What to Know About Birth Injuries

Woman holding newborn

The ability to become pregnant and start a family is extremely exciting. Many people take classes, read books, and practice various techniques with the intention of using them during the birthing process. But even if you planned in great detail for the birth of your child, things don’t always go to plan. While it’s not always a big deal, sometimes these changes during the birthing process can lead to devastating outcomes. Sometimes babies are injured during the birthing process. If your baby was injured during childbirth, you are likely feeling angry, sad, and are looking for what you can do. Here’s what to know about birth injuries. 

Common Birth Injuries

Although not all birth injuries can be prevented, there are many that can be avoided. Some of the most common types of birth injuries include:

  • Head/brain injuries
  • Facial nerve injuries
  • Collarbone or clavicle fracture (the most common birth injury stemming from medical malpractice)
  • Forceps/vacuum injury
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Erb’s Palsy
  • Oxygen deprivation/hypoxia

Statute of Limitations

In Texas, a birth injury claim is not forced to comply with the two-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases. This is because the injured party is a minor. Therefore, the two years that they have to bring a lawsuit does not officially begin until they are 18 years of age. Therefore, the injured party has until they are 20 years old to bring a lawsuit. 

But while the statute of limitations doesn’t begin to run until they turn 18, waiting so long to bring a lawsuit can be detrimental when it comes to the preservation of evidence. Evidence such as hospital records and medical bills/records can end up lost or destroyed. Plus, if you wait until the injured baby is 18 before bringing a claim, there is no examination of the baby at the time that he or she is injured. It’s also important to note that while Texas usually places a cap on the number of damages that one can receive in medical negligence cases ($250,000), birth injury claims are not included in this cap. 

Proving Birth Injury Damages

In order to prove that a negligent party is responsible for birth injury damages, the plaintiff must prove the following four elements:

  1. Duty – The party who injured the baby had a duty to medically treat that child as a reasonable medical professional would in the same or similar circumstances;
  2. Breach – The medical provider breached his or her duty when they acted or failed to act.
  3. Causation – This breach of duty was the actual cause of the birth injury. (This element often requires expert testimony)
  4. Damages – The mistakes made resulted in damages, such as physical injuries, pain and suffering, lost wages, medical bills, etc.

Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC Can Help Those in VA Who Have Suffered Birth Injuries

If you or your child has suffered a birth injury, it’s important to speak with a knowledgeable and experienced Virginia personal injury attorney. At Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC, we have experience with medical malpractice and specifically with issues surrounding birth injuries. We will help you to fight for what it is that you deserve. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!

Posted in: Personal Injury