The birth of a child is often considered one of the most joyous events in one's life. Most of the time births occur without incident or complications. However, if a healthcare provider commits medical malpractice during the labor or delivery, a host of injuries to both the child and mother may occur. These injuries include but are not limited to brain injury, nerve injuries, soft tissue tears/fistulas, sterility, and even death.
Standards within the obstetric community mandate that a fetus and its mother be adequately monitored throughout the labor and delivery periods to ensure that the health of both is not being compromised, and, that the delivery has the best chance to result in the birth of a healthy baby. A failure to properly monitor the patients and heed the signs and symptoms exhibited by both the fetus and the laboring mother may be medical malpractice, and, could culminate in injuries to both the mother and fetus. In addition, a failure to properly interpret the information collected and the signs and symptoms exhibited during labor and delivery may also constitute medical malpractice, and, similarly may result in injury. Both proper monitoring and the correct interpretation of the information collected are integral to the healthcare provider making the correct treatment decisions (including whether a C-section delivery is needed and its timing).
In addition, the standards of the medical community must be adhered to in the actual delivery of the baby. If the healthcare provider deviates from those standards then medical malpractice may be committed, and, could result in injury to the mother, the baby, or both. For example, under certain circumstances, if too much force is applied to the baby's head and neck during delivery, it may result in a nerve injury which can permanently affect the function of the baby's arm and hand.
After a child is born, if they are in need of an increased level of care due to some condition or problem, that care may be rendered by a neonatologist or a pediatrician, and usually also by nurses in a newborn nursery or NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). If these healthcare providers deviate from accepted standards in that treatment, medical malpractice may have been committed, and it could result in injury to the child. For example, a failure to recognize the need for and/or timely institute respiratory support can result in a lack of oxygen to the baby's brain, and, could cause brain damage. Another example would be a failure to timely diagnose and treat jaundice, resulting in the child sustaining a brain injury.
Blume Forte has New Jersey medical negligence attorneys with particular knowledge in cases involving labor, delivery and neonatal care medical malpractice. Please feel free to contact us at (973) 635-5400 with any questions regarding your possible case.
A: A birth injury is any injury related to the birthing process, or that which may have occurred prenatally, and possibly could have been addressed prior to labor and delivery. This means a birth injury can happen during a pregnancy, labor and delivery. Birth injuries can occur when medical professionals fail to recognize, properly and/or timely treat, or, provide proper care in light of various conditions that could affect the mother, the child, or both. Some birth injuries may resolve while others are permanent. There are situations where a birth injury will be obvious (e.g., cosmetic deformities), while others become apparent over time as a child develops or fails to do so in a normal fashion. Birth injuries may cause a child to have neurological deficits and/or developmental issues which manifest physically and may affect cognitive function as well.
A: For many decades, Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari have handled many types of birth injury cases. Here are some of the injuries we’ve encountered relative to birth injury claims:
Birth injuries may be caused by a medical professional failing to adhere to the standards of care accepted and practiced within the medical community. Healthcare providers which might be culpable in birth injuries cases include:
A: Money from a settlement with regard to a child’s claims typically goes to the child who was injured. The recovery might be placed into a trust the child will be able to access throughout their life, either independently upon reaching majority (age 18), or through trustees or Guardians managing the funds. Sometimes money from a lawsuit secured for a child will be deposited into the Surrogate’s Court’s accounts; typically managed by the child’s natural parents if determined to be acceptable to the courts. This money can be used for the child’s medical care and other expenses related to that child which the parents may encounter. In many birth injury lawsuits, the parents can pursue damages as well. If the birth injury ultimately leads to the child’s death, the infant’s parents may be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. In a wrongful death suit, parents can pursue a financial settlement for medical expenses, their child’s pain and suffering before death, lost companionship and services, funeral expenses, and emotional distress.
A: Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari have decades of experience handling birth injury claims. Our resources, and ability to work with experts in various fields of medicine, allow Blume Forte to represent our clients to the highest standards. Contact our New Jersey personal injury lawyers today to find out how we can help. You can reach us at (973) 635-5400.
If you need to consult a New Jersey personal injury attorney, you need to contact Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari. The initial consultation is always free.