The birth of a child should be a joyous occasion for everyone involved. Birth injuries, however, can leave significant and lifelong impacts on your baby’s health, as well as on your family’s finances. Birth injuries may also come about under a variety of circumstances, and when they do, you may be entitled to monetary compensation under the law. The experienced North Miami Beach birth injury attorneys at Sibley Dolman can review the medical facts of your case and help you and your child receive the monetary compensation you deserve. While no amount of money can truly compensate someone for a lifetime of medical treatments or permanent injuries, our attorneys can review all of the legal options that are open to you and ensure that your case moves forward in a timely manner.
Taking Legal Action Against a Healthcare Provider
When health care providers such as obstetricians, delivery room nurses, and hospital staff make mistakes during the delivery of a baby, serious injuries to the child can result. While some birth defects can result from the natural complications associated with a pregnancy—including a difficult labor—they can also result directly from a health care provider’s carelessness, negligence, inaction, or inexperience. Any delivery room health care provider could theoretically be deemed fully or partially responsible for a child’s birth injuries. Birth injuries may occur as a result of any one or more of the following:
- Using improper delivery room techniques
- Failing to properly monitor the fetus’s heart rate
- Delayed or improperly performed C-sections
- Delayed onset of oxygen to the fetus’s brain
- Using incorrect or improperly maintained delivery room tools and other equipment, such as forceps
- Administering improper or incorrect medications to the mother in the delivery room
- Failing to properly monitor delivery room patients
- Violating established delivery room rules and procedures
A North Miami Beach birth injury attorney may assist you with filing a claim or lawsuit for medical malpractice against the proper medical professional or professionals.
Types of Birth Injuries
Birth injuries can range from minor to serious, including:
- Cerebral palsy, which can lead to tremors, as well as difficulty speaking and walking
- Cephalohematoma, which is a traumatic condition that occurs underneath the skin, resulting in bleeding between the infant’s skull bone and periosteum, and potentially leading to wrongful death of the baby or permanent damages
- Shaken baby syndrome, where an adult violently shakes an infant, causing the brain to move back and forth inside the baby’s skull, and resulting in the baby’s head filling with blood. This, in turn, could result in permanent damage to the baby’s brain, as well as blindness, hearing loss, cerebral palsy, seizures, paralysis, or learning deficiencies
- Spinal cord damage, which can result in neurologic problems or paralysis to the baby
Making a Medical Malpractice Claim
Medical malpractice claims must be filed within a certain period of time, and if you suspect a birth injury, you should not delay in seeking out legal representation in your case.
In Florida, there is only a limited window of time—within two years of the date on which the birth injury should have reasonably been discovered—during which you can file a claim or lawsuit for medical malpractice against a negligent health care provider. Moreover, under Florida’s statute of repose, a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit may never be filed more than four years from the date on which the child sustained the birth injury. Finally, children who are born after July 1, 1996, may not be eligible to file a birth injury claim or lawsuit until after turning eighteen. This extended statute of limitations deadline may not apply in cases where the child’s parent or legal guardians knew or should have known that the birth injury was likely caused by a negligent health care provider’s medical malpractice.
If you fail to file a claim or lawsuit for medical malpractice outside of these time periods, you may forever lose the opportunity to seek monetary compensation on behalf of your injured child. The knowledgeable birth injury attorneys at Sibley Dolman can meet all filing deadlines in a timely manner and retain and designate the proper experts your medical malpractice or birth injury case.
Who is Liable for a Child’s Birth Injury
Negligent healthcare providers need to be held responsible for actions they take that harm children and their mothers during the delivery process. When a birth injury occurs it is often the result of a healthcare professional acting outside of the standard of care but the injuries that a newborn suffers may also be caused in part by another party. It is not unusual for several parties to be named in a birth injury claim and it can benefit a claim to have more than one party named as liable since it may increase the amount of compensation a claimant might potentially receive. Some other parties that can be responsible for contributing negligence to a birth injury include:
The Hospital or Medical Facility
The facility in which the delivery was carried out may be considered liable for the medical malpractice cursed injuries to the newborn or its mother. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities where the delivery of a child is carried out have a responsibility to ensure that the child that is being born as well as their mother are given care that falls within the standard of care expected of the medical professionals participating in the delivery. Since these medical professionals are in the direct employ of a medical care facility, the proprietor of that facility can be found liable thanks to vicarious liability.
Defective Medical Device and Product Liability
The medical devices that are relied on during a delivery of a child need to work as intended and not fail. A mistake can cause severe damage to a newborn child as well as the mother. When medical devices malfunction because of a defect and cause a birth injury then the manufacturer or designer of that medical device can be found liable for those injuries. Medical devices used during the delivery process directly interact with vulnerable newborns and can cause the cutoff of oxygen to newborns, inflict trauma, and injure the birth canal of a mother. Seeking compensation for medical products that are defective falls under the purview of product liability law rather than medical malpractice.
Litigating a North Miami Beach Birth Injury Case
In Florida birth injury cases, health care providers are normally held to the standard of care of a reasonable health care provider acting under the same or similar circumstances in the geographical area where the malpractice occurred. Medical specialists, such as obstetricians (that is, delivery room doctors), are normally held to a national standard of care. In the event a delivery room doctor violates this high standard of care by acting unreasonably under the circumstances, then he or she may face full or partial responsibility for the child’s birth injuries and other damages.
In addition to proving fault on the part of the negligent health care provider, the injured patient (or his or her representative) must also show that the negligent health care provider’s violation of the applicable standard of care directly resulted in certain injuries and damages. Those injuries and damages may include cognitive impairments, such as developmental disabilities, growth deficiencies, learning disabilities, and other potentially lifelong problems. In those instances, a child may recover monetary compensation for a lifetime of pain, suffering, inconvenience, and future care.
Call a North Miami Beach Birth Injury Attorney Today for a Free Initial Consultation and Case Evaluation
No one should have to suffer the repercussions of a serious birth injury at the hands of a negligent doctor or other medical provider. If your child was injured at birth as a result of someone else’s negligence, let the knowledgeable birth injury attorneys at Sibley Dolman assist you with your case. Hospitals and health care providers have experienced attorneys on their side advocating for them. You should too. Please schedule a free consultation or case evaluation with a North Miami Beach birth injury attorney by calling us today at (305)-676-8154 or contact us online.
Sibley Dolman Accident Injury Lawyers, LLP
1820 NE 163rd St #306,
North Miami Beach, FL 33162