A proven record
Our firm has achieved numerous million and multimillion dollar verdicts and settlements. We often take cases that other firms have refused and win.
New York Birth Injury Attorney
Our firm has represented many children who suffer from cerebral palsy and Erb’s palsy. We have recovered millions upon millions of dollars in damages for these children. Our New York birth injury attorneys have seen to it that special trusts are set up so that a child’s lifetime needs for medical or custodial care and housing needs are financially secured —such as wheelchair access, bathroom needs, and sleeping accommodations.
Our New York birth injury lawyers have set trends in the application of the new medical indemnity fund. The fund provides for a lifetime of medical care through the State of New York. To learn more about the steps to starting your injury claim, request a free consultation today.
How Do Birth Injuries Occur?
Unfortunately, there are times when the birth of a baby and all the joy and promise of a newborn are forever damaged because of medical and hospital malpractice. During pregnancy, labor and birth, a doctor, nurse or hospital employee has a responsibility to the mother and her baby to monitor and manage their medical conditions. When a doctor, nurse or hospital employee fails to provide reasonable care, a baby can suffer a lack of oxygen, infection or trauma, all of which can cause damage to the very delicate brain of a baby. When this happens, a parent will sometimes receive the excuse that there has been a “complication,” which can be nothing more than a cover-up for negligence.
Some examples of negligence that can result in a birth injury include:
- Unnecessarily prolonging labor or delivery
- Negligent prenatal care
- The improper use of forceps, vacuums, and other assistive devices during labor or delivery
- Uterine rupture
- Failing to monitor a child before, during, and after delivery
- Oxygen deprivation
- Failure to monitor signs of fetal distress
- Miscommunication of staff
- Failure to perform an emergency C-section in a timely manner
At Silberstein, Awad & Miklos, P.C., our multi-million dollar recoveries for children who were injured during labor and birth at hospitals in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk have provided parents with the assurance that their son or daughter’s life will remain safe and secure, even when the parents are no longer around.
Common Birth Injuries
Newborns can suffer birth injuries in a variety of ways, but there are some that are more common than others. The most common types of birth injuries include:
Asphyxia, or an inability to breathe, can happen in a number of ways during birth. The umbilical cord may become wrapped around the infant’s neck, or delivery may be delayed unnecessarily. When a child’s brain does not receive the proper amount of oxygen during birth, it can result in devastating brain damage, as well as mental and physical disabilities.
The brachial plexus is a system of nerves located in the neck, shoulder and arm that transmits signals from the spinal cord to the arm, hand, and shoulder. An injury to this network can occur when an infant’s shoulders become stuck behind the mother’s pelvis during delivery. Doctors are responsible for knowing how to correct this issue by situating the baby correctly. When they do not, the spinal cord can become damaged resulting in the child becoming unable to move their hands, fingers, or arms.
Oxygen deprivation is the main cause of brain damage during a birth. Untreated or undiagnosed infections, infant jaundice, and misusing delivery tools can also result in brain damage.
Medical professionals who do not use forceps and vacuums properly, or do not appropriately guide the child through the birth canal, can cause an infant to sustain broken bones.
Cerebral palsy is one of the most common types of birth injuries that is also a result of damage to the child’s brain during labor and delivery. Cerebral palsy affects a child’s mobility, posture, and balance. This is often the result of negligent prenatal care or an injury that occurs during birth.
Spinal cord injuries are devastating for anyone who suffers from them. They are often the result of spina bifida that is not diagnosed while the child is in utero. Spina bifida occurs when the vertebrae does not completely wrap around the nerves in the spinal column. If the condition is not properly diagnosed, a healthcare professional may touch the spine, causing even more damage. Spinal cord injuries, including spina bifida, can lead to chronic pain, paralysis, and limited mobility.
Any time a child suffers from these or any other birth injuries, it is crucial that parents speak to an experienced birth injury attorney for help.
Damages Available in Birth Injury Claims
The emotional toll a birth injury takes on the entire family is devastating. Unfortunately, these injuries also come with real medical costs and a number of other losses for the parents and the child. In some cases, a birth injury may result in a lifelong disability that results in prolonged expenses. When a child’s potential and ability have been severely affected due to the carelessness of a doctor or other healthcare professional, families can seek many different types of damages. The most common damages include but are not limited to:
- Medical costs
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of earning capacity
- Permanent disability
- Permanent disfigurement
- Permanent scarring
- Loss of enjoyment of life
To recover the full amount of damages available, parents should always contact a birth injury lawyer who can assist with their case.
Statute of Limitations on Birth Injury Claims
Parents of children affected by a birth injury have a lot on their mind. They need to focus on immediate medical care for the child and determine how they will move forward in their life now that a birth injury is present. While it is an extremely difficult time, parents also need to focus on filing a birth injury lawsuit as soon as possible.
New York only provides parents with two years and six months to file their claim. The time limit is known as the statute of limitations, and the clock on that time limit starts ticking from the date the child sustained the injury. However, there is an exception for birth injury cases. Parents of babies who fall victim to a medical professional’s negligence have 10 years from the date of injury to file a claim on the child’s behalf. In the worst of cases, when a child dies due to their birth injury, parents have only two years to file a claim for their losses. Individuals who do not file their claim within these timeframes will forfeit their right to claim compensation.
There is one exception to the statute of limitations. Due to the fact that it is children who suffer from birth injuries, the child affected can file a lawsuit once they turn 18 years old. Children are not considered to have the capacity to file a lawsuit with the court, so the statute of limitations can be tolled, or delayed, until the child becomes an adult.
How Can a Birth Injury Attorney Help?
If your child has been born with a birth injury, you may want to file a claim on your own. However, birth injury lawsuits are some of the most complex. That’s why an experienced New York birth injury attorney is a great asset. While working on your case, a birth injury lawyer will:
- Determine liability: Determining who is at fault for the accident is one of the most difficult tasks of any personal injury case. A lawyer will conduct an investigation to determine who was at fault, such as whether it was a healthcare professional present during labor and delivery or a physician who provided prenatal care.
- Collect evidence: Your focus after any birth will be on your child. After a birth injury, you may not want to or may be unable to collect evidence such as relevant medical records, reports, photographs, eyewitness statements, and testimony from medical experts. Your lawyer will help you get the evidence needed to defend your case.
- File the lawsuit: In addition to the statute of limitations, there are a number of procedural rules surrounding civil claims and lawsuits. A lawyer will ensure your claim is filed properly so that it is protected and gives you the best chance of securing the compensation you need.
- Act as an advocate: A lawsuit is a tiring and emotional process for the parties involved. It is important to have an advocate by your side who will fight for the rights of you and your entire family during negotiations and if necessary, while representing you at trial.
Get Legal Help Today
The New York birth injury attorneys at Silberstein, Awad & Miklos, P.C. have experience protecting the rights of babies and children. When you need a professional to defend a child’s rights, we can help. Injuries to young people come in many different forms and require special expertise, knowledge, sensitivity, and understanding to handle. Related lawsuits often involve complex negotiations for lifetime care so that parents can rest easy knowing that their child will be provided for throughout their entire life. Get in touch today to request a free consultation regarding your case.