Injuries sustained during birth can cause newborns to suffer lifelong disabilities, complicating their life before it even starts. But as the parent of a child harmed during birth due to the wrongful actions of healthcare providers, you have the right to file a lawsuit against the people that harmed your infant and to receive compensation that will pay for the decades of medical care that your child will need.
To find out more, get in touch with the New York personal injury lawyers at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP by calling (347) 573-9194 and receive a no-cost consultation on your case. The insight you gain will help you make the right decisions and protect your child's future.
Childbirth is a delicate process, but doctors who deliver babies have undergone extensive training and should have years of experience handling the various complications and unique circumstances involved in childbirth. With so much preparation, there is no excuse for your child to be injured during birth.
Unfortunately, there are countless ways in which a doctor can act negligently and cause severe injuries to a newborn child. Typical causes of birth injury include:
- Delay in delivery
- Failing to recognize complications during labor
- Improper use of forceps or vacuum extraction
- Not performing a Cesarean section when needed
- Not performing emergency procedures to solve complications
Any of these reckless actions can quickly lead to birth injuries. However, most parents do not know when these acts of negligence occur, as they are not trained like medical workers and trust that doctors will provide proper care for them and their child.
You may suspect that medical malpractice led to your child’s birth injury, but you will not be certain until the incident is investigated.
Newborns are in a vulnerable state as they are delivered. As such, the birthing process must proceed at the right pace and with as few complications as possible. It is the responsibility of doctors to ensure that children and their mother are properly cared for at all times. When doctors act recklessly, such as in the manner listed above or otherwise, many different injuries can be suffered by the child, including:
- Cerebral Palsy - Cerebral palsy is caused by brain damage from physical injuries to the skull, lack of oxygen, or other complications during birth. An affected child will have permanent physical disabilities, including difficulties in development and movement.
- Brachial Plexus Injury - Many infants suffer complications during birth when their shoulders get stuck behind the delivering mother's pelvic bone. However, doctors are trained to perform various procedures when these complications arise. Failing to do so will cause a brachial plexus injury, tearing and harming the nerves connected to the spinal cord and severely impairing function in one or both arms.
- Bone Fractures - Improper use of forceps or suction by a delivering doctor can lead to bone fractures in an infant.
- Asphyxia - If delivery is delayed, the child may be unable to breathe for an extended period of time. This asphyxia can easily cause severe brain damage, which leads to a wide variety of physical and mental disabilities.
- Spinal Cord Damage - Not recognizing complications during delivery, improper position of the infant during birth, and reckless actions taken during delivery may severely injure the child's spinal cord, causing severe physical disabilities for life.
The truly devastating nature of birth injuries is that because they are suffered at such an early age, they can cause health problems and disabilities that last a lifetime or cut a child's life short. Parents who have suffered such losses need to hold at-fault medical workers responsible and get compensation that pays for all of their child's needs while growing up.
While some birth injuries can heal with proper treatment, allowing the child to live a healthy life, many have life-changing ramifications. Whether they have disabilities, chronic pain, or development issues, some children with birth injuries need extensive care, therapy, and medications. As such, the costs associated with these injuries are astronomically high and difficult to calculate. However, the team at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, is well-versed in birth injury claims. We can advocate for the following costs associated with your child’s injury:
- All medical expenses, including past and future (these needs may be covered in a Life Care Plan, which we can help you set up)
- Assistive equipment or professional at-home care
- Reduced earning capacity (for parents who are unable to work due to the injury)
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Disfigurement and scarring
Your child is looking at a difficult future, and you are looking at years of medical expenses. If an act of negligence caused your child’s birth injury, you should not hesitate to pursue a claim against the doctor or hospital responsible for it. Both have professional liability insurance for cases of medical malpractice, and you are well within your rights to file a claim against these policies to secure your child’s future.
