Becoming a parent may be a joyful event, but sometimes accidents and mistakes can turn the joyous occasion into a devastating one.
One out of every 1,000 babies suffer injuries during birth. While some of these injuries may be unavoidable tragedies, others happen because of negligence or medical malpractice. Certain severe birth injuries can potentially result in life-long health problems or even a disability.
This also means a lifetime of extensive healthcare costs. Coupled with the nearly $19,000 average cost of childbirth, this means new parents and their baby are put under immense and immediate stress.
If you or your newborn baby suffered any birth-related injuries, you may be eligible for financial compensation that may help alleviate the hardship. Scheduling a consultation with a birth injury lawyer near Minnesota like the experts at Magna Law Firm may help increase your chances of a successful medical malpractice claim.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when the doctor or health care professional causes undue harm to their patient as a result of an act of negligence or errors. Birth injuries caused by a careless mistake during childbirth may be considered medical malpractice.
Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals may be found guilty of medical malpractice if it is proven that they went against professional medical standards or that their failure to keep the pregnant mother and newborn baby safe was due to their wrongful actions.
How Medical Malpractice May Cause Birth Injuries
Birth injuries are commonly defined as any preventable condition sustained by babies. It may happen before, during, or after the delivery.
In general, birth injuries are commonly caused by fetal distress or trauma during labor. Improper or late action on the part of medical professionals may exacerbate their stress and trauma, which may worsen the injuries.
Other more specific causes of birth injuries that may qualify as medical malpractice include, but are not limited to:
- Failure to anticipate certain birth complications and resolve them.
- Inappropriate or slow response to maternal or fetal bleeding.
- Failure to catch and treat maternal infections during pregnancy.
- Failure to correctly diagnose or misdiagnose the mother’s condition, such as preeclampsia.
- Improper use of anesthesia.
- Unnecessary Cesarean section
- Inability to provide timely medical care.
- Delayed or prolonged labor.
- Oxygen deprivation.
- Use of forceps or vacuum to assist in delivery.
- Incorrect medication prescription.
- Disregarding patient history.
Possible post-birth causes of birth injuries include poor follow-up care and incorrect post-partum medication dosage.
What Qualifies as Birth Injuries?
There are many different possible birth injuries that infants may sustain. Simple ones include superficial bruising, these may heal without leaving any lasting damage.
Meanwhile, severe birth injuries can leave the baby with a long-term disability that may negatively affect their growth, development, and future quality of life. Examples of such injuries include, but are not limited to:
- Cerebral palsy
- Brachial plexus injury (stretched or torn nerves connecting the shoulders and arms)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Bone fractures, particularly in the clavicle or collarbone
- Caput succedaneum (scalp swelling)
- Ruptured blood vessels below the eyes
- Birth asphyxia (insufficient oxygen supply)
Both moderate and severe birth injuries may warrant an investigation into potential medical malpractice. Consulting a medical malpractice attorney in Minnesota is highly recommended to learn whether you have a good claim and how best to proceed.
Proving a Medical Malpractice Claim for Birth Injury
Winning a medical malpractice lawsuit means you need to prove negligence on the part of the hospital, doctor, nurse, or other medical professionals.
There are three things that need to be proven for the plaintiff to win the case. These are:
- The healthcare professional or medical provider did not act according to applicable standards of care.
- The doctor or medical provider failed to use their best judgment when determining and providing care.
- The doctor or medical provider’s failure or actions caused the birth injury.
To prove these, medical malpractice lawyers in Minnesota conduct thorough investigations and gather evidence. These include medical records, hospital notes, eyewitness testimonies, and testimonies from third-party experts.
Many medical malpractice claims are settled out of court, and birth injury lawsuits are no different. Negotiating a settlement and demand package is also within the scope of a medical malpractice attorney’s scope of responsibilities.
If the case goes to trial, you can count on the Magna Law Firm to fight for your rights and the rights of your child to be duly compensated for the trauma you suffered and future hardships you’ll go through.
Damage Compensation From Birth Injury Lawsuits
Although money may not resolve or cure birth injuries, it is a small silver lining that can greatly help parents who want to give their newborn child the best possible chance at life. Filing a medical malpractice claim for birth injuries is one way parents can obtain financial aid to help pay for their child’s care and recovery.
Damage compensation for birth injuries, whether through a trial verdict or settlement, can help new parents finance the following for their child:
- Physical therapy
- Speech therapy
- Adaptive equipment
- Mobility aids
- Nursing or special care
- Other care needs
Plaintiffs in birth injury medical malpractice lawsuits usually stand to receive economic and non-economic damages. In certain severe cases, punitive damages may also be awarded.
Economic damages include lost wages, medical bills, and the costs of future medical care, medical equipment, and rehabilitation. Non-economic damages include mental anguish or distress, emotional strain, physical pain, and reduced quality of life.
Birth injury medical malpractice lawsuits can reach hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in compensation. The parents of a girl who suffered a brachial plexus injury in New Jersey were awarded $950,000 while a birth injury settlement in California reached $4.25 million.
The more severe the birth injuries, the higher the potential damage compensation. Aside from the extent of the injury, other factors that help determine the total cost of compensation are:
- Current and future medical costs
- Lifetime cost of childcare
- Income loss due to caretaking
- Effects or impact of the injury on the child’s life
When To File a Birth Injury Lawsuit
One crucial factor to remember if you suspect you may have a case for birth injury medical malpractice is the statute of limitations. Any birth injury lawyer near Minnesota will recommend filing as soon as possible, if they believe there is a case.
In Minnesota, all medical malpractice claims must be filed within four years of the date at which the injury occurred. This also applies to birth injury cases wherein the parent is filing on behalf of their child.
However, in cases where your grown child wishes to take legal action for the damage they suffered, the statute of limitations will start once they reach 18 years old.
Find Out if You Have Just Cause and Take Action Today
If your baby suffered from birth injuries, it is best to consult an experienced medical malpractice attorney in Minnesota. They can review your details and confirm whether you have a case and are eligible to potentially obtain compensation.
Working with trusted and experienced medical malpractice lawyers in Minnesota can give your case a higher chance of success. Magna Law Firm will fight for your rights and help ensure your child can live a better life. Let our team handle your case, represent you, and expertly negotiate with insurance firms or healthcare systems to ensure you receive the compensation you rightfully deserve. Call us at (763) 438-3032 to schedule a meeting today.