Birth Injuries

New York City Birth Injury Lawyer

Types of Birth Injuries

Expecting mothers place their lives in the hands of healthcare practitioners during labor, but unfortunately, they sometimes make mistakes. Maternal healthcare is a delicate process, requiring attentiveness and knowledgeable expertise. Sometimes, physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, and other healthcare professionals fall short of their duty to provide reliable medical care. When a mother loses her child due to medical malpractice, the heartbreak, sadness, and grief can be overwhelming. One way to get justice and control over your life is to file a lawsuit against those responsible for your or your child’s condition.

When malpractice or medical negligence occurs during labor, all it takes is a split second for an injury to occur. Birth injuries caused by malpractice or medical negligence can lead to life-long impairments in your child. For example, physical and mental disabilities are some of the risks of birth injuries. You can also experience common birth injuries that happen to mothers

Our dedicated New York birth injury attorneys can manage your birth injury claim. Your NYC birth injury lawyer can review your case, analyze the evidence, and present your claim to the other party to obtain maximum compensation. Find out about the damages you are owed after you experience serious birth injuries due to the neglect of your healthcare provider. Contact Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP now for a free consultation. 

Common Birth Injury Cases

Our NYC birth injury lawyers handle a full range of birth injury claims, including:

  • Cerebral palsy: Cerebral palsy is a disorder that affects the ability to move. Other fine motor capabilities may be reduced as well.
  • Erb’s palsy: Erb’s palsy damages the nerves of the shoulder and the muscles in the elbow.
  • Brain injuries from birth: A baby can suffer a severe brain injury when it does not have sufficient oxygen in labor and delivery.
  • Excessive newborn jaundice: When a child has excessive levels of bilirubin at birth, this condition can lead to severe brain damage. This is also known as kernicterus.
  • Obstetric negligence: When obstetricians make mistakes in the labor and delivery process, this can result in life-changing injuries or death to the child or mother.
  • Cesarean section injuries: A cesarean section is a major surgery. When doctors fail to handle complications arising from the surgery, mothers can be injured or even killed.
  • Improper use of forceps: Doctors must exercise great care when using forceps to deliver a child. The inappropriate use of this device can lead to lifelong injuries and scarring.
  • Traumatic vacuum extraction: When performed improperly or at an inappropriate stage of labor, vacuum extraction can cause severe damage and trauma to the child’s head.
  • Failure to recognize fetal distress: Fetal monitoring strips provide extensive information about your child’s progress in labor. When medical professionals fail to act on signs of distress, your child may be severely injured or die as a result.
  • Failure to recognize pregnancy-induced hypertension: High blood pressure, or hypertension, caused by pregnancy can injure both the child and the mother.
  • Uterine rupture: When doctors and others in the delivery room fail to recognize the signs of uterine rupture, the mother and child can die.
  • Failure to recognize and treat infant seizures: Infant seizures are often a sign of birth injuries that have been caused by medical negligence in labor or delivery.
  • Prolonged rupture of membranes: These conditions occur when the amniotic sac ruptures for an unusually long duration before the mother’s regular uterine contractions. 
  • Neonatal sepsis: Babies younger than 90 years old can experience a blood infection. This condition is often caused by Escherichia coli and Group B Streptococcus. 

Failure to resuscitate: If a medical team delays the initiation of resuscitation, this can cause the baby to suffer from brain damage and asphyxia.

Why You Should Work With NYC Birth Injury Lawyers

When a medical professional fails to take the correct actions in this critical situation, it may cause severe injury to your child. It opens the door to the possibility of filing a lawsuit to seek to recover financial compensation.

Our birth injury law firm works tirelessly to help set families up for a lifetime of caring for a child who has been injured:

  • Lifetime medical coverage
  • Lifetime in-home care
  • Financial support and funding for parents

Childbirth poses risks to both mother and child. The medical team attending the birth has specific safety protocols to follow when something goes wrong. If a doctor does not act quickly, fails to take the action that is medically necessary, or misreads the data provided by medical equipment, critical injuries can occur that can lead to significant problems for you or your child.

At Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP, our team of experienced birth injury lawyers can help you initiate legal action to pursue justice for birth-related injuries. If you or your baby were injured during or before labor or delivery, we urge you to contact us immediately.