To pursue a birth injury claim in the state of New York, you must first fulfill certain criteria, and you should launch an in-depth investigation into the cause of your child’s trauma. Doing this on your own can be next to impossible, which is why you should contact Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP. For more than 50 years, we have served as strong advocates for parents and injured children. We can sit down with your family in a free consultation and explain everything.
To begin, we will review both mother and child’s medical records to identify if negligence occurred during pre-natal treatment, the birthing process, or follow-up treatment and observation. During our investigation, we are looking to establish the following elements:
- A medical professional, such as a doctor, nurse, or hospital administrator, had a duty of care to you or your infant;
- That professional committed an act of negligence;
- That act of negligence caused your child’s birth injury; and
- That birth injury resulted in financial or personal losses for your family.
If we can prove all four elements, then we can advocate for full compensation for your child’s injuries and the associated costs of their care from the hospital’s insurance company.
WRSH Partner Philip Russotti obtained a $10 Million mediation settlement for failure to timely perform a Cesarean Section. The case was venued in Orange County, NY.
WRSH Partner, Phil Russotti, obtained a $6 million settlement for our client whose child suffered severe brain damage during birth.
We claimed that the baby should have been delivered by emergency C-Section or forceps delivery. He was ultimately diagnosed with cerebral palsy and spastic quadriparesis.
Partner Philip Russotti argued that as a result of this negligence, the child suffered hypoxia which resulted in mild retardation, severe ADHD and social isolation as well as difficulties with fine motor skills.
Q: How common are birth injuries?
A: With all of the modern advances in medicine, injuries to infants and mothers--before, during, or just after delivery--have been greatly reduced. But, statistics show that approximately three out of every 100 babies born in the United States each year, suffer from birth injuries.
Q: Who is to blame for my child’s injuries?
A: Birth injuries that occur as a result of medical negligence are typically attributed to OBGYNs, nursing staff, or medical administrators who allow an injury to occur. While we will need to thoroughly review your medical records and collect evidence, your claim will likely be against the hospital where your birth occurred. This is because of a concept called vicarious liability, which states that employers can be held liable for the actions of their employees in a civil claim. Based on this, if a doctor or nurse caused your infant’s injury, then you can file a claim against the hospital’s insurance policy.
Q: How long do I have to file a birth injury claim?
A: All injury claims in the state of New York are subject to a statute of limitations, or a deadline to file a lawsuit with a court. Within that period of time, your attorney may negotiate with the hospital’s insurance company to recover a fair settlement on your behalf; however, if the insurance company refuses to pay, your attorney can pursue a lawsuit where a judge and jury will decide your case. Given that birth injury claims are medical malpractice, you have two-and-a-half-years (30 months) to pursue a birth injury claim in court against a negligent physician or hospital.
However, the New York Court of Appeals has established that the statute of limitations for birth injury claims begins on the date of your child’s birth, not on the day that your child’s injury occurred. It is important to know birth injury claims can be tolled, meaning a court can grant you an extension, allowing you to file a claim after those two and half years if you meet certain requirements. Your best option is to contact an attorney at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, to discuss your options.
Q: How do I know if I have a birth injury case?
A: Doctors and all other medical personnel must use the level of skill equal to that of everyone else in their profession under similar circumstances. If inappropriate or deficient medical attention is given to a newborn or soon-to-be mother, then it may be considered an act of negligence. If it caused your infant’s injuries OR made them worse, you should be able to pursue a birth injury claim against the doctor or the hospital overseeing your infant’s care. To truly determine if you have a birth injury case, you will need to speak to an experienced lawyer – call our top NY legal team now at (212) 986-7353.
If your child has been injured during birth due to a medical professional's reckless actions, do not wait to get in contact with Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP. The sooner our New York birth injury lawyers can begin investigating your case, the better our chances are of finding needed evidence and successfully holding at-fault medical workers responsible. With our help, your child can have the best chance at recovery without leaving you with overwhelming medical bills. To learn more, call (347) 573-9194 and receive a free consultation.