When having a child, the last thing parents want or need to worry about
is the possibility of their baby being harmed during the delivery. While
most births go smoothly, some have complications. Birth injuries can range
from minor, like bruising, to a life-altering diagnosis of cerebral palsy.
If your child was injured at birth, contact
Rheingold, Giuffra, Ruffo & Plotkin LLP to learn more about your legal options. Your choice of attorney to represent
your interests during a birth injury case could mean the difference between
successful negotiations or expensive, ongoing litigation. Our accomplished
lawyers have extensive experience handling claims involving brain damaged
babies, cerebral palsy and other consequences of obstetrical malpractice
and are here to help you explore your legal options.
Our advocates are ready to assist you during this difficult time. Call
(888) 260-0473 to schedule an initial consultation today.
Types of birth injuries
Birth injuries vary in severity and type. While many will correct themselves
within the first months to year after delivery, not all of them do. In
serious cases, the baby can suffer permanent injury. Many birth injuries
result from the delivery itself as the baby makes its way down the birth
canal, but others occur when the treating physician fails to adequately
assess or respond to complications during a woman's pregnancy or delivery.
Some types of birth injuries include:
Forcep injuries — lacerations, bruising
Subconjunctival hemorrhage — burst blood vessels in the baby's eye that normally clear up
Caput succedaneum — bruising or swelling of the baby's scalp
Cephalohematoma — collection of blood under the baby's periosteum, a tissue
that covers the bones in the head
Facial paralysis — caused by excessive pressure on the face during delivery
Fractures — of the collarbone, limbs or head
Erb's palsy — stretching or tearing of the nerves that control movement in the
arms, hands and fingers
Cerebral palsy — damage to the areas of the brain that control muscle function
and movement, can be caused by a lack of oxygen during delivery.
Birth injuries are different from birth defects. Birth injuries occur during
difficult deliveries in which something goes wrong — whether the
child is in a breech position, is too large to move through the birth
canal or suffers some other distress. Birth defects are caused by some
factor before or during pregnancy, such as a genetic disorder, the mother's
use of illegal drugs, alcohol or tobacco, or by some prescription medications.
In a birth injury case, several parties may share liability for the injury
to your child. The doctor or team of doctors who delivered the child may
be liable for failing to follow the standard of care during your delivery.
The hospital, nurses and other care providers, such as interns, residents,
techs and nursing aids, also may be named parties for their actions. If
the doctor is part of a private practice, the practice also may be named
in the suit in certain situations.
If a medication prescribed by your doctor and correctly taken by you led
to a birth injury or birth defect, the manufacturer of the medication
may be named in a products liability suit. Your New York birth injury
lawyer can help determine which parties may be subject to liability based
upon the facts and laws governing your situation.
Proving a birth injury case
To prevail in a birth injury case, the plaintiff must prove:
- The appropriate standard of care (the type of care and skill provided by
the average doctor in the same or similar circumstances)
- The doctor failed to adhere to the established standard of care
- The child suffered a birth injury
- But for the doctor's failure to adhere to the standard of care, the
child would not have been injured
The plaintiff must show that it is more likely than not that the birth
injury occurred because of the doctor's acts or omissions during the
birth of the child. Failure on the part of the plaintiff to prove any
one of these elements will result in the plaintiff losing his or her case.
Our team is ready to help you assess the circumstances of your case.
Contact our offices today to get started.