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New York City Birth Injury Lawyer
Nothing ruins the joy of a new baby’s birth the way a doctor’s negligence can. While most doctors exercise the utmost care in the delivery room, some become negligent and carelessly injure the infant or mother during the delivery. When this occurs, it leaves you with the grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against that doctor.
Children who suffer birth defects because of the malpractice of an attending physician and his or her staff will suffer long-term consequences, which can be expensive for the parents. This makes it important to recoup those expenses from the liable parties.
If you have a child who was injured during the birthing process, you need the services of a New York City birth injury lawyer who can ensure you get the compensation owed to you. You shouldn’t have to cover the medical bills and other expenses that will be associated with your child’s condition.
Common Causes of Birth Injuries in New York City
A number of risk factors can manifest both before and during labor. Many are foreseeable, so when a doctor fails to recognize them and respond appropriately, he or she is responsible for what happens:
- A mother whose pelvis is the wrong shape or size for a safe delivery, necessitating a C-section
- Prolonged or difficult labor and delivery
- Fetal distress, or a situation where the fetus is at risk
- Babies who are extremely heavy—over the weight of eight pounds, thirteen ounces
- The use of forceps or other instruments by a negligent medical professional
When Is a Physician Liable for a Birth Injury?
When you go under the care of a licensed medical professional, you can expect them to exercise an appropriate level of diligence and care. A birth injury can occur when your doctor does not exercise the level of care medically necessary, which makes him or her liable for any birth injuries that your child may have suffered.
Your doctor has a duty to ensure the health and well-being of your child during the birthing process. This involves exercising specific precautions to ensure your child does not suffer an injury during birth. Unfortunately, many doctors are too busy rushing from one patient to the next and do not take adequate precautions, resulting in injuries to your child.
Legally, as long as it can be demonstrated that your physician and accompanying staff did not exercise the proper care in the birthing process, they can be held liable for any birth-related injuries that your child suffered.
Proving this and building a case becomes much easier when you employ the services of a New York City birth injury lawyer.
Common Birth Injuries
Medical professionals must take reasonable precautions to prevent birth injuries from happening to you and your child. Failure to take reasonable precautions is medical malpractice.
A few of the more common birth injuries include the following:
- Bell’s palsy – Commonly seen after the misuse of forceps during the delivery, Bell’s palsy affects the nerves of a child’s face after they have been injured during birth.
- Fractures – The most common birth injury of all is a fractured clavicle, or collarbone. Other fractures also occur, including fractures to arms, legs, ankles, hips, and back.
- Oxygen Deprivation/Anoxia – This kind of birth injury is typically caused when either the placenta separates prematurely during the birth or the umbilical cord wraps around the baby’s neck. It can lead to permanent neurological or brain damage.
- Erb’s Palsy – This palsy typically occurs when the shoulder is injured during birth. It results in paralysis or decreased mobility of the child’s arm or hand.
Whatever your child’s birth injury, you can hold the doctor responsible if his or her negligence injured your newborn. Consult a New York City birth injury lawyer to explore your options.
Statute of Limitations: Medical Malpractice Laws in New York
If your child suffered a birth injury during the birthing process, there is a strict statute of limitations that dictates how long you have to file a medical malpractice lawsuit seeking financial compensation. Under New York law, you have two and a half years to file a lawsuit from the date you discovered that your child was injured. Most birth injuries are discovered at the time of birth, although some may not become apparent until much longer.
In fact, a birth injury may not become apparent until a few years have gone by and the child begins to experience developmental difficulties. Thankfully, the statute of limitations would only go into effect once the birth injury was diagnosed. The clock for the statute of limitations would begin ticking after the diagnosis was made.
It is always within your best interests to file suit as soon as possible. If you miss the deadline imposed by the statute of limitations, you may lose your opportunity to receive compensation for the birth injuries suffered by your child. You will still be able to file suit, but your case may get thrown out of court.
Collecting evidence, gathering medical testimony, and putting together a strong case all take time. Additionally, any out-of-court negotiations with the physician and his or her medical malpractice insurer can also be lengthy processes. You never have as much time as you think you do, so contact a New York City birth injury lawyer as soon as you become aware of your child’s birth injury.
Preparing for a Birth Injury Lawsuit
The first thing your New York City birth injury lawyer will do is start preparing for the case. This involves all of the following actions:
- Collecting all the information pertinent to the case
- Reviewing information about the medical care you received
- Investigating your doctor and hospital
- Reviewing all written communications
- Analyzing all bills, invoices, and statements
- Reviewing your insurance information
- Speaking with witnesses
- And more
The Legal Process
Once you decide to file suit, your New York City birth injury lawyer will handle all the necessary documentation and required actions.
This process begins with the initial complaint or petition: a document that lists several important factors, including the parties involved, the legal basis for the complaint, and an important appeal for relief from the court.
Since the other party may not be aware that a lawsuit is inevitable, they will receive a summons from the court informing them about the lawsuit. From that point on, the lawsuit will be handled within the parameters laid out by the court system.
It is critical that you have adequate representation to ensure your case proceeds properly. As a New York City birth injury lawyer, we can take charge and guide you through this complicated and often confusing legal process.
Negotiating Out of Court
If you would prefer to negotiate with the negligent party and his or her insurance company out of court, your New York City birth injury lawyer can negotiate on your behalf. Negotiations can take a substantial amount of time. The insurance company will probably offer settlements that are less than what you deserve and stall for time hoping to hit the statute of limitations.
Once a lawyer becomes involved, many doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies would rather settle the case than face the public embarrassment of going to court. Once a lawsuit is filed, the closer the court date gets, the more eager the other side will be to settle out of court quickly.
The key is to realize that sometimes avoiding court means you have to demonstrate that you’re willing to go to court.
Legal Advice from a New York City Birth Injury Lawyer
Many birth injuries are completely avoidable—provided the doctor exercises due diligence. A birth injury can change the lives of you, your child, and the rest of your family forever.
Hold the responsible party responsible by seeking financial compensation in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Schedule a free case evaluation with a New York City birth injury lawyer by calling Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP at 1-800-VICTIM2 (1-800-842-8462).