuries and trauma, including large babies weighing over 9.9 lbs and assisted deliveries using instruments such as forceps or vacuum. Often injuries are overcome and the child will go on to lead a normal happy life. However, some are not so lucky and will suffer long lasting and sometimes severe cognitive health problems, requiring a lifetime of care and treatment.
Cases involving birth trauma can often be complex, covering numerous medical and legal issues. There can be many determining factors when it comes to compensation, such as whether risk factors were taken into consideration before and during the delivery. Seeking legal advice is important therefore to ensure your child is fully represented and that the compensation awarded is a full and true amount in respect of the injuries suffered.
Birth-Related Injuries and Trauma
Problems during labor and delivery can result in a baby suffering trauma or being deprived of oxygen (known as hypoxia). Oxygen deprivation can cause severe brain damage, while trauma can result in many other injuries and conditions. It is important to note that birth injuries are not the same as birth defects, which can be due to genetic faults during pregnancy or inherited from the parents.
Injuries caused at birth are the result of something going wrong during labor and delivery. These injuries and traumas could include:
- Cerebral palsy
- Brachial plexus injuries which cause Erb’s Palsy or Klumpke’s Palsy
- Brain damage
- Broken bones
- Bleeding/hemorrhaging on the brain
- Spinal cord injuries
- Facial paralysis
- Perinatal asphyxia
Compensation is not only available for injuries caused to the baby, but can also be claimed for medical complications which affect the mother. These could include failure to diagnose the condition pre-eclampsia, or failing to control excessive blood loss during delivery. There can also be many other ‘red flags’ during labor and after birth, such as a low APGAR score, the infant needing intensive medical treatment, or failing to fulfill normal development milestones.
In such cases it is vital that you talk with a lawyer experienced in birth trauma cases in Michigan, to determine if your doctor or hospital was negligent and as a result caused your baby harm.
Determining Fault in Birth Injury Cases
Cases of birth injuries and trauma can occur when the doctor or care provider responsible for the care of the mother and baby fail in some way to live up to their obligations. Doctors may be held legally responsible if it is determined that their actions were negligent and it can be proved they were the direct cause of the baby’s injuries. Hospitals and clinics can also be held liable if the actions of their staff, or their policies relating to labor and delivery, resulted in injury to mother and/or baby.
Determining whether or not a doctor acted negligently during labor and delivery comes down to comparing their actions with what a reasonable physician, with similar expertise, would have done in the same situation. If it is determined their level of care fell short of what would be reasonably expected then you may have the basis of a claim for medical negligence.
Possible negligence and mistakes on the physician’s behalf could include:
- Failing to monitor the mother and baby for signs of fetal distress; or failing to identify fetal distress.
- Failing to diagnose the symptoms of pre-eclampsia and maternal diabetes which can affect the well-being of mother and baby before and during labor.
- Allowing labor to progress too slowly or letting it go on too long.
- Improperly administering labor inducing drugs, such as Pitocin.
- Improper or aggressive use of forceps or vacuum
- Failing to respond quickly and correctly to the infant becoming stuck in the birth canal (known as shoulder dystocia).
If negligence is suspected it is important that the baby’s medical records are evaluated by an independent medical expert to help determine your claim. An attorney from Michigan Injury Lawyers can help you in obtaining your medical records and in finding an expert to testify in a medical malpractice claim.
Our lawyers are experienced litigators and as skilled negotiators, we can offer the best chance of succeeding in court or in settling your claim. We will work to ensure that you and your child receive fair compensation for all injuries sustained and that your legal rights are fully protected.
Contact Michigan Injury Lawyers today to schedule a free consultation and to find out how we can help.