Irvine Birth Injury Lawyer

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When your newborn suffers an injury during birth, your feelings of excitement and happiness may dissipate into frustration, anger, and fear. A child being injured at birth can be financially, emotionally, and physically draining for the parents or caretakers. If your newborn is the victim of a birth injury in Orange County, contact an experienced and compassionate Irvine birth injury attorney, who can help you get the compensation that you deserve.

Seriousness of Birth Injuries

When a newborn suffers an injury at birth or during the mother’s labor that is caused by carelessness, negligence, or intentional acts of the medical staff assisting in the birthing process or as a result of facility issues, it constitutes medical malpractice, which can serve as the basis of a lawsuit. Birth injuries are typically preventable accidents.

Birth injuries can be temporary or permanent and the extent of the injury can be minor enough that it is undetectable until the child begins school. It could also result in serious brain trauma, such as cerebral palsy, which may be immediately apparent.

A birth injury differs from a birth defect because it is not a condition that would otherwise exist, regardless of what happened during the birthing process. As a result, the victim of a birth injury may be entitled to damages.

California Laws Regarding Birth Injuries

In medical malpractices cases, California’s statute of limitations requires parties to file a lawsuit within three years of the date of injury or within one year of the date of discovery, or the date that the injury should have been discovered. If the lawsuit is on behalf of an infant, it must be filed before the child is nine, at which point the party is time-barred from filing a lawsuit.

The statute of limitations has a two-prong purpose. It is designed to prohibit people from indefinitely waiting to take any action when they were or should have been aware that there was the possibility of a birth injury. It is also designed not to limit those that may not have discovered the possibility of a birth injury until the child was school-aged and learning difficulties that may have originated from brain trauma caused by birth injuries were suspected.

What Qualifies for Damages in a Birth Injury Case

When healthcare facilities and medical staff fail to exercise a reasonable standard of care that results in a birth injury, the victim may be entitled to damages. The available damages include compensatory damages, which are designed to compensate patients for expenses associated with the injury, such as medical bills. Claimants may also be entitled to up to $250,000 for general damages, which includes pain and suffering.

The damage award that a person is entitled to is determined under a pure contributory negligence standard. Under that standard, any damages that are awarded may be reduced by the percentage of fault that is attributable to the injured party. That being said, it is important to note that the infant (the injured party in a birth injury case) is in no way responsible for injuries he or she may have sustained during birth.

Fault may be attributable to a mother that fails to take prescribed medication, which puts the fetus in jeopardy, making emergency surgery necessary. In that case, while the person, people, or entity responsible for the birth injury would still be liable, a percentage of fault may be assigned to the mother for her negligence, if it is determined that her actions contributed to the birth injury.

Contact an Irvine Birth Injury Attorney Today

If your child was injured due to the negligence of your birthing staff or conditions of the birthing facility, or you are concerned that he or she has begun to display signs of a potential birth injury, do not waste any time. Contact our Irvine birth injury lawyers today to seek justice for your child.