The birth of a child should be one of the happiest moments in a person’s life, and in those moments, no one is really expecting tragedy to ensue.
But when your child is unexpectedly harmed during birth and sustains lifelong injuries, it is nothing short of devastating. You may be wondering what happened and who is responsible. It’s very common for parents in these situations to be uncertain about their options or what to do next. If your child has suffered a birth injury, you need a birth injury lawyer in St. Louis.
The Cagle Law Firm not only has the technical knowledge to address these complex legal issues, but we also understand how overwhelming a health issue with your child can be. We’re here for you during this challenging time and will work to help you receive the compensation you need for your family.
What Causes Birth Injuries?
Several factors can result in a birth injury, and you may not know what to think or believe after an accident causes harm to a loved one. Medical professionals owe their patients a reasonable standard of care in making sure that they are safe. When a professional such as a doctor, nurse, or pharmacist makes a careless mistake, they can cause a severe injury that may impact someone for life. Experienced birth injury lawyers know how to study medical records and may consult with third-party medical professionals to determine what went wrong and who is responsible.
Common causes of birth injuries can include one or more of the following:
- Depriving oxygen to the child’s brain, often referred to as hypoxia.
- Overlooking signs of fetal distress.
- Failing to conduct an emergency cesarean when a child is determined (or should have been determined) to be in distress.
- Acting improperly during a vacuum-assisted delivery.
- Failing to intervene when a baby is especially large, technically known as fetal macrosomia.
- Using forceps improperly or with too much force during delivery.
- Failing to communicate with other medical staff during a patient’s pregnancy and delivery.
Common Examples of Birth Injuries
Your OB-GYN and their support staff must take various and critical steps to monitor pregnancy and birth. If you do not receive proper medical attention, you and your child can suffer. It’s also important for you to know that your child may suffer from some medical problems from a birth injury that are not easily identifiable in the hours and days after birth. Obtaining the compensation you need requires your lawyer to identify the injury that your child suffered during birth.
Some of the most common birth injuries include:
- Cerebral Palsy can occur due to an interrupted oxygen supply during birth.
- Spinal cord injuries.
- Paralysis of the face, which can be permanent or treated with surgery and therapy.
- Bleeding in the skull (Intracranial Hemorrhage).
- Broken bones.
- Brachial Plexus injuries, which can permanently damage the child’s shoulder or arm.
- Maternal injuries are commonly caused during delivery by undiagnosed or improperly controlled bleeding.
Statute of Limitations for Birth Injuries
Birth injuries generally fall in the category of medical malpractice. The statute of limitations law regarding birth injuries in your state restricts when you have to file a lawsuit after an injury occurred to you or your child.
It’s important to know there is a specific statute of limitations that applies to medical malpractice, and it’s shorter than regular personal injury cases in Missouri. Personal injury statutes of limitation in both Missouri and Illinois are five years. Meanwhile, you have only two years from the date of injury to file a medical malpractice claim in both Missouri and Illinois.
These rules are complex, and there are exceptions. Two exceptions that apply to many birth injury cases include:
- The injured person is a child – Children and their parents in Missouri have eight years for their suit to be filed, or two years after their 18th birthday, whichever comes first.
- The injury is not easily detected – Your window to file a lawsuit can be delayed to begin on the date that you discovered the injury or when you reasonably should have discovered the injury.
While you may think that the statute of limitations gives you a lot of time to consider your options, we recommend contacting your lawyer to discuss your case without delay. Medical malpractice cases can be very complicated, and you may require expert witnesses. Gathering evidence, studying it, and working with a third-party witness can take a long time, so it’s crucial that you don’t want to get legal help.
Find Out How a Birth Injury Lawyer in St. Louis Can Help
At The Cagle Law Firm, we understand that injuries to your child can be overwhelming for you and your entire family. You may not know how this happened, and you want answers. Medical malpractice suits like birth injury cases are always complex and highly technical. They require lawyers who understand how the law applies to the medical field and what it takes to obtain favorable results.
If your child experienced a birth injury, do not delay in calling a highly skilled St. Louis birth injury lawyer to help you receive compensation. Call us toll-free at (1-800) 685-3302 or locally at (314) 276-1681 for a free consultation today.