Of every 1,000 children born in America, seven will suffer a birth injury. Most birth injuries in the United States result from the use of a delivery instrument. If your child sustained a birth injury due to a medical provider’s negligent actions, you have a right to compensation. Birth injury cases are complicated and should only be handled by a law office that has experience with medical malpractice cases. At Halperin & Halperin, P.C., our team of birth injury lawyers has over 40 years of experience with medical malpractice cases, including birth injuries.
Why You Should Hire a New York Birth Injury Lawyer
When filing a medical malpractice case, it is crucial to hire a birth injury lawyer with the expertise and reputation required to help you recover the highest compensation. We can help you secure the resources and money necessary to give your baby the highest possible quality of care.
If your baby suffered an injury during birth in New York, you need a good lawyer in your corner. The attorneys at Halperin & Halperin, P.C. understand the implications of injuries on the victim’s life and that of their loved ones. Our office has been fighting for the rights of birth injury victims in New York for over 40 years. We aggressively pursue these claims to hold the liable parties accountable and help our clients get the compensation they truly deserve.
What Is a Birth Injury?
Medical malpractice during birth occurs when a medical provider fails to adhere to the appropriate standard of care when treating an expectant woman and her baby. There are three primary areas of medical malpractice relating to birth:
- Injury to the mother, baby or both during pregnancy
- Wrongful death
If you think that your baby has suffered a birth injury, make sure to consult a birth injury lawyer who can give further guidance on whether you have a valid medical malpractice claim. The reputable birth injury lawyers at Halperin & Halperin, P.C., have what it takes to help you figure out if your case is strong and help you get the just compensation you deserve.
What Causes a Birth Injury?
When filing a birth injury lawsuit, you are duty-bound to prove that the medical professional handling your delivery acted negligently and fell short of an acceptable standard of care. Here are some common reasons why a baby may sustain a birth injury:
- Incorrect use of forceps – Sometimes the child gets stuck in the birthing canal, the child is in an unusual position, or the mother’s cervix does not expand well enough. In these cases, the doctor may need to use forceps to get the baby out. The doctor must be sure of their decision and carefully use forceps to avoid harming the baby’s head, chest, or nerves and causing permanent damage.
- Incorrect use of vacuum equipment – Vacuum extraction is another tool that may help birth a child who has gotten stuck in the birth passage. The doctor in charge places the vacuum tool on the baby’s shoulders or skull and gently pulls the baby out. Severe injuries to the baby, mother, or both may occur when the doctor fails to use the vacuum extractor properly.
- Hypoxia – Hypoxia refers to a situation where the brain of the baby is not receiving adequate oxygen during the delivery process. Some common causes of hypoxia are a twisted umbilical cord, placental damage, or infection. It is the doctor’s responsibility to notice hypoxia signs and take immediate action to stop it from causing permanent damage. If this does not happen, the baby may suffer long-term physical and mental disabilities.
- Undue delay in carrying out a Cesarean section – Sometimes, the mother’s blood pressure gets too high, or the baby’s low heart rate causes severe distress. The doctor handling the delivery should cease all labor attempts and deliver the child surgically via Cesarean section. The same is true in case of slowed labor, uterine rupture, umbilical cord prolapse, or placenta previa. Failure to recognize the urgent need for a Cesarean section may cause severe issues with fetal health and development or cause fetal death.
Other potential negligent actions during the delivery process include:
- Failure to recognize that the baby’s condition has changed
- Failure to diagnose and treat infections of the baby or mother
- Inadequate prenatal testing
- Failure to perform specific examinations during pregnancy that might have detected a possible problem beforehand
- Non-communication with other physicians regarding issues about the baby or mother
- Failure to refer a high-risk mom to other medical providers during her pregnancy
- Incorrect use of Pitocin, a drug that instigates labor
Medical providers have the knowledge, training, resources, and tools required to keep both the mother and baby safe. If they do not adhere to the standard of care, the implications can be disastrous. It is vital to speak with a birth injury lawyer. An investigation might reveal that medical malpractice led to your baby’s birth injury.
Common Forms of a Birth Injury
Babies are at risk when they are born. The delivery process must take place at the proper pace and without complications, if possible. When a doctor acts negligently, the baby can suffer any of these birth injuries:
- Bone Fractures – Incorrect use of suction or forceps by a birthing physician can result in a baby suffering bone fractures.
- Spinal Cord Damage – Failure to recognize complications during the birth process and awkward position of the baby during birth can severely damage the baby’s spinal cord, resulting in severe lifelong physical disabilities.
- Asphyxia – Delay in delivery can deprive the baby of oxygen for an extended period. This lack of oxygen (asphyxia) can easily lead to severe brain damage, which results in a wide range of mental and physical disabilities.
- Brain Damage – Untreated or undiagnosed infections, oxygen deprivation, and misuse of delivery instruments are the main contributors to brain damage during birth.
- Cerebral Palsy – Cerebral palsy results from brain damage caused by lack of oxygen, skull injuries, or other problems during delivery. The affected baby will have lifelong physical disabilities, such as motor skill impairment and delayed development.
- Brachial Plexus Injury – Failure to properly perform the necessary procedures when such complications occur can cause a brachial plexus injury, which tears and damages the nerves attached to the baby’s spinal cord and critically impairs function in one arm or both.
Statute of Limitations In New York
You have your hands full right now! You need the time and space to care for your baby and work out what to do next after a birth injury. But remember that you don’t have a lifetime to pursue a birth injury case against a negligent medical provider. You will need to file your lawsuit before the New York state birth injury statute of limitations passes.
You will need to file your birth injury case within 2 ½ years of the injury. If your baby dies due to their injuries, you have just two (2) years to demand compensation for your grave loss. It is never wrong to consult an attorney early. However, you and your child may have additional time to pursue a claim depending on the details of the injury. The attorneys at Halperin & Halperin, P.C. can advise you as to whether you still have a viable claim beyond the 2 ½ year statute of limitations.
Do not hesitate to call upon the experienced New York birth injury attorneys at Halperin & Halperin, P.C., for immediate help if your baby suffers an injury due to medical malpractice.
Let Our New York Birth Injury Attorneys Help You
Has your baby sustained a birth injury? Do you think that a medical professional was at fault? Contact the birth injury lawyers at Halperin & Halperin, P.C., to learn more about your legal options and rights.
Contact our New York law office to set up a free initial consultation. Give us a call at (212) 935-2600 today!