The birth of a child is a joyous occasion for parents. However, sometimes there are complications during labor and delivery that result in a birth injury. These can be anywhere from mild to severe, including bruises, forcep marks, skull fractures, lacerations, severe scalp swelling, brachial palsy, cephalohematoma, facial paralysis, fractured bones, and brain damage. Not all birth injuries are the result of medical malpractice, but when a birth injury is caused by a health care provider’s carelessness, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against the responsible party for compensation. The Detroit medical malpractice lawyers at Feldheim & Wilenkin can assist you in exploring your options and asserting your rights.Establishing Liability for Birth Injuries
Medical malpractice occurs when a health care provider's actions or omissions fall below the professional standard of care, causing harm to a patient. A doctor treating a pregnant woman generally must follow the accepted standards for practice within a particular geographic region when handling a particular medical condition, accounting for variables such as maternal age, gestational diabetes, and other complicating factors.
Liability can arise from a failure to diagnose, a failure to provide reasonable medical care, or an inappropriate delay. It can also result from a health care provider's failure to secure a patient's informed consent to a medical procedure that results in harm to the patient. Some common medical errors that give rise to birth injury lawsuits include a failure to respond to fetal distress, a failure to respond to bleeding, a failure to anticipate birth complications, a delay in ordering a C-section, the inappropriate use of Pitocin, and the misuse of a vacuum extractor.
In order to determine whether medical malpractice caused a birth injury, an attorney usually reviews all of the baby's medical records and the mother's as well. The attorney often reviews these with an expert nurse or physician to determine whether there may be a viable case.
Compensatory damages are usually available for successful birth injury lawsuits. Typically, the victim and his or her family can recover damages for all past and future medical expenses. In some cases, other damages may be recovered, such as residential custodial care, medical mileage, physical therapy, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of earning potential. There is a statutory cap on noneconomic damages.
Generally, a medical malpractice claim must be filed within two years of the malpractice, but in the case of birth trauma, there is an extended statute of limitations for injury to the baby. If the mother is injured in childbirth, she is subject to the normal two-year statute of limitations. Most parents file shortly after birth because taking care of a child with a serious birth injury is more expensive than taking care of one who does not have an injury. However, the rules are more complex for children injured by medical malpractice.Consult a Detroit Lawyer for Your Medical Malpractice Case
No parent expects to have to deal with birth injuries after a child is born. Often, the financial and emotional consequences of these incidents are devastating. The Detroit medical malpractice attorneys at Feldheim & Wilenkin represent individuals and families across Michigan. Our injury lawyers are dedicated advocates for people who are struggling with substantial physical, emotional, and financial burdens. We represent individuals in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb Counties, as well as all of Michigan. Call us at 248.737.0700 or contact us via our online form to schedule a free consultation.