Birth Injury Lawyers in St. Louis
Seeking the Justice You & Your Child Deserve
While some birth defects and injuries are unavoidable, others occur as a result of a doctor or health care professional’s negligent or substandard care. These types of incidents are entirely avoidable and could be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
If your child suffered injuries or complications after a difficult pregnancy, labor, or delivery, you deserve answers. A negligent medical provider may be responsible, and The Dixon Injury Firm can help you fight to hold them accountable. Our St. Louis birth injury lawyers have helped countless parents file birth injury lawsuits against negligent medical providers and have recovered more than $50 million on behalf of clients throughout Missouri. We understand what you and your family are going through, and we are here to help you fight for justice.
The Most Common Causes of Birth Injuries
The birth of a child should be an exciting and joyous occasion, but sometimes complications arise during pregnancy or labor and if they go unaddressed, they can cause serious or permanent injury to the baby or the mother. For example, sometimes a patient does not respond well to a certain medication during pregnancy or labor; sometimes the patient might need an emergency C-section when labor does not progress quickly enough, putting the baby at risk. It’s a nurse, doctor, or medical facility’s job to make sure that every patient is treated with a certain standard of care. If there are complications during the mother’s pregnancy or labor, precautionary measures should already be in place to ensure that the mother and baby’s overall health are protected.
The delivery of a child can be a chaotic and incredible moment, but if the correct precautions aren’t taken, the delivery and birth can quickly turn into a nightmare. Any injury a child receives at birth can be a serious and traumatic event that can cause lasting medical issues. Close to 50% of birth injuries that occur in the U.S. every year are avoidable; yet, every year, more than 100,000 mothers and their children suffer birth-related injuries.
The most commonly reported causes of birth injuries include:
- Failure to monitor the fetus during pregnancy
- Not administering enough oxygen during labor or not providing oxygen soon enough
- Inadequate pre-natal or post-natal care by the patient’s physician
- Forceps or other medical equipment-related injuries caused by improper use
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of a mother or baby’s condition
- An unsafe or unclean delivery environment, which can result in infection
- Side-effects from prescribed medications that should have been detected during monitoring of the patient
- Delayed C-section
- Infections that transfer from the mother to the baby
- Infections arising from prenatal care that cause complications during birth
- Cranial nerve injury cause by forceps
- Bone injuries from traumatic birth
- Spinal cord injury from twisting or compression of spine
- Failure to respond to fetal distress
- Incorrect use of delivery instruments before, during, or after birth
- Improper dating, leading to a premature birth or late birth
Liability for Birth Injuries
When most people hear the term “medical malpractice,” images of doctors and surgeons likely come to mind. But medical malpractice can also pertain to negligence by nurses, anesthesiologists, hospitals, and other individuals and entities that work in the health care industry. If a patient is harmed during labor or after the baby is born, and it is determined that the child suffered avoidable birth injuries because of a medical personnel’s lack of care, the liable nurse, doctor, or anesthesiologist can be sued for present and future damages that stemmed from the accident.
In addition to the medical professional who caused the baby’s birth injuries, the hospital or facility where the medical professional is employed—or the manufacturer of a drug that caused dangerous side effects—can be liable for the mother and/or baby’s avoidable birth injuries. Under respondeat superior rules, the hospital or health care facility that the liable party works for is responsible for the employee’s actions if there is proof of a doctor-patient relationship, evidence that the doctor could have prevented the injuries from happening, and evidence of the mother or baby’s injuries, such as photos, a medical report from the hospital’s records, or a secondary medical report from an unbiased physician.
Contact Us 24/7
If you are ready to schedule a free consultation with our birth injury lawyers and find out more about how you can recover compensation from the medical professional responsible for your baby’s birth injuries, don’t hesitate to contact The Dixon Injury Firm today to discuss your case with our team. We offer free consultations to all birth injury victims and the families of those wrongfully killed. We are available 24/7 to assist you.
Call our office at (314) 208-2808 to get started.
Complications Associated with Birth Injuries
The seriousness of a birth injury, as well as its potential impact, depends on a variety of factors, including the severity of the injury, where the injury occurred, and what steps were taken to correct the injury after it occurred.
Here are several complications that can arise from a birth injury:
- Kernicterus: Kernicterus is a type of brain damage that occurs in a child born with severe jaundice. This birth injury occurs when bilirubin, a substance in the blood, builds to incredibly high level and spreads to the brain tissues. This type of injury can lead to learning disabilities, hearing loss, movement problems, and even deafness and eye problems.
- Traumatic Brain Injury: This injury can be caused by the forceful use of forceps or a vacuum device when removing the child from the birth canal. Brain injuries can cause a multitude of learning disabilities, loss of motor functions, and loss of control over other bodily functions.
- Cerebral Palsy: Cerebral palsy is commonly caused by injuries to the brain during birth. It is one of the most serious complications that can come from a birth injury. Cerebral palsy affects a child’s ability to control voluntary movement and coordination.
- Erb’s Palsy: This type of medical condition is caused by damage to the brachial plexus, a group of nerves through the neck, armpit, and arm. This injury can be caused by the doctor twisting the child to remove them from the birth canal. If a child is too large for normal birth, a C-section operation should be performed for the safety of the child.
- Developmental Delay: Injuries sustained during birth can be incredibly traumatic and have serious implications for the child’s future. Injuries to the brain or to the child’s nervous system can cause developmental delays that can cause further health complications as the child continues to grow and develop.
Compensation in Birth Injury Claims
Compensation available in birth injury lawsuits is often divided into compensatory damages and punitive damages. Compensatory damages typically cover such items as past and future medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. Punitive damages are awarded in cases in which the defendant’s conduct is considered willful, wanton, or malicious. Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant for his or her behavior and send a clear message that such actions will not be tolerated.
Time Limits for Filing a Birth Injury Claim in Missouri
The time allowed under Missouri law to file a birth injury malpractice lawsuit is limited. Generally, a birth injury case must be filed within two years of the date of the occurrence. If the birth injury claim involves a foreign object that was left in the body, the suit must be filed within two years of when the object was discovered.
If your child dies as a result of the birth injury, Missouri law requires that the wrongful death lawsuit be filed within three years of the death.
Within 90 days of filing a birth injury lawsuit in Missouri, the plaintiff must file an expert affidavit stating that a written opinion has been obtained from a legally qualified healthcare provider regarding the defendant’s negligence. The expert must conclude that the defendant failed to use such care as a reasonably prudent and careful healthcare provider would have under similar circumstances, and that such failure to use such reasonable care directly caused or directly contributed to cause the damages claimed in the petition (RSMo. Section 538.225 ).
How The Dixon Injury Firm Can Help
If your child is one of the thousands of newborns that suffer birth injuries in Missouri every year, it’s essential to tackle your case head-on and hire a skilled lawyer to represent your case. An experienced attorney can bring a suit against both the negligent healthcare personnel’s medical malpractice insurer and the hospital’s insurance company in order to maximize the amount of compensation you can receive.
Nothing is worse than finding out that your child suffered avoidable birth injuries because of your nurse, doctor, or health care facility’s negligence. If you need help pursuing a suit against the responsible party to recover compensation for your family’s physical, emotional, and financial hardships, the St. Louis birth injury lawyers at The Dixon Injury Firm are ready to take control of your case and demand the compensation that you deserve for your child’s birth injuries.
To date, our team has recovered more than $50 million in settlements for personal injury victims and has helped countless parents get justice for their child’s birth injuries. We understand that this time is already stressful and painful for you and your family, which is why we use a contingency plan so that you and your family won’t have to worry about paying for legal services until we successfully recover compensation for your case.