The birth of a child is one of the most incredible experiences for any parent, but a birth injury can turn a joyful time into a stressful and heartbreaking one.
When babies suffer injuries before or during birth, parents must cope with tragedy when they should be celebrating. Birth injuries frequently leave children with permanent damage, including physical complications as well as developmental issues, and parents must prepare for the future of caring for their children’s conditions. Although some births are inherently riskier than others, birth injuries that happen due to negligence constitute medical malpractice.
Doctors and other health care professionals have a legal and moral obligation to do no harm to the patients under their care. When doctors make egregious or unreasonable mistakes, operate in unsafe conditions, or otherwise jeopardize the health and safety of their patients, they violate this obligation and commit malpractice. Similar to personal injury lawsuits, medical malpractice claims hinge largely on the concept of negligence.
Types of Birth Injuries
A “birth injury” can describe many situations, including injury to both the mother and the child. If a doctor failed to prevent excessive blood loss from the mother during the birth, or failed to properly monitor her blood pressure, this can cause significant medical complications. When doctors fail to use appropriate technique and application of force when delivering an infant, the newborn may suffer spinal injuries, oxygen deprivation (which can cause cerebral palsy), shoulder dystocia, or traumatic wounds from misused surgical instruments.
In some “wrongful birth” cases, negligent genetic testing or negligent failure to detect birth defects early on may lead parents to continue with a pregnancy they would have otherwise avoided or ended early. Plaintiffs in these cases can sometimes secure compensation for pain and suffering associated with the stress and emotional toll of raising a disabled child.
In “wrongful pregnancy” cases, plaintiffs may sue for being compelled to continue with an unwanted pregnancy due to a negligently failed abortion or negligent contraceptive treatment, such as prescribing an ineffective birth control medication. Unlike wrongful birth cases, plaintiffs in wrongful pregnancy cases can only secure compensation if state law allows it.
Damages in Birth Injury Lawsuits
Just like any other personal injury or medical malpractice claim, plaintiffs in birth injury cases can sue for the additional medical expenses incurred as a result of the defendant’s negligence. Additionally, plaintiffs can typically secure compensation for future medical expenses related to the care of an injured baby. Many infants who suffer birth injuries wind up with disabilities or other limitations requiring consistent medical care.
Parents of injured babies can often secure compensation for these future medical costs and any other anticipated costs related to managing their child’s medical condition. Parents in birth injury cases can also sue for the physical pain and emotional suffering resulting from the birth injury and for the future difficulties an injured child will likely face. Finally, plaintiffs can also sue for any lost income due to time they are forced to spend away from work.
Find Reliable Counsel
It’s crucial to hire an experienced medical malpractice lawyer with a proven track record of successful cases to handle your birth injury lawsuit. Birth injuries are often incredibly traumatic and emotionally taxing situations, so hire a professional to handle your legal concerns so you and your family can focus on healing.
At Bode & Collins, we offer the resources and experience of a larger firm with the intimacy and compassion of a smaller firm. We take the time to get to know every one of our clients to provide the most comprehensive representation possible. Reach out to our team to schedule a case evaluation about your birth injury in Arizona. We’ll review your case and let you know what type of compensation you might expect from a claim.