Infant Injury and Death: What Are the Legal Remedies?
Despite the fact that medical treatment during childbirth is better than ever, women and infants can become injured or even die during delivery. Sometimes this is due to completely unforeseen situations, but all too often, these deaths are preventable and occur as a result of negligence or a mistake.
Unfortunately, the medical community invests a lot of time, money and energy concealing mistakes. Doctors and other medical staff will do their best to avoid liability, as they know a successful lawsuit could cost them their job, their reputation, and a good deal of money. That’s why so many medical providers have teams of lawyers on hand to defend their practitioners – and why it’s so important that you have legal help in your corner.
Without legal assistance, it is difficult to break through the wall of legal defense that medical establishments have in place. However, should you choose an experienced attorney to help you pursue a wrongful death or injury claim, you may be able to obtain a just outcome and ensure that the responsible party is held to the standards required by their profession.
What is an infant wrongful death claim?
An infant wrongful death or injury can occur when a baby dies due to another person’s actions, inactions or negligence. If the plaintiff (person bringing the lawsuit) wins the infant wrongful death or injury suit, then damages may be awarded for things such as mental anguish, pain, physical impairment, past medical bills, future medical bills, and loss of earning capacity.
Infant injury or death during delivery can be attributed to various causes, but one of the most common reasons is medical malpractice. However, medical malpractice cases can be very complex. The plaintiff needs to prove that the healthcare professionals didn’t adhere to the required standard of care. In addition, medical malpractice cases have strict statutes of limitations, which is why it’s important to consult an attorney as soon as possible.
Here are some examples of medical negligence that can be tied to a newborn’s death:
Uterine Rupture. This happens when the mother’s uterus tears and leads to an unplanned delivery with heavy bleeding – both of which put the baby and mother in danger. Should the attending doctors and nurses fail to carry out the necessary life-saving procedures, they potentially open themselves up to liability.
Nuchal Cord. Sometimes, babies are born with the umbilical cord wrapped around their neck which can cause brain damage or death. In such cases, one could argue that the doctors and delivery nurses should have seen this and taken steps to ensure a safe delivery.
Forceps Delivery. Sometimes an infant gets stuck in the birth canal (either due to overall size or cranial circumference). This may necessitate the use of forceps and clamps to maneuver the child out of the womb. Doctors may use excessive and an unreasonable amount of force, which can cause injuries to vital blood vessels and the head of the child.
Oxygen deprivation. Asphyxiation during delivery can lead to hypoxia – or oxygen deprivation – of vital organs including the heart, lungs, and brain. When these organs stop getting oxygen, cell death occurs and can lead to neurological disorders like cerebral palsy, multiple organ failure, and death.
Overdose. Excessive amounts of medications for inducing labor or sedating the mother during labor can overwhelm the infant’s system and potentially lead to brain damage or death.
What kinds of birth injuries can lead to a claim?
We understand that the birth of a child is one of the most joyous and happiest events of a parent’s life. However, for every 1,000 babies successfully delivered in the United States, five will experience birth-related injuries. These injuries are usually a result of medical staff improperly using medical devices or the baby not getting enough oxygen during labor.
Some of the more common birth injuries include:
- Erb’s palsy (also known as brachial plexus or shoulder dystocia)
- Infant brain damage
- Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
- Wrongful death
- Bone fractures
- Perinatal Asphyxia
- Facial Paralysis
- Spinal cord injuries
- Caput Succedaneum
- Fetal lacerations
- Shoulder dystocia
We Are Here to Help
At GreeningLaw P.C., we understand that the death of an infant can be one of the most difficult moments in any parent’s life.
As one of the most recognized personal injury law firms in the state, we know how to make sure you get the compensation you and your child deserve for their suffering and yours. Our experienced attorneys care about you and your outcome and will treat your case with the same respect and thoroughness we would our own families. In addition, we work on a contingency basis, which means you don’t pay for a thing unless you receive compensation for your case.
Contact us today for a free consultation. We will review all the elements of your case, discuss any possible compensation you may receive, and suggest the best course of action.
We fight the legal battle so you have time for healing and renewal. We will get you through this.