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Pregnancy and birth are life-changing experiences. You should be going home with a healthy newborn. When that doesn’t happen, and you believe medical malpractice is to blame, give KNR a call at (513) 221-0499 or use our online form. We hold negligent doctors and hospitals responsible.
Can I Sue a Doctor for a Birth Injury?
Many parents get angry when they realize their child was hurt during birth. We understand all the emotions and questions running through your mind.
This can lead you to file a lawsuit, which you can do in some instances; however, you must get legal advice from a birth injury lawyer in Cincinnati before making any decisions. Not all birth injuries are from medical negligence and may not create a legal claim.
When is a Birth Injury Malpractice?
A birth injury may be medical malpractice when a health care provider’s conduct wasn’t reasonable.
When we review your case, we compare your provider’s actions to the standard of care. We work with a medical expert to determine what a reasonable nurse or doctor should’ve done under the circumstances.
Proving Medical Malpractice
It can be challenging to tell the difference between an unavoidable complication and medical negligence. Our Cincinnati birth injury attorneys will look for evidence of negligence. An impartial medical expert’s opinion can go a long way in proving you have a claim.
We’ll also work with you to collect proof of both you and your child’s injury. You have to show a doctor’s carelessness hurt someone to recover compensation.
The Medical Malpractice Process
Medical malpractice cases have specific rules in Ohio. The process includes enlisting the help of a medical expert and filing an Affidavit of Merit.
Also, bear in mind that you have one year to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. It’s best to talk with a Cincinnati birth injury lawyer right away if you suspect a nurse, doctor, or hospital was negligent.
Pregnancy and Delivery Injuries
Parents can experience many serious complications during pregnancy, such as:
- Gestational diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Hyperemesis gravidarum – extreme morning sickness
- Placenta previa
- Placenta abruption
These conditions can put the infant and parent’s lives at risk. While doctors can’t prevent these, they can fail to monitor a pregnancy, identify the condition, and treat it properly.
Doctors who don’t perform a Cesarian section when appropriate or push someone to have an unnecessary C-section can cause a significant injury. A C-section is an invasive procedure. For one patient, it can be lifesaving. For another, it increases the risk of infection, blood clots, and postpartum hemorrhage.
Common Birth Injuries
Newborns can be seriously injured if the medical team involved with the birth does not sufficiently care for their patients. What makes things worse is parents often don’t know something went wrong.
Some of the most common negligence-related birth injuries are:
Broken Bones and Dislocations
Infants can suffer broken bones and dislocated joints if there is trouble delivering certain body parts.
Infants can sustain nerve damage to the brachial plexus. The brachial plexus is a set of nerves that runs through the neck, shoulder, arm, and hand.
Another common injury is damage to the nerves on one side of the infant’s face. Depending on the extent of the damage, they may have temporary or permanent paralysis, loss of sensation, or pain.
Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal cord injury during birth can cause loss of sensation, muscle weakness or paralysis, respiratory and blood circulation issues, incontinence, and other complications.
The infant might not receive enough oxygen during birth. This can lead to brain damage known as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, which may cause physical, cognitive, and developmental disabilities.
CP is a group of disorders that impair a person’s muscles, reflexes, movement, and balance. A person’s impairments can range from mild to severe. Currently, doctors are unsure of the underlying cause of CP, though it’s often associated with oxygen deprivation.
Newborns are at a greater risk of infection because their immune systems haven’t developed fully yet. They may develop an infection from hospital surfaces or equipment.
Causes of Birth Injuries
Birth injuries can come about from difficult births – even those managed well by doctors and nurses. Other times, a medical provider’s carelessness is to blame.
- Improper use of forceps or vacuum extraction
- Failure to consistently monitor parent and child
- Failure to notice signs of distress in parent or child
- Failure to respond appropriately to signs of distress
What is a Birth Injury Case Worth?
When a nurse or doctor’s actions hurt you, your partner, or your child during birth, you can demand compensation. This compensation is called damages, or more specifically, compensatory damages.
Your compensation should cover your:
- Past and future medical bills
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Ohio Limits on Damages
Ohio law limits your non-economic damages, which involve your non-monetary injuries like pain and suffering. You can recover up to three times the amount of your economic damages or up to $250,000, whichever is more.
There’s also a maximum amount of $350,000 per person or $500,000 per incident. You might have a right to up to $500,000 in non-economic damages if you or your newborn suffered a catastrophic injury.
Call KNR for a Free Consultation
KNR offers free, no-risk consultations, and you don’t pay us unless we win your case.