Expecting a new baby should be a joyous time. However, the joy you anticipated can quickly turn to anguish when something goes wrong. Much too often, a medical professional’s negligence results in devastating, lifelong injuries to a mother or her baby.
At Slater & Zurz, our Cleveland birth injury lawyers are here for you and your family during this time when you need us most. Our lawyers have over 100 years of combined experience, dedicating our careers to the pursuit of justice and providing compassionate legal representation to innocent victims and their families.
Common Types of Birth Injuries
A birth injury refers to physical trauma that occurs during labor and delivery. They involve damage to the brain, spinal cord, bones, muscles, and soft tissue. Although some birth injuries are unavoidable, many could have been prevented if the medical professional had followed the proper standard of care.
Common birth injuries include:
- Cerebral palsy
- Erb’s palsy
- Kumpke’s palsy
- Bracial plexus injuries
- Shoulder dystocia
- Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Nerve injuries
- Premature delivery
- Maternal injuries
- Wrongful death
How A Birth Injury Can Impact A Child’s Quality of Life
Learning your child has sustained a birth injury is a devastating experience. Depending on the type and severity of the injury, a child’s life can be affected in a variety of ways, including:
- Cognitive disabilities
- Speech problems
- Skeletal deformities, such as shortened limbs
- Difficulty or inability to swallow
- Hearing loss
- Vision problems
- Dental or other oral health issues
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
The Causes of Birth Injuries
Birth injuries result from events or complications that occur during labor and delivery. Common causes of birth injuries include:
- Failing to schedule or perform a Cesarean section (C-section)
- A lack of oxygen to the newborn’s brain during labor and delivery
- Misuse of medical instruments or equipment during the delivery
- Improperly pulling or twisting the newborn during the delivery
- Administering the wrong type or amount of medication
- Failing to accurately administer or assess a fetal ultrasound
- Failing to promptly recognize signs of fetal distress
- Failing to deliver the baby when the mother or baby’s health is at risk
- Failing to properly resuscitate or care for the newborn after birth
Pursuing Maximum Compensation in Your Birth Injury Case
Birth injuries can cause devastating physical, cognitive, and developmental complications. Often these complications result in a lifetime of costly medical care. Damages recovered in a birth injury case may include:
- Past, current, and future medical expenses
- Rehabilitation costs, including ongoing therapy
- Assistive care, including special accommodations
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Funeral expenses
Proving your Birth Injury Case
When a child or mother suffers a birth injury due to another party’s negligence, the injured party is entitled to full and fair compensation for their losses. However, to prove a birth injury claim, their attorney must show the following:
Duty – There was an established relationship between you and the medical professional for medical care during your labor and delivery.
Breach of Duty – The medical professional’s conduct was below the standard level of care. Your attorney must prove that another doctor would not have taken the same course of action that resulted in the injury.
Damages– Harm was caused to you or your baby.
Causation – Your or your baby’s injuries were a direct result of the medical professional’s actions or inaction.
When building a strong birth injury case, your attorney may gather evidence, such as:
- Medical records for you and your baby
- Employment records of the medical professional
- Statements from eyewitnesses, such as doctors, nurses, and others who assisted in your labor and delivery
Whether your child will make a full recovery from a birth injury depends on the nature and extent of the injury. An effective way to determine your child’s chances of a full recovery is by answering the following questions:
- How severe is the injury?
- How quickly was the injury identified?
- What type of medical treatment is my child receiving?
For some birth injuries, such as Erb’s palsy, your child may make a full recovery within a few months to a few years. With more serious birth injuries, such as Kumpke’s palsy or cerebral palsy, your child may be left with lifelong effects and disability.
What a Cleveland Birth Injury Lawyer Can Do for You
Medical malpractice cases, such as a birth injury case, require extensive investigation. A seasoned birth injury lawyer in Cleveland will have the knowledge, experience, and resources to build a strong case on your or your child’s behalf. We will pursue every legal avenue to hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions and obtain the maximum recovery for you and your family. We can provide invaluable assistance throughout the process by:
- Being readily available to answer any questions and address any concerns
- Keeping you and your family updated on the status of your case
- Performing a detailed investigation into the incident
- Working with a team of qualified medical professionals to determine the cause of the injury, the injury’s nature and extent, and who is responsible for the injury
- Working with financial experts to accurately assess past, present, and future damages
- Negotiate skillfully on your behalf to obtain maximum compensation
- If necessary, aggressively represent your best interests in court
- Being there for you and your family, even after your case has been successfully resolved
We understand this is a devastating and stressful time for you and your family. Our legal team is here to support and guide you through this challenging process so you can focus on your and your child’s health and well-being. Call (440)557-2861 today to schedule a free consultation with a qualified Cleveland personal injury lawyer at Slater & Zurz.