Birth Injury Lawyer: What You Need To Know

Birth Injury Lawyer: What You Need To Know

Steven Schwartzapfel -Founding Partner Mar 24, 2022

For more than 35 years, Steven Schwartzapfel, the founding member of Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C., has been one of New York’s most prominent personal injury attorneys. Steve represents clients in all types of personal injury cases. His experience, skill, and dedication have enabled Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. to recover hundreds of millions of dollars for their clients.

Expecting a newborn is usually a joyful time for parents and family members. The last thing a parent wants to worry about is any harm coming to their baby.

While medical professionals have a duty to make sure both the mother and child are unharmed during labor, birth injuries can happen. Birth injuries fall under the umbrella of medical malpractice, which occurs due to the wrongful actions or negligence of a medical professional or institution.

Birth injuries can have long-lasting negative effects on infants. They may also become a significant source of stress and financial deficits for parents.

However, because signs of health problems are not always clear in infants, it may be difficult to identify a problem and prove liability for injury.

If you think your baby may have been subject to a birth injury, you should hire a lawyer to help you prove and make your case. To learn more, contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. at 1-800-966-4999. Your consultation will be free of charge, and you will not owe us a penny unless we win your case.

Whether you are an expecting parent or simply want to learn more about birth injuries, please read on for an overview of how they occur.

What Is a Birth Injury?

A birth injury is an injury that afflicts an infant during childbirth.

Labor is a delicate process during which infants are sensitive to injury. Doctors and other professionals are trained to use care in labor procedures to not bring physical harm to a newborn.

Despite this, there is still a chance that injury can occur. Birth injuries range from mild to severe in terms of their short-term and long-term impacts. Some may even lead to death.

While most infant mortality cases result from abnormalities or birth disorders, in New York City, about 4 of every 1,000 infants die during childbirth or shortly after due to birth injuries incurred.

Medical Malpractice

Typically, birth injuries occur as a result of medical malpractice.

Medical malpractice is defined as an incident in which a medical professional’s actions lead to injury and physical damage in an individual. It is important to note that such injuries are not the result of honest mistakes, as mistakes are unavoidable and occur across all industries.

However, this also does not mean that medical malpractice arises only when medical professionals intentionally harm their patients.

Medical malpractice occurs when a professional or institution fails to adhere to proper protocol regarding medical procedures. For example, if a doctor fails to assess a patient’s health records or test results thoroughly, that may lead to negative effects for the patient.

Such actions may not be purposeful in intent, but they are nevertheless irresponsible, often reckless, and avoidable.

Birth Injury: Types and Causes

Just as a wide range of actions are considered medical malpractice, a wide range of birth injuries can affect an infant during childbirth.

The following are a few of the most common birth injuries that everyone should know about.

Bone Fractures

Infants are very sensitive. Their bones are less developed and, hence, much softer than fully formed adult bones.

Bone fractures can result when a medical professional does not properly handle an infant during childbirth or does not realize that an infant is in distress.

While bone fractures can be minor, they can also lead to serious developmental issues or problems with mobility as the child grows.

Brain Injuries

Brain injuries are especially dangerous, as brain cells cannot be easily repaired. Infants have very soft heads since their skulls are not yet fully formed and are therefore more susceptible to brain injuries.

Brain injuries can cause long-term impairment to a child’s mental or physical capacities.

One example of how a childbirth-related brain injury might occur is if a medical professional forcibly or improperly uses forceps to deliver a baby.

Nerve Damage

Like their brains and bones, an infant’s nerves are also very delicate. For nerve damage to occur during childbirth, excessive pressure or trauma may serve as root causes.

One example of this kind of injury is Erb’s Palsy, a condition wherein muscle weakness results and, in certain cases, can lead to partial or complete paralysis. And while the causes for Erb’s Palsy vary, commonly, the injury is associated with undue pressure being placed on the infant’s shoulders, head, and/or neck during childbirth, which, in turn, can damage the infant’s underlying nerves.

Note: Other significant childbirth-related injuries include but are not limited to: hemorrhages, infections due to contamination, bruising, etc.

Birth Injury Causes

Most birth injury cases are a result of the following common instances of medical malpractice.

