A newborn’s first cry brings parents tears of joy and happiness. When negligence transforms that joy into anguish, it’s essential to seek help from Indianapolis birth injury attorneys.
Nothing compares to a parent’s pain and disbelief after learning their child has a birth injury due to negligence. The emotional pain and loss can be devastating. Taking care of a child who has sustained these injuries can be costly and require professional and medical help.
Birth Injury Statistics
- The latest data from Indiana’s State Information Center indicate there were approximately 79,000 live births in Indiana.
- 9 – 12 out of 1000 (one out of every 100) delivered babies suffer from birth trauma of some type.
- 9.8% of babies in the U.S are born premature (at 37 weeks), increasing the chances of birth injuries due to their underdeveloped organs.
- Among the leading causes of birth trauma is a lack of communication between the medical personnel and the mother during the birth process.
Birth Defect vs. Birth Injury: Learn the Difference
- A birth defect occurs when an infant is born with a malformation, abnormality, or other conditions. These could be physical, mental, or developmental conditions present from birth. Birth defects are typically caused by genetic factors and are not caused by negligence.
- A birth injury results from negligence on the part of your doctor, nurse, or another medical professional at the time of your child’s delivery. During pregnancy and delivery, mothers and infants are at risk for harm if their caregivers do not provide proper treatment.
It could be easy to confuse a birth injury with a birth defect, especially if the healthcare givers failed to mention it to you. If you notice something is amiss with your baby, seek a legal consult from Indianapolis birth injury attorneys at Wagner Reese.
Common Types of Birth Injuries?
Newborn babies rely on caregivers to tend to their needs, especially during birth. However, these caregivers don’t always offer the high standard of care they are supposed to. Their negligence inflicts the following types of birth trauma:
- Vacuum extraction injuries due to the overuse or misuse of a vacuum extractor
- Brachial plexus palsy – damage to nerves in the upper arm and shoulder, which can cause temporary or permanent muscle weakness
- Bone fractures and soft tissue injuries are caused by direct trauma or indirect trauma during childbirth
- Cerebral palsy – a group of disorders that affects movement and posture; it can be mild or severe
- Erb’s Palsy – paralysis of an arm caused by injury to the network of nerves that extends from the spinal cord up into each shoulder
- Klumpke’s Palsy – a condition that causes the baby to be paralyzed and lose sensation in the lower arm, wrist, and hand
- Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) – occurs when an infant lacks oxygen around delivery, causing ongoing developmental delays that may affect their motor skills and cognitive abilities later in life
- Intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) – bleeding within a baby’s developing brain could lead to permanent brain damage if not diagnosed quickly enough
- Facial paralysis – occurs when the baby’s facial nerve is damaged due to pressure during childbirth or when a doctor uses forceps; this paralysis becomes evident when the baby cries
- Seizures or epilepsy
Statute of Limitations on Birth Injuries in Indianapolis
When a birth injury happens, it can be complicated for a parent to know what happened, when, and who is responsible. That’s why the statute of limitations on birth injuries in Indiana begins on the date of discovery rather than the actual day of injury.
If you discover the birth injury more than two years after your child was born, you are still eligible to file a claim. This gives you ample time to ascertain your child’s birth injury and file an essential claim.
However, there are some restrictions too. Indiana has a “statute of repose.” This law states that no matter when you discover your child suffered from a birth injury, you lose the chance of filing a birth injury claim after eight years have gone by since their birth.
Fortunately, our legal team will ensure you meet all the set deadlines and try to get the most equitable award in the shortest time possible.
Parties to Be Held Liable for Your Baby’s Birth Injuries
Since birth trauma falls under medical malpractice, it’s vital to determine the negligent parties. In most cases, parents sue only the doctors for negligence, yet other players may also bear responsibility.
The liable parties in your baby’s birth injury claim could include:
- Pharmaceutical companies, if they fail to warn of their drugs’ possible side effects
- Medical device manufacturers
- The medical facility under ‘vicarious liability’ (the institution is held liable because its employees’ negligence caused the birth trauma)
It can be challenging to pinpoint the parties liable for your baby’s birth trauma. Knowledgeable birth injury attorneys can help hold all the responsible parties accountable and fight for your rights.
Signs Your Baby’s Birth Trauma Was Due to Negligence
If your child sustained a birth injury and you’re considering whether you should file a lawsuit, it can be challenging to know if negligence caused it. If any of the following actions were taken during your pregnancy or delivery process, you might have a medical malpractice case:
- The doctor failed to monitor the mother or baby during labor
- The doctor failed to perform a c-section
- The doctor failed to refer the mother to a specialist
- The doctor failed to use forceps properly
If your child’s birth injury occurred due to one of these reasons, an experienced attorney can help review your claim and help you decide on how best to proceed.
Indianapolis Birth Injury Attorneys Will Fight to Get You Compensated
Birth injuries cause long-term effects on your baby, including enormous medical and therapy bills. It’s challenging for any parent for their child to undergo such experiences. That’s why a seasoned birth injury attorney will fight for you to get compensated for the following damages:
- Medical expenses caused by the birth injury and any needed future medical care
- Loss of income or earning capacity resulting from the birth injury, present and future
- Pain and suffering endured by the child as a result of their injuries
- Emotional distress on behalf of the child and family due to the pain they have endured because of their injuries
- Loss of consortium, which is loss of companionship, society, guidance, love, affection, etc.
- Loss of parental guidance for children who require permanent care due to their injuries
- The loss of enjoyment of life for children who will not be able to participate in certain activities because they are disabled from their injuries
Schedule a Free Consultation
For more than 20 years, Wagner Reese has been helping individuals and families affected by medical malpractice throughout Indiana. Our birth injury attorneys in Indianapolis have over 150+ years of combined experience dealing with vehicle accidents, truck accidents, car accidents, and medical malpractice. We have earned a reputation for winning results by recovering millions of dollars on behalf of birth trauma victims, allowing families to heal and children to receive the necessary medical care they need.
If your child was injured during delivery or was diagnosed with a severe condition due to a birth injury, we encourage you to contact us as soon as possible. We offer free initial consultations and work on a contingency fee basis, so there is no cost for you. We also provide legal services in Spanish, if needed.