When you are about to experience the joys of bringing a new child into the world and your child is injured because of the careless or negligent acts of doctors, nurses, or other health care providers, you want an experienced Long Island birth injury lawyer to ensure that your child’s legal rights are protected. The emotional devastation that comes with a birth injury can make it difficult to make objective decisions about your legal options. You want an attorney who has successfully helped other parents through this difficult time.
At Rosenberg & Gluck, LLP, we have focused our practice exclusively on personal injury claims since 1983, helping thousands of people recover full and fair compensation for losses caused by the careless or negligent acts of others. Our skilled birth injury lawyer in Long Island, will carefully explain the law and legal process to you, as well as your options, so that you can make informed decisions that protect your rights. We combine experience, skill, and knowledge to provide effective representation, aggressively pursuing damages for all your losses.
To schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation, contact our office or call us at (631) 451-7900.
Elements of a Birth Injury Case
Speaking with a birth injury lawyer in Long Island is the best way to find out whether or not you have grounds to file a claim. The attorneys at Rosenberg & Gluck, LLP offer free initial consultations over the phone or at our local offices for this purpose. An attorney will listen to your birth injury story and give you legal advice as to whether or not you have the elements of a claim. These four elements are as follows:
- Existence of a duty of care between the defendant and the plaintiff. The plaintiff, or injured party, must establish that a doctor-patient relationship existed at the time of the alleged harm. The defendant, or responsible party, must have owed the plaintiff a duty of care, such as the duties a doctor owes to an expecting mother. The medical industry establishes these duties according to the relationship and situation.
- Breach of duty of care, or negligence. The plaintiff bears the burden to prove the defendant’s negligence, or breach of duty, in regard to the birth injury. “Negligence” can describe any failure to take reasonable care to prevent patient injury. Testimony from an expert witness can help establish whether or not the defendant failed to act within accepted duties of care.
- Causation between the breach of duty and the injury. The defendant’s breach of duty of care must be the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. The plaintiff must show that his or her child’s injuries resulted from the doctor’s negligence. Causation can be direct or indirect, but there must be a provable connection between the action and the birth injury.
- The plaintiff suffered an injury. The party filing the claim must have suffered an injury (or file on behalf of an infant who suffered an injury) because of the defendant’s negligence.
It is important to retain a qualified Long Island personal injury lawyer for assistance proving the four main elements of a birth injury claim. Otherwise, you could make a mistake or oversight that results in the courts dismissing your case. The attorneys at Rosenberg & Gluck, LLP have helped Long Island residents for 25 years to obtain compensation for birth injuries such as cerebral palsy, shoulder dystocia, paralysis, and brain injuries. We may be able to help you, too.
Birth Injury Statistics
The more you know about birth injuries, the better informed you’ll be about your claim on Long Island. Here is some information about birth injuries in New York and around the country:
- According to the Birth Injury Guide, six to eight out of every 1,000 babies born in the U.S. sustain birth injuries. This accounts for about 28,000 infants experiencing birth injuries every year. Injuries occur most often during births that require tool assistance, in mothers ages 25 to 34.
- The most common birth injuries are Erb’s palsy, bone fractures, cephalohematoma (traumatic hematoma beneath the skin in the skull bone), swelling of the scalp, loss of oxygen or blood to the brain, intracranial hemorrhage, facial paralysis, spinal cord injuries, and cerebral palsy.
- One study found that the odds of birth trauma were higher during cesarean (c-section) deliveries compared to vaginal deliveries, primarily due to higher odds of “other specified birth traumas.” Odds of brachial plexus, scalp injuries, and clavicle fractures, on the other hand, decreased with c-sections compared to vaginal births.
At Rosenberg & Gluck, LLP, we don’t see you or your infant as statistics. We see you as real people with life-changing injuries because of someone else’s negligence. That being said, our birth injury attorneys in Long Island, also recognize the importance of looking at the data relating to birth injuries. Facts and figures can help you learn that you’re not alone, and that birth-related medical malpractice may be more common than you think.
Birth Injuries vs. Birth Defects
It can be difficult for parents to come to terms with birth injuries and birth defects. After all, no parent wants their child to suffer from injuries, conditions, or defects that may affect the child for life. It is important, however, to learn the difference between negligence-related birth injuries and birth defects. Birth injuries occur during or right after the delivery of the infant. Birth injuries may stem from unavoidable complications during delivery or from the negligence of doctors in charge of the procedure.
