Frequently Asked Questions About Birth-Injury Claims
It’s estimated that nearly 30,000 newborns across America experience some type of avoidable birth injury every year. If you experience unnecessary complications during the birth of a child, you may have questions about your rights and about the legal process. Bailey & Galyen is here to help.
At the law offices of Bailey & Galyen, we have effectively represented clients with personal injury claims, including parents with birth injury lawsuits, for more than 40 years. One of the largest consumer law firms in the Lone Star State, we have a hard-earned reputation for getting positive results for our clients. In our four decades in practice, we have recovered more than $500 million in settlements and verdicts in personal injury disputes. To schedule an appointment, call 844-402-2992 or contact us online.
Answers to Common Questions About Birth Injury Claims
Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we get regarding birth injuries and birth-injury claims:
Q: What’s the difference between a birth defect and a birth injury?
A:Birth injuries are caused by something that goes wrong during delivery, while birth defects involve harm to a baby caused by something that occurs prior to birth, during or before pregnancy. Birth injuries, therefore, are typically avoidable, whereas birth defects are often a consequence of nature.
Q: What kinds of situations give rise to a lawsuit for birth injuries?
A:Birth injury claims are typically based on a legal theory of negligence, where a medical professional fails to exercise the appropriate level of care. Most cases occur when a doctor fails to adequately assess or respond to conditions and/or complications during a woman’s pregnancy or delivery, or when a woman takes a prescription drug during pregnancy that causes harm to the baby.
Q: Will a lawsuit always be successful if a baby is harmed through a birth injury?
A:No. Some birth injuries are unavoidable. The key question is whether medical caregivers, including doctors and nurses, followed the commonly accepted standard of care.
Q: What is medical malpractice?
A:Medical malpractice is negligence committed by a professional health care provider, whether a doctor, nurse, dentist, technician, hospital, or hospital worker. Under the law, a medical person may be liable for negligence when the performance of duties departs from the accepted standard of care of those with similar training and experience, resulting in harm to a patient. The profession itself sets the standard for care by its own customs and practice.
Q: How common are birth injuries?
A:It has been estimated that for every 1,000 babies born in the United States, five are injured during birth.
Q: In a lawsuit for a birth injury, how does a jury determine if a doctor’s actions were within the accepted standard of care?
A:A jury typically makes its determination based on testimony from expert witnesses – usually other doctors. Those experts testify as to whether a physician followed standard medical practice or fell below the accepted standard of care. A specialist, like an obstetrician, is held to a higher standard of care than a non-specialist.
Q: What causes cerebral palsy?
A:Cerebral palsy is the generic term for a number of disorders affecting a baby’s brain function and body movement. Cerebral palsy can be the result of an injury to a baby’s brain in the womb, during delivery, or after birth. It also can be caused by a lack of oxygen flow to a baby’s brain during delivery. After the baby is born, cerebral palsy can be caused by trauma to the head from falls, car accidents, and abuse.
Q: Who can receive money after a successful lawsuit for a birth injury?
A:If a living child suffers harm due to a birth injury caused by negligence, damages typically go to the child, sometimes in the form of a trust. In some situations, the parents can receive compensation for emotional distress. In cases where a birth injury leads to the death of an infant, the parents can bring a wrongful death lawsuit and may receive damages for loss of companionship, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and medical expenses.
Q: What is Erb’s palsy? Is it permanent?
A:Erb’s palsy occurs when the brachial plexus nerves located near the baby’s neck are stretched or torn during birth, resulting in varying degrees of loss of function in the arm, wrist, hand, and/or fingers. Usually, the child regains function in the affected areas, but not always. In cases where the nerves are completely severed, the child may require surgery to repair the damage.
Q: Is there a deadline for filing a birth injury case?
A:Yes. Many states have a two-year statute of limitations on medical malpractice cases, meaning if you fail to file suit within two years, you cannot pursue your claim. The statute of limitations may begin running at the time of the injury or at the time the injury is discovered. An attorney in your area can tell you more about the applicable statute of limitations in your jurisdiction and how it affects your birth injury case.
How Can Bailey & Galyen Help Me After a Birth Injury?
Over the last 40+ years, we have successfully represented personal injury victims in courts throughout Texas and in other jurisdictions. We have the skill, knowledge, experience, and resources to handle complex and challenging personal injury claims, including birth injury cases. We know how to effectively prepare these cases—the types of evidence that are most persuasive, as well as the different ways judges and juries across the state view personal injury claims. We know when to bring in expert witnesses, and we have a network of professionals we use to help prepare and present the most compelling case for your full financial recovery.
Contact Bailey & Galyen for Effective Representation in a Birth-Injury Lawsuit
When your child has suffered unnecessary injuries during the birthing process, you want an experienced lawyer to help you get full and fair compensation. The proven personal injury attorneys at Bailey & Galyen have the knowledge, skill, experience, and resources to help you get the result you seek.
We handle all birth-injury claims on a contingent-fee basis. You won’t pay any legal fees unless we get compensation for your losses.
We offer proven counsel in birth-injury claims across Texas, with offices in Arlington, Bedford, Burleson, Dallas, Fort Worth, Grapevine, Houston, Mansfield, Mesquite, Midland/Odessa, Plano, Texarkana, and Weatherford.