The birth of a child is one of the most important moments for families and society as a whole. Unfortunately, some healthcare providers make mistakes during labor and delivery, and these mistakes can lead to birth injuries.
If you suspect your child has been injured during delivery, don’t expect the hospital or healthcare professionals to admit it. In fact, expect the opposite. An injury attorney can help you determine whether a hospital or its staff has harmed your child and can work to get the justice you deserve.
Record the Injury and Its Consequences
Sadly, infants can suffer all manner of injuries during childbirth. They may range in seriousness from a minor injury to complete incapacitation, depending on which part of the body is injured.
Some of the typical birth injuries attorneys see include:
- Brachial palsy (an injury to the nerves of the arms and hands)
- Forceps injuries and bruising
- Facial paralysis from injury to the facial nerve
- Fractures (most commonly a clavicle fracture)
Whatever the injury, make sure to record details of the harm and how it affects your child’s growth and development.
Write Down Details of the Birth
If you suspect that a hospital is responsible for injuring your child at birth, then the details of the birth itself are important. If you were present before, during, or after the delivery, try to remember everything that occurred and write it down. Include anything that was said during this time period and all actions taken.
Speak to a Third-Party Medical Professional
A medical professional not associated with those who delivered your child can give you a comprehensive evaluation of your child’s case and their opinion as to whether a healthcare provider is responsible.
Remember, the hospital that potentially caused your child’s injury has the incentive to downplay or try to sidestep responsibility for any harm committed within its halls.
Speak to a Lawyer
Ultimately, it is an attorney who can help you get justice for a birth injury. Using the medical malpractice laws of the state, your attorney can represent you and your child against the hospital and their insurance company as well as against any healthcare professionals involved in the injury.
This representation includes fulfilling a variety of duties related to your claim, such as:
- Investigating and gathering medical evidence
- Hiring medical experts
- Filing a claim with the Medical Review Commission
- Negotiating with insurance companies for maximum compensation
- Representing you at trial if necessary
In many cases, parties to these suits reach a settlement. However, some cases must go to trial because of a failure to reach an agreement.
Don’t Delay in Taking Action
The most important thing you can do if you think the hospital injured your child at birth is to take immediate action. Time has a way of diluting justice, even in cases of obvious liability.
In New Mexico, medical malpractice injury victims generally have three years to file a suit for their losses. However, when it comes to a birth injury claim, the lawsuit must be filed before the child reaches nine years old. After nine years, the claim will be invalid.
You should never wait until the last minute with any legal claim, much less a claim based on birth injuries. Evidence can become a problem if too much time has passed before you decide to take legal action. For instance, witness testimony is always strongest soon after the event takes place.
If you suspect the hospital caused a birth injury to your child, Hunt Law can help. We serve communities throughout Northern New Mexico, from Albuquerque to Raton. Call for a free consultation today.