A birth injury can involve a number of possible injuries to a mother or her child during childbirth procedures. A few of the most commonly reported birth injuries in Las Vegas and throughout the United States include:
- Cerebral palsy. This is a medical condition resulting from a brain injury before or during childbirth. Cerebral palsy affects each victim uniquely and is untreatable. While the victim may undergo various medical procedures and participate in various forms of therapeutic treatment during their lifetime, there is no cure for the brain injury itself. Some children born with cerebral palsy go on to lead relatively normal lives with minimal medical complications, while others are left profoundly disabled.
- Brachial plexus injuries. The brachial plexus is the nerve system located around the collarbone, neck, and shoulder. A baby’s shoulders are the widest part of the body that must clear the birth canal during childbirth. If the baby becomes stuck, this can potentially result in harm to the brachial plexus. Some of these injuries will heal with time and appropriate care, while others may lead to long-term or permanent disabilities. The affected side of the body may experience developmental delays.
- Fractures. If a doctor uses too much force to extract a baby from the birth canal, they can potentially cause bone fractures that are very difficult to treat.
- Injuries from medical devices. Doctors will sometimes require forceps or other medical devices to extract a baby from the birth canal. However, misapplication of technique or excessive force in using these devices can potentially cause damaging injuries to the child.
- Injuries to the mother. It’s possible for medical negligence during childbirth to result in harm to the mother and the baby. Severe internal bleeding, failure to monitor the mother’s vital signs during childbirth, and other failures to meet the standard of care can be life-threatening.
- Negligent prenatal care. A medical professional could potentially cause a severe birth injury in a variety of ways prior to the actual birth. For example, if they fail to address the mother’s preexisting medical conditions, monitor vital signs during labor, or if they are negligent in the administration of medications, these issues may all form the basis of medical malpractice claims.
These are just a few examples of how medical negligence during childbirth has the potential to cause extreme injuries to a mother and/or her child. When a birth injury occurs, the family is likely to have many questions regarding accountability for the incident and recovering compensation for the medical expenses and other damages likely to result from the birth injury.
A medical malpractice case is a type of personal injury case, and the plaintiff must be prepared to meet the procedural requirements of their claim to secure compensation for their damages. Your Las Vegas birth injury attorney can help you secure an affidavit of merit from an appropriately credentialed medical professional to support your case. They will also help gather the documentation needed to prove the full extent of the damages resulting from the injury in question.
The purpose of any personal injury claim in Las Vegas is for the plaintiff to recover the financial compensation needed to be as whole as possible again after suffering an injury from the defendant’s negligence or intentional misconduct. In addition, any birth injury has the potential to result in lifelong medical complications for the victim, and these issues will, in turn, generate substantial economic stress on the family.
When you choose Easton & Easton to represent your birth injury case in Las Vegas, our goal is to help you recover as fully as the law allows. Under state law, you have the right to seek compensation for:
- The expense of any and all corrective medical treatments required for the birth injury. If a defendant has injured you and/or your child, they are responsible for the expense of any medical care required for the victim to reach maximum medical improvement from the injury. This rule applies to both immediate and future health care expenses, so if the victim requires immediate medical intervention followed by ongoing rehabilitative care, the defendant is liable for all these damages.
- Lost income. A family that has recently experienced a birth injury may need to completely change their usual routine to care for the victim, whether the birth injury resulted in harm to the mother and/or the new baby. Your Las Vegas birth injury attorney can help calculate the lost income resulting from the injury, including lost future income if one of the parents must quit their job to provide ongoing daily care to an injured child.
- Pain and suffering. You have the right to claim compensation for non-financial damages from the defendant responsible for the birth injury in question. However, the state’s medical malpractice laws limit pain and suffering compensation to $350,000 regardless of the severity of the injury.
- Punitive damages. A plaintiff may not directly seek this form of compensation, but the judge handling their case has discretionary power to award punitive damages if the defendant’s behavior exceeded the scope of typical negligence if they caused the injury intentionally, or if they took steps to conceal their negligence. Under state law, the plaintiff may receive up to $300,000 in punitive damages if their total financial damages are $100,000 or less. Otherwise, they may receive up to three times the total of their economic damages as punitive damages.
The defendant in your medical malpractice case could not only face liability for your damages, but liability may also fall to their employer as well, depending on the nature of your birth injury. In addition, if the defendant engaged in any type of concealment in an effort to hide their liability for their injury, this could lead to professional consequences or even criminal charges.
