RIVERSIDE BIRTH INJURY ATTORNEYS
When errors occur in the birthing process, before delivery, during, or just after, there can be grave and permanent life-altering consequences for a newborn and its mother. Year after year, Riverside families have to adjust to living with the effects of birth injuries caused by the negligence of health care professionals.
If your family has been faced with a birth injury, the expert medical malpractice attorneys at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas and Associates can help. Our Riverside personal injury lawyers have the knowledge and experience in handling a variety of medical malpractice claims, including birth injury matters.
With multiple offices located in Riverside, Anaheim, Irvine, Los Angeles, El Segundo and San Diego, our medical malpractice lawyers represent birth injury victims across Southern California. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with a Riverside birth injury lawyer, please call 949-449-2703.
Frequently Asked Questions About Birth Injury Law
When it comes to filing birth injury lawsuits, there are a lot of legal complexities to be considered. That’s why our expert staff has compiled the following list of answers to the most frequently asked questions from families who have suffered as the result of preventable Riverside birth injuries caused by the negligence of a trusted healthcare professional.
How do you prove birth injury?
To prove that a birth injury has occurred, you must present evidence including a diagnosis, medical records, and testimony from experts on the subject of birth injuries.
When filing a claim for birth injury caused by negligence, one of the common defenses that you might hear is that these birth injuries would have occurred even when no negligence occurred.
The first step toward obtaining compensation for birth injury relies on identifying negligence on the part of a medical facility or its staff. The second step will be to successfully navigate the California civil court system, under a medical malpractice lawsuit, with the help of a birth injury attorney.
What is considered medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice claims may be filed in many scenarios, from professional negligence to mistakes involving failures to disclose specific procedures or treatments. Typically, a medical malpractice claim falls under one or more of these categories:
- Improper Care or Treatment: When a medical professional administers the wrong treatment or administers the correct treatment wrongly.
- Failure to Diagnose: When a healthcare provider fails to diagnose the patient’s illness properly, causing a distressful outcome, it may be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
- Failure to Warn of Potential Risks: Medical professionals are obliged to advise patients of any potential risks of certain procedures, side effects associated with drugs being administered, or any other risks associated with a particular treatment. That obligation is known as informed consent, and a doctor’s failure to follow through with that obligation can be grounds for filing a malpractice suit.
Can you sue for prolonged labor?
For a first-time mother, labor would be considered “prolonged” when it lasts for over 18 hours or when delivery does not occur within three hours after full dilation of the cervix. In mothers who have previously had pregnancies, the labor is considered “prolonged” if delivery does not occur within two hours after full dilation of the cervix. Prolonged labor can result in exhaustion, elevated heart rate, back pain, ketosis, and uterine tenderness.
Prolonged labor typically occurs in cases of fetal malpresentation, which include breech positions. It can also result from cephalopelvic disproportion, a condition characterized by a larger fetal head and inadequate or weak contractions.
Prolonged labor can result in a significant risk to the child and the mother, including:
- intrauterine infections
- irregular fetal heart rates
- fetal distress,
- fetal ischemia, hypoxia, or asphyxia
- intracranial hemorrhaging
- postpartum hemorrhaging
These complications might also lead to severe birth injuries, like developmental problems, learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, and brain damage.
Because of the potential for such consequences, medical professionals involved in the birthing process must carefully monitor a mother’s labor, look for indications of any fetal distress, monitor contraction strength and timing, and perform tests to best determine the fetus’s position and size.
In some cases, a doctor might administer a drug called oxytocin to aid in delivery, especially if everything seems normal with the position and the size of the fetus. However, if the fetal head is too big for passage through the mother’s birth canal, the doctor may use a vacuum or forceps in delivery assistance. Unfortunately, these methods can result in birth injury risks.
When prolonged labor results in a birth injury, it may be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
How long after a birth injury can you sue?
In California birth injury claims, three distinct statutes of limitation will apply to how long after a birth injury you can file a lawsuit.
These limitations are as follows:
- Eight (8) Years: Lawsuits that involve birth injury to a child must be filed within the first eight years of the child’s life.
- Twelve (12) months: The standard 12-month California medical malpractice statute of limitations will apply when a mother is injured during the birthing process. If both the mother and the child were injured, the mother’s claim must be filed within a year. The child’s claim may still be filed within the first eight years of the child’s life.
- Six (6) Months: Whether the mother, the child, or both were injured during the birthing process, if the injury occurred in a public healthcare facility, the time that a plaintiff has to file a lawsuit is cut dramatically. Birth injury claims arising from an incident at a public facility are subject to a six-month statute of limitations. Many Riverside hospitals and health clinics, including those under the umbrella of private medical groups, are public facilities. It is always imperative to know the type of facility where you will be giving birth ahead of time.
What is a wrongful birth lawsuit?
Lawsuits involving wrongful birth claims are typically brought against medical providers by the parents of children that have been born with birth defects, severe disabilities, or genetic disorders.
A wrongful birth lawsuit is typically brought in situations where providers failed to meet a duty of care in the treatment or testing of the expecting mother and her unborn child, and that failure deprived the parents of information that they could have used to decide whether or not to conceive or carry the child to full term.
A wrongful birth lawsuit can involve the following:
- A failure to diagnose congenital disabilities or genetic disorders
- Genetic test errors or laboratory mistakes, and a failure to correctly interpret results
- A failure to order tests or to inform parents regarding genetic risks
- A failure to adhere to the duty of informed consent regarding a condition and any available options
- A failure to diagnose and/or treat a mother’s illness or infection resulting in a child’s congenital disabilities
- The negligent administering of sterilization or abortion before conception
Parents of children born with genetic conditions or congenital disabilities due to a healthcare provider’s failure to meet the accepted standards of prenatal care may be eligible for filing a wrongful birth claim.
Contact an Experienced Riverside Birth Injury Attorney
If a birth injury has had a life-altering effect on your child and your family, you may be eligible to file a medical malpractice birth injury claim. Because of the complicated nature of California’s medical malpractice laws and statute of limitation guidelines regarding birth injuries, you must discuss your claim with an experienced Riverside birth injury lawyer.
At the Law Offices of Samer Habbas and Associates, our compassionate and knowledgeable birth injury lawyers recognize how devastating birth injuries can be and the toll that they can take on families like yours. Our expert personal injury attorneys will discuss your options and determine the best way to move forward with your birth injury claim.
With multiple offices located in Riverside, Anaheim, Irvine, Los Angeles, El Segundo and San Diego, our birth injury lawyers represent victims of medical malpractice across Southern California. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with a Riverside birth injury attorney, please call 949-449-2703.