For every 100,000 live births, there are almost 600 infant deaths. While some of these deaths are due to things like chromosomal abnormalities and congenital malformations, many are because of medical malpractice.
6 to 8 out of every 1,000 infants that are born in the United States are born with a birth injury, which is why birth injury laws are there to protect babies, mothers, and their families.
In dealing with such a traumatic event, it can be hard to determine why an injury happened and who is to blame. That’s why, in the event of an accident, it may be in your best interest to hire a birth injury lawyer.
But what are the laws? Scroll down to uncover our guide to get to know the basics when it comes to birth injury law.
What Is a Birth Injury?
A birth injury is damage done to an infant as a result of physical pressure or pulling during the birthing process. It can happen as a result of using equipment or at the hands of the professional delivering a baby.
It usually happens as a baby is moving through the birth canal. Sometimes they are temporary, but sometimes they can last for years or even a lifetime.
When nerves are damaged, or bones are broken, it can be extremely detrimental for an infant and their family.
When Should a Birth Injury Lawyer Get Involved?
If the physical harm was inflicted because of a medical professional’s negligence or bad conduct, you need the services of a birth trauma lawyer.
It can be hard to determine what or how an injury was sustained, which is why, if your infant did sustain an injury at birth, you should acquire the services of a seasoned professional.
What Are The Statutes of Limitations?
As with any other type of lawsuit, there are time limits that dictate for how long you can press charges after an incident.
It may vary from state to state, but in New York, the general rule is 3 years. If the worst-case scenario happens and there is a wrongful death, loved ones have 2 years to press charges.
The statutes of limitations aren’t cut and dry. There are special circumstances that warrant more or less time. For example, if you’re planning to sue a dental or medical professional, you only have 2.5 years to do so.
While you may be experiencing anxiety, heartbreak, and several other emotions, the best thing you can do for your case is not to wait too long to contact a lawyer.
What Might Have Caused a Birth Injury?
Did you have an infection while in the hospital that your doctor didn’t treat properly? Many times an infection can be transmitted from a mother to a baby if they aren’t cared for properly.
Did your labor go longer than you thought it would? While some births seem to go on forever, there is a chance that prolonging the birth could cause physical harm to your baby.
Was an emergency cesarean ordered by your doctor? There are many reasons why a mother may have to undergo a c-section to deliver safely. That being said, if the procedure is ordered in haste, there may have been an issue that should have been diagnosed earlier.
Did the baby become lodged in the birth canal? If this happens and medical professionals do not act immediately, there is a chance of serious injuries being sustained.
Did your baby exhibit good health at the time of delivery? Did problems begin to arise after? If so, it could be a result of malpractice.
If a newborn is in distress when they’re born, any number of things can happen, and if medical professionals don’t act quickly, injuries could result in long-term harm.
How Should You Go About Finding a Lawyer?
Sometimes it seems that lawyers are a dime a dozen, especially in big cities like New York City. Because the market is so saturated, it can be daunting to find a lawyer, especially while experiencing emotional distress and caring for an injured infant.
Look for a law firm that has a proven track record. They should be able to provide testimonials and examples of cases like yours that they have won. Furthermore, they should be excellent communicators and take on your case with care and vigilance.
The last thing a mother or father should have to think about in the awful event of their newborn sustaining a serious injury is money. And if that’s you, you shouldn’t have to think about it.
Any reputable personal injury lawyer should not charge any fees upfront, especially if you were not at fault. Many lawyers will offer contingency-based fees, which means that they only get paid if they win your case.
What Does Compensation Look Like?
It isn’t just about an injury. Many expenses and damages may follow you for years or the rest of your lives. Some of the things your lawyer may be able to get you compensation for are as follows:
- Therapy and rehabilitation costs
- Medical expenses associated with the injury, both now and in the future
- Physical pain and trauma as a result of the injuries
- Emotional anxiety and pain
- Costs of at-home care and special education
- Punitive damages
- Lost wages
Take a look at some of the many injuries we have fought for and the settlements that we were able to get for our clients.
Birth Injury Law Lawyers Will Fight for You
If you have experienced the worst and your newborn was injured at birth, the pain you are feeling is insurmountable. But those injuries and that pain can affect your child, you, and your family for the rest of your lives.
While compensation can never change what has happened, it can help in providing you and your family with the treatment and tools necessary to deal with those injuries.
Do you want to understand the difference between birth defects and birth injuries? You can do so here. And you can give us a call for a free consultation on birth injury laws, anytime.