The birth of a child is supposed to be a happy time for the family and friends, and most times, it is. However, sometimes things go wrong. A child could have birth injuries because of genetics or the negligence of doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals who cared for the mother and baby before, during, and immediately after the birth. These injuries might be temporary or permanent.
Medical negligence can disable children and devastate families. If your child suffered permanent disabilities because of medical staff's negligence, contact an Aurora birth injury lawyer at Zayed Law Offices for a free case evaluation. Do not delay—contact us today.
Should I Hire an Aurora Birth Injury Lawyer?
If you suspect your child has birth injuries, you should contact an Aurora birth injury lawyer to help you. Medical malpractice claims are complicated, and you could accidentally reduce the value of your claim if you file it incorrectly.
Going up against doctors' and hospitals' insurance companies takes time and effort. You should not need to worry about obtaining the compensation you deserve while recovering from the birth and addressing your child's medical condition.
Additionally, insurance companies do not like to pay out settlements. They will try anything to deny a claim or pay the victim a pittance.
Insurance companies are less likely to cheat you out of compensation if you have an attorney involved. They usually know that they cannot get away with telling half-truths when dealing with experienced
Our firm has experience in handling birth injury cases and will work to hold those responsible for your child's disabilities accountable so that you can receive the compensation you deserve. While the ultimate goal is to settle a case, sometimes an insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, forcing victims to file a lawsuit.
The Aurora birth injury lawyers at Zayed Law Offices know how to:
- Investigate your case by reviewing your medical records and interviewing witnesses to determine how the injury occurred. You may have to sign a form to permit us to access your medical records.
- Consult independent medical expert witnesses to help us determine whether a medical professional did not meet the standard of care required in your situation. An expert witness can also help us estimate your baby's future medical expenses. Experts often write reports regarding injuries, and should you have to litigate, they can testify about their reports.
- Forward a demand letter to the defendant. If the defendant or their insurance company does not dispute the case, your case could settle. However, it is more common for the defendant to make a counteroffer. The demand letter contains a summary of your child's injuries, how your child suffered the injuries, the demand for a specific dollar amount, and a time frame for the insurance company to respond to the demand letter.
- File a lawsuit if the defendant does not offer a fair amount, the birth injury lawyers at Zayed Law Offices.
Finally, we collect and disburse the funds for you, including paying any outstanding medical expenses you and your baby might have. After deducting fees, we forward the balance of the compensation to you.
Birth Injuries Caused by Medical Negligence
While genetics and other natural circumstances can cause birth injuries, medical malpractice can also cause birth injuries. Natural situations that can cause birth injuries might include a twisted umbilical cord or if the baby is too large for the birth canal.
However, some injuries, particularly brain injuries, are not natural. A medical professional's actions or inactions could cause birth injuries.
Here are some medical errors that could cause birth injuries:
- Failing to identify or address issues during the pregnancy, like gestational diabetes, infections, and pregnancy-induced hypertension
- Prescribing a medication to the mother that has dangerous side effects
- Not responding immediately to the umbilical cord twisting, bleeding, or other fetal distress signals
- Delaying sending the mother for an emergency Cesarean section
- Failing to address complications from premature delivery
- Not monitoring the baby's and mother's condition post-delivery
- Improperly using forceps
- Complications related to genetic testing
- Poor or no communication between the doctors and nurses
- Medication errors
Common Birth Injuries
Many birth injuries could cause a permanent disability or disfigurement.
Some of the most common birth injuries include:
- Cerebral palsy: This condition is not curable. A child might experience loss of motor skills, loss of speech, vision issues, hearing loss, muscle control loss, or poor coordination. Trauma to the brain is a common cause of cerebral palsy.
- Shoulder dystocia: When the baby's shoulders become caught on the mother's pubic bone, it could fracture the collarbone.
- Spinal cord injuries: If a baby's spinal cord—a collection of nerves that runs from the base of the brain to the lower back—becomes compressed during birth, it could cause neurological damage or paralysis.
- Brachial plexus injuries: The brachial plexus is a bundle of nerves at the base of the neck. These nerves control movement and feeling in the arms, shoulders, and hands. If the baby suffers from shoulder dystocia during the delivery and medical professionals do not handle the emergency properly, it could damage the brachial plexus, causing Klumpke's palsy or Erb's palsy.
- Facial nerve palsy: The face is also full of nerves. If the nerves in the child's face have too much pressure on them during delivery, the child could lose voluntary muscle movement in the face.
- Perinatal asphyxia: If something disrupts oxygen flow through the bloodstream to the brain, the child could suffer permanent lung, kidney, or brain damage.
