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Long Island Birth Injury Lawyer
The birth of a child should be a time of celebration for the parents and the entire family. Unfortunately, nurses and doctors in the labor and delivery room sometimes make mistakes, and often these errors are avoidable. When these mistakes occur, it is a case of medical negligence, and parents can file a birth injury lawsuit against the negligent party.
However, these lawsuits are not always easy to file. The medical team will try to shield themselves from liability, often stating that the unsuccessful result was unavoidable, even when that is not the case. An experienced Long Island birth injury lawyer from Silberstein, Awad & Miklos, P.C. will refute these claims, prove negligence, and hold the liable party responsible for paying the full damages the family deserves. Request a free consultation to discuss your case today.
Causes of Birth Injuries
Doctors and nurses are not always forthcoming about the act of negligence that resulted in a birth injury. Still, it is imperative that family members determine the cause, as it is the only way to hold the correct party liable for paying damages. In Long Island, the most common causes of injuries at birth include:
- Hypoxia: Hypoxia is a condition that is the result of a baby’s brain not receiving enough oxygen during the birthing process. Tangled umbilical cords, damage to the placenta, and infections can all cause hypoxia.
- Improper use of forceps: Forceps are sometimes necessary when babies get stuck in the birth canal or when they are in an awkward position. A number of injuries can result from the use of forceps, including head and chest injuries, damaged nerves, and more. For this reason, doctors should only use forceps when there is no other option—and even then, they should always be used correctly.
- Improper use of vacuum: A vacuum extractor is another tool sometimes used to help guide a baby out of the birth canal. Vacuum extractors are placed onto the child’s head or shoulders and the doctor will gently try to guide the baby through the birth canal. Like forceps, vacuum extractors should only be used as a last resort, as they can cause injury to the child and the mother.
- Delayed C-sections: Emergency C-sections are necessary when the infant is in distress or the mother’s vital signs are in trouble. The medical team in the delivery room must be able to identify when a C-section is necessary and perform one right away when it is needed.
The above are just a few of the most common causes of birth injuries. There are sadly others, as well. Any time a parent believes the mother or child was harmed during the labor or birth process and it was the fault of a medical professional, they should speak to a Long Island birth injury lawyer who can assist with their claim.
Common Types of Birth Injuries
While it is not something anyone wants to think about, an infant can suffer a number of birth injuries in a number of ways. Still, there are some birth injuries that are more common than others, including:
- Asphyxia: An infant can suffer from asphyxia, or an inability to breathe, in a number of ways during the birthing process. The umbilical cord can become wrapped around the baby’s neck, or there may be an unnecessary delay during delivery. Infants that do not receive the proper amount of oxygen may suffer from brain damage, which can result in lifelong physical and mental disabilities.
- Brachial plexus injuries: The brachial plexus is a bundle of nerves in the neck, shoulder, and arm. This network of nerves transmits signals from the brain and spinal cord to the shoulder, arm, and hand. A brachial plexus injury is most likely to occur when the child’s shoulders become stuck behind the pelvis of the mother. Still, doctors are responsible for recognizing the potential for this injury and preventing it from occurring.
- Broken bones: The bones of an infant are incredibly delicate and in some cases not even fully formed, making them susceptible to breakage. Doctors who improperly use forceps, vacuums, or who do not guide a child through the birth canal properly can cause broken bones in the infant.
- Cerebral palsy: Cerebral palsy is not only an injury that causes an immense amount of damage to a child’s brain during labor and delivery, it is also one of the most common types of birth injuries. Cerebral palsy will negatively affect a child’s posture, balance, and mobility, and often has lifelong effects.
- Spinal cord injuries: A number of spinal cord injuries can occur during the birthing process, but one of the most common is spina bifida. Spina bifida is a condition that develops while the child is in utero. Still, when a doctor does not recognize the condition, the doctor who delivers the child may touch the spine in the affected area, which can make the injury much worse.
Any time a child is injured during the birth and delivery process, the parents of the infant should speak to a Long Island birth injury lawyer.
Recoverable Damages in Birth Injury Claims
It is impossible to determine how much any birth injury claim is worth without first fully examining the facts of the case. However, there are some damages that are more common than others, including:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of earning capacity
- Permanent disability and disfigurement
- Permanent scarring
- Loss of enjoyment of life
After reviewing the facts of the case, a Long Island birth injury lawyer can advise on the full amount of damages families deserve.
Get Legal Help Today
If your child has suffered a birth injury, our experienced Long Island birth injury lawyers at Silberstein, Awad & Miklos, P.C. can assist with your case. We are committed to helping families enforce their rights and we have a proven record of helping our clients recover the full amount of damages they deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.