Birth Injury: What You Need to Know
When you have a baby with a birth injury, you have a limited amount of time to file a birth injury claim. These injuries are serious and do require continuing medical care throughout the baby’s life. Since this is often very expensive, even if you have insurance, you should contact an attorney as soon as you realize your baby suffers from a birth injury.
Common Birth Injuries
Some of the more common birth injuries include:
- Brachial Plexus injuries, often referred to as BPI. These injuries include damage to the nerves in the shoulder, hand, neck, arm, and spine.
- Spinal cord injuries are generally caused by forceps. They may include neurological problems and paralysis.
- Cerebral palsy often referred to as CP, may be caused by physiological abnormalities or genetic mutations. But, it may also be caused by trauma during birth, including lack of oxygen in any stage of the pregnancy including labor and delivery and other trauma suffered at birth.
- Fractures are often caused by a difficult birth. Often they heal on their own, sometimes without treatment.
- Birth trauma and brain injuries are usually mechanical injuries that happen during labor or delivery. They are generally caused by the size of the baby or the shape of the mother’s pelvis. However, medical staff may make mistakes that could cause birth trauma and brain injuries, including not monitoring fetal oxygen levels, using too much force during a vacuum extraction or delaying a cesarean section.
- Head injuries include cephalohematoma, a condition when blood pools on the skull and caput succedaneum, which is when the scalp swells. Cephalohematoma doesn’t require medical treatment. Neither condition is life-threatening. Caput succedaneum is caused by pressure on the head during delivery.
Deadlines for Birth Injury Cases
An attorney may help you if you believe that medical negligence caused your baby’s birth injury. While some birth injuries happen when doctors and nurses did nothing wrong, others are because of mistakes. In addition to the attorney helping you through the process, you will be sure to not miss any deadlines. The two types of deadlines include the statute of limitations and notice requirements.
Since the deadlines can be tricky, it’s best to have an attorney help you with a birth injury case. In some states, a notice may be required before you can file a lawsuit against a medical provider who may have been negligent if that entity is a governmental entity.
The statute of limitations is a law that bars the filing of a lawsuit after a certain date. Each state has its own statute of limitations, but generally, you have between one and three years to file a lawsuit. As soon as you notice signs of a birth injury, you should contact a birth injury attorney.
Contact The Mellino Law Firm, LLC
As soon as you suspect your baby has a birth injury, contact The Mellino Law Firm, LLC. A medical malpractice attorney needs time to investigate birth injury cases. Part of the investigation is gathering medical records for you and the baby. The attorney will also contact experts to look at the records to help determine whether negligence caused the birth injury. If you haven’t saved your baby’s medical records, an attorney will get them for you. Call us at (440) 276-3535 to set up a consultation.