Birth injury refers to any kind of physical injury to a newborn during or right after birth. They are highly probable if the infant is bigger than normal or is premature. Bigger babies are hurt when they get caught in the mother’s birth canal, or by the physician’s efforts to pull out a baby with forceps. The injuries are caused by delay in treatment, miscalculation in timing, wrong medication and medical negligence.
Another birth injury that can occur is Erb’s Palsy that causes nerve damage in a baby's arm due to pressure put on the nerves during birth. Similarly, cerebral palsy is caused by injury to the baby’s head during birth. Bruising and fractures during birth resulting from negligence and or miscalculation are also common.
The doctor’s liability needs to be established in order to sue. Medical practitioners and a personal injury attorney need to be involved. Because death or injury during birth causes trauma to the parents of the child, these cases are handled with great sensitivity by lawyers experienced in cases of birth injury lawsuits.
The settlement amounts for birth injuries tend to be large, sometimes going up to millions of dollars. This is because the settlements need to cover a lifetime of medical and other expenditures for an injured and possibly disabled child. The highest settlement awarded in the United States for a birth injury was $120 million. In another case, a woman died during labor, and her baby was born severely handicapped due to the administration of the wrong drug. Her family was awarded $20 million in a lawsuit against the faulting nursing home.
Birth injuries are traumatic for the family, as well as the injured child. A fair settlement helps them to partly overcome their trauma through proper medical care, therapy and counseling. It ensures a secure future for a child who may have to lead a physically or mentally impaired life.
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