SAN DIEGO BIRTH INJURY ATTORNEYS
There can be a tremendous amount of excitement for parents expecting a child. Quite often, eager parents are counting the days to the day that their newborn arrives, making plans to welcome their new family member, and preparing themselves and their family for this life-altering event.
When the unexpected happens, the result can be absolutely devastating. This can be particularly true if the newborn has been severely injured or harmed during the birthing process due to negligence on the part of the medical professionals charged with protecting the well-being of the child.
It can be difficult for parents that suddenly have their lives torn apart because of severe birth injuries to know who they can turn to. When it comes to medical malpractice involving birth injuries, the San Diego birth injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates can help.
With multiple offices located in San Diego, Irvine, Anaheim, Los Angeles, Riverside and El Segundo, our medical malpractice attorneys represent birth injury victims across Southern California. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with a San Diego birth injury attorney, please call 949-558-3421.
Frequently Asked Questions About Birth Injury Law
Whenever a family faces the devastation of a birth injury due to medical malpractice, they often find themselves having to navigate the many legal complexities of birth injury lawsuits. As a result, you and your family may have many questions about filing a birth injury claim in California. Our expert staff has compiled this list of frequently asked questions from our many clients that have faced the pain of a San Diego birth injury due to the negligence of a medical professional.
What is the average birth injury settlement?
The average birth injury malpractice settlement is between $405,000 and $494,000. When a case goes to trial, verdicts in medical malpractice cases involving birth injury can be as high as $1.6 million. These figures are national averages based on reported settlements and judgments, and actual figures vary by state.
It is important to note that these numbers are based on publicly reported settlements and public verdicts only. Most birth injury claim settlements are strictly confidential, especially when they involve large sums. That means average settlement figures are grossly underestimated because they fail to include settlements with the highest value.
What is the difference between a birth defect and a birth injury?
A birth injury is an injury that is generally caused when something goes wrong during the birthing process, which includes labor and delivery.
Birth defects are usually characterized by some harm that came to the baby before birth, as a result of something that may have happened during the pregnancy or before conception.
What are the different types of birth injuries?
The most common types of birth injuries are as follows:
- Brachial palsy: Brachial palsy is an injury of the brachial plexus, a network of nerves in the baby’s shoulder, carrying movement and sensory signals to the hands and arms. It is common in shoulder dystocia, an injury that occurs during delivery. Minor cases may result in swelling and bruising, with a healthy function returning within months. If a nerve is torn, permanent damage can occur.
- Forcep marks or facial bruising: Some newborns may experience bruising of the head or face because of trauma experienced while passing through their mother’s birth canal or from contact with their mother’s pelvic tissue and bones. If forceps are used in delivery, they can result in temporary bruises or marks on a baby’s head and face. Babies delivered using vacuum extraction can also experience scalp lacerations and bruising.
- Caput succedaneum: This condition manifests in swelling of soft tissues in a newborn’s scalp and typically develops when the child moves through the mother’s birth canal. It can also result in substantial bruising. The bruising and swelling usually subside within days. Babies that are delivered using vacuum extraction may suffer from caput succedaneum.
- Cephalohematoma: Often appearing as a raised lump on the child’s head a few hours after birth, this injury refers to bleeding between a baby’s skull bone and its fibrous covering. In time, the child’s body should reabsorb the blood. It can take up to three months of the condition to clear up. IN some cases, a child can develop jaundice during this time.
- Facial paralysis: Facial nerves can be injured during labor and birth due to pressure on the newborn’s face. It can also occur if forceps have been used during delivery. It is typically characterized by a lack of movement in the face and an eye that cannot close. If the injury is minor and a nerve was bruised, the condition should improve within weeks. In more severe cases in which a nerve is torn, surgery might be necessary.
- Fractures: Clavicle and collarbone fractures are common birth injuries. Newborns with fractured clavicles will rarely move the arm where the break occurred. The healing process, however, is relatively fast. Sometimes the fracture can be painful for the child, so limiting movement with a splint or soft bandage may help.
- Subconjunctival hemorrhage: This refers to small blood vessels in a newborn’s eyes breaking, causing one or both of the child’s eyes to have redness in the whites of their eyes. It is common, causes no permanent damage, and is typically absorbed within ten days.
What is the most common type of birth injury?
The most common type of birth injury is a head injury. It is important to note that head molding does not constitute an injury and refers to a routine change in a child’s head shape resulting from pressure during delivery.
Can a baby break a bone during birth?
Babies can suffer from broken bones as a result of the birthing process. Broken bones can result from medical negligence and become the basis for a birth injury claim. If your newborn was injured, you should understand how breaks can occur and their effects.
The risk of broken bones can increase based on the complexity of labor and delivery, but there are several other reasons why bone fractures may occur, including:
- Breech baby: When the child is positioned to move through the mother’s birth canal with either its feet or its buttocks first, rather than head first, doctors may try and pull the child or reposition them for proper delivery.
- Large baby: When the baby’s size, particularly the size of its head, makes moving through the mother’s birth canal difficult, the doctor may pull more or with more force than usual.
- Surgical instruments: When babies have difficulty moving through their mother’s birth canal, the doctor may use a vacuum extractor or forceps.
- Small pelvis: A doctor might have trouble guiding the baby if a mother’s pelvic opening and bone structure are small.
While most broken bones can be stabilized by a splint or a cast and will heal within weeks, others may not heal so quickly. When a bone fracture occurs at this young age, it can negatively affect future development and function, including:
- Muscle function
- Nerve function
- Development of growth plates
- Spinal health
Why Do I Need a San Diego Birth Injury Attorney?
Birth injury is, unfortunately, all too common. Thankfully, most birth injuries that occur are not life-altering, but some are. If a birth injury has significantly altered your child’s life and it was the result of medical negligence, you might be entitled to compensation.
The experienced San Diego birth injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas and Associates know how these devastating birth injuries can take a toll on the life of your family. Our experienced personal injury lawyers will go over your options with you and determine how best to handle your medical malpractice case moving forward.
With multiple offices located in San Diego, Irvine, Anaheim, Riverside, Los Angeles and El Segundo, our birth injury lawyers represent medical malpractice victims across Southern California. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with a San Diego birth injury attorney, please call 949-558-3421.