St. Louis Birth Injury Lawyers
The birth of a baby should be one of the happiest moments your family experiences together. Sadly, babies are not always born healthy. If your baby suffered an injury that you think might be the result of medical malpractice, turn to the legal professionals at NST Law. We help families whose babies have been injured because of negligence or error.
Table Of Contents
- What is a birth injury?
- How does a birth injury differ from a birth defect?
- What causes a birth injury?
- Common Birth Injuries
- How do I know if medical malpractice caused my child’s injury?
- How much is my birth injury case worth?
- Who can file a birth injury lawsuit?
- Why should I hire NST Law?
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for a Birth Injury Lawyer
- Our St. Louis Office
What is a birth injury?
Birth injuries are a classification of harm that happens because of complications during delivery. Birth injuries are often the result of medical malpractice. Additionally, when birth injuries happen due to medical errors, there can be an increase in the severity of the injury. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that seven birth injuries occur for every 1,000 children born in the United States.
How does a birth injury differ from a birth defect?
A birth injury is not the same as a birth defect. Birth injuries typically happen because of an action or inaction during labor and delivery. Birth injuries may or may not result from medical malpractice, but they are often a cause for litigation.
Birth defects happen because of a problem as your baby is developing in the womb. They are generally the result of genetics, prenatal choices, or environmental factors. Examples of birth defects include missing limbs, a malformed heart, or Down’s syndrome. Because many of these defects occur naturally, birth defects are rarely a cause for litigation.
What causes a birth injury?
Birth injuries can happen for a variety of reasons. This can include a mother’s illness, a pre-existing condition, delivery complications, or medical negligence on the part of doctors, nurses, or hospitals.
Certain situations can arise during delivery that require quick thinking, and an inappropriate or slow response can be catastrophic for a mother and her baby.
Examples of common medical errors that can happen during childbirth include:
- Failure to anticipate birth complications
- Lack of response to excessive bleeding
- Failure to notice umbilical cord complications, like the cord being wrapped around the baby’s neck
- Delay of a necessary Cesarean section
- Lack of response to fetal distress, such as an irregular heartbeat
- Improper use of forceps or vacuum extractors during birth
- Misuse of Pitocin—a hormone used to prompt labor
- Post-birth mistakes, such as those made during circumcision
Doctors and medical teams should recognize difficult situations and take action based on the circumstances. Failure to act swiftly can result in severe injuries to the baby.
Common Birth Injuries
Birth injuries come in many different forms, but certain kinds can result from trauma during birth. The types of birth injuries that often result from medical malpractice or negligence include:
- Bleeding in the baby’s head, known as intracranial hemorrhaging
- Spinal cord trauma
- Skull fractures
- Temporary paralysis
- Strep infections
- Soft tissue injuries
- Cerebral palsy
- Erb’s palsy
- Broken collarbone
If your baby sustained any of these injuries during childbirth, you might be entitled to compensation. The birth injury lawyers at NST Law can meet with you to discuss your situation and help you understand your legal options.
How do I know if medical malpractice caused my child’s injury?
Most doctors will say that birth complications caused your baby’s injury. If you suspect your child’s injuries are the result of malpractice or negligence, you should contact a birth injury lawyer.
An experienced attorney has the resources to investigate all aspects of your child’s medical care. They will know how to look critically at medical records, the mother’s medical history, ultrasounds, and more. Anything that happened outside the standard of care may indicate malpractice or negligence.
How much is my birth injury case worth?
Birth injury settlements are usually larger than compensation awarded in regular medical malpractice cases because of the severity and nature of the injuries as well as the scope of the economic damages involved.
Many birth injury cases make claims for financial damages to cover the child’s expected lifespan. This compensation can include:
- Past and future medical expenses for the lifetime of the child
- Lost earning capacity or lost income for the life of the child
- Pain and suffering experienced by the child
Settlements typically happen faster but result in lower damages than the compensation awarded because of a jury verdict. A knowledgeable attorney can help ensure a fair settlement or advocate in court for maximum compensation for your child’s injury.
Who can file a birth injury lawsuit?
If the injured child is younger than 18, parents can file a lawsuit on their behalf. The child can also file their own lawsuit. The statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit varies depending on who is making the claim.
Statutes of limitations limit the amount of time in which someone can file any sort of civil lawsuit, including those for medical malpractice.
In Missouri, parents have two years to file a medical malpractice claim for birth injuries to their children. If a minor chooses to bring a claim, they have until their 20th birthday to file their lawsuit.
Why should I hire NST Law?
Choosing a birth injury lawyer to represent you and your injured child can feel overwhelming. At NST Law, we have a track record of excellent representation for our clients.
We prioritize compassion and respect for our clients and their needs. We work hard to maximize the amount of compensation you receive in your case. We are skilled in handling personal injury claims and have recovered over $1.5 billion in damages for our clients.
Contact us today for a free evaluation of your birth injury case.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for a Birth Injury Lawyer
If you have a child that sustained a birth injury and you’re wondering how to proceed, we understand. Here are some common questions we receive concerning birth injury cases.
A lawsuit could be more difficult if you have signed an informed consent form. This is especially true if the form was properly explained, filled out, and then signed.
However, there are times in which the consent form is poorly written or may omit certain elements. In these cases, you may be able to file a lawsuit. An attorney will review the form and inform you of your options.
Suing a doctor for a birth defect is a complex process. There are times in which a birth defect might be linked to medication prescribed to the mother during pregnancy, and this might be grounds for a lawsuit. However, genetic birth defects are not preventable, so it’s unlikely you could recover compensation. It’s important to have a birth injury lawyer evaluate the specific facts of your situation.
Personal injury lawyers often work on a contingency fee basis. This means that if you do not recover damages as a result of your lawsuit, you won’t pay anything for legal representation. In this way, clients who are already suffering financial stress are protected from the worry of paying for the services of an attorney.
Personal injury attorneys specialize in negotiations with insurance companies and defense lawyers. They also have access to investigative resources that help them to assign liability and build strong cases.
Though it can be tempting to take a settlement offer from an insurance adjuster, these settlements often result in a far lower amount of money than you might receive if you have a lawyer in your corner.