Any injury can be distressing. But when your baby sustains a completely severe yet avoidable injury during the birthing process, the situation is nothing less than devastating.
A birth injury is every parent’s worst nightmare. We all know it is a possibility, but we hope it won’t happen to our children. We place our trust in the hands of doctors, nurses, and hospitals and believe they will provide adequate medical care to our babies before, during, and directly after their birth. But what happens when something goes wrong, and your baby is injured as a result?
Below, we will explain what birth injuries are, detail the types of birth injuries, and discuss what you should know if your baby suffered injuries during birth.
Should you want to learn more about birth injuries or begin the process of seeking compensation following an injury, we encourage you to reach out to the Ohio birth injury lawyers at Slater & Zurz. Our dedicated and compassionate legal team is here to explain the process and help you bring those responsible to justice. Call (888) 534-4850 today to schedule a FREE, no-obligation case review.
What Is Considered a Birth Injury in Ohio?
A birth injury refers to any harm that takes place during the labor and delivery process. This also includes harm or injury sustained by the mother. Some birth injuries are unavoidable and are simply a result of the natural birthing process. However, a large percentage of birth injuries are, in fact, a result of errors made by the medical professionals involved with the labor and delivery process.
The Differences Between a Birth Injury and a Birth Defect
When something goes wrong, parents want to know what happened. Was their baby’s harm or injury caused by a birth injury, or was it a result of a birth defect? And what is the difference?
Again, birth injuries are avoidable and caused by mistakes made by those involved in the child’s birth.
On the other hand, a birth defect is a congenital defect or developmental abnormality present at birth. They naturally occur and are not in any way caused by the actions of the doctor, nurse, or hospital. The causes of birth defects are unknown in many cases. However, some defects are found to be linked to genetic conditions and exposure to toxic substances.
Birth Injuries and Medical Negligence
Parents can take legal action on behalf of their child when medical negligence leads to their baby’s injuries. To prove negligence, your Ohio birth injury lawyer will need to show the following:
- A relationship between the healthcare provider and patient exists.
- The healthcare provider’s level of treatment fell below the accepted standard.
- Their actions or inaction directly caused the injury.
- The patient sustained losses or “damages” due to their injury.
Types of Ohio Birth Injuries
Birth injuries range from mild bruising that will heal with time to devastating, life-altering injuries that require extensive ongoing medical treatment. Below are some common injuries sustained during the birthing process.
- Cerebral palsy Erb’s palsy or other brachial plexus injuries
- Klumpke’s palsy
- Fractured or broken bones
- Shoulder dystocia
- Hearing or vision loss
- Motor impairment
- Fractured skull
- Brain hemorrhage
- Facial injuries
- Forceps injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck injuries
- Wrongful death
Again, not all birth injuries are sustained by the newborn. Many mothers are seriously injured during the birthing process as well. Common injuries to the mother include vaginal tears, infection, nerve damage, ongoing back pain, seizures, ruptured or prolapsed uterus, spinal cord damage, and broken bones.
Causes of Ohio Birth Injuries
Avoidable birth injuries can arise from a wide range of circumstances. However, some of the more commonly seen causes include:
- Inadequate monitoring of the mother or baby
- Discharging the baby or mother too early
- Medication errors
- Failure to treat or delayed treatment of an infection
- Failure to perform or waiting too long to perform a C-section
- Improper use of birthing tools
- Failure to treat preeclampsia
- Defective medical equipment
- Using excessive force during delivery
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of a medical condition
- Failure to provide adequate oxygen to the baby
- Failure to treat jaundice
- Delayed or no response to a fetus in distress
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Serious Birth Injury?
Although most of us immediately think of the doctor as the one responsible for a childbirth injury, several parties can be responsible and, therefore, held legally liable for damages. At-fault parties include but are not limited to:
- Pharmaceutical companies
- Medical equipment manufacturers
- Birthing centers
Your Right to Seek Compensation
Under Ohio law, you have the legal right to seek financial compensation from those responsible for your or your child’s birth injury. The damages you are entitled to will depend on the injury, who and what contributed to the injury, and the extent of the losses caused by the birth injury. However, compensation in Ohio childbirth injury cases generally includes some or all of the following damages:
- Costs for medical treatment
- Medication expenses
- Ongoing medical care, including rehabilitation
- Assistive care
- Lost wages
- Home and vehicle modifications
- Physical pain and suffering
- Lost quality of life
- Wrongful death damages
The state of Ohio limits how much time an injured victim can take legal action against a responsible party by filing a birth injury lawsuit. This limit is known as the “statute of limitations.’
Several factors determine how long the statute of limitations is in a birth injury or medical malpractice case. Still, it generally ranges from one year to up to four years, depending on the circumstances. Minor children who were injured at birth have until their 19th birthday to take legal action.
To determine whether you still have the right to seek compensation for a birth injury, we encourage you to contact an experienced Ohio birth injury lawyer at Slater & Zurz.
Speak with a Top Birth Injury Attorney in Ohio
A birth injury can forever change your and your baby’s lives. A devastating and unnecessary injury can turn your world upside down. Learning to cope with your new reality while caring for your baby’s needs can be overwhelming.
The Ohio birth injury lawyers at Slater & Zurz want you to know that you are not alone. As relentless advocates of injured victims across Ohio, we will do everything within our power to help. Our injury attorneys will work hard to ensure your baby gets the treatment they need, then fight by utilizing our knowledge, experience, and resources to get your family the compensation you need.
With offices in Akron, Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Toledo, we can assist you regardless of where you reside in Ohio. We also are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to ensure we can help you any time, day or night.