Giving birth to a child can have inherent risks for both the baby and the mother. These risks often result in complications that could not be avoided, but there are many other issues during a delivery that can result in perfectly avoidable harm. If your baby suffered injuries during their birth because the doctor or medical team made mistakes in judgment or committed errors in delivering the baby or performing related procedures, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit against them.
Your legal claim could get you financial compensation for your baby’s injuries and medical expenses. To schedule a free legal consultation on your baby’s childbirth injuries, contact The Queenan Law Firm today at (817) 476-1797 to set up a meeting with our Houston childbirth injury attorneys.
Common Types of Childbirth Injuries from Medical Malpractice
Birth injuries are sometimes called “birth defects,” but this implies that there is something inherently wrong with the child that would have been unavoidable. Many birth injuries are not natural problems that the baby faced because of random chance, but instead, they are caused by injuries and accidents the doctor causes.
Many types of birth injuries can affect a child for years to come. Brain injuries are some of the most serious types of birth injuries, and they can result from serious negligence, like dropping a baby in the delivery room, or accidents during the delivery, such as misuse of forceps. Brain injuries often involve other head injuries, such as crushed skull injuries or bruising, but these injuries can also come from a lack of oxygen. If the baby gets stuck in the birth canal because of their positioning or has their umbilical cord wrapped around their neck (a “nuchal cord”), the baby might suffer hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, which can cause permanent brain injury from the lack of oxygen.
Other injuries can occur from negligent handling or improper use of forceps. Doctors often turn to forceps to help deliver a baby that is stuck or having trouble passing through the birth canal. When they use the forceps, they will grip the baby, but gripping too hard or in improper locations can cause injuries to soft tissue and bones or cause nerve damage to affected areas.
Other nerve and tissue damage can occur from the conditions of their birth. Being in a cramped position for a long time can cause a baby injury to their joints and nerves in the joints, such as the brachial plexus. The brachial plexus is a group of nerves in the neck and shoulder that can be injured by undue strain or compression of that area, potentially causing motor control problems and other nerve issues in the arm and chest.
Suing for Childbirth Injuries in Houston
A childbirth injury can leave an infant with serious health conditions and complications that require intensive medical treatment. Many times, this can be very expensive, but the family should not be responsible for medical bills and other expenses that the doctor caused. If your doctor’s care fell below the standard of care the doctor should have provided, you may be entitled to sue the physician and their hospital for the injuries, seeking financial compensation to cover your baby’s needs.
These lawsuits are commonly filed directly against the individual physician who caused the injuries. However, if the doctor was an employee at the hospital where the baby was delivered, you may be able to sue the hospital as well. Additionally, the hospital may be responsible in its own right for injuries caused by nurses or orderlies, injuries from hospital-acquired infection, or harm from dangerous conditions at the hospital.
Despite the fact that you sue the doctor for the injuries, there is often insurance that can cover any damages. Doctors generally carry medical malpractice insurance, which can be used to cover the cost of the damages you claim in your case.
To receive damages, you must prove that the doctor’s care fell below applicable standards of reasonable care that other doctors in the same situation would have been held to. This often means using a medical expert in court to testify as to what your doctor did wrong and what they should have done better.
Damages for Childbirth Injuries and Complications
The damages you can claim in a childbirth injury claim for your baby’s injuries depend on what injuries and harms the negligence caused. Most childbirth injury cases will typically involve damages for additional medical care and pain and suffering that the baby suffered, but other damages might also be claimed.
Damages for medical care should cover any additional procedures, therapy, or medical costs resulting from the negligence. You never would have faced the expense of additional surgeries, medication, or physical therapy if it were not for your baby’s initial injuries, so the doctor should be held responsible for those expenses and any other related expenses.
The cost of pain and suffering damages can be difficult to calculate. Your lawyer can help you understand how these damages can depend on the severity of the injury and how it will affect your baby’s quality of life.
You might be able to claim future damages in your case as well. This can cover ongoing medical care needs, even into adulthood. Furthermore, if your child’s injuries will make working or caring for themselves difficult in the future, such as with disorders that get worse over time like cerebral palsy, you may be entitled to claim lost future wages and reduced earning capacity damages.
Call Our Houston Childbirth Injury Attorneys for a Free Case Consultation
If your baby was injured during their delivery, our attorneys might be able to help. The Houston childbirth injury attorneys at The Queenan Law Firm represent injured babies and their families in lawsuits to seek compensation for medical bills and other expenses related to the doctor’s negligence. For a free case consultation on your potential claim, call our attorneys today at (817) 476-1797.