Giving birth to a child is one of the happiest feelings for any mother. While childbirth can be a joyful event in any parent’s life, all the joy and happiness can be marred by birth injuries. Statistically speaking, an estimated 7 in every 1,000 children in the United States are born with a birth injury.
Unfortunately, the negligence of obstetricians, gynecologists, doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals can result in preventable birth injuries affecting the baby for the rest of their life.
When a baby suffers a birth injury because of negligence or carelessness on the part of medical professionals, the family may be able to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital and liable doctors.
At Iscoe Law Firm, our birth injury attorneys are committed to representing families of birth injury victims in Miami, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and across Florida. We have a reputation for securing multi-million-dollar settlements and verdicts for our clients in medical malpractice lawsuits, including birth injury cases.
Call 800-800-6500 or complete our contact form to schedule a free case evaluation with our attorneys at Iscoe Law Firm. We are available to take your call 24/7, 365.
Types of Birth Injuries
Successful childbirth requires a highly skilled team of healthcare professionals to be constantly vigilant to eliminate the risk of labor and delivery complications. While some birth injuries are the result of pregnancy, labor, and delivery issues that cannot be prevented, many babies are born with birth defects due to medical mistakes.
Some of the most common types of birth injuries stemming from medical errors and negligence on the part of obstetricians, gynecologists, and other members of hospital staff include:
- Cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder that affects the child’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture, which occurs as a result of oxygen asphyxia;
- Erb’s palsy, a condition causing arm weakness and loss of motion, which occurs as a result of brachial plexus injury;
- Brachial plexus injury, a condition characterized by a loss of movement and function in the chest, shoulder, arms, and hands, which occurs when an infant’s neck is stretched to the side during a delivery;
- Shoulder dystocia occurs when one or both of the infant’s shoulders are stuck inside the mother’s pelvis during labor;
- Lack of oxygen, also known as oxygen asphyxia, occurs when an infant is deprived of oxygen during birth and is usually associated with severe brain damage; and
- Nerve damage or paralysis occurs when nerves are damaged during birth or delivery.
That is not the complete list of birth injuries that may occur as a result of healthcare providers’ negligence and deviation from the acceptable standard of care.
When Can You Sue a Doctor or Hospital for Birth Injuries?
Just because your child suffered a birth injury does not necessarily mean that you have grounds to sue the doctor and/or hospital for medical malpractice. You will need a birth injury attorney to prove that the medical professional deviated from the accepted standards of care and that their deviation caused the birth defects and damages.
You may be able to sue a healthcare provider and hospital for causing your child’s birth injury if they failed to:
- Detect fetal distress in a timely manner
- Diagnose pregnancy complications before childbirth
- Recommend or perform a C-section when vaginal delivery is likely to result in birth defects
- Warn the mother of possible birth defects
- Order appropriate tests to identify birth injuries during pregnancy and delivery
- Use delivery instruments, including forceps and vacuum extractors, properly
- Prevent oxygen deprivation during delivery
- Use a proper delivery technique to avoid causing harm to the infant and the mother
It is in your best interests to consult with a birth injury lawyer to review your particular case and determine whether or not you have grounds to sue a doctor/hospital for medical malpractice.
Elements to Prove to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit for a Birth Injury
You cannot sue a doctor or hospital for causing a birth injury if your case does not meet the four elements of a medical malpractice case:
- The doctor owed you a duty of care;
- The duty was breached due to the doctor’s deviation from the accepted standards of care;
- You (or your child) sustained an injury; and
- You or your child suffered actual damages as a result of the breach.
Contrary to popular belief, you cannot file a medical malpractice lawsuit if there was:
- No breach. Your child suffered birth injuries, but the medical professionals followed the accepted standards of care during pregnancy, labor, and delivery; or
- No harm. A healthcare provider made an error, but neither the infant nor the mother suffered any actual harm.
Consult with an experienced birth injury attorney to review your particular situation and determine whether or not you have a medical malpractice case.
What Damages Can You Recover for a Birth Injury?
If you have grounds to sue negligent healthcare providers for a birth injury, you may be entitled to the following types of damages in your medical malpractice case:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
- Home modifications
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
Other types of damages may be recoverable in your birth injury case, depending on the severity of the injury and its impact on your child’s life. Our birth injury lawyers at Iscoe Law Firm are dedicated to helping you receive the compensation to which you are entitled. Schedule a free case review to find out what damages are available in your particular situation.
How Long Do You Have to Sue for a Birth Injury in Florida?
Under Fla. Stat. § 95.11, you have only two years from the date of the birth injury to sue the hospital or medical professional who breached their duty of care and caused your child’s injury. If the birth injury is not discovered immediately after the childbirth, the clock starts ticking on the date you discovered or should have reasonably discovered the injury. Florida Statute of Limitations sets a strict deadline for filing medical malpractice as well as all injury claims. You have two years from the date you were injured or two years from the date you discovered or should have discovered your injury., but you must file a lawsuit within no more than four years of the date of injury.
Contact a Skilled Birth Injury Attorney at Iscoe Law Firm
If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, shoulder dystocia, or any other birth injury, do not hesitate to contact an attorney to determine if you have grounds to pursue a medical malpractice case.
Our attorneys at Iscoe Law Firm have a track record of success in helping families in Florida hold hospitals and doctors accountable for birth injuries. We are committed to helping birth injury victims and their families to receive maximum compensation. Get a free case review by calling 800-800-6500.