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Bronx Birth Injury Lawyer
The birth of a baby is an exciting and joyous time for all members of a family. New parents expect doctors and the medical team in the labor and delivery room will have the necessary skills to avoid mistakes and act with the utmost professionalism. When these mistakes are made, they have the potential to cause lifelong consequences for the newborn, the mother, and the entire family.
Parents of injured newborns can file a personal injury claim or lawsuit against the medical professional that was negligent, but the process can be complex and delicate. Doctors and other healthcare professionals often try to say mistakes were unavoidable, even though that is not true. An experienced Bronx birth injury lawyer from Silberstein, Awad & Miklos, P.C. can help families recover the compensation they need to help ease the financial burden that comes with a birth injury due to medical negligence.
Common Causes of Birth Injuries
It is essential to know the cause of a birth injury so you can determine the act of negligence that resulted in the injury and hold the appropriate party liable. The most common causes of birth injuries include:
- Hypoxia: Hypoxia occurs when an infant’s brain does not receive enough oxygen during a birth. Hypoxia can occur for many reasons, including a tangled umbilical cord, infection, or damage to the placenta. Doctors and other healthcare professionals must have the skill to identify signs of hypoxia and know the steps to take to prevent it from causing damage so newborns do not suffer long-term physical or mental disabilities.
- Improper use of forceps: Babies are sometimes in an awkward position, get stuck in the birth canal, or the mother’s cervix cannot expand enough to push the baby out. In these situations, a doctor may choose to use forceps, but this decision should not be taken lightly. Forceps can cause damage to the baby’s nerves, head, and chest, so they should only be used in certain situations and must be used very carefully with proper precision.
- Improper use of a vacuum: Vacuum extractors are sometimes used to assist a baby that has become stuck in the birth canal. A doctor will place the extractor on the baby’s head or shoulders and gently pull the infant through the birth canal. When a vacuum extractor is used incorrectly, it can cause serious injuries to the baby, mother, or both.
- Inappropriate C-section delays: When a baby is in distress or the mother’s vital signs are in trouble, an emergency C-section is often necessary. Doctors must recognize when to order an emergency C-section to avoid fetal death or other serious issues with the baby’s development and health.
The above are just a few of the most common causes of birth injuries. One of our Bronx birth injury lawyers will conduct an investigation to determine the cause of an injury so parents can recover the damages they need.
Common Types of Birth Injuries
Any birth injury can result in devastating consequences, but injuries affecting the muscles or brain are particularly heartbreaking. These injuries are most likely to affect a child’s normal development and course of growth, and they can result in life-long handicaps.
Oxygen deprivation is one of the most common causes of brain injuries, occurring for many different reasons. Brain ischemia occurs when the brain begins draining blood due to oxygen deprivation. During a brain hemorrhage, extra blood flows into the brain and can result in a permanent loss of some of the brain’s functions. When an infant’s brain has an electrical response to the lack of oxygen, it can result in cerebral palsy or seizures.
Some of the most common muscular injuries that occur during a birth are cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, Klumpke’s palsy, and shoulder dystocia. These injuries affect a baby’s nerves and muscles and can limit many of their functions. In some instances, a child may have very limited function in their entire body, while in others, one side of the body or certain limbs may be affected.
How to Determine if a Birth Injury was Due to Medical Malpractice
Although parents sometimes suspect their child was injured due to medical malpractice, proving it on their own is often impossible. Our experienced Bronx birth injury lawyer know which evidence to collect, including:
- Diagnostic test results
- Electronic fetal monitoring records
- Flow sheets that show the entire timeframe of the child’s delivery
- Doctors’ notes of what happened during the pregnancy
- Records of birthing tools, such as forceps or vacuum extractions, the attending physician used
Our lawyers know how to collect this evidence and determine whether medical malpractice was fully or partly to blame for the injury that may affect the child for the rest of their life.
The Statute of Limitations
Like all personal injury claims and lawsuits, those involving birth injuries have a statute of limitations, or time limit, placed on them. In New York, parents have two years and six months from the date of the birth injury, or the date they discovered the injury, to file a claim. Parents who have tragically lost a child due to a birth injury have only two years to file a wrongful death claim.
The statute of limitations is very important in all birth injury cases. Parents who do not file their claim within the appropriate time limit will likely forfeit their right to compensation. For this reason, it is crucial to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible.
Get Legal Help Today
No child or parent should have to live with the consequences of a birth injury. If your child was injured during the birthing process, call our Bronx birth injury lawyers today. At Silberstein, Awad & Miklos, P.C., our skilled attorneys have the necessary experience to conduct an investigation into your case, determine who was liable, and help you claim the full damages your family deserves.