The birth of a child should be an exciting and joyous time for parents and their families. A birth injury, though, can quickly turn this happy occasion into one of uncertainty, fear, and sadness.
Many birth injuries could have been prevented but are the result of errors that nurses and doctors made during pregnancy, labor, or delivery. One mistake could affect the parents (or guardians) and their child for the rest of their lives.
However, doctors and the hospitals they work for aren’t known for readily admitting when they’re wrong. It may take an experienced medical malpractice attorney to hold medical professionals responsible for their errors.
If you are a parent or guardian and suspect that your child’s birth injury occurred because of a medical error, please don’t hesitate to contact Jason Stone Injury Lawyers today. The compassionate Boston birth injury lawyers at our law firm can determine whether you can make a claim or file a lawsuit. Contact our Boston birth injury lawyers to schedule a free consultation, which can be held over the phone or by video conference for your comfort and convenience.
Medical Mistakes That Cause Birth Injuries
Doctors may be quick to blame a child’s birth injury on genetics or a mother’s health, but medical errors are a leading cause of birth injuries. The following are some common forms of medical malpractice that may result in birth injuries:
- Failure to spot fetal distress
- Improper use of forceps or other delivery room tools
- Failure to test for serious medical conditions or birth defects
- Failure to diagnose pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia or diabetes
- Prescription of medications that could be harmful to a child
- Improper administration of epidural or other drugs
- Failure to recommend and perform C-section
- Use of excessive force during the birthing process
- Failure to follow delivery room rules and procedures
If your doctor made an error and that mistake affected you or the health of your baby, then medical malpractice has occurred. The Boston birth injury attorneys at Jason Stone Injury Lawyers can conduct a thorough investigation and determine exactly what caused the harm.
Types of Common Birth Injuries That Occur in Boston, MA Hospitals
The personal injury attorneys at Jason Stone Injury Lawyers have handled many complicated birth injury cases. If you or your child has suffered from any of the following childbirth complications, our legal team wants to help.
Cerebral palsy is a condition that generally develops when a child is still in the womb. It is often caused by a baby not receiving enough oxygen, blood, or nutrients before or during birth. In some circumstances, cerebral palsy may be a result of medical negligence.
Doctors owe their patients a duty of care. If a medical professional fails to monitor or respond properly to certain situations during labor and delivery, then that person could be held responsible for the harm caused.
Examples of medical negligence that could lead to cerebral palsy include:
- Failing to provide appropriate prenatal care
- Failing to diagnose and treat an infection in the mother
- Failing to monitor the child’s heart rate and oxygen levels
- Responding to fetal distress improperly
- Failing to perform a C-section
- Using forceps or vacuum extractors improperly
- Failing to properly resuscitate the newborn
Erb’s palsy is a birth injury that may occur when a baby’s neck is stretched to one side during the birthing process. The brachial plexus is a series of nerves that run down the spine and give feeling and control to the arms, elbow, shoulders, and hands. When these nerves are damaged during childbirth, the results can include weakness or paralysis of the arm.
There are four main types of nerve injuries that can result in Erb’s palsy:
- Neuropraxia: The nerve has been stretched but not torn and often resolves in a few months
- Neuroma: The nerve is torn and healed but scar tissue remains and prevents the injured nerve from sending signals to the muscles
- Avulsion: The nerve is completely torn away from the spine
- Rupture: The nerve is torn but partially attached to the spine
The majority of Erb’s palsy cases that occur during childbirth were preventable. Medical staff can minimize the risk factors by properly using tools such as forceps and ordering timely cesarean sections. If your child has suffered nerve damage due to a medical professional’s negligence, contact a Boston birth injury attorney to learn what compensation you may be entitled to.
Hypoxia and birth asphyxia are terms for a baby suffering oxygen deprivation before, during, or after birth. Some babies born with mild hypoxia will fully recover, while others with moderate to severe hypoxia may suffer permanent brain injury and disorders such as cerebral palsy or cognitive deficiencies.
The longer hypoxia is left untreated, the greater the chance that the infant will be left with a severe, debilitating injury. Risk factors that could cause hypoxia include:
- Umbilical cord injuries
- Infant or maternal infections
- Placental abruptions
- Uterine rupture
- Mother’s low blood pressure
Signs of oxygen deprivation include an erratic or decreased heart rate or lack of fetal movement. Medical professionals can monitor the baby’s heart rate in the womb using a fetal heart monitor, which tells them whether the baby is receiving enough oxygen. If your baby was harmed due to a healthcare worker failing to identify potential signs of hypoxia, that person could be held liable for damages.
