If your child suffers an injury before, during or immediately after labor and birth, he or she could experience lifelong health consequences. Parents may be unaware that in cases involving negligence by medical providers, they could qualify for financial support to cover treatments, therapies, health care bills and other costs associated with the birth injury.
Review the reasons you may want to seek an opinion about medical malpractice if your family faces this difficult situation.
Potential long-term disability
While most birth injuries cause only minor, short-term issues, some newborns experience brain damage from loss of oxygen during labor and delivery. In this case, disabilities such as cerebral palsy can result in more than $1 million in lifetime medical costs according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Accountability for substandard care
Often, medical malpractice cases result from the health care provider’s failure to diagnose and address a condition that could reduce the risk for birth injury. The most common causes of birth injury according to Stanford Children’s Health include maternal obesity, abnormal fetal position such as breech, cephalopelvic disproportion (size difference between the newborn’s head and birth canal), and birth weight of more than 8 lbs. 13 oz. Lack of attention to these conditions can cause serious injury.
The emotional impact of birth injuries
Caring for a child who has long-term disabilities causes stress and emotional issues for the entire family. When an injury resulted from malpractice, they can potentially receive compensation for emotional pain and suffering along with other nonmonetary damages.
In Washington, the child’s family has three years to sue for malpractice after the birth injury occurred or one year after diagnosis.