Houston Attorney for Birth Injuries Caused by Forceps
Forceps, in the context of childbirth, are large, curved metal clamps used during birth to help guide and pull the baby out of the birth canal. Although they sound barbaric, they are usually used delicately and with precision to help a mother give birth to a baby that is having trouble coming out. Sometimes using forceps is necessary, and it may be safer than an emergency C-section. However, many injuries also result from doctors who rely too heavily on forceps in unnecessary situations or who fail to use them properly.
If your child suffered birth injuries because your doctor unnecessarily used forceps or failed to use the proper care or skill in performing a forceps delivery, call The Queenan Law Firm today. Our Houston attorneys for birth injuries caused by forceps may be able to take your doctor to court to get you and your family compensation for the injuries your child faced. For a free legal consultation to learn more about your potential case, call us today at (817) 476-1797.
Common Injuries from Negligent Forceps Deliveries
More and more today, doctors rely heavily upon forceps to help with deliveries. In some cases, these tools are completely unnecessary and actually create more risk of injury or birth complications than natural birth or emergency C-sections would. Many of the injuries caused by negligent use of forceps are extremely minor, but others are an unacceptable part of many deliveries, causing ongoing pain and suffering and permanent injuries to the newborn.
One of the most common injuries that forceps can cause includes injuries to the skin and soft tissue from the clamping pressure. This can leave red lines on the baby’s skin but usually does not cause permanent injury. However, if it causes undue pressure to a nerve, such as the facial nerve, it can cause permanent or long-term damage. Facial paralysis and Bell’s palsy are common results of injuries to the facial or cranial nerve.
Pressure from forceps can also cause damage to the baby’s skull and brain. A baby’s skull is quite soft, and before the bones set and fuse, the skull can actually be deformed to help the baby fit through the birth canal. Excess pressure can fracture the fragile bones in the cranium and face, potentially requiring surgery or intensive medical care to repair. Damage to the brain within the skull can also cause serious injuries and health consequences. Undue pressure can also deform the baby’s head or cause bulges or indentations.
Brain injuries during childbirth can result in significant developmental problems, motor function issues, partial paralysis, and even a persistent vegetative state. If your child suffers significant brain injuries, they may be unable to develop as they should, and they could develop many acquired mental and physical disabilities. One of the most common of these is cerebral palsy, which can interfere with your child’s motor control.
Forceps injuries can also include injuries caused by a failure to use forceps. If your doctor does not resort to forceps when necessary or waits too long to turn to a C-section instead of using forceps, your child could face suffocation, injuries from being cramped in the birth canal, and other brain injuries from a lack of oxygen.
Suing a Doctor for Forceps Injuries in Texas
If your doctor failed to use the proper care and skill in handling your newborn, you could be entitled to file a lawsuit to seek compensation for the harms they caused. In many cases, these harms result in additional medical care needs, such as additional surgery, hospitalization, medication, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. In addition, your child could face ongoing disabilities that make it harder for them to work in their adult life. Lastly, pain and suffering are common with many of these injuries. A lawsuit can potentially recover these and other damages.
Proving current and past medical bills means providing evidence to the court. The economic cost of additional medical care can be shown by providing medical bills and financial statements showing how much this care cost. Proving pain and suffering is more complex, but you can testify to the pain your child appears to be in, discomfort they face, and other details about their appearance and behavior.
Proving future damages is also possible in your case. Projecting the cost of future medical care and physical therapy can require medical and financial experts. A financial expert can also project the future lost wages your child’s disability might cause as well as future pain and suffering your child will face. Especially for disorders that get worse over time or have physically apparent symptoms, such as cerebral palsy, pain and suffering damages can be very high.
In some cases, your lawsuit may end early because the defendant offers to settle your claim. A settlement is not guaranteed in every case, but it may help you avoid the time and cost of trial. In many cases, the settlement the defendant and their medical malpractice insurance company offer will be too low to cover your needs. Talk to a lawyer to find out what your case should be worth so you can make an informed decision as to whether to accept a settlement or fight the case in court.
Call Our Houston Lawyer for Forceps Injuries and Malpractice in Child Delivery
If your child was born with severe injuries caused by your doctor’s negligent use of forceps, talk to an attorney about filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. The Queenan Law Firm’s Houston forceps injury attorneys for newborns may be able to take your doctor to court and fight to get the compensation you need for your child’s medical bills, future healthcare, future lost wages, and pain and suffering. For a free consultation on your legal claim, call our law offices today at (817) 476-1797.