Roughly 28,000 infants a year sustain a birth injury in the United States. Some injuries are minor and recoverable. Others are extremely severe and cause permanent issues. Other injuries result in the infant’s death. In every case, birth injuries are devastating to the infant, the mother, and their families. What should have been a moment of joy sometimes becomes a lifelong struggle to survive. If someone was at fault, they should be held accountable.
If your child was injured at birth, you need to work with a personal injury attorney dedicated to standing up to negligent healthcare providers and hospitals and their insurers. This is not a journey you should make on your own.
At the Law Offices of Jessica A. Almeida, I help parents and children recover compensation when a healthcare provider’s negligence caused an injury at birth. My office proudly serves clients in all of New York including Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Long Island, and Westchester in seeking damages for injuries that should not have happened.
A fetus and newborn infant are remarkably resilient little humans. But their resilience can be virtually destroyed by the negligence of someone who did something or failed to do something that hurts the child. Some of the more prevalent causes of birth injuries include:
Failing to catch and properly treat an infection;
Committing an error while performing a procedure or surgery;
Administering improper doses of drugs;
Failing to recognize an issue with an infant;
Improper use of tools, including scissors, forceps, and speculums; and,
Not performing a Cesarean section when it was necessary.
Unfortunately, a moment of negligence can lead to a lifetime of complications.
While the cause of injuries varies, the type of injuries caused generally falls into five major categories:
Lack of oxygen. Depriving an infant of oxygen at birth can result in cerebral palsy, seizures, damage to the kidneys, heart, and lungs, and mild to severe cognitive issues such as autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and behavioral problems.
Broken bones. While a broken clavicle is the most common fracture at birth, most other bones can also be broken, including those in the arm, leg, wrist, foot, ankle, hip, neck, and back.
Erb’s Palsy. A form of brachial plexus palsy, this could cause a child to be unable to feel or move the shoulder or upper arm, although they may be able to wiggle their fingers.
Brain injuries. These range from swelling and bruising of the skull to brain bleeds.
Neurological injuries. Brain injuries could cause floppy limbs, poor muscle tone, spastic or jerking movements, and a delay in the motor skill development necessary for crawling, walking, and swallowing.
Negligence is doing something or failing to do something that a prudent, careful, and reasonable medical professional would have done under the same situation. In essence, it’s when a mistake is made.
Similar to negligence but different in its meaning is “medical malpractice.” Medical malpractice also occurs when a medical professional deviates from an accepted medical standard of care. The difference is in the intention. In medical malpractice, the action, or lack thereof, is intentional even if the harm it causes is not. It was a calculated decision that was made whereas negligence is unintentional in its occurrence.
There are four standards that need to be shown in a birth injury case:
The doctor or nurse had a duty of care to you and your baby.
The doctor or nurse breached that duty.
That breached duty caused damages to your baby.
The injuries your baby sustained were directly caused by the doctor’s or nurse’s actions or failure to take action.
Where these elements can be demonstrated, then the injured party may be eligible for compensation.
Birth injury claims are complex and often difficult to prove. You need an attorney with experience in medical malpractice and negligence law, one who understands complicated medical issues, and one who has relationships with knowledgeable and respected medical experts who can attest to a defendant’s breach of the duty of care and their liability. You need one who will guide you through the process with strength and compassion.
At the Law Offices of Jessica A. Almeida, I have the experience and resources necessary to help you fight for justice and fair compensation. Don’t delay. The statute of limitations for birth injury cases in New York is two years and six months after the date of the injury, and wrongful death suits must be filed within two years of the infant’s death. Time is of the essence, so call my offices today.
If you believe your child’s birth injury or death was caused by a healthcare provider with intent or carelessness, contact the Law Offices of Jessica A. Almeida for a free consultation. I am dedicated to providing aggressive legal representation for my clients whose lives have been altered by negligence or malpractice. I proudly serve clients in all of New York including Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Long Island, and Westchester.