Watching your children grow up before your eyes is one of the most rewarding events a parent can enjoy. That is why it is devastating to know your child may face a lifetime of necessary medical treatment due to a birth injury. If your child has sustained an injury during delivery, you should speak with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. The Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at Bennett & Heyman, PA understand the stress you are undergoing and are here for you. Our attorneys will work tirelessly to hold healthcare providers accountable for their actions. This article will help you recognize some common birth injuries that can be caused by doctor negligence and medical errors.
9 Common Birth Injuries Caused by Medical Errors
A birth injury is an injury which occurs while a child is being delivered. The injury typically causes a disability or disorder in an otherwise healthy infant. This is not to be confused with a birth defect. A birth defect means your child has a genetic predisposition to a certain disability or disorder. A birth defect typically changes the way the body looks or functions.
Ten of the most common birth injuries in Maryland include:
- Cephalohematoma – This condition occurs when blood collects underneath a cranial bone.
- Erb’s Palsy – The brachial plexus is home to a group of nerves that run from the shoulder and into the arm and hand. An injury to these nerves during childbirth can cause permanent injury or paralysis in an infant’s arm.
- Bone Fractures – Fractures of the clavicle or collarbone are the most common because of difficulty delivering an infant’s shoulder.
- Caput Succedaneum – This condition describes a substantial swelling of an infant’s scalp that occurs when a baby is traveling through the birth canal.
- Facial Paralysis – Pressure applied to a baby’s face during delivery may cause facial nerves to be injured. This often happens when forceps are used for delivery.
- Spinal Cord Injuries – Excessive force can cause injuries to a baby’s delicate spine, potentially leading to paralysis.
- Cerebral Palsy – This condition affects the brain’s ability to communicate with the rest of the body due to an injury. Cerebral palsy is associated with the use of forceps during child birth.
- Subconjunctival Hemorrhage – This condition describes a rupture of the blood vessels in a baby’s eyes, usually signified by a bright red band in the white part of the baby’s eyes.
- Birth Asphyxia – This condition refers to deprivation of oxygen, often due to umbilical cord issues. If your baby suffered this type of injury, our umbilical cord neck injury lawyers can help you fight for justice.
Birth Injury Statistics
Approximately 1 in every 9,714 people in the United States suffer a birth injury. This averages out to about 28,000 people per year suffering a birth injury.
Parents who are considering an assisted pregnancy should know that mothers who have a birthing-tool assisted delivery often experience higher rates of birth injuries. It is also important to know that children who are born in the Northeast United States have approximately 24-32% more birth injuries than babies born in the West, Midwest, and South United States.
If you or your child has suffered from a birth injury, you should speak with an experienced malpractice attorney as soon as possible.
Who Can File a Birth Injury Lawsuit?
In order to sue for a birth injury, you must have standing to file the case, essentially meaning that you must be injured directly or indirectly. Generally, the parents of a child who has suffered a birth injury can file a legal action on behalf of the child. The parents can also claim the damages for a child’s injury, including emotional distress. The child cannot file suit at this point because they are too young and are, legally speaking, mentally incompetent.
If you wish to file suit for a birth injury, you should know there is a limited time to file your case. In Maryland, claimants generally have five years from the date of the birth injury or three years from the date of discovery of the injury to file a lawsuit.
A child who suffered a birth injury can also assert their own right to file a birth injury lawsuit once they reach the age of 18. From this point, they have three years to file a claim for their birth injury. A Baltimore birth injury lawyer can help you and your family members understand your legal options in Maryland.
Baltimore, MD Medical Malpractice Attorneys Fighting for Birth Injury Victims
If you or your baby has been injured during delivery, consult with an experienced attorney today. The Maryland injury lawyers at Bennett & Heyman, PA are dedicated to getting you and your family the compensation you deserve. Our firm of experienced attorneys has served residents in Baltimore and across Maryland for over 70 years, and we would be proud to serve you. To schedule your free consultation, call us at (410) 727-2168.