- Intracranial hemorrhage: A vessel in the brain could rupture if it does not receive enough blood or oxygen. The ruptured vessel could cause permanent brain damage and other issues, including hyperbilirubinemia.
- Extracranial injuries: Misusing medical equipment could fracture the child's skull or cause bleeding between the brain and skull, permanently disfiguring the child.
Recovering Damages After a Birth Injury
You could recover damages after an Aurora birth injury by settling or litigating against the negligent medical professionals and medical facilities. Your family could recover compensation for economic damages and non-economic damages after a birth injury.
Economic damages have a monetary value and could include:
- Past and future medical expenses, including doctors' appointments, surgeries, follow-up appointments, prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, ambulatory aids, the cost of home care or rehabilitative care, and expenses for occupational therapy, cognitive therapy, and physical therapy
- Loss of earning capacity through the time the child would have customarily retired
- Updates to your home to make it more accessible, including wheelchair ramps, handrails, grab bars, and widened doorways.
Non-economic damages do not have an exact monetary value and include:
- Pain and suffering, including emotional distress
- Loss of quality of life
- Shortened life expectancy
- Increased risk of future harm
The Aurora brain injury lawyers at Zayed Law Offices work with medical professionals and life care planning experts to determine the extent of your child's injuries and calculate a reasonable award for your child and family.
Families could also recover punitive damages if they prove that the at-fault party was grossly negligent or acted intentionally. Punitive damages are difficult to obtain, and doing so takes extra steps, but it is worth the time and effort in some cases. The court only awards punitive damages to punish the at-fault party's grossly negligent behavior or intentional actions—not to make the plaintiff whole again.
Aurora Birth Injury Lawyer FAQs
How long do you have to file a birth injury claim in Aurora?
Most medical malpractice claims have a statute of limitations of two years from the date you discover or should have discovered the injury. Always check with an Aurora birth injury lawyer as soon as you discover the injury.
Does medical malpractice cause all birth injuries?
No. In some cases, the parents' genetics might play a part in birth injuries. In other instances, unavoidable health conditions or infections could cause injuries. Our legal team can help you determine whether you have a viable birth injury claim.
How do I avoid birth injuries?
Sometimes a child and mother cannot avoid a birth injury.
However, the mother and medical team can significantly reduce birth injuries by:
- Ensuring the mother has proper prenatal care, including testing by the obstetrician to assess the baby's and mother's health. Early detection of problems allows for management and treatment, thus reducing the risk of birth injuries.
- Monitoring the baby and mother for fetal distress, including a lack of oxygen to the child
- Ensuring medical staff uses medical equipment properly
- Not delaying an emergency C-section
- Helping a mother carry the baby to term. Babies born prematurely often have medical issues.
Ensure that your medical team communicates with you well, and let them know if you suspect something is wrong.
How much does a medical malpractice lawyer cost?
Your initial case evaluation is free. Additionally, if we do not win your case, you do not pay. Everyone should have a fair chance of recovering damages for another person's negligence.
How does the settlement process work after receiving an offer?
Your lawyer will handle negotiations to obtain a settlement offer in most cases.
After receiving an offer, they will:
- A lawyer will draft the settlement agreement and forward it to your lawyer for review. If your lawyer believes the settlement agreement represents what you agreed to, they will send it to you to review. Your lawyer can answer any questions you have.
- If you or your lawyer would like to revise the settlement agreement, your lawyer will forward the changes to the insurance company's lawyer. They will then review the changes and accept or deny them. You cannot make changes that were not part of the oral agreement.
- Once both sides consent to the settlement agreement, you sign the deal. Your lawyer forwards it to the insurance company's lawyers, who process the contract and deliver a check to your lawyer.
How long does it take to receive payment once I win a settlement or trial award?
Once you win compensation, your lawyer must process the funds.
Typically, the following steps are:
- Your attorney deposits the check into an escrow account. They must wait for the check to clear the bank before taking the next step.
- After the check clears, your lawyer pays any outstanding medical expenses related to your child's birth injuries.
- If you used your health insurance to cover some medical expenses, your lawyer would reimburse your health insurance.
- The lawyer deducts their fees as agreed when you signed the contingency contract.
- The lawyer then forwards the balance to you. You can deposit the check and use it for your child's medical expenses, therapy, help with caring for your child, or other expenses.
Contact Our Aurora Birth Injury Lawyers
Dealing with a birth injury is stressful enough without worrying about obtaining enough money to care for your child's injuries. You should be able to recover from the birthing process and take care of your child without arguing with the insurance company.
Contact an Aurora birth injury lawyer at Zayed Law Offices and let our experienced birth injury lawyers handle the stress of recovering compensation for you. Your initial case evaluation is free, and you do not pay us unless we win your case. Contact us online or by calling (630) 348-9513.