Charleston, SC Birth Injury Lawyer
Aggressive Advocates for Families Suffering Because of Negligence
Welcoming a new child into the world should be a happy occasion, and you should be able to trust your healthcare team’s judgment and treatment plan. However, due to medical negligence, mothers and their children may be injured before, during, or after the delivery process. These injuries can lead to medical, financial, and emotional problems that impact the mother, child, and/or whole family for a lifetime.
If your child sustained birth injuries because of someone else’s negligence, you may be able to recover damages. While no amount of money will excuse the liable party’s actions, you can be compensated to help ease your financial strain. Our birth injury lawyer can work tirelessly to help you hold the liable medical professional accountable and obtain the compensation you deserve.
Schedule your free consultation today online or (843) 212-1199.
Birth Injuries Caused by Malpractice
Birth injuries are physical injuries or traumas sustained during or around the time of childbirth that damage the bodily structure or certain functions. Common birth injuries suffered by infants include:
- Cerebral palsy, a motor disorder caused by brain damage, umbilical cord issues, uterine rupture, untreated infections in the mother, overuse of labor inducing drugs, or placental abruptions
- Kernicterus, a brain injury caused by untreated jaundice (which can also cause cerebral palsy)
- Erb’s palsy (brachial plexus birth palsy), nerve damage caused by excessive force being applied to a baby’s head and/or neck during delivery
- Periventricular leukomalacia, brain damage (specifically to the white matter in the brain) caused by trauma or oxygen deprivation
- Brain bleeds, hemorrhaging caused by head trauma experienced during delivery
- Developmental disabilities, limitations in a child’s cognitive functions and behavior caused by infections, oxygen deprivation, and trauma
- Hydrocephalus, excess fluid in the brain caused by oxygen deprivation or head trauma
- Bone fractures, breaks in the skull, clavicle, or collarbone caused by excessive force or improper use of medical equipment
- Facial paralysis or palsy, nerve damage caused by head trauma, or assisted delivery tools
Medical mistakes that can result in birth injuries include but are not limited to:
- Not offering a mother quality prenatal care. Ensuring a mother and baby are in good health throughout the pregnancy is important. Infections or illnesses a mother has can compromise the safety of both mother and child, and certain infections can also cause birth injuries. It is also important to note that certain risk factors in mothers (such as irregular pelvis shape or size) and infants (such as heavier infant, breech birth position, etc.) can lead to birth injuries, which is why they should be identified as soon as possible.
- Delaying or failing to conduct a C-section. Sometimes a vaginal delivery is dangerous and therefore, not an option for certain mothers, and delaying delivery can compromise the safety of both mother and child.
- Overusing labor-inducing drugs. Contractions induced by certain drugs can be more forceful than natural contractions, which can cause a baby distress (because of loss of oxygen) during delivery.
- Misusing tools during birth. Forceps and vacuums can be used to assist with an infant’s delivery, but they should be a last resort and used safely. Because of excessive force and improper use of these assisted delivery tools, infants may suffer head trauma.
- Not properly monitoring mother or child during labor or after delivery. During labor, doctors and nurses should monitor the fetal heart rate and mother’s condition closely (because of the risk of placental problems, uterine ruptures, preeclampsia, etc.). If a baby is in the NICU or a mother had a rough delivery, they should also be observed closely.
Signs of Birth Injuries
Birth injuries may be evident to parents immediately after birth, however, they are more commonly discovered years later (during the child’s developmental years). You may recognize some of the following symptoms or behaviors in your infant soon after birth that may be caused by a birth injury.
- Pale or blue skin
- Excessive drooling
- Low heart rate or oxygen levels
- Difficulty suckling or swallowing
- Extreme sensitivity to light
- Stiff or loose muscles
- Abnormal reflexes (such as failure to respond to loud noises or an inability to grasp objects)
- Organ problems
You may recognize the following symptoms or behaviors during your child’s developmental years that may be indicative of a birth injury.
- Learning disabilities or behavioral issues
- Speech or motor impediments
- Seizure-related disorders
- Cerebral palsy
- Vision or hearing impairments
- Sensory processing disorders
- Difficulty walking, crawling, eating, drinking, or grasping objects
- Muscle spasms or tremors
How Do You Prove Negligence Resulted in a Birth Injury?
In a birth injury claim, it must be proven that:
- The liable party owed the patient a duty of care.
- The liable party breached that duty of care by acting recklessly or negligently.
- That breach of duty of care resulted in the birth injury.
- You have suffered damages.
To substantiate your claim, you and your attorney can gather evidence, including but not limited to:
- Your medical records and bills
- Witness testimonies
- Hospital policies and procedures
- Email or text communication between hospital staff
- Expert medical opinions and reports
This evidence will also help determine liability. Different parties can be held liable in a birth injury suit, including but not limited to your nurses, OB-GYN, primary care doctor, anesthesiologist, and other medical personnel involved in your care. In some cases, the hospital itself may even be held liable. Sorting through your medical records and more can help you identify who specifically acted negligently and failed to offer you standard care.
What Kind of Damages Can Birth Injury Victims Seek?
Because of birth injuries, children may require long-term care, individualized education, special equipment, and more. These costs can cause a family a lot of financial strain, which is why you are entitled to compensation if the birth injuries were caused by negligence. You can be compensated for:
- Bills associated rehab, long-term care resources, and hospital fees
- Lost wages (current and future)
- Pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Needed housing modifications or equipment
Get Help from Ellis Roberts Law, LLC
Medical malpractice lawsuits, including birth injury claims, are procedurally complex, which is why you should consult with our attorney. At Ellis Roberts Law, LLC, our legal team can help you:
- Investigate the circumstance of your child’s birth to determine causation
- Determine who can be held liable for making a mistake or acting negligently
- Collect needed evidence
- Calculate the damages you are owed
- Connect with medical experts who can help validate your claim
- Negotiate a settlement or litigate in court
Reach out to our experienced legal team today at (843) 212-1199 or via our online contact form. We take birth injury cases very seriously and can offer you the legal representation you deserve.
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