Birth injuries can be severely damaging to a child or mother. These injuries can be caused by difficult labor or illness, but the negligent actions of medical professionals often lead to these harmful injuries. If your child was injured at birth or you did receive adequate care, you may be entitled to legal action. However, there are a few things to know before filing a birth injury claim in the state of California.
Types of Birth Injuries:
Prior to filing a claim, it is important to understand what a birth injury is. By definition, a birth injury is a physical injury that is simply the result of being born. There are many different types of birth injuries that range in severity, with some birth injuries resolving in a few days or weeks and others lasting a lifetime. Some common types of birth injuries are listed below.
Bruising and Fractures: Bruising and fractures can occur when getting a baby through the birth canal is difficult. This type of injury often resolves in a few days or weeks.
Nerve Damage: Nerve damage can occur during childbirth. In most cases, nerve damage is temporary; however, nerve damage to the shoulder can cause brachial palsy, the loss of arm movement.
Facial Injuries: A child may suffer significant pressure on her or his face during birth. This can lead to permanent nerve damage and facial paralysis.
Brain Damage: If a child is deprived of oxygen for a significant period of time during birth, the baby can suffer permanent brain damage due to the lack of oxygen.
Cerebral Palsy: Cerebral Palsy is one of the most serious birth injuries. It is caused by damage to the child’s brain before, during, or shortly after delivery.
What is Medical Negligence?
Medical negligence occurs when medical professionals fail to deliver and uphold a high standard of medical care, which results in injury or death of the patient. Medical professionals are trained to understand all aspects and challenges of the birthing process. If a doctor or nurse provides improper care to the mother or fetus or makes a mistake during the delivery process, then medical negligence has occurred.
Statute of Limitations in California
California has a statute of limitations. Prior to filing a birth injury claim, it is important to make sure that your claim is within this statute or the court will most likely dismiss your case.
For birth injury lawsuits, you have one year from the date of the injury to file your lawsuit. If you did know about the injury until later, you have one year from the date you discovered or should have reasonably discovered the injury.
Filing a Birth Injury lawsuit
Filing a lawsuit, can help you secure compensation to help pay for medical care, pain and suffering, and other damages. However, filing a birth injury lawsuit can be complex as you need to prove the list below and adhere to important guidelines and laws.
- Medical professional had a duty to uphold standard of care,
- Medical professional breached his or her duty of care by committing a negligent act or omission
- Medical professional’s negligence caused birth injury
- Your child and family suffered damages that you can recover in your lawsuit