Birth Injuries and Medical Malpractice

It is important to note that whilst many complications of birth injuries cannot always be avoided, some may be attributable to medical malpractice, in which case a medical malpractice suit may be brought forward. Birth injuries experienced as a result of medical malpractice occur when a medical practitioner has acted negligently and has failed to uphold the standard quality of medical care within their medical community. To reiterate, these injuries apply to both your baby and/or the mother.

Common reasons for medical negligence include:

  • Failure to inform you, as a parent, of any abnormalities which resulted in a wrongful birth.
  • Failure to properly help you, as a parent, to avoid a pregnancy which resulted in a wrongful pregnancy.
  • Failure to diagnose, or provide a delayed diagnosis, to you.

What Causes Birth Injury?

Oftentimes, a birth injury is caused by difficult labor and birth because of your baby’s size or position during labor and delivery. Additionally, medical negligence during childbirth can lead to other complications as well. In most cases, birth injuries as a result of negligence are minor, but there are also cases of severe injury and/or complications which will require a lifetime of medical and therapeutic intervention.

The most common causes of infant birth injury due to negligence include failure to:

  • Properly use birth-assisting tools
  • Detect fetal distress and treat it
  • Schedule and/or perform an emergency cesarean section
  • Monitor and control oxygen intake

 The most common causes of maternal birth injury due to negligence include failure to:

  • Prevent and/or control hemorrhaging
  • Prevent and/or control perineal tearing
  • Diagnose and/or treat preeclampsia
  • Diagnose and/or treat maternal diabetes
  • Diagnose and/or treat maternal infections

Along with a certified medical practitioner, a medical negligence lawyer will examine your case and discern whether the birth injury was caused by medical negligence or an unforeseen circumstance. This will determine whether you have a birth-related medical malpractice case.

Other Forms of Birth Injury

A birth injury does not solely refer to an injury obtained before, during, or just after the birthing process. Should your medical practitioner have withheld information, or have provided you with inadequate medical intervention to avoid pregnancy, then a case of medical negligence can be brought forward.

Wrongful Birth

If you, as the parent, state that the medical practitioner knowingly failed to warn you of your child’s abnormalities in utero, and that you would have undergone an elective abortion, had you been aware, then a wrongful birth case can be opened.

Generally, wrongful birth occurs as a result of a medical practitioner failing to:

  • Screen for infant abnormalities during pregnancy.
  • Give you, as a parent, proper results of this screening.

Wrongful Pregnancy

If a woman becomes pregnant despite receiving medical interventions to avoid pregnancy, then a wrongful pregnancy case can be opened, even if the child is born healthy.

Legal Matters

Generally, legal claims from birth injury cases seek monetary compensation for the resulting ongoing medical and therapeutic costs associated with the injury. Additionally, this compensation may take the pain and suffering of your child, their mother, and your family into account.

According to the state laws of NYC, your allegation of medical malpractice must be filed in a timely manner for you to win your case and receive compensation - this is known as the “statute of limitation.” As mentioned above, four legal elements need to be proved to make a claim of medical malpractice. This claim will indicate that the medical practitioner acted negligently in providing care which resulted in birth injury. Your medical malpractice lawyer will assist you in identifying these elements, which are:

  1. That your medical practitioner had a professional and legal duty to provide care and/or treatment to your child and their mother.
  2. That your medical practitioner is in breach of this duty by having failed to adhere to the quality standards of care of the profession.
  3. That the injury was a result of this breach in duty.
  4. That there is resulting damage from this injury which the legal system can provide redress.

If you believe that you or your child may have experienced some form of birth injury after reading this document, please contact the medical malpractice lawyers of Rosenburg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff LLP in NYC today and speak to one of our medical malpractice attorneys.

When you are ready to talk, we are ready to listen. Call 212-344-1000 for a free, confidential consultation.


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