My Child Was Diagnosed with a Birth Injury Years Later: What Can I Do?
A birth injury is an injury that happens during the delivery process. Birth injuries can cause permanent damage and affect a child and their family’s lives forever. A medical malpractice claim can help hold negligent doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals liable for the damage they have caused.
At the Tawwater Law Firm, our attorneys help birth injury victims and their families in Oklahoma City, OK, recover compensation for their injuries, pain and suffering, and other damages. If your child has been diagnosed with a birth injury, even if it’s been years since their birth, we encourage you to speak with our attorneys to learn more about your legal options.
Types of Birth Injuries
Birth injuries are injuries that occur during the delivery process. Birth injuries can happen due to the size or the position of the baby during delivery but may also be caused by doctors or nurses making mistakes, being negligent, or misusing birthing tools or other medical equipment.
Birth injuries can range from mild, like bruising, to more severe, permanent damage with lifelong repercussions. Some types of birth injuries include:
- Cerebral palsy
- Erb’s palsy
- Facial paralysis
- Shoulder dystocia
- Brain damage
- Subconjunctival hemorrhage
- Forceps marks
When Is a Birth Injury Grounds for a Lawsuit?
Some birth injuries are unavoidable, like swelling or bruising on a baby’s face after a head-first vaginal delivery. However, when a birth injury could have been avoided, it may be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. In order to be considered medical malpractice, a birth injury needs to meet certain criteria, including:
- A standard of care wasn’t met: A doctor, nurse, or other medical professional failed to meet a reasonable standard of care or skill expected of someone in the same profession.
- Substandard care resulted in injury: The failure to meet the standard of care directly resulted in the birth injury or injuries.
If a medical professional acted negligently by failing to meet a certain standard of care and as a result caused a birth injury, they may be held liable through a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Possible Types of Birth Injury Cases
When a birth injury causes permanent or life changing damage, it’s important to hold responsible medical professionals liable. Some examples of injuries that may make strong birth injury cases include:
- Brain damage from delayed c-section
- Shoulder dystocia and Erb’s palsy caused by the vaginal delivery of a baby in the breech position
- Skull fractures and brain bleeds from negligent use of forceps during delivery
- Brain damage due to lack of oxygen from failure to respond to fetal monitoring and perform a c-section in a timely manner
- Cerebral palsy caused by a brain injury at birth from failure to promptly perform a c-section
How Long Do You Have to Seek Compensation?
Through a medical malpractice lawsuit it may be possible to recover financial compensation for medical expenses that have accrued as a result of the injury or that are expected over the life of the child. In addition, damages for non-monetary losses, including emotional distress and pain and suffering, may also be recovered.
With this in mind, it’s important to be aware that there is only a certain amount of time, called the statute of limitations, allotted to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. In Oklahoma City, medical malpractice victims have two years from the date of the injury to file their claim.
Sometimes a birth injury and its repercussions may not be evident for some time after birth. In such cases, the statute of limitations typically begins on the date the symptoms became known rather than the date of injury.
Contact the Tawwater Law Firm
If your child has suffered harm from a birth injury, it’s important to speak with a medical malpractice attorney to find out if you have a birth injury claim. Contact the Tawwater Law Firm in Oklahoma City to schedule a consultation.