Having a baby is supposed to be one of the happiest times of your lives. You get the nursery ready and your friends throw you a baby shower. You count down the days until you can meet your new baby.
Unfortunately, for a lot of people, their dreams of having a healthy baby don’t come true. Things go wrong during the delivery and your baby is injured. If you’re lucky, your child will overcome their injuries and lead a healthy, normal life.
Some babies aren’t so lucky. Depending on the kind of injury they suffer, they may not be able to recover. Their entire lives are affected. This can be heartbreaking for the entire family, but especially for their parents.
When something like a birth injury happens, you want to know why. More than anything else, you ask yourself why your baby was hurt. Usually, there aren’t clear answers to this question. When you give up asking why, you start to ask who should pay. This is where your Florida personal injury lawyer comes into the picture.
Your Fort Walton Beach personal injury lawyer will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
What Kinds of Injuries Can Your Baby Suffer?
There are some very rare conditions that can affect a newborn baby. This is just a part of nature. There are other birth injuries that wouldn’t have happened if everyone did what they were supposed to do.
Most of these birth injuries are caused by negligence during the delivery. This can be caused by the doctor, nurses or even the anesthesiologist. Regardless of who’s responsible, it’s important to understand what these birthing injuries are.
Some of the most common types of birth injuries in Florida include:
- Erb’s Palsy – This is paralysis of the arm due to an injury in the nerves of the upper part of the arm. It is specifically caused by the severing of the upper trunk at the C5-C6 nerves. Depending on how severe the injury is, it could resolve itself over time. If not, your baby may need surgery or physical therapy. It’s caused by shoulder dystocia during a hard delivery.
- Cerebral Palsy – This is a group of permanent movement issues for the baby. It can be due to problems during your pregnancy. But it is often caused due to mistakes made in delivery. It isn’t something you can really treat or cure. If diagnosed with cerebral palsy, your child will have to deal with these movement issues their entire life. It also tends to get worse over time. The older your child gets, the worst their disabilities will be.
- Infant Brain Damage – This involves things like seizures as well as cognitive and developmental delays. It is almost always caused by problems during delivery. It can be due to lack of oxygen to the brain or physical trauma during childbirth.
- Spinal Cord Injuries – When a doctor tries to coax the baby’s body out of the birth canal, it can end up causing spinal cord injuries. These injuries are caused by the physician’s hands or instruments harming the baby. It’s the equivalent to a child receiving blunt force trauma to the head or neck. It leads to lifelong issues, including total paralysis.
- Anoxia and Hypoxia – When the baby’s body doesn’t get enough oxygen during delivery, they can suffer from anoxia. This can cause certain organs and parts of your body from working properly. The damage is usually permanent.
- Cephalohematoma – If the soft spots of the baby’s skull get bruised during delivery, they can suffer from this condition. Although it doesn’t necessarily cause brain damage, it does cause blood to pool up under the skull. This can require surgery and will lead to potential issues down the road.
If your baby suffers any of these types of injuries during delivery, you need to call and speak with a personal injury lawyer in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.
Who Is Responsible for Your Child’s Birth Injuries?
It’s not always easy to determine who is responsible for your baby’s injuries. The best thing to do is consider all of the medical staff that took part in your delivery. This would include doctors, nurses, specialists, and the anesthesiologist.
Your attorney will review your case and decide who needs to be named in your claim. You’re better off naming all potential parties from the start. It may be difficult to add them later on once you file your lawsuit.
When it comes to insurance claims, you should file a claim against the following:
- Doctors and nurse practitioners
- Any other medical personnel involved in your delivery
Your lawyer may also decide you need to pursue other third parties. For example, if they believe your baby’s injuries were caused by medications you took while pregnant, that is a different kind of case.
You may have to purse the manufacturer of these medications. You’ll also have a claim against the doctor who prescribed these drugs.
What Should You Do if Your Baby is Injured?
If your baby suffers any sort of injury during delivery, you should call and speak with an injury lawyer right away. You don’t want to wait months or years before talking to someone about this.
Once you get home from the hospital, you may notice there’s something wrong with your child. They may even realize this before you leave the hospital. You need to get your child to a specialist immediately.
Keep documentation of all of these things. Your Fort Walton Beach personal injury lawyer will need this as proof of your child’s injuries. Keep a copy of all correspondence received from the hospital, doctors, and insurance companies.
You also want to keep track of any expenses associated with your child’s injuries. This includes:
- Medical bills not covered by insurance
- Co-pays and prescription costs
- Travel and lodging costs if you have to travel out of town with your baby for doctor’s appointments
- Lost wages for time you’ve had to take off to tend to your child’s injuries and appointments
- Any special medical equipment you’ve had to purchase or rent for your baby
- Money you’ve spent on special programs and treatments for your baby
What Kinds of Damages Will Your Personal Injury Lawyer Demand?
When you meet with your personal injury lawyer, they’ll review your case to see what kinds of damages they should demand. These damages will be listed in your lawsuit. Depending on how severe your child’s injuries, these damages may be quite significant.
Your injury claim will demand the following types of damages:
- Medical Bills – If you’ve suffered any out-of-pocket medical expenses, you can demand compensation. Any third-party providers who covered your hospital bills will expect to be reimbursed. This will have to be covered in your settlement.
- Lost Future Earnings – It's hard to say what your baby’s lost future earnings would have been. Nobody knows what kind of work they’d end up doing as an adult. However, if their injuries are serious enough, they won’t be able to work at all. Your lawyer will demand that you be compensated for this lost income. The money will have to be put into trust for your child. It can be used for their medical care as they get older.
- Pain and Suffering – Your child is entitled to be compensated for any pain and suffering they experience as a result of their injuries. Your attorney will demand that this be covered for the pain and suffering they’ll experience in their lifetime. You may also be able to demand that you and your spouse be compensated for the physical and mental anguish you suffer as a result of your child’s injuries.
- Other expenses – If you or your spouse are unable to work because you’ll have to take care of your child, you can demand compensation.
Your Fort Walton Beach injury lawyer will discuss these types of damages with you and your family. They’ll craft a demand that covers all of your losses.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in Fort Walton Beach
If your baby has been harmed during childbirth, you need the help of an experienced injury lawyer. You need to call and speak with a personal injury attorney in Fort Walton Beach. They can review your case and let you know what it may be worth.
Your lawyer will also let you know who they think may be liable for your child’s injuries. They will pursue their insurance companies for compensation. If this doesn’t work, they’ll file a lawsuit on your behalf.
Call today and schedule your initial consultation with a skilled injury lawyer in Fort Walton Beach. The consultation is absolutely free and you won’t pay a dime until you settle your case.
The doctors and hospitals will have lawyers working for them and you should too. You need to do whatever it takes to protect your baby’s rights.