Bringing home a newborn baby should be a joyous celebration of life. Sadly, many deaths occur each year in birth accidents, when a procedure goes wrong, or a doctor is careless during the birthing process or in managing the health of mother and infant during pregnancy.
The Florida birth injury lawyers at Freeman Injury Law are familiar with the causes and ramifications of birth injuries, and represent families dealing with birth injuries to mother or child throughout the Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Port St. Lucie/Ft. Pierce area.
An injury at birth can take many forms, including the deprivation of oxygen to the brain, bone fractures, and Cerebral Palsy, among many others. A serious birth accident injury can mean a lifetime of medical costs, expensive therapies and the inability for the injured to live a normal life. Birth injuries can involve failure to timely respond to emergencies, such as the mother hemorrhaging, improper use of forceps or vacuum extractor, placenta abruption, difficulties with a breech delivery or refusal or delay in performing a cesarean section.
So many people are involved in the birth of a baby at medical facilities that an accident can occur as the result of negligence or carelessness by a wide range of people. Doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, and other members of the hospital staff are all susceptible to making an error that could result in a serious injury.
Citing the increasing medical malpractice insurance rates for OB/GYNs, the Florida legislature passed the Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Plan in an attempt to curb these expenses while still providing financial assistance to families with children suffering certain birth injuries. The law states that families may be entitled to limited compensation if the following conditions are met:
- The child suffers a catastrophic spinal or brain injury during labor, delivery or resuscitation following the birth.
- The child's injury is caused by oxygen deprivation or mechanical injury (compression, traction).
- The child is permanently and substantially mentally and physically impaired because of the injury.
- It was a live birth and the child weighed at least 2000 grams at birth.
As with most laws passed in the area of medical malpractice, it is legislation designed to protect doctors and insurance companies more than any real effort to protect the thousands of injured infants and mothers who are harmed by malpractice each year. Numerous studies continue to show that malpractice lawsuits account for less than 10 percent of the cost of medical care in this country, or about the cost of one-year’s annual increase in insurance premiums. Yet an estimated 100,000 people died each year as a result of medical error – or about three times more than die in auto accidents nationwide.
Make no mistake about it. The medical industry is the largest, most profitable, and most legally aggressive business in the nation. Fighting a doctor, hospital or insurance company in the wake of a medical malpractice claim takes an aggressive law firm with the medical, legal and financial resources to protect your rights.
The Florida birth injury lawyers at Freeman Injury Law see birth injury cases in which aggressive investigation may discover a negligent act on the part of the attending physician, nurses, or even the hospital itself. Throughout West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Port St. Lucie/Ft. Pierce, and in every community in the region, we stand by the side of families who are struggling to cope with a birth injury to mother or newborn child.
If your family is dealing with a birth injury, we urge you to take action now. Call our offices today for a free, no obligation consultation to fully inform you of your legal rights.