In general, there are few complications when it comes to childbirth. Seven out of 1,000 births will involve some form of birth injury, some of which will be severe and generate a permanent disability. The severe forms of birth injuries include Cerebral Palsy and Erb’s Palsy. If you have a child with severe birth injuries, you need to contact an Ohio birth injury attorney to find out your legal rights. The Chester Law Group handles birth injury cases and can determine if you qualify for a personal injury settlement. Contact Chester Law Group at (800)218-4243.
Birth Injury Statistics in the United States
After waiting nine months hoping that you will give birth to a healthy baby, the last thing on your mind may be whether your child will be hurt during the delivery process. For the most part, deliveries go off without a hitch, but in a small percentage of cases, there will be complications. It has been estimated that around 7 out of 1000 babies born in the United States will experience some form of birth injury. Some birth injuries may be minor and can be corrected while others are devastating and remain for a lifetime. If you have had a child with a birth injury, contact the Chester Law Group to discuss your legal rights. An experienced birth injury attorney can guide you through the steps necessary for a Personal injury settlement.
What is the Difference Between a Birth Injury and a Birth Defect?
You should know that there is a distinction between a birth injury and a birth defect. Birth injuries are defined as a complication of the birthing process such as a breech problem or a birth canal that is too small to allow passage of the fetus. On the other hand, birth defects come from something that happened during pregnancy such as a genetic complication, alcohol use, smoking, or use of prescription medication.
Birth injuries come in many forms. A number of birth injuries are common and will heal themselves early on without the need of any medication or surgery. However, in serious cases, your child can suffer permanent injury. Although many birth injuries result from birth canal problems, some will result from negligence on behalf of the doctor, hospital or staff when they violate proper protocol. Common types of birth injuries are listed below:
- Some babies are removed with the aid of forceps. This can generate a forcep birth injury leading to cuts, bruises and bone fractures, especially around the head.
- Sometimes, the baby’s shoulder gets behind the pelvis. This causes tearing of the nerves to the arm, hand and fingers on that side. This causes Erb’s Palsy.
- Sometimes, there is a lack of oxygen to areas of the brain that control motor movements. This causes some neurons to die, generating Cerebral Palsy. This damaged motor system causes improper muscle movement involving standing, walking, posture, and speech impairment.
What Should I Do If My Ohio Child Has a Birth Injury?
If you believe your child has a birth injury, you will have to prove that the doctor was careless and this carelessness led to the injury to your child. In particular, what you will need to do is:
- Demonstrate what the standard of care is for the same or similar circumstance
- Provide evidence that your doctor failed to follow proper guidelines for standard care
- Provide evidence that your child actually suffered a birth injury
- Demonstrate that your child would not have been injured if the physician followed proper protocol
It is possible that more than one party may share in responsibility for a birth injury to your child. The medical team including doctor, interns, technicians and nurses may all be responsible. On the other hand, the hospital may be at fault. Also, if a prescription drug was prescribed by your doctor that was taken correctly by you and this led to a birth defect or birth injury, the pharmaceutical company may be responsible, as well.
You will need to contact an Ohio birth injury attorney and they will be able to determine who, if anyone, is legally responsible. Your birth injury attorney will guide you through this process, letting you know what to do in your particular situation.
What the Ohio Physicians May Do to Fight Back
You can count on doctors fighting back when you claim their actions led to your child’s birth injury. There are 3 common defenses they use when they are confronted with malpractice litigation that involves a birth injury:
- Watch out for the ‘Good Samaritan Acts’ that are found in some states. If your doctor was not present during delivery or is standing on the side lines and a different doctor delivered your baby, you may have difficulty proving a doctor-patient relationship. Not being able to prove a doctor-patient relationship weakens your case or will disqualify you from a malpractice suit.
- It may be difficult for you to prove a deviation from accepted protocols simply because there are multiple standards accepted. When there are multiple accepted protocols, it is left up to the physician to choose the accepted protocol he/she wants to support. This is usually an issue for a jury to decide.
- Even if you have established an accepted protocol for delivery of your child and proved that the physician failed to follow proper protocol, your doctor may state that the negligence was not the source of the birth injury. In other words, your child would have suffered the injury even if the doctor was not careless. This is caused “proximate causation” in legal circles.
Your Ohio birth injury attorney can help you with all these factual and legal complications. You should be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, permanent physical damage, future medical expenses and special education your child may require if you prove your case. What the injured child and the family can be compensated for depends on the specifics of your case, so reach out to an experienced birth injury attorney for more information.
Seek Legal Counsel from a Skilled Ohio Birth Injury Attorney
Not all birth injury cases go to trial, but yours may. The Chester Law Group is a personal injury law firm experienced in birth injury cases. A birth injury attorney can evaluate your claim and help you determine the best course of action. Call the attorneys at Chester Law Group today to get the help you want from people that you can trust at (800)218-4243.