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New York Birth Injury Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a birth defect and a birth injury?

Birth injuries are caused by something that went wrong during the delivery of the baby. A birth defect involves harm to the baby that arose before the birth.

What kinds of situations give rise to a birth injury lawsuit?

Birth injuries often occur when a doctor does not respond appropriately to a condition or complication during pregnancy or during delivery. Birth injury can also occur due to a prescribed drug that a mother takes during pregnancy.

Are birth injury lawsuits always successful?

No, not always. It is important to be aware that some injuries are unavoidable. The key to proving a claim will be to show that the medical providers failed to give the mother or the baby appropriate medical care under the circumstances.

What is medical malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional acts in a negligent manner and falls below a standard of care that is owed to the patient.

What are tetrogens? I have heard they cause birth defects.

Tetrogens are chemicals that are known to cause birth defects. They are found in many drugs that were initially believed to aid in pregnancy. Some of these drugs were given to women to control nausea for instance, like the drug Benedectin.

How common are birth defects?

Statistics report that approximately 7% of all babies are born with some type of birth defect.

What is cerebral palsy?

This term is used to describe numerous disorders that affect a baby’s brain function and bodily movement. It can occur as a result of an injury in the womb during birth.

Who receives money from a successful claim?

Damages (compensation) usually go to the child, and are often put into a trust. Sometimes the parents can receive compensation for emotional distress.

What are some common birth injuries?

Common birth injuries include fractured collarbones or arms, bruising of the upper body, umbilical cord entrapment and skin irritations. Less commonly, birth injuries can include cerebral palsy or Erb’s palsy.

What are birth injuries that occur during delivery?

The most commonly seen injuries include brain damage, cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, brachial plexus injuries and shoulder dystocia.

What are common mistakes made in the delivery room?

Errors that occur in the delivery room include improper epidurals, failure to monitor vital signs, improper extraction of the infant and giving incorrect drugs.

When should a parent contact an New York birth injury attorney?

Irrespective of the exact circumstances of your case, if your child has been injured at birth, it is important to speak with a lawyer. There are statutory time frames for birth injury cases that must adhered to. Also, it is important not to delay. Often as time passes, important evidence is lost, and memories about the incident fade.

Why is my baby’s head misshapen. Does that mean I have a case?

There are several possible causes for this, but one reason could be traumatic pressure on the head during delivery. Other times it can be from genetics or from their regular sleeping position. It will be necessary to discuss this matter with a physician to determine the cause.

My baby has a brain bleed. Could the physician have made an error?

Yes. If your child has a brain hemorrhage from around the time of their birth, it could be that a medical error was made. These can be the result of a mismanaged complication or the misuse of delivery tools.

What is Erb’s Palsy?

This is a condition where the brachial plexus nerves around the neck are stretched or torn. This can result in the loss of function of the baby’s arm, wrist, hand or fingers. Usually this condition resolves itself over time, but it can be permanent. If the nerves are torn, surgery will be necessary.

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