Do I Have a Case?

birth injuries

If you believe that your doctor made a medical error or did not provide the accepted standard of care, you should file a birth injury settlement claim. When your baby is facing the challenges of a birth injury such as cerebral palsy or brain damage, it is advisable that you get legal help without delay.

It is not uncommon for a doctor to fail to take appropriate action when problems occur during childbirth. Our attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP can review the facts in your case and advise you on how to move forward with a birth injury lawsuit. Medical professionals must be held accountable for their actions, especially if their negligence has led to a condition that will affect your child for life.

Most birth injuries—but not all—are preventable under the care of a knowledgeable and competent medical professional. Sadly, when a baby suffers trauma during birth, the consequences often last for a lifetime.

Improper Equipment Use

When a medical professional attending birth misreads or misuses equipment, this can lead to errors that cause the baby harm. Misreading equipment, administering incorrect levels of medication, or administering medication at the incorrect time can lead to a serious birth injury, leading to a range of impairments, including:

  • Paralysis
  • Developmental delays
  • Long-term disabilities
  • Physical impairments
  • Underdeveloped limbs
  • Death

Doctor Negligence

Birth injuries commonly occur when a doctor is negligent or fails to act at a critical moment. If your baby lacks oxygen during the birth process, he or she may suffer permanent brain damage with a lifetime of consequences. Injuries can occur in just seconds. 

An OB/GYN, nurse, or other medical professional is trained to resolve all problems that can arise during childbirth. A failure to act as another similarly trained doctor would in such a circumstance may potentially be a form of medical negligence.

How Can a Birth Injuries Attorney Help Me?

A birth injuries attorney can stand by your side to ensure no one takes advantage of you, especially during insurance settlement negotiations. An attorney can also take your claim to court. This can help to recover financial compensation for the associated medical expenses, not to mention the pain and suffering you endured.

During this difficult time, an experienced birth injury lawyer can help you and your family in many ways.

  • Request all relevant medical reports, records, and diagnostic studies required to analyze the extent of the injuries suffered and the medical treatment performed
  • Examine your case and determine how the injuries happened and who was involved

After the evaluation, your lawyer can then name the defendants. The defendants could be any of the following:

  • Obstetrician
  • Surgeon
  • Delivery nurse
  • Birthing center
  • Hospital

A birth injuries attorney can gather evidence and present it to a jury or a judge. Your attorney will collect all forms of evidence, such as:

  • Eyewitness statements
  • Photographs
  • Medical experts’ testimony

Filing Your Claim On Time

Generally, New York law states that you must file a personal injury claim within two and a half years starting from the day the act of negligence occurred. 

New York law also provides a time extension for victims of medical malpractice under the age of 18 years. This law allows the families of children who have birth injuries to file a lawsuit within 10 years of the injury’s discovery or within two and a half years after the victim reaches the age of 18.

For cases against public hospitals or health care facilities of the federal state, city, or town, the time limit to file a claim is much shorter. Also, this may require a “notice of claim” service that is within the required period before commencing the lawsuit. An experienced New York birth injuries attorney can ensure deadlines are met.

Fighting for Your Child’s Rights

When you’re fighting for your child’s rights, your lawyer can stand by your side. They are not afraid to go up against hospitals and insurance companies to pursue fair compensation and justice. 

Your lawyer can handle a medical malpractice trial or negotiations while you focus on healing. A birth injury lawyer can discuss your child’s future as well as answer your questions. 

The skilled trial lawyers at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP treat your family with compassion and respect. We understand how traumatic a child’s birth injury can be, and we have the experience and knowledge to bring responsible parties to justice.

If you are unsure whether you need our help, you can contact us and request a free, confidential consultation. By reaching out to us, you’ll learn how we can assist you at no obligation or cost.

What Are the Possible Reasons My Child Is Not Meeting Their Milestones?

An injury during birth could lead to a child not meeting important milestones, such as crawling or sitting. A child experiencing developmental delays or missing milestones could be the result of an undiagnosed birth injury. Sadly, medical malpractice contributes to a range of problems that affect the normal development of a child.

Modern advances in medicine have greatly reduced injuries to mothers and their infants, whether it’s before, during, or after delivery. But statistics show that in the United States, three out of every 100 infants suffer from birth injuries.

