A birth injury is any injury that occurs to a baby during the time the mother is in labor, just prior to labor, or just after the baby is delivered. Birth cases are unique because the injuries are so severe and they happen to newborn babies at a time that should be the most joyous occasion in people’s lives, the birth of their child. To have something catastrophic occur is unimaginable. However, if your child has sustained a birth injury in West Palm Beach, it is vital that you get in contact with a skilled medical malpractice attorney quickly. A West Palm Beach birth injury lawyer can fight to hold the responsible parties accountable.
Symptoms of Birth Injury
An example of a type of birth injury a newborn could sustain includes hypoxic injury, which is a lack of oxygen that happens during the labor process. Another thing that happens is shoulder dystocia where the baby’s shoulder gets caught as the baby is being delivered. Too much pressure is pushed down on the mother’s stomach causing significant injury to the baby’s shoulder.
Parents will know if the child suffered a birth injury because, at birth, the baby needed lots of resuscitation, was taken to the NICU, needed extra medical care at the time of birth, or in situations where it is obvious that there is an injury such as the baby’s shoulder for example.
Some of the symptoms that may be immediately present are the baby not breathing well at birth, the baby not having good color at birth, the baby being limp, or the baby being unable to move one of their arms. When there are brain injuries as the result of the lack of oxygen, those are not apparent until much later in the process. The same is true with certain infections. Just because the injury is not apparent until much later, that does not mean there is no valid medical malpractice claim.
Legal Options for Parents
In the instance that someone’s child has sustained a birth injury, they should consult a lawyer once they realize that something may have gone wrong during childbirth. A West Palm Beach birth injury lawyer can explain the legal rights available to the parents and baby. Usually, the legal rights a person has in that circumstance include going through the lawsuit process and bringing a claim for economic and human damages or non-economic damages available under the law. The legal claim is a claim for medical negligence. The statute of limitations in a birth injury case is two years from when the parent knew or should have known of the possible reasonable outcomes.
Injuries Resulting in Manifestation of Conditions
Cerebral palsy can be caused during childbirth due to lack of oxygen to the baby, resulting in a brain injury. Some of the signs and symptoms range in severity. Depending on the degree of injury to the brain, cerebral palsy is actually signs and symptoms that vary from one to the other. The child can experience loss of muscle tone, motor function, balance control, coordination, reflexes, and posture.
Sometimes when a baby is being born, the shoulder can get caught under the pelvis of the mother as the baby comes down through the birth canal. The baby has a brachial plexus in the shoulder which is a network of nerves near the neck coming down to the arm. When the baby’s shoulder is caught and the doctor, nurse, or midwife use the wrong technique to get the baby free, the baby can sustain an injury. Symptoms of an injury are a weakness in one arm, loss of feeling in the arm, or partial or total paralysis to the arm, which can result in Erb’s palsy later on.
Role of Negligence
To have a successful birth injury case, the lawyer must prove that a health care professional or doctor did something wrong that caused the injury to the baby. The role of the negligence of the mother could be significant if she did not go to regular office visits while she was pregnant or she was taking drugs while pregnant. Those types of things can have an impact on the quality of the case. If you your child has sustained a birth injury, get in contact with a West Palm Beach birth injury lawyer who can fight for you, and help you pursue damages.