Birth injuries can be a traumatic and life-altering experience for both the mother and the child. During childbirth, even minor missteps can cause severe physical or neurological damage to the infant. Unfortunately, medical negligence is often to blame for these types of injuries. An Albuquerque birth injury lawyer can help determine if the injury was caused by medical negligence and hold the responsible parties accountable. For help, contact us to schedule a free consultation.
Most Common Birth Injuries
Birth injuries can occur in various ways during pregnancy, labor, or delivery. In some cases, the cause is medical negligence, such as failing to perform appropriate tests during pregnancy that could detect fetal distress or oxygen deprivation. The most common examples of birth injuries include the following:
Erb’s Palsy (Brachial Plexus Injuries)
Erb’s palsy is an injury to the upper arm muscles and shoulder due to trauma during delivery. It occurs when the nerves in the baby’s neck get stretched or torn during delivery, usually due to excessive pulling or pressure on the baby’s head and neck. The stretching or tearing can be due to difficult labor, medical errors, or excessive use of forceps during delivery.
Cerebral palsy is a type of motor disorder caused by a traumatic brain injury before, during, or shortly after birth. Possible causes include prematurity, oxygen deprivation, birth defects, and infections affecting the brain.
Soft Tissue Injuries
If a healthcare provider fails to respond to signs of distress or applies excessive force during delivery, they can cause damage to delicate soft tissues. Failure to diagnose and treat infections and the improper use of medications like epidurals can also lead to severe damage to nerves, muscles, ligaments, and other soft tissues during childbirth.
Proving Birth Injury Liability in Albuquerque
In the event a birth injury was caused by negligence, Albuquerque patients and families may file a medical malpractice lawsuit against any healthcare professionals who were involved in providing care.
For example, a doctor can be liable if they fail to order tests that could have prevented an injury. A nurse can be held responsible if they administer improper medication or fail to monitor the mother and baby. Midwives can be held liable if they do not accurately measure fetal heart rate or if they provide inadequate assistance during delivery.
All these situations may result in serious medical complications for both the mother and baby, and under the circumstances, those responsible for any negligence may be held legally liable.
Medical Negligence and the Standard of Care
The standard of care for birth injuries is the accepted level of care that a reasonably prudent healthcare professional would have provided under similar circumstances. Albuquerque healthcare practitioners must also adhere to protocols and industry standards to ensure optimal patient safety and outcomes.
When this standard of care is not met during pregnancy, labor, or delivery, it can result in serious birth injuries to both mother and baby.
Evidence Needed for a Successful Birth Injury Claim
Medical records are a vital component in many birth injury claims, as they provide a detailed account of the mother’s prenatal care and labor and delivery process.
These records serve as a timeline of events that occurred during labor, including any complications that may have arisen and the treatments administered or medications prescribed. Medical records are invaluable for providing evidence to help support claims of medical negligence in birth injury cases.
An expert witness testimony is also a useful tool for proving evidence of medical negligence in birth injury cases. These witnesses are usually experienced obstetricians and gynecologists who can assess the standard of care provided by healthcare providers and determine if it fell short of what would be considered reasonable in similar situations.
In addition, there are other types of evidence that can be used to demonstrate negligence or malpractice on the part of healthcare providers. This includes laboratory results, ultrasounds, photographs, audio recordings from labor and delivery, and documents such as legal filings related to previous malpractice suits involving healthcare providers.
Furthermore, sworn statements from other medical personnel involved in the labor and delivery process can provide necessary insight into what occurred during the childbirth process.
Damages That Can Be Recovered in an Albuquerque Birth Injury Claim
When a birth injury occurs, it can be both emotionally and physically devastating for the parents and the child. If you suspect that your child has suffered a birth injury due to medical negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. The following are the most common types of damages awarded:
Economic damages are designed to compensate the victim for the losses incurred due to an Albuquerque personal injury. This most often includes medical expenses related to the injury and lost wages or earning capacity.
In addition to compensatory damages, an Albuquerque birth injury attorney can in some cases recover non-economic damages as well. These damages typically include pain and suffering, compensation for disfigurement or physical impairment from the injury, and loss of enjoyment of life. Non-economic damages can be challenging to quantify but may still play an essential role in securing compensation for victims of a birth injury caused by medical malpractice.
When an act of severe negligence or recklessness leads to a birth injury, punitive damages may also be awarded by the court. These are designed to punish the defendant for their wrongdoing and deter similar occurrences in the future.
Choose Davis Kelin Law Firm For Help With a Birth Injury Claim
If you are looking for a firm with extensive experience and success in handling birth injury cases, the Davis Kelin Law Firm is the one to choose. Here’s why:
We have obtained numerous multi-million-dollar judgments, up to $14 million verdicts
We offer an initial free phone consultation to let you know if this is a case we can handle
We understand that these matters may sometimes require us to visit an injured person at their home or hospital, so our attorneys are willing to accommodate any situation