Cerebral Palsy 

What are the Types of Cerebral Palsy
Source: https://www.gillettechildrens.org/stories/infographic-understanding-cerebral-palsy

Cerebral palsy is the most common childhood motor function disability. It is a long-term neurological condition that affects how a child eats, walks, and communicates. Birth injuries that affect the development of a child’s brain may result in cerebral palsy, which includes the lack of oxygen to the brain.

Erb’s Palsy

Erb’s palsy is a type of injury in an infant’s brachial plexus—or an injury to the bundle of nerves in the child’s shoulder. 

A brachial plexus injury can cause pain, paralysis, or weakness in the affected fingers, hand, or arm. Erb’s palsy could affect your child’s motor function ability such as grasping items or crawling.

Brain Hypoxia

Understanding HIE
Source: https://hiehelpcenter.org/what-is-hypoxic-ischemic-encephalopathy/

Brain hypoxia—or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy—occurs when the oxygen supply to a child’s brain is cut off. Oxygen deprivation in newborn babies often leads to many health problems and developmental delays. 

Children with brain hypoxia require life-long care. Children with this condition often develop:

  • Gross and fine motor skill disabilities
  • Cognitive problems
  • Epilepsy

Bone Fractures

A physician’s negligent action may cause bone fractures in infants through the use of vacuums, forceps, and other birth-assisting tools. Accidents such as dropping the infant or yanking on the baby’s limbs could also cause fractures. An infant’s broken bones often result in the inability to properly move the limb, causing developmental delays.

Spinal Cord Injuries

A birth injury that involves the spinal cord may lead to a loss of body sensation, or worse, permanent paralysis. One of the main reasons why your child is missing milestones could be an undiagnosed spinal injury.

Typically, major traumatic events are the leading causes of spinal cord injury in newborn babies. The best example is when a nurse drops the infant. It is crucial to go to a doctor immediately if you notice developmental delays in your child such as:

  • Talking
  • Sitting up
  • Crawling
  • Rolling over 
  • Walking

Consider calling an experienced birth injuries attorney at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP. Our medical malpractice lawyers can fight to recover compensation from the at-fault party. We make sure damages are collected to help pay for your child’s treatments, therapies, rehabilitation sessions, or special education.

What Can Be Recovered in a Birth Injury Claim?

Whether they have development issues, chronic pain, or disabilities, some children with birth injuries need extensive care, medications, and therapy. Treatment for the aforementioned injuries can be expensive and difficult to calculate.

With that said, the team of skilled birth injury lawyers at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP is well-versed in birth injury cases. We aggressively pursue fair compensation associated with your child’s injury: 

  • Professional at-home care or assistive equipment 
  • Treatment expenses
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Disfigurement and scarring
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

If medical malpractice caused your child’s birth injury, you shouldn’t hesitate to sue at-fault parties and recover compensation. Both the doctor and hospital have professional liability insurance for medical negligence cases. You have the right to file a claim to recover compensation, which you can use to secure your child’s future.

How To File a Birth Injury Case

In the state of New York, filing a birth injury lawsuit involves fulfilling certain criteria. A New York birth injury lawyer may need to conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of your child’s injuries. Doing these tasks by yourself can be challenging.

Your best option is to contact a birth injuries attorney at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP. Since 1922, our personal injury law firm has served as a strong advocate for parents and injured children. Schedule a free consultation so we can sit down with your family and discuss your case.

We begin our investigation by reviewing both the child’s and the mother’s medical records. Our purpose is to determine if negligence occurred during:

  • The birthing process
  • Pre-natal treatment
  • Follow-up treatment and observation

Our investigation seeks to establish these elements: 

  • A medical professional had a duty of care to the mother and the infant
  • That medical professional committed medical malpractice
  • The act of medical negligence or malpractice caused your child’s birth injury
  • That birth injury has led to financial losses for your family

When we can prove these elements, we can file a claim against the hospital’s insurance company and pursue compensation for your child’s injuries and associated costs of care.

Birth Injury FAQs

You can receive compensation for birth injuries that happen due to the medical team’s negligence with your attorney’s support. However, every birth injury case is unique, which means your case will be handled differently based on the circumstances. Here are some frequently asked questions regarding birth injury cases.

Is there a difference between a birth defect and a birth injury?

Birth defects occur when the infant is still in the mother’s womb before she gives birth. Birth injuries, on the other hand, occur when the mother is delivering the baby or in labor.

