Birth Injury

Serving Daytona, Deltona and Palm Coast

(updated 2/23/2017)

Childbirth is one of the most dramatic parts of life. Before our eyes a new body and spirit enters the world. For parents the experience is magical, but it can be challenging and even traumatic as well. There are a number of potential complications in pregnancy and childbirth, and when not reacted to properly, they can have detrimental consequences for child and family members forever. This is why medical professionals who assist with births have specialized training and specific insurance plans to cover them in case they do not provide the appropriate standard of care.

What is Medical Malpractice?

To be compensated by a person who has acted negligently and injured you must prove negligence. Negligence occurs when someone fails to exercise the same level care that a reasonable person would have in similar circumstances. 

Negligence has four elements:

  • Duty of care 
  • Duty of care was breached
  • Breach was the cause 
  • Damages

Medical malpractice, or medical negligence, includes these same elements though the duty of care is more specifically defined by the standard of care in that particular field of medicine or in that geographical area of practice.

Common Birth Injuries and Their Causes

When we think of birth injuries we may first think of something that happened to the helpless child. However, as so much attention is being given to the baby, the mother can be overlooked and they too often suffer avoidable injuries in childbirth. Some common problems include:

  • Poor prenatal care and treatment of high-risk pregnancies
  • Failure to diagnose the risk of infection caused by membrane rupture
  • Failure to carefully follow fetus condition and/or communicate with doctor or midwife
  • Improper use of anesthetics or Pitocin during labor
  • Failure to recognize need for a C-section caused by various problems during delivery
  • Lack of oxygen to fetus – Hypoxia – occurring before the birth from tangled umbilical cord or damaged placenta
  • Damage to mother’s uterus from vacuum extraction
  • Damage to baby from improper use of forceps.
  • Brain injury due to poor prenatal treatment

Statute of Limitations

When a baby is born with problems, there is a chance that those injuries were suffered during the birth, or perhaps there was a failure to provide proper prenatal care. Florida law permits a medical malpractice lawsuit to be filed within two years after the injurious procedure, but not after that.

It may sound unfair at first but the purpose for the limit is actually to promote a fair trial – as more time passes memories fade and evidence may be lost, damaged, or destroyed. In some cases where an injury does not present itself until later on – as in a mental defect caused by a birth injury – the statute of limitations may apply differently, and allow more time.

Still, while it is important to seek immediate care for severe medical conditions, it is also important to consult an attorney as soon as you become aware of the condition so that you may preserve your right to recover for your injuries. Contact us at (386) 777-7777 or fill out our online contact form below for a free case evaluation. Get the compensation you deserve.

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