Bringing a child into the world can be one of the most precious experiences in life. Therefore, we know few things are more devastating than being delivered bad news after a difficult labor. Birth injuries are more common than you may think, as 1 in every 9,714 births are affected by some form of birth trauma. Applying this number to Colorado birth statistics, it means that in 2020 alone, about 633 Colorado families were affected by a birth injury. If you or your baby were injured before, during, or after birth, you may be entitled to seek justice and compensation. At James Horne Law, we understand that birth injuries can be traumatic experiences for everyone involved. If you are looking for a lawyer for birth injuries in Lakewood Ranch, please reach out to us so that we can assist you in your matter.
What Is a Birth Injury?
Generally defined, a birth injury is a physical injury to either the mother or the child during the childbirth process. Also referred to as birth traumas, injuries during childbirth can be a result of negligent care. If you or your child were injured while going through labor, you should reach out to a birth injury attorney to see if you have an actionable claim.
Causes of Birth Injuries
There are many different causes of birth injuries, and they can involve internal and external factors. According to Stanford Medicine, some of these causes include:
- Large babies,
- Cephalopelvic disproportion (when the size and shape of the mother’s pelvis are not adequate to give birth vaginally),
- Oxygen deprivation,
- Maternal obesity,
- Maternal diabetes,
- Difficult labor (dystocia), and
- Medical malpractice.
While some birth injuries are unavoidable due to natural circumstances, you are still entitled to an adequate level of care in every birthing situation. In some instances, these standards are not met, which can cause or contribute to the injuries suffered by the mother or the child. A birth injury attorney will be able to help you evaluate the circumstances surrounding your delivery experience to see if you were given the appropriate level of care.
Types of Birth Injuries
Birth injuries can be temporary, permanent, or a combination of both. But the most severe types of birth injuries can result in lifelong physical or mental impairments. Some common types of birth injuries include:
- Cerebral palsy, a condition that affects someone’s ability to move, their balance, or their posture;
- Erb’s palsy, which is a nerve condition that affects the shoulders and arms and prevents proper functioning and muscle development;
- Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, or brain damage caused by oxygen deprivation;
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Postpartum hemorrhaging,
- Newborn jaundice, which is common in preterm babies; and
- Intrauterine fetal demise, which is the medical term for a fetus that dies in the womb after the second trimester.
The above examples are just a few of the many different types of injuries that can occur during the delivery process.
Birth Injuries from Medical Malpractice
When a doctor commits medical malpractice, the odds of a birth injury increase dramatically. This can happen when your doctor does not provide the standard of care that is expected of a health professional during the delivery process. One shocking statistic shows that 40% of birth injuries are a result of poor labor management and delivery monitoring. Some examples of common medical malpractice instances during childbirth include:
- Ignoring the signs of fetal stress or problems during delivery,
- When a doctor sees the signs of fetal stress but does not take appropriate action,
- Improper administration of epidural anesthesia,
- When improper delivery room drugs were used,
- When the mother or child’s heart rate was improperly mointorered,
- Negligent performance of a cesarean section,
- Delayed performance of a cesarean section, and
- Improper handling of forceps or other delivery room tools.
There are more ways in which a doctor can commit malpractice during childbirth, so you should consult a Lakewood Ranch birth injury attorney if you believe a health professional provided inadequate care during your childbirth experience.
Statute of Limitations for Birth Injuries
In Colorado, there is a two-year statute of limitations on medical malpractice claims. This means that you have two years from the time of the injury to take legal action against a healthcare provider in civil court. However, the statute carves out certain exceptions to this rule when:
- The act or omission that gave rise to the injury was knowingly concealed,
- The act or omission involved an unauthorized foreign object that was left in the body,
- The physical injury could not have been discovered by reasonable diligence,
- The action is brought by or on behalf of a minor who is under 8 years old who was under 6 years old at the time of the injury; or
- The action is brought by or on behalf of a person with certain disabilities.
To meet important filing deadlines or to see if you qualify for a statute of limitations exception, you should consult a birth injury attorney immediately. If you do not meet these deadlines, you may be barred from recovering at all.
What Can a Lakewood Ranch Birth Injury Lawyer Do for You?
In addition to helping you meet filing deadlines, a birth injury attorney can evaluate your case to see if you have a claim. The laws surrounding birth injuries can get complex, and an attorney can help you seek expeditious justice so you and your child can focus on healing instead.
Why Choose James Horne Law?
At James Horne Law, attorney James Horne has over 10 years of experience fighting for his client’s rights in court.
In addition, very few firms have a medical doctor who is available to review every potential medical malpractice claim. However, if you choose James Horne Law to represent you in your case, you will be provided a free case review by medical doctor Art Cohen at the beginning of your case evaluation. This is just one of the ways that James Horne Law will work to ensure that you receive the best representation in your birth injury claim. To schedule an appointment with a birth injury attorney near Lakewood Ranch, you can reach out to us online or call us at 941-205-7465.