When you imagined what your child’s birth would be like, a birth injury was probably the last thing you ever expected to happen. You trusted your medical team to safely manage the birth process and inform you about your options. Instead, you were plunged into every parent’s worst nightmare, all because a medical professional was careless.
Nothing can change what happened to your baby, but you can change their future by holding the responsible parties accountable for providing your child with the highest standard of care.
When a newborn suffers a preventable injury, your family’s lives can change in an instant. You may find yourself scaling a mountain of medical debt and struggling with caretaking needs, all while worrying about your child’s future. Trial lawyer Ben Crump can help you get justice so you can make sure your child has access to the resources they need for the best possible future.
Why Birth Injuries Happen
Not all birth injuries are caused by medical negligence, but far too often injuries to newborns before, during, or immediately after the birth process are caused by a doctor, nurse, or hospital’s mistake. Some of the ways negligence can result in a birth injury include:
- Failure to diagnose a condition or disorder during pregnancy or birth
- The improper use of instruments like vacuum suction or forceps
- Failure to identify fetal distress
- Mismanagement of the second stage of labor
- Failure to perform a necessary cesarean section
- Failure to perform a cesarean in a timely manner
- The improper prescription of medications that harmed your baby
- Failure to order necessary tests
According to one 2021 study, between 2004 and 2012 the birth injury rate fell from 2.6 per 1,000 births to 1.9. Although the rate of injury fell slightly, that still leaves far too many families coping with their child’s injuries and wondering what they’re going to do next.
How a Birth Injury Lawyer Proves Liability
To prove liability in a birth injury claim, your personal injury lawyer will need to prove that the at-fault party did not provide the standard of medical care that another reasonable medical professional would have provided under the same circumstances.
How do we do this? We use documentation like your child’s medical records along with statements from expert medical witnesses. We will also use eyewitness testimony and any other avenues we can explore. The evidence we will use in your claim will depend on the specifics of your case.
Damages You Can Claim When Your Baby Is Injured at Birth
In a lawsuit, your “damages” are the related expenses you can receive compensation for. This can be any costs you incurred as a direct result of what happened to your child, including medical bills, the cost of transportation, and even the costs of disability modifications for your home or vehicle.
Some of the costs of your child’s injury will not be expenses that aren’t as simple to calculate because there are no bills. These non-economic damages can include your child’s pain and suffering. In some cases, parents will also be able to get compensation for their own pain and suffering.
Birth Injury Lawyer FAQs
Do you have questions about filing a birth injury lawsuit? The birth injury attorneys at Ben Crump Law answer our most frequently asked questions about birth injury claims.
What Is the Average Birth Injury Settlement?
Before we get into average settlements, let’s go over what “average” means. The average settlement is the range many cases will settle within, but it doesn’t mean this figure will be the amount you will receive in a settlement or court award.
The average birth injury verdict in claims that go to trial in court is $1.6 million. Will you get this much in your case? Not necessarily. You could get significantly more or less, depending on your damages and the severity of your baby’s injuries.
How Long After a Birth Injury Can You Sue?
In most cases, you will have anywhere from one to three years after your baby’s injury to file a lawsuit. How long you have to file a civil claim after a birth injury will depend on:
- How long ago the injury occurred
- Whether or not it was fatal
- When the injury was discovered
- The state where your baby was injured
The only way to know what the time limit is in your claim is to have a personal injury lawyer who represents birth injury claims review your case.
Can You Sue a Hospital for a Birth Injury?
Whether or not you will file a lawsuit against the doctor, the hospital, or both will depend on the specifics of the incident. Obstetricians may not be employees of the hospital, because they are typically independent contractors. However, that does not mean the hospital isn’t liable.
When is the hospital liable? The hospital may be partly or entirely at fault for your claim if they should have known the doctor had prior charges of negligence or a reputation for being negligent.
The hospital could also be liable if a nurse or faulty medical equipment caused your child’s injury. For example, if the equipment that was meant to monitor your baby’s heartbeat during labor was defective, or if their nurses did not receive adequate training.
Can You Sue When a Birth Injury Results in the Death of the Mother?
When the situation that caused a birth injury also resulted in the mother’s death, you will need to file a wrongful death claim to recoup expenses like hospital bills and funeral and burial expenses. You may also be able to get a settlement for the cost of caring for your child if they survived and their mother did not.
Types of Birth Injuries Our Lawyers Represent
These are some of the types of birth injury claims the lawyers at Ben Crump Law represent:
- Fetal asphyxiation
- Erb’s palsy
- Cerebral palsy
- Caput succedaneum
- Subconjunctival hemorrhage
Your Time to File a Birth Injury Claim Is Limited
The time limit to file a birth injury claim in your state is known as the statute of limitations. Once this time has passed, you will be prohibited from filing a lawsuit. The sooner you begin the process, the longer we will have to build a strong case and negotiate on your behalf.
Get a free consultation with a birth injury lawyer from Ben Crump Law if your child has been injured by a preventable medical mistake. Meeting with us does not mean you will be obligated to file a claim. We will review your claim and tell you more about your options, and then you can decide what is best for your family.