Babies have soft, flexible skulls which allow them to pass through the mother’s pelvis and birth canal more easily. However, this leaves them at a greater risk for skull fractures and other head injuries. Infant skull fractures are usually due to prolonged labor, vacuum delivery, or forceps.
Symptoms of an infant skull fracture include:
- Lump on the skull
- Facial paralysis
When implements such as forceps are misused, they can permanently affect a child’s life. Medical practitioners who make this mistake could be in breach of their duty to provide quality medical care to their patients and could be held liable for medical malpractice.
Tragically, some infants suffer permanent brain injury during childbirth. Causes of newborn brain damage include:
- Lack of oxygen to the brain
- Buildup of bilirubin
- Physical head injuries when exiting the birthing canal
- Bacterial or viral infections
- Physical injuries caused by forceps or vacuum delivery
- Aneurysm caused by high blood pressure
Each individual case of infant brain damage can differ in symptoms and severity and have different cognitive and behavioral effects. Healthcare workers are obligated to uphold a high standard of care during the entire delivery process. If your baby has suffered a traumatic brain injury due to the careless or negligent actions of a medical practitioner, don’t hesitate to contact our Boston birth injury lawyers with Jason Stone Injury Lawyers.
Reasons to Consult With a Boston, MA Birth Injury Lawyer
If your child suffered a serious injury during birth, you’re likely feeling saddened and overwhelmed. The stress of trying to make the best decision for your infant’s health and future wellbeing can take a heavy emotional toll on parents or legal guardians. A birth injury attorney can help secure the compensation you need for your child’s medical expenses now and going forward.
Consider some of the many benefits of having an experienced birth injury lawyer on your side:
- Determining whether you have a claim: The first step in a birth injury case is determining whether your child’s birth injuries were sustained as a result of medical malpractice or negligence. Birth injury attorneys can examine fetal monitoring data, diagnostic tests, and other medical records to determine when and how a medical error was made.
- Recovering fair compensation for damages: Caring for a child with a birth injury can put a financial strain on a family. Some birth injuries are so serious that the child may require a lifetime of care. An experienced birth injury attorney will have extensive knowledge of the medical field and its costs. He or she will be able to accurately determine what types of damages and how much compensation you’re due.
- Holding doctors liable and preserving standards of care: Obstetricians and other medical professionals are often forced to make urgent decisions regarding the health of a mother and her baby when delivering a child. While some birth injuries may not be preventable, others are avoidable if the medical team takes appropriate and timely action. When doctors deviate from the appropriate standard of care, they should be held accountable so they are less likely to harm other patients in the future.
- Protecting your legal rights: The compassionate birth injury lawyers at our Massachusetts law firm can offer legal advice and advocate for you and your baby’s rights to proper healthcare treatment. We can offer support and peace of mind to you and your family during this difficult time, allowing you to focus on the needs of your child.
Damages Recovered in Boston Birth Injury Cases
The hardships that a family faces after a child suffers a serious birth trauma can be immense. The amount of financial compensation that your family is able to recover for medical bills and other losses depends on the extent of your child’s birth injuries and the specific nature of your case.
Damages that your family may be eligible to recover include:
- Past and future medical expenses: This could include bills for doctor’s appointments, surgeries, specialists, rehabilitation, and medications
- Disability expenses: A child with a long-term disability might be eligible for costs for life support, live-in nursing care, and home modifications
- Therapy: A child who suffered a birth injury such as cerebral palsy may require special education as well as occupational, speech, and behavioral therapy
- Pain and suffering: These types of damages are awarded as compensation for the physical and emotional injuries that a mother and child suffered as a result of medical negligence
- Wrongful death: These damages may be awarded if you have suffered the tragic loss of your child due to improper medical care
Contact a Boston Birth Injury Lawyer Today
If your baby suffered serious birth injuries as a result of a negligent doctor’s or another medical practitioner’s mistake, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Due to the complex nature of birth injury cases, it’s important to have an experienced legal team on your side. The skilled personal injury attorneys at Jason Stone Injury Lawyers have helped many families recover millions of dollars in damages.
We understand that there may be no amount of money that can ease the pain of losing a child or seeing your child suffer from a birth injury. However, a successful claim or lawsuit could result in the financial stability your family needs moving forward. Our law firm is prepared to do all that we can to help you every step of the way.
Our law firm represents clients on a contingency fee basis – which means you don’t owe us a dime until you’re awarded a case settlement. And that’s just one part of our 10-point Stone Cold Guarantee®. For a free consultation, Better Phone Stone®. There’s No Obligation, Just Information®. Call our Boston birth injury lawyers 24/7, fill out the online form, or start a live chat on our site.