Birth Injuries and how a personal injury lawyer can help you - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers
  • Monday, 05 February 2018

Birth Injuries and how a personal injury lawyer can help you

#AskStephanieSlavens

Ask most parents about their gender preference for their unborn child, and most of them say that all they want is a healthy child. Sadly, labour can be a difficult time for both the expectant mother and unborn child. Delivery only adds to the potential for complications to arise causing injuries to the mother, the child or to both of them.

Complications can sometimes be regrettable occurrences during labour and delivery through no fault on the part of anyone. Unfortunately, the medical professionals you trust to look after the wellbeing of you and your unborn child might not have performed up to the high standards expected of them. When birth injuries are the result of negligence, an Ontario personal injury lawyer could help you or your family to obtain compensation.

What are birth injuries?

Injuries suffered by a child or mother during or after the delivery process are referred to as birth injuries. Some birth injuries are correctible, but others can cause permanent disability or disfigurement. Birth injuries include the following:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Erb’s palsy
  • Trauma to the cranial nerve
  • Facial paralysis
  • Fractures
  • Oxygen deprivation
  • Brain damage
  • Shoulder dystocia

Birth trauma, which is another term frequently used for birth injuries, may be gone within months of the child’s birth. Other injuries, particularly those involving harm to the brain, could cause lifetime impairment requiring long-term medical care and the assistance.

Causes of birth injuries

Birth injuries can occur even when doctors, nurses and other medical professionals perform admirably. Sometimes, mistakes are made that might not be readily apparent without the assistance of a personal injury lawyer. For example, a lawsuit filed against a hospital in Ontario for birth injuries that left a newborn child with severe neurological damage revealed efforts by the hospital to cover up the mistake that caused the injuries. It took 10 years for the truth to be disclosed and compensation awarded to benefit the child.

Doctors and nurses caring for a mother during pregnancy, labour and delivery must be capable of recognizing signs of fetal distress or other complications. Once identified, steps must be taken to deal with the complications before injuries occur to the child or to the mother. Some of the commonly occurring complications that could go undetected until they pose a problem during the pregnancy or the delivery include:

  • Fetal macrosomia: Also known as cephalopelvic disproportion, this is a condition in which the size of the unborn child makes it difficult or impossible for normal passage through the birth canal.
  • Shoulder dystocia: This condition occurs when the child’s shoulder becomes wedged behind the pelvis of the mother and nerves in the shoulder are damaged by the doctor’s efforts to dislodge it.
  • Preeclampsia: This is a common condition in expectant mothers that results in high blood pressure that could pose a threat to the lives of both the mother and the unborn child if left untreated.

Some conditions associated with childbirth could appear to be a birth defect, but they might also be the result of negligence on the part of a doctor or other medical professional during. For example, cerebral palsy could be caused by a naturally occurring birth defect, but it could also be the result of oxygen deprivation experienced by the child during birth. An experienced personal injury lawyer understands these distinctions and has access to experts capable of identifying if the cause was negligence.

Trusted birth injury lawyers

The personal injury lawyers at Diamond & Diamond have years of experience successfully handling birth injury claims for compensation. Learn more about how we can help by contacting our 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or by visiting our website to speak to someone now about your claim. Consultations are free, and we have offices located throughout Ontario.

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