Brain Injuries at Birth

Published on May 9th, 2019

Brain Injuries at Birth Article for Thurswell LawThe birth of a child should be one of the most joyous moments of a young couple’s life. Sadly, that is not always the case. The injuries that a mother suffers during birth can result in dramatic life changes—not only for the newborn baby but also for the baby’s parents. When a medical mistake is responsible for causing brain injuries at birth, you have the right to seek legal compensation for those injuries.

Birth injury cases are complex and may involve both legal and medical issues. The experienced Michigan birth injury lawyers at Thurswell Law understand the effects of a brain injury on newborns and their families. Our legal team has handled numerous birth injury cases over the years and will take all of the necessary measures to pursue monetary compensation on your behalf.

Types of Birth Injuries

Birth injuries could occur during the woman’s labor, or during the actual delivery itself. Medical problems that occur during either of these time periods could deprive the baby of oxygen (i.e., hypoxia) or could cause the baby to suffer serious trauma. Being deprived of oxygen can result in numerous serious side effects—the most significant of which is brain damage. Intense trauma during the delivery process could also result in serious injuries to the baby.

In contrast to birth injuries, birth defects are defects which the baby inherits from one or both of the parents or which result from other genetic or developmental conditions.

Types of Birth Injuries

Brain injuries and other birth injuries can occur when something goes wrong during labor or delivery or when a medical doctor or other health care provider makes a serious medical mistake. Some common examples of brain injuries and trauma at birth include:

In addition to recovering compensation for the baby as part of a birth injury case, the mother could also be eligible for compensation resulting from medical complications during the delivery process. For example, the mother could pursue compensation against a negligent health care provider for failing to control excessive blood loss while the baby is being delivered. The health care provider could also be negligent for ignoring certain “red flags” during the birthing process, such as failing to recognize and treat the mother’s preeclampsia and high blood pressure.

Our experienced birth injury attorneys can determine whether the health care provider or facility was likely negligent under the circumstances, and if so, whether you are likely to prevail in a malpractice claim against the provider or facility.

Determining Healthcare Provider Negligence

In order to prevail in a birth injury case, the patient must demonstrate that the health care provider or facility’s actions were negligent and outside the normally established standard of care. With regard to doctors and other health care providers, the patient must compare the doctor’s actions with those of a hypothetical “reasonable physician” acting under the same or similar circumstances—and with the same speciality as the health care provider at issue. Health care provider negligence in the birth/brain injury context could include any one of the following:

  • Allowing the woman’s labor go on for too long
  • Improperly using a vacuum or forceps in the delivery room
  • Failing to properly administer Pitocin or other labor-inducing drugs
  • Failing to properly identify fetal distress—or failing to monitor the baby or the mother for signs of fetal distress
  • Failing to diagnose placental abruption
  • Failing to perform a timely C-section
  • Failing to timely diagnose and properly managing a shoulder dystocia during birth
  • Failing to timely diagnose and treat medical conditions that caused premature delivery

When it comes to determining whether a health care provider was negligent, expert testimony is necessary. In the case of possible physician negligence, for example, a medical expert would likely need to determine, based upon a reasonable degree of medical probability:

  • That the delivery room doctor either did something that he or she was not supposed to do with regard to the delivery, or
  • Failed to do something that he or she should have done under the circumstances.

Recovering Damages in a Birth Injury Case

In addition to proving that a health care provider or facility was negligent, the patient must also demonstrate that the health care provider or facility’s negligence was a direct cause of the baby’s brain injury at birth. Both an injured mother and her child might be eligible to pursue damages against a negligent health care provider or facility in a birth injury case. Potential damages could include one or more of the following:

  • Payment of all of the medical bills and expenses which the mother and/or the child incurred as a result of the brain injury
  • Compensation for any future medical treatment, including surgeries, that may be necessary as a result of the physician’s negligence
  • Compensation for all of the past pain and suffering incurred by the mother and/or her child
  • Compensation for future pain and suffering—and in the worst cases—compensation for a lifetime of pain, suffering, and medical treatment for the child
  • Lifetime care costs for the child at a special home or assisted living facility
  • Anticipated educational costs for the child’s special needs
  • Compensation for the child’s loss of use of a body part or the loss of the ability to function due to the brain injury

The legal team at Thurswell Law can determine your eligibility for damages and can help you fight for the compensation you deserve under the circumstances.

Contact a Michigan Birth Injury Attorney Today

Brain injuries at birth can place severe limitations on a child’s ability to learn and function—sometimes for the remainder of the child’s life. If your child suffered a brain injury at birth, both you and your child could be eligible for compensation. The compassionate birth injury lawyers at Thurswell Law can review the circumstances of your case and help you pursue damages.

To schedule a free consultation or case evaluation with a Michigan birth injury lawyer, please contact us online or call Thurswell Law at (248) 354-2222 today.

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