What is a Birth Injury in Medical Malpractice?
The day your baby is born should be one of the most joyous occasions in your life. However, complications can occur during pregnancy, labor, and delivery of your child. Unfortunately, some of these are not preventable by doctors, but in some situations the improper or negligent care of a doctor, surgeon, or other medical professional is the cause of many preventable injuries. If you suspect that a medical professional was the cause of your child’s injuries, you may have a claim for medical malpractice in Florida.
Common Types of Birth Injuries
Birth injuries can happen for a number of different reasons. The most common causes of birth injuries when a doctor or other healthcare provider is negligent in their care includes the improper use of delivery techniques, improper monitoring of a fetal heart rate, delaying C-section procedures, insufficient oxygen to a baby’s brain, improper use of forceps or other tools, providing incorrect or insufficient medication to the mother, and failing to follow correct delivery room rules and procedures. As a result of these negligent or reckless behaviors by healthcare providers, babies can suffer many types of birth injuries. The most common types of birth injuries include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Injuries to the skull
- Cerebral palsy
- Nerve damage
- Umbilical cord compression or strangulation
- Cystic fibrosis
- Developmental delays
- Folic acid disorder
- Intellectual disabilities
- Erb’s palsy (brachial plexus palsy)
- Brain swelling
- Irreversible brain damage
- Wrongful death
Birth Injury Law in Florida
Under Florida law, victims of medical malpractice only have a small window in which to file a lawsuit for damages stemming from a birth injury. In most cases, the parents of a child who suffered a birth injury only have two years from the date of the injury, and in no case more than four years, to file a lawsuit for compensation. However, the law does allow one exception that gives the parents of a child who suffered a birth injury until the child’s eighth birthday to file a claim for medical malpractice if the injuries stemming from the malpractice were not immediately recognizable and known.
Compensation for birth injuries includes both economic and noneconomic damages for the harm caused, and this can be incredibly important for birth injuries since the resulting trauma can often require a lifetime of care and expense. Economic damages include current and future medical expenses for the child’s care. Noneconomic damages include pain and suffering, emotional distress, disability, and disfigurement. There are no caps on medical malpractice settlements, so an experienced medical malpractice attorney can ensure that your child’s needs will be met for the rest of their life.
Call or Contact Our Office Today
If you believe that your child suffered a birth injury the clock is already ticking on your claims. Call the office or contact us today at Gary Roberts & Associates to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced West Palm Beach medical malpractice attorneys to learn more about your family’s legal options.