If your child suffered a brain injury at birth that you think is due to the negligence of the obstetrician or the hospital, you may be owed compensation. Birth injury attorneys specialize in such cases, and may provide a free consultation with a staff physician to evaluate the merits of your case.
Firms that regularly deal with post-natal brain injury cases often employ a staff physician whose job is to analyze the medical records and if applicable, determine the critical times during delivery when medical professionals did not provide proper and adequate care. Post-natal brain injuries may be caused in any number of ways.
Obstetricians routinely monitor infants during birth for fetal distress. By monitoring the baby's heartbeat during labor, a doctor can determine if a Caesarean delivery is indicated. If medical professionals ignore fetal monitoring equipment or incorrectly interpret the data, serious brain injury can occur. Birth injury attorneys are skilled at evaluating these unfortunate situations.
If a doctor improperly uses forceps or a vacuum extractor during delivery, the baby may suffer an avoidable brain injury. This is a case of medical malpractice, and you can seek redress by contacting a birth injury attorney and asking that the details of the forceps or vacuum delivery be evaluated.
Cerebral palsy can be caused by birth defects or by post-natal brain injury. In cases of cerebral palsy, it is critical that with the help of medical specialists, birth injury attorneys determine whether it is likely that the cerebral palsy was the result of a pre-natal birth defect, or whether it could have been resolved from a brain injury during delivery.
Injuries to the brachial plexus are caused by damage to nerves that conducts signals from the spine to the shoulder. This type of injury occurs when a baby's shoulders are affected during delivery, causing the nerves of the brachial plexus to tear. While this is a spinal nerve injury and not a brain injury, birth injury attorneys also handle cases involving brachial plexus damage.
Preeclampsia is a disorder during pregnancy and the postpartum period that affects both the mother and the baby. It occurs in 5% to 8% of pregnancies and is rapidly progressive and dangerous. A birth injury attorney, with the help of medical consultants, can evaluate whether a baby's brain injury was caused by preeclampsia that was not treated promptly.
In cases of post-natal brain injury, it is necessary to determine exactly who the liable parties are. Beside obstetricians and other doctors, nurses, health care facilities, and other caregivers may be liable in cases of brain injury. A birth injury attorney is skilled in identifying reliable parties in cases of brain injury. Those parties may include the hospital where delivery took place.
Hospitals, whether public or private, can be held directly in certain cases of post-natal brain injury. They can also be held indirectly, or "vicariously" liable for negligent actions by employees. If a hospital fails to examine the credentials or track record of an attending physician before granting him or her hospital privileges, your birth injury attorney may want to include the hospital as a defender.
If a doctor is an independent contractor at a hospital and commits malpractice there, the hospital can not be held liable for the malpractice. But in birth injury cases and other severe cases of malpractice, a hospital can be held negligent in granting hospital privileges to an incompetent doctor. When you seek legal redress after a post-natal brain injury, your lawyer will carefully determine who can be held responsible.