All parents have one thing in common – they want healthy babies. Unfortunately, because of medical malpractice or negligence, some babies experience birth injuries affecting them for the rest of their lives. The actual injury they suffer may occur during pregnancy or during the labor and delivery process, and not every injury is obvious at birth.
If your child was injured at birth, a New Jersey birth injury lawyer can help get the compensation you deserve to care for your child’s potential ongoing needs. A birth injury lawsuit filed against those responsible may end in a settlement with the help of an experienced medical malpractice attorney, easing some of your financial burden.
Common Birth Injuries
Birth injuries could limit a child’s cognitive and motor skills. The most common birth injuries that birth injury attorneys in New Jersey deal with include:
- Brain damage- traumatic brain injury (TBI) usually happens during delivery, but can occur during pregnancy. A frequent cause is compression of the umbilical cord, including the cord wrapping around the infant’s neck.
- Cerebral palsy – this specific type of TBI might occur during birth if the baby is deprived of oxygen over a long period. A vacuum extraction or forceps delivery can also cause cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy causes difficulties with muscle tone, reflexes, and coordination, affecting various parts of the body and ranging from moderate to severe. It is not uncommon for a firm diagnosis of cerebral palsy to take several years
- Chronic seizures
- Erb’s palsy – with this condition, infants may not be able to move or feel one or both arms
- Nerve damage
- Skull fractures
Birth injuries often occur because of medical mistakes and negligence. The doctor may have failed to perform a C-section that would have prevented the injury, or not realized the fetus was in distress. Prior to delivery, the doctor may have seriously underestimated the baby’s size and weight, resulting in delivery complications. Negligence by hospital personnel can also cause death or serious injury to an infant.
With most other personal injury cases, the statute for filing a lawsuit in New Jersey is two years. That is not the situation with birth injuries. Under New Jersey statute, an action by or on behalf of a minor that has accrued for medical malpractice for injuries sustained at birth shall be commenced prior to the minor’s 13th birthday.
How a Malpractice Attorney Can Help
A New Jersey birth injury lawyer can collect evidence relating to the birth’s circumstances, which includes depositions from all parties involved, including the obstetrician, anesthesiologist, attending nurses, midwife, or doula. Independent experts review the medical evidence, along with the employment records of the professionals involved. Uncovering negligence and malpractice will help ensure that what happened to one child does not occur again.
An attorney in New Jersey can aggressively pursue compensation for medical expenses and pain and suffering. If the other side will not settle the case, they are prepared to go to trial. If your child suffered birth injuries, you need the services of a New Jersey birth injury lawyer, who will be ready to review your case and advise you on the best way to proceed.