If a birth defect was caused due to the negligence of another party, you can file a settlement claim or lawsuit for this incident. It could have been caused by medical malpractice, chemical exposure, genetic testing, and environmental reasons due to another’s negligence. 

In what situation should I file a lawsuit for birth injuries?

When you experience an injury before, during, or right after delivery that was no fault of your own, you should file a claim first. Your attorney can file a lawsuit on your behalf if the other party refuses to settle on your terms. The birth injuries must be caused by healthcare practitioners. They must have made a mistake during the time you were under their care. Additionally, there has to be proof connecting their actions to the injury.

Is a settlement claim always successful if a baby received a birth injury?

The success rate of your settlement claim is entirely based upon the validity of your evidence. Your doctor would have to be negligent in some way to be responsible for your child’s birth injuries. If it wasn’t your doctor’s fault and another party was involved in harming your child somehow, then you would have to hold another party liable for their injuries. The evidence has to directly show how the negligent party caused them harm.

What is medical malpractice?

Medical malpractice is the professional negligence caused by your doctor or healthcare practitioner that resulted in your harm. To prove that medical malpractice occurred, your attorney has to meet four tenets—duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and harm. 

The first tenet is the duty of care that the doctor was supposed to provide to you, which should be quality and standard healthcare treatment. If your doctor provides substandard treatment, then they breach their duty of care. Their actions must be the cause of your birth injury. Lastly, you can’t file a settlement claim or lawsuit if there was no harm or damages. 

How common are birth injuries?

Birth injuries are infrequent but still commonly happen nationwide. According to the CDC, birth injuries occur in about seven in 1000 children. About 9.8% of children have pre-term births, which can also contribute to birth injuries. Maternal birth injuries happen regularly, as 50% to 80% of mothers giving birth experience tearing in their pelvic muscles and skin. 

The most common types of birth injuries are head and brain injuries. Babies can experience scalp scratches due to the instruments used during vaginal delivery, such as forceps and vacuum extractors. Swelling and bruising of the scalp, cephalhematoma, subgaleal hemorrhage, and bleeding outside the skull are some of the leading head injuries in affected newborns. In about one per 1000 live births, newborn babies received broken bones. The most common bones broken were in the clavicle, humerus, femur, and skull. 

What are “teratogens” that cause birth defects?

Teratogens are substances that are known to cause birth defects and extreme abnormalities in developing fetuses. Medications, chemicals, tobacco products, drugs, alcohol, and bacterial infections can introduce teratogens. The four groups of teratogens include metabolic conditions, physical agents, biochemicals, and infections. If the mother was exposed to teratogens that caused their child to have birth defects before their delivery, this can also be considered a form of medical malpractice.

Who receives money after a successful settlement for a birth injury or defect?

After a successful settlement, the damages are awarded to the child. This is because the child will not be able to live a normal life due to their disabilities. The compensation is deposited to the court and any legal fees are deducted from the total. Medical expenses are also deducted from the total amount. 

For funds that are less than $25,000, the money is deposited into a bank account set up for the child. No money can be withdrawn without the court’s consent. The money can also be given to the child’s guardian. If the settlement funds are over $25,000, the money may be placed in a trust or appointed to a guardian who gains custody of the funds. 

To withdraw money, the guardian has to ask the court for permission. Until the child reaches the age of 18, they may not be able to control their settlement funds without court permission. If the mother was also injured, she can receive settlement funds to cover the expenses of medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages.

How long does it take to receive a birth injury settlement?

It can take anywhere between one to three years once the case has been initiated to receive a settlement. However, this is dependent on the type of case. Birth injuries or defects may not appear immediately, which can delay how long it takes to receive a settlement from the date of the injury. Also, if there isn’t enough evidence, it can take additional time to investigate the claim. The negotiation process can also be lengthened based on the other party’s rebuttals.

Contact Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP Today

If your baby was injured during childbirth, contact the law offices of Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP, and seek the help you need. Medical malpractice cases need to be filed within the strict statute of limitations in New York.

Schedule a consultation today. The initial meeting is free, and you don’t pay any fees unless we win your case. Our New York City birth injury attorneys offer compassionate representation during these difficult times. For a free review of your case, call Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP today at 1-800-660-2264 or contact us online.