Value of a Birth Injury in New York
The birth of a child is supposed to be a joyous occasion, but when preventable injuries occur during the birthing process, it can be devastating for both the child and their family. If your child has suffered a birth injury due to medical malpractice, it is essential to understand the value of your claim and seek justice. At Stephen Bilkis & Associates we have a deep understanding of the challenges families face in the aftermath of a birth injury. Our experienced team of attorneys is dedicated to fighting for the rights of injured children and their families. We strive to provide personalized and compassionate legal representation, ensuring that you receive the support, guidance, and compensation you deserve. Whether your child has suffered a brain injury, nerve damage, cerebral palsy, or any other birth-related injury, we are here to help you navigate the complexities of the legal system and seek justice on your behalf. Contact us today for a consultation, and let us assist you in pursuing the compensation that can provide the necessary resources for your child's future well-being.Common Birth Injuries
Common birth injuries can vary in their severity and long-term effects. Here are some examples of birth injuries:
Brachial Plexus Injuries: The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that extends from the spinal cord to the shoulder, arm, and hand. During a difficult delivery, excessive force or stretching can cause damage to these nerves, resulting in brachial plexus injuries. One well-known type is Erb's palsy, characterized by weakness or paralysis of the affected arm.
Cerebral Palsy: Cerebral palsy is a group of motor disorders caused by brain damage or abnormal brain development during pregnancy, childbirth, or early childhood. It can lead to muscle stiffness, poor coordination, and impaired movement. Common causes include oxygen deprivation, trauma during birth, infections, or medical negligence.
Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE): HIE occurs when the brain doesn't receive sufficient oxygen and blood supply, leading to brain damage. Oxygen deprivation during labor and delivery can result in HIE. It can cause developmental delays, seizures, cognitive impairments, and motor difficulties.
Skull Fractures: Skull fractures can occur during a difficult delivery, particularly when excessive force is applied to the baby's head. Fractures may heal naturally over time, but they can be accompanied by other complications such as brain hemorrhage or cranial nerve damage.
Perinatal Asphyxia: Perinatal asphyxia refers to a lack of oxygen to the baby's brain during the birthing process. It can result from complications such as umbilical cord compression, placental abruption, or prolonged labor. Perinatal asphyxia can cause brain damage and lead to long-term developmental delays and cognitive impairments.
Facial Nerve Injuries: During delivery, pressure on the baby's face or the use of forceps or vacuum extraction can cause facial nerve injuries. These injuries can result in facial paralysis or weakness, difficulty closing the eye on one side, or problems with facial expressions.
It's important to note that each birth injury case is unique, and the specific circumstances and resulting injuries will vary. Consulting with a qualified New York birth injury lawyer can provide you with personalized guidance and support tailored to your situation.Examples of Birth Injury Verdicts in New York
The following cases are examples of verdicts related to birth injuries. When a baby suffers a birth injury that results in a permanent disability, the value of the case tends to be higher due to the long life span of the baby. For these two cases, the average verdict was $3,862,500 for pain and suffering.
Case: Lovett v. Interfaith Med. Ctr., 2006 N.Y. Slip Op. 52125 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2006)<
Accident Type: Medical malpractice
Verdict: $4,575,000 for the infant’s past and future pain and suffering
Case Summary: The infant plaintiff was born approximately twelve weeks prematurely in a medical facility operated by defendants. The infant plaintiff suffered from neonatal respiratory distress syndrome, and he was thus placed in neonatal intensive care, where his blood oxygen and blood acidity was monitored by defendants' staff. While being monitor, the staff had to adjust the infant’s respirator to administer more oxygen through forced breathing. However, the infant plaintiff suffered a brain hemorrhage and hydrocephalus, which is increased intracranial pressure on the brain caused by the accumulation of fluid. The hemorrhage caused periventricular leukomalacia, the destruction of white matter of the brain. This, in turn, caused the infant plaintiff to develop cerebral palsy. The plaintiffs argued that the staff’s efforts to keep the infant’s blood sufficiently oxygenated failed
Case: Skelly-Hand v. Lizardi, 975 N.Y.S.2d 514 (N.Y. App. Div. 2013)
Accident Type: Medical malpractice
Verdict: $3,150,000 for past and future pain and suffering
Case Summary: Plaintiffs are the parents of a child who was delivered in 1996 by defendant, an obstetrician-gynecologist. A complication known as shoulder dystocia, in which the child's shoulder becomes lodged against the mother's pubic bone, occurred during the delivery. The child was born with an injury to her brachial plexus—a group of nerves running from the neck into her arm—and was diagnosed with Erb's palsy. The plaintiffs argued that the doctor should have opted to deliver via c-section due to risk facts such as the size and weight of the baby.
