Forceps are an important medical tool used in many deliveries. This tool is a large metal set of tongs used to help grip the baby and guide them out. However, these tools are often overused, causing the potential for injury in cases where they are not necessary. Moreover, when they are used, doctors may mishandle the baby and cause damage that could have been avoided through other healthcare decisions.
If your child suffered birth injuries during the delivery because of the doctor’s negligent use of forceps, call The Queenan Law Firm today. Our Arlington, TX attorneys for birth injuries caused by forceps may be able to take your doctor to court and fight to get you and your baby the compensation they need for the injuries they faced. For a free legal consultation, contact our law offices today at (817) 476-1797.
Medical Malpractice from Forceps Use During Deliveries
The simple fact that the doctor used forceps to deliver your baby does not automatically make their actions negligent. In some cases, forceps are necessary to help save the baby’s life and affect a safe delivery. Sometimes, forceps are used in an emergency procedure to avoid having to do something more extreme and invasive like a C-section. In these cases, forceps might be recommended. However, even when forceps are necessary, doctors should not be excused for negligently mishandling the baby or committing negligence with forceps.
In many cases, forceps use is not recommended. In these cases, it would be considered negligence, automatically, for a doctor to use forceps. Because there are inherent risks of using forceps during a delivery, doctors often avoid using forceps unless they are absolutely necessary. Thus, if your doctor unnecessarily relied upon forceps to deliver your baby, you may be entitled to file a medical malpractice lawsuit for your child’s birth injuries.
When forceps are recommended, a doctor must still use the proper care and skill required of them. Doctors are judged on whether they meet the “standard of care” in their case. This means that they should use the proper care and skill that a reasonable physician in the same situation would use. In some cases, this can still result in incidental injuries that may not be considered “malpractice.” However, some injuries are more often the result of negligent, such as when the baby develops any of the following injuries or conditions:
- Facial paralysis from damage to the cranial or facial nerve
- Skull fractures or bulges from mishandling the baby
- Brain damage from pressing too hard with forceps
- Cerebral palsy caused by improper forceps use
In many cases, it is difficult to tell from the beginning if the doctor’s care was negligent. Typically, you will need to consult with another physician, an attorney, and a medical expert to understand how the injuries occurred and whether they could be the basis of a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Compensation for Forceps Injuries During Childbirth in Texas
Forceps injuries can lead to many forms of permanent injury and ongoing health complications, like traumatic brain injury or cerebral palsy. If your child suffered from these injuries or later developmental disorders brought about by your doctor’s negligent care, you may be entitled to sue the doctor in court. This can often result in substantial damages that can help you and your child going forward.
The first set of damages involved in most birth injury cases is damages for additional medical care. Many birth injuries will require additional treatment, ongoing care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, medical devices, wheelchairs, and other related medical expenses. These damages should be paid in full by the party who caused the injuries – in this case, the physician, with their medical malpractice insurance covering the costs.
Most injury cases also involve claims for lost wages. It seems odd to claim lost wages for an infant, but severe birth injuries may actually affect your child into the future, potentially reducing their capacity to work to support themselves. Projecting the future economic damages can be difficult, but a financial expert can be used to protect the reduced earning capacity and lost future wages your child will face because of the birth injury.
Your child may also face substantial pain and suffering because of the injury. The mental and emotional effects of birth injuries and the resulting effects and developmental disorders can be severe. Cerebral palsy and other disorders related to brain injuries can cause muscle spasms and motor control issues that cannot be alleviated through physical therapy, and living with these symptoms can be an incredible distraction, annoyance, and point of stress. Compensation for this pain and suffering should be paid in nearly every case with permanent effects, and these damages may be available even if the other damages are low.
Some damages are capped in medical malpractice cases. In Texas, pain and suffering damages, along with other “non-economic” damages, are typically capped at $250,000. You may be able to raise the cap to $500,000 if your lawsuit is filed against multiple healthcare providers, but you should talk to a lawyer about how these limitations may affect your case.
Call Our Arlington, Texas Birth Injury from Forceps Lawyers for a Free Case Consultation
If you have a child whom you suspect suffered harm and ongoing medical conditions because of birth injuries caused by forceps, call The Queenan Law Firm today. Our Arlington attorneys for birth injuries caused by forceps may be able to take your case to court and fight to get you and your child the compensation you deserve. For your free legal consultation, contact our law offices today at (817) 476-1797.