New York City Birth Injury Attorneys
While having a child should be a joyful experience and most newborns are delivered in good health, problems during the pregnancy or delivery may result in birth injuries. When such injuries are due to the negligence of an obstetrician, a hospital, or other healthcare provider, it may be possible to obtain compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit. Since birth injury claims involve several medical disciplines and can be complex, having proper legal representation is crucial.
Scaffidi & Associates provides caring, efficient legal services to families whose children have sustained birth injuries. If an obstetrician failed to diagnose or respond to problems during childbirth, or your newborn was harmed because of the improper use of medical devices or poor prenatal care, we can help you obtain meaningful compensation to benefit your child, and to provide them with long-term financial security so they can obtain the services and treatments they will need for the rest of their life.
Common Birth Injuries
Birth injuries are frequently caused by complications during labor or delivery that result in physical harm. The improper use of medical techniques or devices, such as forceps or a vacuum pump, or other delivery room errors, can lead to various types of physical trauma, including:
- Erb’s Palsy (Brachial plexus injuries) — Damage to the nerves connecting a newborn’s spinal cord to the arms and hands can occur if excessive traction is applied to a baby’s head or neck during childbirth. Erb’s palsy may result in paralysis of the child’s shoulder, arms or neck, as well as loss of muscle control or sensation in the arms or hands. Although minor nerve damage may heal in time, more substantial damage will not.
- Cervical dystonia (spasmodic torticollis) — This involves injuries to the newborn’s head, neck or shoulder as a result of medical mistakes that cause the neck muscles to contract, resulting in a child’s head tilting forward or backward or twisting to the side.
- Shoulder dystocia — This occurs when a baby’s head and shoulders get trapped behind the mother’s pelvic bone during delivery. Although this injury is rare, shoulder dystocia can result in complications that may severely harm both the mother and child, and can even lead to death.
- C-Section Injuries — Medical errors and negligence during C-sections can cause facial lacerations, fractures, cervical cord injuries, or nerve damage. Infants can also suffer respiratory distress that leads to long-term health problems.
- Hypoxic Encephalopathy — Babies can suffer oxygen deprivation in utero during any phase of labor. It is incumbent upon the medical professionals following you during labor to identify a baby at risk and to quickly deliver the child to avoid anoxic brain damage. Ultimately, oxygen deprivation, may lead to cerebral palsy (CP). Children afflicted with CP typically experience difficulties with muscle control and motor skills and also suffer muscle spasms and speech impediments. More severe cases often result in paralysis, intellectual deficiencies, epilepsy, and other impairments that require lifelong care.
Finally, newborns may sustain birth injuries from infections, such as group B strep or meningitis, passed from the mother to the child in the birth canal, as well as injuries due to folic acid deficiencies, anemia, or spina bifida. Such injuries are preventable, provided, however, the doctor makes a correct and timely diagnosis.
Grounds for a Birth Injury Claim
If birth injuries are caused by the negligence of a doctor, nurse, hospital, or other healthcare provider, it may be possible to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. All medical professionals in New York have a duty to provide the appropriate standard of care during the pregnancy and delivery. This requires being diligent at all times during the pregnancy, recognizing potential risks to the mother and child, and providing necessary and proper medical care.
Doctors must continuously monitor the mother’s health and be alert for complications during the pregnancy and childbirth. Today, it is possible for doctors to minimize the risk of a difficult delivery and birth trauma by relying on ultrasound images to determine the position of a fetus before labor. Ultimately, having a valid birth injury claim requires showing that a medical professional failed to provide the mother and/or child with good and accepted medical care, and that this failure caused injury to the child.
New York Birth Injury Attorneys
At Scaffidi & Associates, we are aware that no amount of money will reverse the physical and emotional harm of a birth injury sustained by a child. We believe that negligent parties must be held accountable, and that compensation is essential for the child’s future security, and medical and financial needs. At times, birth injuries can result in permanent damage that requires lifelong care. Not only are injured newborns subjected to unnecessary pain and suffering, the emotional and financial burden for the parents can be overwhelming.
Our team is here to help lift those burdens by helping you obtain meaningful compensation for medical expenses, loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, loss of future earning capacity, and other losses. If your newborn sustained a birth injury, you may be frightened and angry, and not know where to turn. We will offer you knowledge, compassion, and the highest level of personal service. Call us today or complete the contact form on our website to set up a consultation.