There are several types of incidents that can lead to birth injuries, often resulting from complications during pregnancy, labor, or delivery. If the complication was caused by the negligence of a medical professional, then victim has the right to pursue damages through a medical malpractice lawsuit. Here are some common causes for birth injuries:
Prolonged Labor: Prolonged labor, also known as dystocia, occurs when the labor process takes longer than usual. This can place excessive stress on the baby, increasing the risk of oxygen deprivation, fetal distress, and potential birth injuries.
Failure to Monitor Fetal Distress: Monitoring the baby's heart rate and oxygen levels during labor is crucial. Failure to properly monitor signs of fetal distress, such as abnormal heart rate patterns or decreased oxygen supply, can lead to delayed intervention or medical negligence, potentially resulting in birth injuries.
Improper Use of Assisted Delivery Tools: The misuse or improper application of tools such as forceps or vacuum extractors can lead to birth injuries. Excessive force or incorrect placement of these instruments can cause trauma to the baby's head, resulting in skull fractures, brain hemorrhages, or other injuries.
Delayed or Improper Emergency Interventions: In some cases, emergency interventions such as cesarean sections may be necessary to ensure the well-being of the baby and mother. Delayed or improper decisions regarding emergency interventions can increase the risk of birth injuries.
Medication Errors: Medication errors during labor and delivery, such as incorrect dosages or administering medications that can harm the baby, can have serious consequences. These errors can result in birth injuries or complications for the newborn.
Inadequate Prenatal Care: Inadequate prenatal care can contribute to birth injuries. Failure to identify and address potential risk factors or medical conditions during pregnancy may increase the chances of complications during labor and delivery.
It is important to note that each birth injury case is unique, and the specific incidents and contributing factors will vary. Consulting with an experienced New York birth injury lawyer can help determine if negligence or medical malpractice played a role in your specific situation.Factors in Determining the Value of a Birth Injury
Determining the value of a birth injury is a complex process that involves various factors. It’s important to understand that not all birth injuries are compensable. Generally, in order of it to be compensable, it must have been caused by negligence or malpractice. Factors such as failure to diagnose or respond to complications during pregnancy or delivery, improper use of medical instruments, or inadequate monitoring of the mother or baby's health can contribute to establishing liability. The strength of the evidence, expert testimonies, and the ability to prove negligence will be crucial in determining the value of the case.
Two crucial elements that typically play a significant role in determining the value of a birth injury case include:
Severity of the Injury: The extent and severity of the birth injury are crucial factors in assessing its value. Birth injuries can range from mild to severe, with long-term or permanent consequences. The severity of the injury affects the medical expenses required for treatment, ongoing care, rehabilitation, and potential loss of future earning capacity. Additionally, it can impact the pain and suffering experienced by the child and their family, which may also be considered in the valuation process.
Long-Term Impacts and Prognosis: The long-term impacts of the birth injury on the child's health, development, and quality of life can significantly influence the case's value. Medical experts will assess the prognosis and consider factors such as the need for ongoing medical treatments, therapies, assistive devices, and accommodations. They will also evaluate the potential impact on the child's cognitive, physical, and emotional abilities, as well as their ability to lead a fulfilling and independent life. The anticipated costs of future care, including specialized medical care, educational support, and any necessary modifications to the child's living environment, will be taken into account when determining the value of the case. The long-term impacts and prognosis of the birth injury are closely tied to the child's future needs and expenses. Assessing these factors requires expert medical opinions, comprehensive evaluations, and an understanding of the specific challenges the child may face throughout their lifetime.
It is important to remember that these factors are not exhaustive, and the value of a birth injury case may be influenced by additional elements, such as the jurisdiction's legal framework, the credibility of witnesses, the reputation and track record of the involved healthcare providers, and the emotional toll on the child and their family. Consulting with a qualified birth injury attorney in New York will help ensure that all relevant factors are considered in determining the value of the claim.Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates
Determining the value of a birth injury is a complex process that requires careful consideration of various factors. While no two birth injury cases are the same, certain key elements consistently play a significant role in assessing their value. While these factors form the core considerations in valuing a birth injury case, it's essential to recognize that each case is unique, and additional elements may come into play. Consulting with an experienced birth injury attorney serving New York is crucial for a comprehensive evaluation tailored to the specific circumstances. Over the years, our attorneys and of counsel have secured over $1 billion in compensation for clients who were seriously injured due to the negligence of others. Contact at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Staten Island, Suffolk County, and Westchester County.