Birth defects occur to the infant during development, within the womb. Birth defects can interrupt and affect development anywhere within the brain or body. Birth defects can stem from genetic mutations or toxins/medications introduced to the baby during gestation through the mother’s body. Plaintiffs may recover for birth injuries and defects if the negligence of a pharmaceutical company, doctor, or other party contributed to the harm. For example, if an obstetrician fails to diagnose a dangerous infection in the mother that causes a birth defect in the child, the obstetrician may be liable for the defect.
What Types of Birth Injuries are There?
There are several common types of birth injuries that our Long Island birth injury attorneys frequently see. The most severe affect the infant’s brain, spinal cord, or nervous system. Brachial plexus injuries (Erb’s palsy or Klumpke’s palsy) often stem from improper birthing techniques. The infant may get stuck inside the birth canal. If this occurs, improper response can damage the network of nerves in the brachial plexus, causing nerve damage in the arm that’s usually temporary. Cerebral palsy is a serious nerve disorder that can impair movement and motor function for life. Loss of oxygen during delivery can increase the risk of this condition.
Other common types of birth injuries include spina bifida, pulmonary hypertension, developmental delays, meconium aspiration syndrome, and injuries such as fractures or lacerations during delivery. Birth injuries can affect the brain, muscles, physical abilities, and development of the infant – often for life. Mothers can also sustain negligence-related injuries and traumas during births.
Who Can Be Sued for a Birth Injury?
After a birth injury to yourself and/or your infant in Long Island, you should definitely consider suing the responsible party. Going to court with your claim may not only result in compensation for your damages, but also in the discovery of serious issues within the hospital. Your claim could help prevent similar injuries from occurring to other infants.
The parties you may be able to sue for a birth injury include the doctor, the hospital or birthing center, a pharmaceutical company, a medical device manufacturer, and any other party involved in the incident. Many cases involve more than one responsible party. Learning who may be liable for you or your child’s injuries often takes an investigation by an experienced Long Island birth injury lawyer.
Statute of Limitations for Birth Injuries in New York
For the courts to hear your birth injury claim in New York, you must file within the deadline. The deadline for filing, or “statute of limitations,” differs state by state. In New York State, injured parties have two years and six months from the date of the injury to file for most medical malpractice claims. If the infant dies because of the act of negligence, the filing parties have two years from the date of the baby’s death to file. Speak to a Long Island birth injury attorney as soon as possible after a birth injury to avoid missing the statute of limitations. Otherwise, you risk the courts refusing to hear your claim
What Types of Damages are Available for a Birth Injury?
While each birth injury claim is different, there are certain types of damages available across the board in these cases. In New York, plaintiffs may be eligible for general, special, or punitive damages if the courts find a party responsible for causing the infant’s injuries:
- General damages: those that are difficult to calculate, such as pain and suffering and lost quality of life.
- Special damages: have exact values, such as hospital bills and the price of lost wages.
- Punitive damages: an additional form of compensation the courts may award to punish the doctor, hospital, or other party for extreme disregard for the safety of others.
Birth injury claims are unique in that they typically involve injuries to both the child and one or both parents. In most cases, the courts will award damages to the actual injured party (often the newborn child). If the parents also suffer damages, such as a maternal injury or medical bills, the parents may also recover damages. Parents may have to establish emotional distress to recover this type of damage after an injury to the infant.
Birth Injury Resources
Here, you’ll find a collection of resources for parents of children with birth injuries:
- Stanford Children’s Health guide to birth injuries.
- Advice from the FDA on how to have a healthy pregnancy.
- KidsHealth.org. General information about infant and child health.
- United Cerebral Palsy. Education and support for people with CP and related disabilities.
Call our firm for more information about birth injuries and related laws in New York.
How Can a Long Island Birth Injury Attorney Help?
One of the best things you can do for yourself, your child, and your family after a frightening birth injury is to contact a Long Island birth injury lawyer. An attorney can walk you through the steps of the filing process, as well as fill you in on your rights and legal opportunities. A birth injury lawyer can seek justice from responsible hospitals, healthcare practitioners, or product manufacturers on your behalf.
The birth injury attorneys at Rosenberg & Gluck, LLP have years of experience in the field. They can maximize your chances of proving your case and taking home the compensation you need for a better future. Whether your child has lifelong effects of a birth injury such as cerebral palsy, or suffered a traumatic injury such as a fractured bone during delivery, contact our team. We are available for free case evaluations in Long Island, NY. Call (631) 451-7900 to schedule yours.