When a child is born with a birth injury, it is important to know what to do to prepare properly for the birth injury claim process.
Births are supposed to be an exciting time, but a birth injury can rob a family of that joyous experience. Birth injuries are often very serious, and they can impact a family for the rest of a child’s life. Unlike birth defects, birth injuries are often the result of a healthcare professional’s negligence, and when that is the case, the family can hold the negligent party liable for the associated injuries and damages. It is important that families know what to expect during the claims process, so they can recover the maximum damages possible.
Understanding Common Types of Birth Injuries
When medical professionals are negligent, a child may suffer a number of different types of birth injuries. Hypoxic-ischemic injuries are due to a lack of oxygen and blood flow to the child’s brain during labor and delivery. These injuries take on many names, including asphyxia, perinatal asphyxia, and hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. Sadly, these types of injuries often result in cerebral palsy.
Brachial plexus injuries are another common type of birth injury. The brachial plexus is a network of nerves in the shoulder. When they become damaged, a baby may suffer from complete or partial paralysis in the arm, fingers, and/or shoulder.
A child’s head may also undergo trauma during labor and delivery. This can result in skull fractures, bleeding in the brain, and other serious injuries. It is important to understand the type of birth injury sustained before filing a claim. Your birth injury attorney, along with medical experts they secure, can help you better understand the type of your birth injury your child suffered and the reason why it occurred.
Understanding Common Causes of Birth Injuries
Many different acts of negligence can result in a birth injury. A doctor may fail to order a C-section quickly enough, or healthcare professionals in the delivery room may fail to notice the baby is not receiving enough oxygen. During the actual delivery, a doctor may also improperly use forceps or a vacuum, which may injure the child’s head.
It is crucial that your birth injury attorney understand the most common causes of birth injuries. Once the cause of the injury has been determined, the liable parties (if any) can be identified and claims can be pursued against them.
Understanding the Statute of Limitations
One of the most important aspects of birth injury claims is the statute of limitations, or the time limit, you have to file a claim in court. In Ohio, when a child is injured (whether during the birthing process or later), a claim must be filed in court by the child’s 19th birthday. This is different than malpractice claims involving injuries to adults. Those claims usually have a one-year time limit. However, even though the time limit may be the child’s 19th birthday, there are many reasons to begin the investigation and file the claim long (years) before the time limit expires.
If you hire an experienced birth injury attorney, the attorney will be able to walk you through the legal process. Your birth injury lawyer will request and analyze your hospital records to determine what caused the birth injury, secure experts on your behalf, file suit, take depositions of opposing medical experts, and “work-up” your case to prepare for trial.
Call Our Ohio Birth Injury Lawyers Today
If your child sustained a birth injury during labor or delivery, contact our Cleveland birth injury lawyers at The Eisen Law Firm today. Our attorneys have the high level of experience needed for birth injury claims and will help you through the process, so you recover the maximum damages you deserve. Call us today at (216) 687-0900 to learn more about how we can help.