Childbirth is one of the most rewarding and joyous occasions you can experience. It should be a time full of celebration, not a time of fear and anxiety. Unfortunately, medical malpractice can lead to birth-related injuries and this time of joy can become one of fear and uncertainty.
Although minor bruises and bumps are quite common during birth, serious and life-long injuries can result from the negligent actions of the medical team in handling a difficult labor and delivery. Injuries like brain damage, cerebral palsy, trauma to the head, and brachial plexus injuries can lead to severe developmental issues and your child could be left facing a lifetime of impairment.
The medical malpractice lawyers at Upstate Personal Injury Lawyers, understand the heartbreak and stress that you are enduring and we can work to ensure you get the support you need to help your child cope with the serious birth injury. Get in touch with us at 864-656-5500 to talk to a birth injury lawyer in Greenville, SC.
What is the difference between a birth injury and a birth defect?
Birth defects are congenital and can be caused by exposure to toxins, genetic abnormalities, or even medications the mother took during pregnancy. Birth defects occur prior to the birth of the baby.
On the other hand, birth injuries are caused by any form of harm done to the baby from the negligence of any physician or medical professional.
Common Causes of Birth Injuries
There are a number of factors that cause birth injuries to occur. They include:
- Macrosomia, where the baby is large, weighing in more than 8lbs. 13 oz.
- Dystocia, which means difficult childbirth or labor
- Cephalopelvic disproportion, which refers to cases where the baby’s head is too large to be delivered due to the size of the mother’s pelvis
- Prolonged labor
- Babies that are born before 37 weeks tend to be fragile and more prone to injury
- Abnormal birthing presentation
Types of Birth Injuries
As a new parent, you trust your doctor to oversee your pregnancy with decisions that enable a healthy birth. If a doctor is unable to provide the appropriate prenatal care, fails to schedule a caesarian section when the baby isn’t born within a certain date, or fails to monitor vital signs for fetal distress, it’s a form of malpractice that puts the health and safety of both the child and the mother at risk.
A trained physician will be necessary to deliver a baby safely during birth. But if the doctor pulls or twists the baby improperly or administers wrong doses to the mother, both the mother’s and the child’s health and safety will be at risk. The doctor should be held liable for this kind of negligence if it causes bodily harm.
Improper Postnatal care
It is important for mothers to receive proper medical care during the first 12 weeks after birth (the fourth trimester) to prevent postpartum conditions. If a doctor prescribes medications improperly, and they end up compromising the mother’s health, level of comfort, or even mood, the effects can influence the health and well-being of the baby.
What is required to prove negligence in a birth injury case?
A birth injury is categorized under medical malpractice. In order to prove medical malpractice, you will need to demonstrate that the negligence from the medical professional directly caused injury. In order for a birth injury case to be successful, you need to prove the following:
- There was an existing doctor-patient relationship
- The failure to act of the medical professional represented a breach of the accepted standard of care for their specialty
- The negligence or the breach of the accepted standard of care directly caused the injury
- The plaintiff actually suffered damages from the injury
If you’re unsure of whether you have a birth injury claim or not, your best bet is to contact an experienced Birth Injury Lawyer Greenville, SC. Upstate Personal Injury Lawyers, can review your claim and let you know about your options.
How Long Do I Have to File a Birth Injury Lawsuit in Greenville, SC?
The statute of limitations governs the amount of time allowed for victims to file a claim. According to South Carolina law, the statute of limitations is three years to file a claim. The clock starts ticking on the date the injury happened or potentially later if something prevents the immediate discovery of the malpractice.
What Kind of Compensation Can I Recover in a Birth Injury Lawsuit?
Birth injury lawsuits are often complex and surrounded by a lot of emotions. Your lawyer will work with medical experts to review your case, interview any witnesses and evaluate you and your child’s medical records to determine whether you have a case. If you do, we may be able to pursue the following types of compensation:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Emotional distress
Keep in mind that punitive damages may be available and can only be awarded if the defendant’s actions were grossly negligent, willful, or reckless.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Birth Injury Lawyer Greenville, SC Today
The Greenville Birth Injury Lawyers at Upstate Personal Injury Lawyers can provide you with the legal counsel and guidance to pursue the justice and compensation you need and deserve for your birth injury case.
Get in touch with our office at 864-656-5500 or use the contact form in our website to schedule a free case evaluation. You never have to pay us anything until our lawyers recover a settlement on your behalf.