Your child is precious. You’ve spent nine months anticipating the birth of your child and maybe many years longer preparing to have a child, but while you may make all the healthiest choices during pregnancy, childbirth has always been a dangerous event. Unfortunately, medical malpractice claims for birth injuries are extremely common – and winning these cases can be difficult. That’s why you need the help of a birth injury lawyer in Kansas City, MO.
4 Ways a Birth Injury Lawyer Can Help You in Court in Kansas City
What is a birth injury lawyer? In the simplest terms, this is a lawyer that specializes in personal injury from medical malpractice actions during the time of birth. Many of these lawyers practice law related to other medical malpractice claims, as well, which can be helpful if your case grows more complicated. A lawyer can help you with your claim in several ways, including:
1. Investigate and Build Your Case
The first step for your case is gathering the facts that will build your case. For birth injury claims, the investigation portion is incredibly important as this may establish a pattern of negligent behavior from the medical professionals or the medical facility that was involved in the birth of your child. Investigating and building the case means collecting all the facts about the birth that may contribute to the birth injury.
In particular, lawyers pay special attention to the doctors and nurses who helped deliver your child. Sometimes, the cause of a birth injury is negligence regarding standard care during childbirth – in other words, sometimes physicians overlook the basic safety precautions for mother and child, which then results in the birth injury.
2. File Your Case
Your lawyer will also file your case in the correct court on your behalf. There are several different courts that handle different types of legal action, so it’s important that your case be filed with the correct court so the case is not dismissed.
Of course, filing your case with the right court is only half the battle. The fact of the matter is that legal documents are complicated and can be thrown out for even the slightest clerical error, so it’s important all of your court filings are correctly completed. Your lawyer and legal team will verify all of your legal documents are correctly filed and documented with the court on your behalf.
3. Collect Evidence
Your legal team will collect evidence for your case, as well. This is different from the initial investigation, which involved collecting facts to determine whether or not your case has merit. Collective evidence, on the other hand, involves gathering documentation, testimonies, and medical records that will prove your claim to the court.
It’s imperative that the evidence collected for your case builds an airtight sequence of events for the courts to understand. Oftentimes, the combination of medical records about your care during childbirth and testimony from other medical professionals present at the time of the birth injury is the best evidence to use in these types of cases.
4. Advocate for Financial Compensation
Finally, your lawyer will advocate for financial compensation on behalf of you, your child, and your family. Financial compensation for a birth injury will vary from case to case, but in general, you can anticipate compensation for the medical bills relating to the birth injury – even if those medical bills are for the future care of the child who has been permanently disabled by the incident.
Financial compensation may also account for your loss of wages if you have to stop working to take care of your child. Compensation for wrongful death is also common in birth injury cases. Your lawyer will pursue the compensation you are owed for your case.
The Difference Between a Birth Defect and a Birth Injury
It’s important to understand what qualifies as a birth injury before you seek the help of a medical malpractice lawyer. Many families attempt to file birth injury cases for medical issues that are actually related to birth defects. However, birth defects and birth injuries are very different.
A birth defect is a medical issue that develops during pregnancy while the child is still in the womb. Birth defects can be anything from congenital heart disease to a tied tongue, but ultimately, defects occur as a result of genetics or issues related to the pregnancy itself, not childbirth. Birth injuries, on the other hand, occur during the birth of the child – and those are the medical issues you can file a claim for.
What Are Common Birth Injuries?
There are several injuries that are common to infants during childbirth. More often than not, birth injuries are caused by negligence by the medical professionals overseeing the birth of the child. Some of the most common birth injuries include:
Erb’s palsy is a localized paralysis in the shoulder and arm that is typically caused by a physician pulling on an infant’s arm too aggressively during childbirth, or otherwise straining the neck or head during birth.
Erb’s palsy can cause permanent disability in a child and severely impact their quality of life. Even if the nerve damage is mild and your child recovers from the injury with physical therapy, you may still be entitled to compensation for medical bills and other costs related to the birth injury.
Cerebral palsy is the most common birth injury in the country and is generally caused by medical malpractice. Cerebral palsy can also cause permanent disability that a child will have to endure for the rest of their lives, even for children who have mild or moderate impairments.
Although you should always seek the advice of a medical professional to diagnose your child with this condition, you may be able to recognize common symptoms, such as lifelessness, unusual color during birth, and poor muscle control or spasms.
Unfortunately, wrongful death is another common birth injury you can seek justice for. Wrongful death is typically the result of severe medical negligence that results in the death of an infant during or after birth. It’s common for issues related to the umbilical cord or improperly clearing the nose of the infant after birth to be the cause of wrongful death.
Sometimes, wrongful death suits can also apply to the mother. Although childbirth is extremely taxing on the mother, most women with access to modern medicine should be able to survive childbirth. If a mother dies during childbirth, it’s worth pursuing an investigation to determine whether or not her death was caused by medical malpractice.
A lack of oxygen to the brain for even a short period of time can cause severe brain damage, particularly in infants. Issues related to the umbilical cord during childbirth can sometimes result in severe brain damage that causes permanent brain damage. Brain damage can affect memory, cognitive abilities, the ability to learn, speak, or read, and other issues that will negatively impact the quality of life of the child.
Birth injuries are common across the country, but just because these injuries are common doesn’t mean you shouldn’t seek financial compensation for them. Your birth injury lawyer will be able to help you build a case and gather evidence that will prove medical malpractice during the time of birth. Contact Yonke Law in Kansas City, MO to learn more about birth injury lawsuits or discuss your concerns.