Do not make the mistake of assuming that the total damages you could win would be overshadowed by the expense of hiring legal counsel. With the right attorney handling your case, you are more likely to maximize your recovery, and the team at Easton & Easton is committed to helping our clients maximize the compensation they receive for their birth injury claims.
Having the right Las Vegas birth injury attorney representing your case significantly improves your chances of success with the claim. When you choose Easton & Easton to represent you, you will have immediate access to a responsive legal advocate who is ready to answer your questions and address any concerns that may arise throughout your case proceedings.
Before filing your claim, your attorney will help determine whether you actually have grounds to file a medical malpractice suit. Medicine is an inherently uncertain field and there is a degree of risk involved with every medical procedure, including childbirth. However, there is a clear difference between an honest mistake made in good faith and a failure to meet a patient’s standard of care because of negligence.
Your Las Vegas birth injury attorney will assist you in gathering the evidence needed to prove that the birth injury in question resulted from the defendant’s negligence. Easton & Easton can locate an appropriately qualified medical professional to provide the affidavit of merit you will need to submit with your claim. Once we have helped you handle the procedural requirements of your birth injury claim, we will carefully examine the scope of the damages your family experienced and help maximize the compensation you win from the defendant.
Most of the medical malpractice cases filed are resolved with private settlement negotiations. The settlement process allows both the plaintiff and the defendant to settle their case without a protracted court trial. However, settlement requires both parties to be willing to negotiate. If the defendant denies their liability or contests the range of damages sought by the plaintiff, settlement may not be an option.
Q: How Long After Birth Can I File a Birth Injury Claim?
A: Under state law, you have three years to file a birth injury claim if the mother suffered the injury. If the newborn was injured, the three-year statute of limitations begins on the child’s 18th birthday. This means you could have until your child’s 21st birthday to file a birth injury claim on their behalf if they were injured at birth. However, it can take quite a while for the full effects of a birth injury to come into focus, so it’s wise to consult a Las Vegas birth injury attorney as soon as possible if you believe a negligent medical professional is responsible for harming your child.
Q: What Is the Most Common Type of Birth Injury in Las Vegas?
A: The most commonly reported birth injuries in Las Vegas and throughout the United States are fractures, specifically fractured collarbones. The infant’s shoulders are the widest part of the body that must pass through the birth canal, and if the attending medical staff use excessive force or are otherwise negligent in their handling of the birth, the baby’s shoulders could become stuck and ultimately result in a fractured collarbone.
Q: How Much Is a Birth Injury Claim Worth in Las Vegas?
A: A birth injury can potentially cause a host of negative effects to an injured child that will persist for the rest of their life. Depending on the nature and severity of the injury, the child could face lifelong medical complications and disabilities. The defendant is liable for the full scope of economic damages they inflicted with their negligence, including medical expenses, ongoing medical treatment costs for the child, the parents’ lost income, and the pain and suffering they caused. While there is no limit on claimable economic damages, pain and suffering compensation is limited to $350,000.
Q: What Are the Penalties for Causing a Birth Injury?
A: The medical professional who caused the birth injury in question will face liability for the economic damages they caused and the plaintiff’s pain and suffering. However, if they were egregiously negligent, they are likely to face professional consequences as well, potentially including loss of their medical license. Additionally, they may also face criminal prosecution if they engaged in severe professional misconduct, such as attempting a childbirth procedure under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Q: How Much Will a Las Vegas Birth Injury Attorney Cost?
A: The attorneys at Easton & Easton understand how damaging and traumatic a birth injury can be for the victim and the family, and our goal is to provide reliable, accessible legal counsel to those who need it most. We take cases on a contingency fee basis, so our client does not pay any legal fees until we win their case. Additionally, the fee they pay is a portion of their total case award, and there is no fee at all if we are unable to secure compensation on their behalf for any reason.
The attorneys at Easton & Easton have years of experience guiding clients through some of the most challenging personal injury claims in Las Vegas, including medical malpractice cases resulting from birth injuries. If you or your child were injured during childbirth, the effects can be life-changing for your entire family, and if the injury occurred because of medical negligence, you have the right to seek accountability from the responsible party. Contact us today to set up a conference with an experienced Las Vegas birth injury attorney you can trust with your case.