In this day and age, many would presume that giving birth in a professional medical facility would pose little to no threat for a birthing mother and her soon-to-be newborn. However, statistics show that six to eight out of every 1,000 babies born in the United States are injured at the time of birth. Medical malpractice is still a clear issue.
If your baby has suffered from birth-related injuries, whether they are temporary or permanent, you might be able to receive compensation.
That said, here are five birth-related injuries you can sue for:
- Bone fractures
If a nurse, doctor, or other medical practitioner fractures or breaks your infant’s bones during labor and delivery, and you have proof that your child’s bone is in fact fractured or broken and that the associated medical professional was on duty, you may be able to receive monetary compensation to pay for your child’s medical expenses.
However, know that if your infant has brittle bone disease or another condition that makes your infant’s bones particularly weak, your doctor or nurse will not be held liable.
- Facial paralysis
If your infant’s face is pressed too hard during labor by a medical doctor or nurse, this can cause a condition known as facial paralysis, affecting the voluntary muscle movement of your child’s face. Apart from the latter, use of certain medicines or epidural anesthesia during labor may also contribute to facial paralysis in an infant in rare cases.
Because facial paralysis may cause eye damage, this condition is important to address via physical therapy, medications, and/or cosmetic surgery depending on the severity, but costs can add up quickly. Therefore, receiving the compensation necessary can be important.
Cephalohematoma is a condition caused by trauma to an infant’s developing skull, typically during labor due to the misuse of birth-assisting tools (e.g., vacuum extractors, forceps). As a result, benign swelling and internal bleeding can occur.
Sometimes cases of cephalohematoma will go away on its own within a few weeks. However, with being properly monitored, this condition may lead to meningitis, anemia, jaundice, or other complications, resulting in the child requiring a blood transfusion or other emergency procedure.
- Erb’s palsy (brachial plexus birth palsy)
Erb’s palsy is a condition where the neck’s main nerves become paralyzed. The brachial plexus nerves are responsible for allowing one to feel and move their shoulders, arms, hands, and fingers properly. Unfortunately, two out of every 1,000 babies are diagnosed with Erb’s palsy.
While most infants’ Erb’s palsy will recover with time, not all cases will. On top of that, affected infants will need physical therapy to get better or even make a full-on recovery. If a medical professional is to blame for your child’s Erb’s palsy, taking them to court can help you pay for your child’s physical therapy sessions.
- Cerebral palsy
Cerebral palsy can be caused by complications during pregnancy or may even be caused by a severe head injury that occurs during delivery due to medical malpractice. In turn, the child may have problems with muscle control and coordination, posture, reflex, and balance.
But because cerebral palsy can be avoided in many cases, this disability typically qualifies for compensation for medical care.
With approximately 28,000 U.S. infants being born with birth-related injuries, something has to be done. On the bright side, one can sue for certain birth-related injuries and even defects to help compensate for any physical, mental, or emotional losses to the baby and/or the mother. That said, know your legal rights and options.