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Birth Injuries and Your Legal Rights

Having a birth injury occur during you or your loved one’s hospital birth can be a stressful and confusing experience. However, as I state on under particular circumstances, some birth tragedies are preventable and you have a legal right to pursue action if you feel that another party was at fault regarding the injury. It is important to understand what falls under a birth injury and the type of legal action to pursue if an injury has occurred.

What Are Birth Injuries?
As the name suggests, birth injuries are injuries to a child that are the result of something not going as planned during the birth itself. Birth injuries are also quite common, as according to Right Diagnosis, one in seven children are born with some sort of birth injury. These injuries can range from types of paralysis, such as facial paralysis, brachial palsy, injuries to the brain, fracturing of the extremities, bleeding under the cranium, swelling of the child’s scalp and much more, as the birth process is quite unpredictable and harm can be caused in a variety of ways.

With this in mind, there are two categories of birth injuries to consider: those that are a result of birth defects and those that are the result of mistakes or malpractice during the actual birth. Under particular circumstances, some birth injuries are simply unavoidable, as malformations and birth defects can cause injuries during the birth process.

In fact, according to the Maryland Department of Health, birth defects are more prominent than one may think. Collected birth statistics reveal that 355,494 births with birth defects, such as conditions like Down Syndrome, limb deformities, and cleft palate deformities, were reported between the years 2002-2006 in the state of Maryland. These types of birth injuries are not a result of an individual party being at fault, so, essentially, you generally cannot pursue legal action regarding these injuries.

Was The Birth Injury Avoidable?
However, if the injury is a result of medical malpractice or a similar circumstance, you can, in fact, pursue legal action against the responsible party such as the doctor or the hospital. These types of situations generally involve doctors inappropriately or incorrectly responding to any circumstance or complication that occurs during the pregnancy or birth. During these types of situations, medical professionals are held accountable for their actions, especially if they perform procedures or actions that are considered outside the standard practices of medical care, therefore resulting in a birth injury. In addition, medical professionals can also be held at fault if they are negligent and fail to actually provide the exact care that the patient, including the child, requires. Of course, if the case goes to court, it will have to be proven that the hospital or medical professional did, in fact, act in a negligent manner.

If you believe that you or your loved one had a birth that resulted in a birth injury due to the fault of a medical professional, you should certainly seek out legal counsel. Your particular circumstances can be examined in order to determine whether legal action can be taken. Many birth injury cases have resulted in large financial rewards for the injured party depending on the severity of the injury and level of negligence. If it is found that you have grounds for legal action, your chosen attorneys will ensure that you are adequately represented, so you can receive both the justice and compensation that you deserve.

Author bio:
Kevin R. Marciano, Esquire, is the Managing Partner of Marciano & MacAvoy, P.C. Marciano focuses his practice on representing catastrophic injury victims, including claims for medical malpractice, pharmaceutical liability, motor vehicle accidents, wrongful death, product liability, premises liability, construction accidents, liquor liability, personal injury and mass tort class actions.