When birth injuries occur due to negligence, the injured parties have the right to take legal action in North Carolina. If you or your child suffered an injury during labor or birth, a Wilmington birth injury lawyer at Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys might be able to help you build a claim seeking compensation for your losses.
You can contact us to schedule a case consultation.
How Does a Wilmington Birth Injury Lawyer Help Clients With Birth Injury Claims?
Facing a challenging personal injury claim in the aftermath of a difficult birthing experience can be overwhelming. Hiring a birth injury lawyer to act as your legal representative relieves a burden and could improve your chance of receiving fair compensation.
In addition to providing legal guidance through the complexities of a personal injury claim, a North Carolina birth injury attorney can help in the following ways:
- Investigate your claim independently to look for evidence of negligence
- Handle all administrative tasks, including completing and filing all necessary paperwork
- They represent you in all conversations with the insurance company and the defendant’s legal counsel.
- They identify all recoverable damages to ensure you claim adequate compensation to cover your losses.
- They ensure no one violates your rights during the legal process.
An experienced Wilmington birth injury lawyer combines professional representation with compassion. As a result, families going through a difficult time may lean on their attorney for reassurance.
How Do I Prove Negligence in a North Carolina Birth Injury Case?
State-mandated personal injury laws govern birth injury civil claims. As the injured party, you are responsible for proving the defendant’s negligence. With adequate evidence, you may claim the economic and non-economic damages associated with your birth injury, including medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.
Establishing liability in a birth injury case can be more challenging than in other types of personal injury. The process for civil disputes encourages negotiations between both parties in hopes that it ends in a settlement without ever entering the courtroom. The strength of your claim relies on available evidence proving that the physician or medical professional acted negligently when rendering care.
To hold them accountable for damages, you must prove four legal elements:
- Duty of care: Did the defendant have a legal responsibility to provide you with a specific standard of care when the birth injury occurred?
- Breach of duty: Did the defendant violate that duty of care by not upholding the standard of care during the birth?
- Causation: Were the birth injuries directly resulting from the defendant’s breach of duty?
- Damages: Did the injuries result in recoverable losses?
The law follows the concept that anyone entering a learned profession is responsible for exercising a reasonable degree of skill and care. An advantage of hiring a Wilmington birth injury lawyer is their experience identifying where the defendant went wrong, starting with defining the birth injury.
What is the difference between birth injuries and birth defects?
Remember that birth injuries and birth defects are not the same. Birth injuries happen during the labor or delivery process and are either the result of negligence or inevitable complications. Birth defects are health conditions that form while the child is still in the mother’s womb.
What Are Common Examples of Birth Injuries?
Examples of medical negligence that could result in birth injuries include using too much force when pulling or twisting the baby during delivery, failing to monitor the baby after birth, and misusing birthing tools during delivery. Some common forms of birth injuries that can result from those actions include the following long- and short-term effects:
- Bone fractures
- Brain damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Nerve damage
- Cerebral palsy or Erb’s palsy
The severity of a birth injury will impact the value of your claim. Some birth injuries can fully heal, while others can cause permanent damage.
Spinal cord injuries and brain damage
Improper pulling, stretching, or rotating of the baby can cause spinal cord damage. This often happens during delivery when doctors must assist babies through and out of the birth canal.
Brain and spinal cord injuries can have long-term consequences, sometimes resulting in substantial damages. For example, a lack of blood or oxygen to the brain can cause shock, seizures, coma, labored breathing, or even death. Failure to monitor the baby during labor and after delivery can result in prolonged oxygen deprivation or uncontrolled bleeding.
Common birth injuries to mothers
Mothers are also at risk for birth injuries caused by negligence. For example, some common injuries include damage to the bladder, bowel, or uterus that can result from poor care post-delivery. More life-threatening injuries include excessive blood loss and dangerous fluctuations in blood pressure. Failure to monitor the mother’s vitals during labor or delaying a necessary emergency C-section can have dangerous repercussions.
If you suffered an injury while giving birth, you might also have a personal injury claim. If you have questions about birth injuries and whether you have a valid civil claim, contact us to have us listen to the details of your case for free.
What Happens if a Birth Injury Results in Death?
If you lost a child or parent due to medical negligence during birth, you might have access to compensation through a wrongful death claim.
If you lost a child, the court would likely appoint you as their representative so you can claim compensation for medical and funeral expenses and emotional pain and suffering. You should talk to an attorney at our firm about your right to file a wrongful death claim.
Contact a Wilmington Birth Injury Lawyer for a Free Consultation
It is never too soon to reach out to an experienced lawyer when you have questions about your right to compensation after a birth injury. The consequences of birth injuries can have devastating financial and emotional effects. However, you have a legal right to seek justice.
FAQs About Birth Injuries
What is an intellectual disability?
Intellectual disabilities are neurological conditions that impact cognitive abilities, such as communication and making decisions. Birth injuries resulting in brain damage can manifest as intellectual disabilities, sometimes diagnosed later in life.
How long do you have to file a birth injury lawsuit in North Carolina?
The statute of limitations for a birth injury lawsuit in North Carolina is three years after the medical error occurs. If the damage is not readily apparent, you have one year from the date of discovery.