When it comes to the time for a mother to give birth, there will be a host of mixed emotions. There may be weariness, expectation, excitement, and not a small amount of uncertainty.
Life will never be the same once the baby is born.
Sadly, we live in an imperfect world, and sometimes things go wrong. In one year alone, there are literally thousands of birth injuries in America that need not have happened. In 2006 nearly 157,000 injuries were sustained by the mothers or their babies unnecessarily. No one wants or expects such a thing to happen, but when it does, the implications can be long-lasting. Let’s find out what people need to know if this occurs.
There May Be Financial Compensation for Negligence
It can be hard enough to absorb what has just happened, let alone think clearly about legal proceedings. People are generally unaware as to their legal rights in such a situation. The professionals strongly recommend that a birth injury lawyer is involved to help with your claim. This is because they will know what to look for in terms of malpractice or negligence. In response to the claim, the medical parties may be trying to cover their tracks by using long scientific words or speaking of ‘birth complications’. An attorney will know how to traverse this difficult path and to obtain justice.
Lawyers will be familiar with a number of examples of negligence, such as:
- Prescribing incorrect medication during the pregnancy or birth
- Not actioning the possibility that this could be a challenging birth
- Using too much physical strength during the delivery
- Missing signs of a serious medical condition with the mother or baby
- Ignoring the mother’s medical history
- The birth should have occurred by Caesarian section, or this was done too late
- Not looking at the vital signs of the baby or mother at all times
- Dangerous or insufficient medical equipment
Any compensation gained will help to cover medical expenses. Medical care may be needed on an ongoing basis, depending on the health of the mother and child. The emotional and traumatic elements of injury claims are also central to these payouts. This is because many mums suffer from the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after the event. Anyone in this situation will know that money can’t solve all these problems, but it can provide options and maximize the quality of life.
Injuries Sustained by the Mother
This article is primarily about birth injuries in newborns, but it’s important to also mention that mothers can suffer too. If she has been left with ongoing health issues as a result of the birth, this may affect her ability to care for the child. Such injuries could be:
- Infections in the reproductive area
- Broken bones
- Tears in the vagina or lining of the anus
- Injuries from the Caesarian section
- Eclampsia or Preeclampsia
Injuries Sustained by the Baby
There is a list of heartbreaking conditions that a baby could unnecessarily experience. These range from Anoxia or Erb’s Palsy to Cranial Hemorrhage, and from Cerebral Palsy or broken bones to Hypoxia, Quadriplegia, or spinal cord issues.
It will be the doctor’s role to provide medical diagnosis, so it’s essential to appoint a reliable practitioner for this. Some conditions will resolve over time whilst others will not. There should come a day when the baby no longer has such things as Erb’s Palsy or jaundice, but if the spine has been damaged or there is Cerebral Palsy this will sadly be a lifelong condition. The doctor’s prognosis may also vary as time passes and the baby’s health is monitored. This will have a direct bearing upon how much compensation should be sought.
The doctor will also provide an estimated life expectancy for the child. In some
cases, children outlive medical expectations, and the quality of ongoing medical care can be a major factor in this wonderful result.
Ongoing treatments and medications may be needed, ranging from tablets to surgery or help with movement or speech. Longer-term, there may also be occupational therapy. If the child is able to remain at home the house may need adapting, such as by the provision of wheelchair ramps and wall handles or sit-down baths. A speech aid may also be relevant.
If a mother and baby survive the ordeal of medical malpractice, a new normal will present itself. Legal compensation, if secured, may help provide a better quality of life for all the family. Many years of happiness can still be ahead, with the chance to grow ever closer and to gain precious memories.