We are New York birth injury lawyers. Our attorneys’ efforts prosecuting New York birth injury lawsuits have earned Bottar Leone, PLLC, national recognition in U.S. News & World Report – Best Lawyers® (“first-tier”), SuperLawyers®, and Martindale-Hubbell’s Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers®.
What Is A Birth Injury?
Childbirth can be complicated and the stakes are high. During the birth process, a child can sustain a physical injury, known as a birth injury, from the natural forces that occur during contractions, as well as from compression, torque, or traction applied by a medical provider as the baby passes through the birth canal. Fortunately, advancements in obstetrics over the past twenty years have led to a significant decrease in the number of negligent birth injuries. Presently, less than one percent of babies born in the United States are injured during birth.
While there are considerable risks involved with childbirth, many bad outcomes can be minimized or eliminated through the delivery of high-quality medical care by an obstetrician or certified nurse midwife, with the assistance of experienced labor and delivery nurses. A medical resident (i.e., doctor in training) may also assist. Some bad outcomes can be prevented because medicine recognizes a connection between potentially dangerous maternal and fetal conditions and problems immediately, before, during, or after birth. Those conditions include:
- advanced maternal age;
- a large baby (i.e., fetal macrosomia);
- maternal obesity;
- a premature baby;
- a post term pregnancy;
- excessive maternal weight gain;
- Rh-ABO Incompatibility; and
- prolonged labor.
Where appropriate medical care is not provided during childbirth, a birth injury may occur. While some birth injuries are minor and resolve quickly, other injuries like hypoxic or ischemic injury to the fetal brain (i.e., hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy) and mechanical injury to the brachial plexus (i.e., brachial plexus palsy), may cause permanent cognitive or functional disabilities and global developmental delays that can require lifelong care.
As we have for nearly three decades, Bottar Leone, PLLC, is investigating or litigating a number birth injury lawsuits throughout the State of New York. While every claim is different, issues common to many of the claims include:
- failure to monitor the condition of the mother or baby;
- failure to properly interpret fetal heart monitor tracings;
- failure to identify and treat fetal distress;
- failure to perform a timely cesarean section (i.e., a c-section);
- improper use of a vacuum or forceps;
- improper application of force during delivery;
- improper physician supervision of a certified nurse midwife;
- improper physician supervision of a medical resident;
- failure to identify and treat a Group B strep infection; and
- improper administration of medication before, during, or immediately after delivery.
Most often, mistakes are made when obstetricians and labor and delivery nurses fail to monitor progress during labor. In mere minutes, fetal oxygen deprivation can cause permanent brain damage.
What Are The Signs of A Birth Injury?
Signs of a birth injury immediately after birth include a baby that appears “floppy” or “blue,” absence of a cry, a failure to breathe, and low APGAR scores. Medical providers may say that the baby is “slow to start” or “birth depressed.” Often, after a difficult birth a team of medical providers from the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) will be called to the labor and delivery room to help care for a baby that is having trouble transitioning to life outside of the womb. Sometimes, the NICU team will administer oxygen to the newborn.
The most common types of birth injuries include:
- caput succedaneum (i.e., scalp swelling);
- clavicle fractures;
- facial palsy; and
- subconjunctival hemorrhaging.
More severe birth injuries include:
- brain damage;
- cerebral palsy;
- Erb’s palsy (i.e., brachial plexus palsy);
- Klumpke’s paralysis;
- Horner’s syndrome;
- hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy; and
- skull fractures.
Birth injuries can lead to a constellation of problems for a newborn, including:
- visible disfigurement;
- limb paralysis;
- vision impairment;
- hearing deficits;
- speech deficits;
- immobility; and
- global developmental delays (i.e., not meeting developmental milestones).
Caring for a child that was injured during birth can be a very significant time and financial commitment. For many families who have a child with special needs, the typical day includes the administration of medication, followed by a series of physical, occupational and rehabilitative therapies, as well as the use of a variety of assistive or adaptive devices to enable a child to participate in educational and recreational activities.
A mismanaged pregnancy or delivery can also lead to serious physical injury to the expectant mother. Examples of maternal injuries include gestational diabetes, eclampsia and post-partum hemorrhaging. Sometimes, both mother and baby have a claim for medical negligence.
Every state has a deadline for when a claim for a birth injury must be filed. As the time period can be short, it is important that you speak with an attorney as soon as you suspect that your child sustained an injury during birth. If you contact Bottar Leone, PLLC, our accomplished highly qualified medical malpractice attorneys can advise you about the applicable deadlines, as well as whether we believe that your child was harmed during the labor and delivery process and, more importantly, whether the harm was preventable.
Like childbirth, birth injury lawsuits can be complicated. At Bottar Leone, PLLC, every potential claim is scrutinized by a team of attorneys with input from the appropriate experts, including obstetricians, neonatologists, pediatricians, placental pathologists, pediatric neurologists, and pediatric neuroradiologists, to determine if and why a child has a condition or disability.
With nearly three decades of experience and a track record of success prosecuting medical malpractice and birth injury claims throughout the State of New York, Bottar Leone, PLLC, has a wealth of institutional knowledge about the intricacies of birth injury lawsuits, as well as access to some of the best experts in the country. Simply put, we know how to find the answers and are committed to securing just results.
To consult with one of our New York birth injury lawyers about your questions or concerns, or to learn if you or your child were injured by medical malpractice during labor and delivery, contact us at (315) 422-3466, or (800) 336-LAWS, or by email at email@example.com.
Find the Right New York Personal Injury Lawyer
New York Product Liability Lawyers
Personal Injury, Accidents, and Wrongful Death
Construction, Industrial and Workplace Accidents
Brain, Spinal Cord and Nerve Injuries
New York Toxic Torts Lawyers