Raleigh Birth Injury Attorney
All birth injuries are tragedies. Some, however, are preventable and suggest medical malpractice. When an obstetrician, nurse, or delivering physician breaches a medical duty to the parent or baby, preventable birth injuries can occur. Parents may have grounds to file lawsuits against the responsible party/parties in these cases. Contact the Raleigh birth injury attorneys at Riddle & Brantley if a doctor recently diagnosed your child with a birth injury. We can help you explore and protect your rights as a patient in North Carolina.
Types of Negligence-Related Birth Injuries
As a parent involved in a potential lawsuit, it helps to know what some of the most common malpractice-related birth injuries are. While almost any negligence-related infant injury could be the basis of a malpractice lawsuit, some types of birth injuries are more common than others. The following birth injuries may all culminate in lawsuits depending on the situation:
- An infant’s brain is highly susceptible to damage during labor, delivery, and shortly after birth. The brain suffering an injury during an important developmental stage could cause a lifelong condition such as cerebral palsy. Doctors failing to notice a problem with fetal vital signs and ordering emergency services is a common cause of brain injuries during birth.
- Improper or careless use of forceps, vacuums, or other delivery-assisting tools could result in trauma such as facial fractures, facial paralysis, other bone fractures, bruising, or lacerations. Undue pressure on the baby’s face could also result in temporary paralysis of the facial nerves. Bone fractures at such an early age could result in limbs developing differently from one another.
Arm and shoulder injuries
- Injuries to the arm and shoulder can occur if the physician yanks on the arm while the baby is stuck within the birth canal. Inappropriate birthing methods in these situations could cause injuries such as brachial plexus injuries, Erb’s palsy, Klumpke’s palsy, or shoulder dystocia. Luckily, must arm and shoulder conditions from birth injuries are not permanent.
Not all birth injuries result from negligence or malpractice. Some might occur even if the attending physician did all he or she could have to prevent them. The determining factor in whether birth injury is malpractice is if a “reasonable and prudent” physician would have acted the same way in similar circumstances. If the answer is no, the defendant is likely guilty of malpractice.
Holding a Hospital vs. a Doctor Liable for Birth Injuries
In many birth injury cases, parents can hold the birthing center or hospital legally responsible for damages. This might be the case if the facility itself contributed to the injury or if the negligent party was a facility employee. For example, if a birthing center failed to provide adequate care to pregnant mothers or their children during labor and delivery, parents may have the option to hold the facility responsible. The same is true if the birth center is guilty of the following:
- Unsafe premises
- Unsanitary delivery rooms
- Poorly maintained equipment
- Incompetent doctors
- Negligent patient care
Contact Our Raleigh Birth Injury Attorneys Today
A plaintiff may only have an individual physician to blame, however, if the person guilty of malpractice was an independent contractor at the center instead of an employee. While the facility will be vicariously liable for the actions of employees, the same is not true for independent contractors. To find out who might be liable for your child’s birth injuries, contact our Raleigh personal injury lawyers today.