  • Failure to recognize and/or respond to an infant’s distress due to an injury or condition.
  • Failure to monitor an infant’s vitals during childbirth.
  • Improper handling of an infant.
  • Improper use of tools or equipment.

Birth injuries may also stem from medical malpractice before childbirth if a medical professional does not properly identify abnormalities in a fetus.

Regardless of how or why an infant was injured during childbirth, you and your child have rights that are protected by the law. To better understand them, please read on or call 1-800-966-4999 to speak with an experienced Schwartzapfel Lawyers representative.

Making Your Case

One of the most essential steps in filing a birth injury claim is making your case.

This predominantly involves establishing the details of an incident as well as proving liability for the injuries caused.

Proving birth injury cases can be difficult, especially if a parent or medical professional does not suspect a health problem, or if symptoms do not manifest, for some time after childbirth (i.e. months, or even years).

First Steps: Seeking Medical Attention

If you suspect that your infant could have been a victim of a birth injury, the most important thing to do is have a doctor immediately examine them.

Note: It is likely best for you and your family to visit a doctor who is not affiliated with the institution where the birth injury could have occurred, as this will help ensure your child receives proper medical treatment. Additionally, taking this step will provide evidence for your case.

Newborn babies are often required to undergo a series of checkups, which can also help identify an injury as well as provide documentation for your case.

Why You Should Hire a Lawyer

The second most important step is to hire a lawyer for your case — the sooner, the better.

This is because birth injury cases can be very complicated and only a qualified lawyer will know how to navigate a case and prove liability properly. A skilled lawyer will also be well-equipped to help take care of the legalities of your case while you tend to your child and recover as a family.

Don’t wait. Call Schwartzapfel Lawyers at 1-800-966-4999 for your free consultation to secure the money and benefits you are entitled to.

Choosing the Right Birth Injury Case Lawyer

When choosing a lawyer for a birth injury case or any other type of personal injury case, you should keep a few factors in mind. This is because, while there are many great lawyers in New York City, you should focus on finding one that is right for you and your family.

The following are a few of these important factors and how you should take them into consideration when looking for a lawyer.

Experience

There are many lawyers out there, many of whom have experience in certain fields or dealing with specific kinds of cases.

When filing a birth injury claim, one of the first fields to look into is medical malpractice. This is because medical malpractice lawyers will likely have the most experience handling medical malpractice cases, of which birth injury cases are a subsection.

The next step is to find a medical malpractice lawyer with a successful track record litigating birth injury cases in particular.

While many types of lawyer may be of use to you and your case, it is always best to choose someone who has represented others like you with favorable outcomes in the recent past. They will know how to best navigate the system as well as the exact type of case you ought to file.

This is especially true if your case is complex and cannot be easily proven.

Dedication

A lawyer is supposed to work for you. Their job is to prioritize your case and protect your rights.

If you suspect that a lawyer is not doing all they can for your case, they are not the right lawyer for you.

This is also true of trustworthiness. Your lawyer will have access to much of your personal information, so you should be able to trust them with it.

Accordingly, you should also feel comfortable communicating with your lawyer and asking them any questions you may have about the case.

Takeaways

Welcoming a newborn baby into your family should be an exciting time in your life. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

If your child is the victim of a birth injury, hiring an expert lawyer will ensure that your rights are protected so that you and your family can receive the maximum amount of compensation afforded to you by the law.

As such, you should look at medical malpractice lawyers who have experience dealing with birth injury cases in New York. Upon choosing your lawyer, you should only hire someone who is trustworthy and dedicated to your case.

At Schwartzapfel Lawyers, we always put our clients first and we are confident that we can match you with the right lawyer for your case. Call us now at 1-800-966-4999 to speak with an experienced member of our personal injury team.

For any questions you may have about birth injury claims, your case, or hiring a lawyer in NYC, you can book a free consultation with us today. It will be our privilege and honor to help you and fight for you every step of the way.

Sources:

Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. | Fighting For You

FastStats – Infant Health | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Health Department Releases 2019 Annual Vital Statistics Data | New York City Department of Health

Is Erb’s Palsy Associated With Medical Error During Labor and Delivery? | Cerebral Palsy FAQ

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