When a child is born with a birth injury, the child’s parents’ lives change in more ways than one. Taking care of a medically complicated child can be an extreme burden – financially, emotionally, physically, and mentally. For that reason, when birth injuries are caused by medical malpractice, affected families are legally entitled to seek compensation from the doctors and healthcare professionals that caused the devastating injury to occur.
Our team of nationwide personal injury attorneys at Bailey Glasser understands the uniquely devastating nature of birth injuries and the effects they can have on families. We have represented Pittsburgh families in seeking justice for birth injuries of all types, and we’re ready to assist you and your family today.
What are Birth Injuries?
Birth injuries are any type of physical trauma experienced by a baby during the process of childbirth. Oftentimes, birth injuries are entirely preventable, as they are usually caused by some type of medical malpractice or other wrongdoing by a healthcare professional in the delivery room. Birth injuries can lead to life-altering, painful, and expensive conditions that forever change the course of a child’s life, in addition to the child’s parents.
Types of Birth Injuries and Birth Trauma
Birth injuries vary widely and can stem from all types of issues during birth, but generally stem from a complication during the birth process. These complications can include lack of oxygen, improper placement, and other types of medical misconduct. Because birth is such an important moment in a child’s development, physical trauma experienced during birth can lead to lifelong, permanent conditions. Some of the most common types of these conditions are listed below.
When a birth injury or birth trauma causes any of these conditions to develop, affected families should speak with an attorney as soon as possible, as they may be eligible to seek compensation for the injuries they’ve suffered.
Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)
Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a consequence of birth injuries sustained by a cutoff of oxygen to a baby’s heart and lungs. A baby’s oxygen supply can be reduced for many reasons, but one of the most common reasons is the umbilical cord being wrapped around a baby’s neck. Delivery room doctors are usually trained to watch for signs of reduced oxygen supply, and if an oxygen cutoff occurs, the baby is usually delivered immediately on an emergency basis. In some cases, oxygen cutoff can be caused by errors in an otherwise “normal” delivery process, which would give rise to a medical malpractice claim.
HIE specifically refers to the damage sustained by a baby’s brain due to a lack of oxygen. The brain damage caused by HIE can lead to serious, lifelong developmental problems and neurological defects, including cerebral palsy and epilepsy. Depending on the length of time a baby’s brain was deprived of oxygen, some babies may have less serious or no effects of HIE, but unfortunately, these effects sometimes are not identifiable until later in childhood. If your baby experiences HIE in any form during birth, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options for seeking compensation.
Cerebral palsy is a catch-all term for several disorders that affect the brain’s movement and coordination centers. Babies who are born with cerebral palsy can usually live with varying degrees of cognitive function, and sometimes, have full cognitive function. But all babies affected by cerebral palsy experience decreased motor skills and movement abilities. Like HIE, cerebral palsy can be caused by oxygen deprivation, but it can also be caused by direct physical trauma to the baby’s head – such as from a drop, fall, or other impact.
Erb’s palsy is another type of motor function disorder that affects a baby’s arms, usually leaving children with full or partial paralysis in one or both arms. It is caused by damage to the brachial plexus nerves, which are located in the shoulder and control movement of the arms. Most often, Erb’s palsy is caused by stretching and tearing of those nerves during delivery, when a baby’s arms are pulled with too much force or in an improper manner. When traditional deliveries are difficult, a doctor should order a C-section instead of risking a difficult delivery that could cause Erb’s palsy. For that reason, Erb’s palsy is generally an indicator of medical malpractice and legal liability for damages.
Birth Injury Lawsuits
A birth injury lawsuit can assist affected families in obtaining compensation for the injuries suffered by their child and their family. While no amount of money can truly compensate for the loss of a child’s health and well-being, legal compensation can assist families in ensuring that their child will be taken care of in the future. Caring for a medically complex child can be an expensive journey, and legal compensation allows families to obtain peace of mind that their child’s interests will always be looked out for. The compensation obtained through a birth injury lawsuit can be used to pay for:
- Medical bills and hospital expenses
- In-home care and assistance
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Occupational therapy and support services
- Educational needs and related services
- Long-term care and assistance
- Mobility and transportation aids
An experienced and capable birth injury attorney can assist you and your family in seeking and obtaining as much compensation as the law may entitle you to receive. At Bailey Glasser, we understand that your peace of mind about your child’s well-being is priceless, but we will work hard to help you obtain as much money as possible.
Get in Touch with Bailey Glasser Today
We’re proud to offer free, no-risk consultations to prospective birth injury clients in the Pittsburgh area. If your family has been affected by a birth injury leading to a lifelong condition, get in touch with us as soon as possible. Birth injuries are frequently caused by medical malpractice, and when doctors commit malpractice, they are liable to pay damages. We’re passionate about seeking justice for Pittsburgh birth injury victims, and we’re looking forward to hearing from your family today. Contact us now to set up an appointment with a Bailey Glasser attorney about your prospective birth injury lawsuit.
Navigating the repercussions of personal injury, whether it’s due to a car accident or a case of medical malpractice, can be daunting. These situations not only take a physical toll but also lead to mental stress and financial burdens. At Bailey Glasser, we’ve helped countless individuals affected by such circumstances, assisting them in obtaining the rightful compensation they deserve. Our experienced attorneys understand the nuances of both car accident and medical malpractice cases, and we are dedicated to providing you with the support you need during this challenging time.