Tallahassee Birth Injury Lawyer
Defending the Defenseless in Florida for Over 30 Years
Injuries to children aren’t just heartbreaking; they take a tremendous toll on the lives of their caregivers. Even the strongest marriages are challenged by the personal and financial demands of caring for a child with special needs caused by a birth injury.
At Fasig | Brooks, we put this burden where it belongs — on the responsible parties. Our Tallahassee birth injury lawyers ensure your case is evaluated by the best liability experts and life care planners. We can’t change the past, but we can help make your family’s future brighter.
Birth injuries are both traumatic and relatively common in the United States. One study published in the “Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine” in 2013 looked at the rate of birth trauma in a medical facility from 1986 to 2009. It found 24.3 full-term newborns of every 1,000 births were diagnosed with birth trauma.Suppose your child suffered a birth injury related to medical malpractice in Tallahassee, Orlando, or Jacksonville. In that case, you may have legal recourse to pursue a personal injury law claim to receive compensation for the costs of your child’s medical treatments after your child’s birth injury. Call our Tallahassee birth injury attorneys today.
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Tallahassee: (850) 777-7777
Jacksonville: (904) 222-3333
Common Causes & Types of Birth Injuries
There are a variety of factors that may cause or contribute to birth injuries. The study mentioned above found that children delivered via instrumental delivery were 7.5 times as likely to suffer birth injury as those not delivered via instrumental delivery.
Another frequent cause of birth-related injuries involves the significant delay of a Cesarean section, especially if the child suffers a lack of oxygen during the birth and requires an emergency C-section. If the doctor fails to perform it promptly, it could cause a child’s injury. In extreme cases, this may lead to cerebral palsy and other serious health effects that may have them dealing with pain throughout their lives.
Other types of birth injuries include:
- Bone fractures
- Caput succedaneum
- Subconjunctival hemorrhage
- Facial paralysis
- Spinal cord injuries
The Florida Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Act (NICA)
Florida law has a program in place known as the Florida Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Act (NICA) that addresses medical errors and wrongful death.
Under this act, you may claim compensation if your child suffered certain injuries in Florida, such as those affecting the brachial plexus, brain, or spinal cord. You do not have to prove any medical provider’s negligence or liability. The injury must result from oxygen deprivation or mechanical injury during labor and delivery.
While the program will cover the costs of care, hospitalization, and medication, it does not cover damages such as personal suffering or disfigurement. However, you cannot receive compensation from NICA and pursue a medical malpractice claim involving an insurance company.
Holding a Medical Professional Liable for a Childbirth Injury in Tallahassee, FL
Talk to a Tallahassee birth injury attorney about your eligibility for NICA or if you qualify to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. If you are pursuing litigation, you must prove the doctor’s actions were negligent. That is, you must prove that other reasonable professionals would not have acted in the same manner under similar circumstances.
You must also demonstrate damages related to the malpractice. This allows you to recover appropriate compensation to cover your injured child’s needs and care. According to the law, minor injuries that cause no damages, for example, may not warrant legal action. For any questions regarding NICA law, talk to your injury lawyer at Fasig Brooks.
Don’t Wait to Get the Legal Representation Your Child Deserves for Their Injury and Pain
Because birth injury claims, like many other personal injury claims, have a statute of limitations under the law, it is important to act now. Suppose your child suffered an injury, and you suspect that the injuries were the result of medical malpractice and negligence. In that case, you need to speak with an experienced Florida attorney immediately so that we can get started on your personal injury case.
To set up a free consultation regarding your child’s injuries, contact our Tallahassee attorneys by calling (850) 777-777, our Orlando lawyers at (407) 286-6000, or our Jacksonville attorneys at (904) 222-3333.
What are considered birth injuries?
Birth injuries happen during the childbirth process, most often while the child is still traveling down the birth canal. They tend to happen when pressure is applied to the infant or when they suffer from oxygen deprivation.
These injuries range from minor to severe. In other cases, they arise due to a mistake made by the doctor during the pregnancy or delivery. The consequences of a birth injury can impact the injured child for life, affecting not only their quality of life but that of their parents and siblings.
If your child suffered injuries due to a doctor’s negligence in Tallahassee, FL, talk to Tallahassee birth injury attorneys about the injuries sustained or the medical errors you believe were involved in the injury. You may be entitled to recover compensation by law for your medical bills, pain and suffering, wrongful death, and other damages. Seek legal advice for your personal injury case in Tallahassee, FL. Talk to a Fasig Brooks injury lawyer today
Are birth injuries and birth defects the same thing?
They are not. A birth defect is related to the child’s genetics and appears regardless of the care provided by the doctor. On the other hand, birth injuries are the result of some action or lack thereof during the birth process.
Injuries can also happen when something goes wrong during the pregnancy, such as an infection that was not treated adequately or a mistake in treatment. Keep in mind that you can file a lawsuit when a child suffers a birth injury but not because they were born with a birth defect.
Can birth injuries be prevented?
Mostly, yes. When the obstetrician monitors the patient during their pregnancy and offers them normal and reasonable medical care, they should notice any unusual factor that might affect the fetus within the womb or that could lead to a complicated delivery.
When the delivery process starts, the doctor should also be on the lookout for distress in the infant or the mother. It is very common for injuries to occur when the doctor waits too long before deciding to perform a cesarean section, causing the infant to experience oxygen deprivation or suffer in any other way. By acting swiftly, a doctor may be able to minimize or prevent the most common injuries.
What are the most common types of birth injuries?
Some of the most common injuries are:
When an infant suffers damage right before or during their birth, their brains lose the ability to control the nervous system and the muscles. Cerebral palsy varies in its severity. In the best outcomes, the infant can grow up to enjoy an independent, normal life. However, serious cases may cause the need for permanent care and a permanent inability to manage the body’s functions.
In this case, the brachial plexus is injured due to shoulder dystocia and damage to the nerves. Suppose the baby has a difficult time moving down the birth canal. In that case, the difficult delivery can cause this devastating condition, resulting in the baby having reduced use of their limbs for their lifetime. Talk to your Tallahassee personal injury lawyer about this medical condition.
Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy
This traumatic brain injury occurs when the flow of oxygen to the brain is disrupted. Even the shortest oxygen interruption can result in permanent brain damage. HIE can result from an umbilical cord that wraps around the baby’s neck or when the cord itself is damaged. It can also occur in cases of a ruptured uterus or injuries to the placenta.
A hematoma is an injury to the baby’s head during childbirth that could cause brain damage. Although some cases are mild and do not cause permanent injury, others call for immediate surgery to save the baby’s life.
Do birth injuries get diagnosed right away?
Not all issues become obvious as soon as the infant is born. In some cases, children start showing symptoms throughout the first years of their life. At that point, the pediatrician might order some tests that might uncover the injury.
Other cases result in the immediate diagnosis of the injury as soon as the infant is born. The Apgar score might be the first place to detect the presence of an injury. Other tests, such as an MRI or a CT scan may reveal whether the baby has sustained an injury at birth. The doctor would inform the parents at that point how severe the condition is.