The day your child is born should be one of the happiest days of your life. But when a medical mistake occurs and your child suffers a birth injury, the consequences can be devastating. We trust medical staff members to care for us and our children. What happens when they make mistakes?
An expectant mother entrusts her doctor to deliver a healthy newborn. But unfortunately, thousands of babies are affected by life-threatening and disabling birth injuries every year.
At Elk & Elk, our Dayton birth injury attorneys understand the devastating impact that a birth injury can have on your family. We’ve spent over 50 years representing injured babies and their families in Ohio, helping our clients achieve the compensation they deserve so their children can live as normally as possible.
For more information about our firm or to schedule a free consultation, call 1-800-ELK-OHIO or contact us online. Our office in Beavercreek is located right off I-675 and Indian Ripple Road, in The Greene Town Center. We represent clients throughout the Dayton metro area and Ohio. We are available 24/7/365 to help you when you need it most.
Damage at birth can have lasting consequences
Birth injuries can happen before, during or after delivery and can cause temporary or permanent disability. There are about six to eight injuries per 1,000 births every year, according to Medscape Health Professional Network statistics.
Our Dayton birth injury lawyers have handled cases such as:
- Bone fractures
- Brachial plexus
- Brain damage
- Cerebral palsy
- Cerebral hemorrhage
- Erb’s palsy
- Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)
- Lacerations and bruising from forceps
- Fatal injuries
An infant can face emotional, physical and medical challenges when he or she is injured due to the negligence of a health care provider. Parents suffer, too: In addition to the emotional devastation, they may have years of overwhelming medical expenses for their child. If your child has suffered a birth injury, our attorneys can evaluate your situation. In some cases, you may be able to pursue your right to compensation through a medical malpractice claim.
Common symptoms and effects of birth injuries
Expecting parents are naturally anxious about the moment they meet their baby for the first time. You hope that your baby’s body and mind are in perfect condition to begin life. When you discover that something may be wrong, it is heartbreaking.
Even if expecting parents do everything they can to protect their baby, medical malpractice can undermine months of effort and hope. While some symptoms are evident immediately upon birth, others may not appear until the child begins – or doesn’t begin – walking or speaking.
Common symptoms of birth injuries include:
- Muscle spasms
- Abnormally slow reflexes
- Inability to move a limb
- Deformation of the face, spine or head
- Failure to gain weight
- Difficulty swallowing, breathing or feeding
- Delayed development of motor skills or speech
Birth defects and genetic conditions may have similar symptoms, so you should seek additional medical assessments if your baby displays these signs. It may also help to compare your baby’s growth and mental development to a medical standards chart.
If you suspect that your baby’s symptoms are due to medical negligence during pregnancy, labor or neonatal care, contact our medical malpractice lawyers for an assessment of your legal options. We can investigate what happened – and whether your doctor took every step necessary to protect you and your baby.
Read our free white paper: We recently published a white paper titled, “Protecting Ohio’s Babies and Mothers: Understanding Premature Delivery Rates and Infant Mortality In Ohio”.
Why do birth injuries happen?
Although circumstances sometimes lead to unavoidable labor complications or birth defects, there are also cases of medical malpractice inflicting preventable injuries on babies. In medical malpractice cases, a nurse, obstetrician or other staff member has made an unreasonable mistake.
These mistakes may involve:
- Forceful twisting of or pulling on the infant during labor
- Improper technique or use of labor equipment
- Failure to fully monitor the prenatal growth and development of the baby
- Failure to monitor the mother’s health during pregnancy or labor and failure to treat illness quickly
- Medication errors during pregnancy
- Failure to closely monitor the baby’s breathing and health after birth
Birth injuries may be more likely depending on the baby’s size or position during labor and delivery. However, your doctor should be able to respond to any risks accordingly.
Can you get compensation if your baby is injured?
Because birth injuries typically cause a lifetime of limitations, pain or health needs for victims, compensation is vital for the families who raise these children. If medical malpractice affected your baby, you have a legal right to file a lawsuit against the liable provider or hospital.
A medical error could spur a host of added expenses and challenges for the child and his or her family, such as:
- Surgeries, physical therapy and other special care – either for the child’s survival or to improve the child’s quality of life
- At-home medical equipment and adaptive technology
- Loss of income if one parent must stay home to provide constant support
- Medication and lifelong treatment
- Decreased earning capacity and career limitations over the child’s lifetime
- The emotional trauma of disfigurement and disability
The total costs of a birth injury can easily soar into hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. You and your child should not have to deal with this trauma alone. With decades of experience helping Dayton families get the compensation they need to manage life after a serious injury, the passionate lawyers of Elk & Elk Dayton can help you fight negligence.
Until The Child Is 19, You Can Sue
It’s not always possible to assess the full scope of your child’s injuries and the related expenses to your family until your child is older. For this reason, the statute of limitations for birth injuries in Ohio is much longer than it is for other types of medical malpractice cases.
Parents can take legal action against a negligent medical provider until the affected child is 19. Given the high costs associated with birth injuries, however, many families cannot afford to wait that long before they get financial support.
Therefore, it is important to speak to a lawyer as soon as you suspect medical malpractice. In the early stages of your child’s life, we can monitor any difficulties and get an expert estimate of the total financial and emotional damages over his or her lifetime. Our skilled attorneys fight for justice to give children with birth injuries lives that are as full and comfortable as possible.
Schedule a free consultation if your child suffered a birth injury
To learn more about how we help families who have been affected by birth injuries, contact the Dayton medical malpractice lawyers at Elk & Elk today. We’re available 24/7/365. Call 1-800-ELK-OHIO (1-800-355-6446). We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that we will represent you for free until we secure fair compensation for you and your family