There are thousands of birth injuries each year in the U.S. While some birth injuries cannot be prevented or foreseen, many are caused by doctors, nurses, and other healthcare members involved in monitoring the pregnancy or as part of the labor and delivery team.
There are many types of birth injuries, and some could cause a medical negligence lawsuit. From prescribing incorrect medication to the misuse of forceps during delivery, the result of medical negligence can have a significant and lasting financial impact.
Birth Injuries Require Costly Services and Aids
Building a family can be one of life’s greatest joys but having and taking care of children isn’t cheap. The financial impact of a new baby includes clothes that often only fit for a few weeks, diapers, food, nursery furniture, toys, and time off work. Women and men who take maternity and paternity leave only make part of their annual salary, limiting the household income at a time when it’s needed most.
All of these factors add up quickly. A healthy family means years of personal and financial commitment, but when a birth injury occurs, the short- and long-term financial implications can be staggering and insurmountable for many. Pursuing a medical negligence lawsuit for a birth injury could not only hold the medical team involved accountable but also lessen the financial burden of the injury.
There are many costs associated with birth injuries, and providing the best quality of life is expensive. The child may need regular physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy, nurses who provide partial or full-day care, and surgeries. Special equipment like a wheelchair and a vehicle that can accommodate it and an array of aids to assist living with an injury may be needed.
Physiotherapy alone could cost $150 a session without insurance. Even those with insurance could still pay $50 per session, and this is just one possible service a child with a birth injury could need regularly.
For those who become adult dependents due to medical negligence at birth, the cost of care over the years can be financially debilitating. Recently, a stimulus package for families with adult dependents was announced, providing some long-awaited relief in today’s challenging times. While government support programs like this can help to an extent with the financial strain of medical care, a medical negligence lawsuit could offer greater support.
Other costs that aren’t always considered are house renovations to meet the needs of a child disabled from a birth injury. Stairlifts, wide doorways, and bathrooms with room for a wheelchair to maneuver, and special bathtubs are just some of the possible home renovations a family may need.
Types of Birth Injuries and How They Occur
There are several causes of birth injuries due to medical negligence. They can be minor or temporary, but many are serious, life-changing, and lifelong. Miscommunication among the delivery team, improper use of forceps during delivery, improper or insufficient monitoring of the mother or baby, and mistakes during c-sections can lead to preventable birth injuries.
Some birth injuries from medical negligence include hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), fractures and breaks, cephalohematoma, kernicterus, facial paralysis, and subconjunctival hemorrhage. If a doctor misses a baby’s oxygen supply is cut off, brain swelling or bleeding from medical equipment, or damage to the brain during a c-section, a child may develop cerebral palsy (CP). This injury, among others, have long-term financial implications.
A child may require services, surgeries, and aids for the rest of their life, and it’s costly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), medical costs of children with CP are ten times higher than those without, and they estimate the lifetime cost to be around $1 million.
Given the high costs associated with birth injuries, it’s important to consult a lawyer about whether there’s a viable medical negligence claim.
Experienced Attorneys for Birth Injuries
Giving a child with a birth injury the level of care they deserve can significantly affect their quality of life. Since many birth injuries are avoidable, suing for medical negligence can help cover the cost of medications, specialized equipment and aids, services like physiotherapy, and other beneficial or much-needed services.
A key factor in successful medical negligence lawsuits is the legal team hired to pursue the case. Attorneys with extensive experience in birth injury lawsuits, such as Paulson & Nace, have helped families who had a child injured by medical mistakes throughout pregnancy or during delivery. These lawsuits provide financial compensation to ensure the child’s needs are met, and they live the best life possible.
Both an Emory School of Law graduate and MBA graduate of Goizueta Business School at Emory, Chris Nace focuses his practice on areas of medical malpractice, drug and product liability, motor vehicle accidents, wrongful death, employment discrimination and other negligence and personal injury matters.