Fullerton Birth Injury Lawyer

Although they are sometimes confused, the terms birth defect and birth injury are used to describe conditions that are notably different. In this regard, birth defect generally refers to a DNA-related health problem that affects infants at, or shortly after, the point of conception. Birth injury, on the other hand, generally refers to a health problem at an infantā€™s birth that was, in most cases, avoidable or preventable.

Birth injuries can affect a newborn child, their mother, or both at the same time. Furthermore, depending on their severity, birth injuries can have a devastating impact on the entire family. If your family experiences such a complication and you believe the negligence of a doctor or healthcare provider is to blame, you may want to call a Fullerton birth injury lawyer. An established medical negligence lawyer could help you explore any potential legal options.

The Basics of Birth Injuries

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that there were almost four million live births in the U.S. in 2016. According to recent estimates, approximately 28,000 of those infants suffered some form of birth injury.

Birth injuries can be mild or seriousā€”and temporary or permanent. While some birth injuries are immediately noticeable, others may not be detectable for a significant period of time. In fact, it is not unusual for some birth injuries to go undetected until a child begins to attend school.

Two of the most common types of birth injuries are brain-related injuries and muscle-related injuries such as cerebral palsy, brachial plexus, Erbā€™s palsy, Klumpkeā€™s palsy, and cervical dystonia. Other types include bone injuries, cranial nerve injuries, and spinal cord injuries.

Common Causes of Birth Injuries

Some birth injuries occur because of improper monitoring of the mother and the infant during the pregnancyā€”and therefore a lack of awareness of potential problems. Other occur during the birthing process itself because of medical staff committing an error such as:

  • Administering the wrong type or amount of medication to the mother while she is in labor
  • Failing to perform a Caesarian surgery when indications are that a normal birth process may not be possible
  • Improperly pulling or twisting the infant, or improperly using birth-assistive tools such as forceps, during the delivery
  • Failing to properly monitor the infant for distress and intervening to prevent injury either before or after birth

Understanding the Severity of a Birth Injury

Birth injuries can be very serious, and the longer they go undetected, the greater the likelihood that the consequences will be permanent or even life-threatening. If unnoticed or left untreated, many birth injuries lead to secondary medical problems which may produce cognitive, emotional, physical, and/or psychological impairment.

On top of risks to a childā€™s long-term health, a birth injury may result in significant and ongoing medical costs depending on its type and severity. According to the CDC, for example, the lifetime costs of providing needed medical assistance and services to a child who suffers a vision impairment as the result of a birth injury is around $500,000.

Contacting a Fullerton Birth Injury Attorney to Pursue Recovery

If you or your child suffered injury during the birthing process, you should contact a Fullerton birth injury lawyer as soon as possible. The state of California requires that medical malpractice claims involving children under the age of six must be filed within three years of the date of the injury or before the childā€™s eighth birthday, whichever is later. To get started on your case, call today to schedule a consultation.