Birth injuries can turn the birth of a baby into a need for a Kansas City birth injury lawyer. A “birth injury” describes any injury to a newborn baby or the baby’s mother that occurs before, during, or shortly after delivery. Doctors who perform delivery procedures must meet the acceptable standard of care for the situation and limit risk to babies and their mothers. When they fail to do so, they will likely absorb liability for the resulting damages.
Free Consultation with a Local Birth Injury Attorney In Kansas City
When birth injuries happen in the Kansas City, MO, area, the birth injury attorneys at Dickerson Oxton, LLC are here to provide comprehensive, reliable legal counsel. We take the time to get to know every client to ensure we maximize our clients’ recoveries. Our birth injury and birth defect personal injury attorneys are here to provide the legal advice and legal assistance to help assist those in need of birth injury legal assistance.
Our personal injury attorneys offer insight to your individual case and have more than a decade of personal injury experience in the Kansas City market. Contact our team today at to schedule a free consultation with a Kansas City birth injury lawyer, or for more information about legal advice pertaining to birth injury laws in Missouri.
How Can a Kansas City Birth Injury Attorney Help?
It is critical to talk to a Kansas City birth injury attorney after a doctor diagnoses your child with an injury such as a broken bone or nerve damage, or a permanent condition such as cerebral palsy. A lawyer may find evidence of medical malpractice. Filing a medical malpractice claim in Missouri or Kansas could lead to financial compensation for your child’s current and future needs, including disability accommodations and medical expenses. You will need an attorney’s assistance in properly navigating a medical malpractice claim in Kansas City, however.
Birth injury law is a complex practice area with many related laws in Kansas City. You may have to fulfill an affidavit of merit or medical expert requirement, for example, to succeed in obtaining financial compensation. A birth injury attorney could take care of the claims process for you and your family, from identifying the defendant to bringing your cause of action before the state’s deadline. Then, your lawyer could help you prove negligence, malpractice or fault through a preponderance of the evidence. Working with a birth injury lawyer could make the claims process easier on you while you focus on your child’s future.
What Are Some Frequent Causes of Birth Injuries?
Birth injuries are not always connected to medical malpractice or negligence. In some cases, they are natural occurrences due to unavoidable or unforeseen complications with pregnancy, labor or delivery. If the health care practitioners involved in the birth acted according to accepted medical standards, they might not be liable if a birth injury occurs. If, however, someone breaches a duty of care, the family may have grounds for a malpractice claim.
- Failure to diagnose or treat. Most birth injuries occur during complicated pregnancies or deliveries, such as when the baby is large or in a breech position. A physician’s failure to diagnose the mother with maternal conditions that could impact the pregnancy, such as diabetes, could further complicate matters. In these cases, a birth injury could also come down to a physician’s failure to properly handle a complication or emergency.
- Lack of communication. Failure to communicate while in the delivery room could lead to mistakes that injure the mother or child. Communication between everyone involved in a mother’s pregnancy and delivery is key. The obstetrician, gynecologist, attending physician, nurses, surgeons and others involved should follow protocols and communicate with each other to address the patient’s needs.
- Medical product liability. Defective medical products, devices and/or medications can compromise a pregnancy and cause birth injuries. Certain defective drugs, for example, could lead to serious complications during pregnancy that cause birth defects. The manufacturer of a defective medical product could be liable for a birth injury whether or not it was negligent.
- Medical negligence. Negligence is a practitioner’s failure to fulfill the standards he or she reasonably should have during a patient’s treatment. It can refer to acts of carelessness or unintentional mistakes, such as incorrectly using forceps or vacuums. Negligence during delivery could lead to preventable injuries, including infant brain damage.
- Medical malpractice. Malpractice refers to a practitioner knowingly doing something that could hurt the patient without any care or regard for the patient’s safety. Malpractice goes beyond negligence and into wantonness, maliciousness or fraud. A doctor could be guilty of medical malpractice if he or she was reckless in the care of the mother and/or baby, causing the birth injury.
A professional in the health care field could make many mistakes and oversights that ultimately cause birth injuries. If your child suffered a birth injury and you suspect the fault of the physician or someone else involved in your pregnancy or labor, contact Dickerson Oxton Law Firm for a free case evaluation right away. We can investigate your case for signs of medical negligence or malpractice. Then, we may be able to file a claim to damages on your behalf using the evidence collected.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Birth Injury?
Depending on the exact circumstances of the birth injury, several distinct parties may be responsible for a birth injury. Some of these professions may include:
Medical Doctors – Doctors, including obstetricians involved in a birth injury, can be held responsible if a plaintiff is able to prove that doctors that were involved in a birth injury, breached their duty of care.
Nurses – Nurses that helped deliver the baby may be liable if they breached the duty of care.
Anesthesiologists – If an anesthesiologist incorrectly administers medication that the mother or baby is allergic to, the anesthesiologist may be held responsible. It is
Pharmaceutical Companies – In certain instances, pharmaceutical companies may be named as a defendant in a case. Drug manufacturers are legally obligated to disclose any potential side effects of their medications. In certain instances however, these companies may not inform doctors of these potential side effects.
Hospitals & Medical Facilities – In certain situations, a medical professional may have acted in negligence. If this is the case, a hospital needs to examine the credentials associated with that medical professional. If a member of the hospital is unqualified for their assigned duties, the hospital or medical facility can be held liable.
How Long Do I Have to File a Birth Injury Case?
There are time limits to file a case for birth injuries. These time limits, legally known as the statute of limitations, can vary from one state to the next. Below are the statute of limitations for birth injuries in Kansas and Missouri.
Kansas – In Kansas, the Statute of Limitations is two years from the date the injury occurred or was discovered.
Missouri – In Missouri, the Statute of Limitations is two years from the date the injury occurred. If the birth injury resulted in the death of the infant, there is a three year statute of limitations associated if the newborn child suffered a wrongful death.
If you suspect a birth injury has occurred, it is best to contact an experienced birth injury attorney as soon as possible. Our lawyers help outline the options available to victims and their families that have suffered injuries during delivery.
Winning a Birth Injury Case
As in any medical malpractice lawsuit, a birth injury case will hinge on the appropriateness of the defendant’s actions for the given situation based on the consensus of the medical community. If the plaintiff and his or her Kansas City birth injury lawyers can prove that a defendant failed to meet the acceptable standard of care for delivery, the plaintiffs can recover compensation for their damages. In birth injury cases, these damages often include medical expenses for additional or corrective procedures, pain and suffering, and long-term disability costs for permanent injuries and reduced quality of life. Oftentimes, hospitals absorb liability in birth injury malpractice claims. Consult with a hospital malpractice attorney in Kansas City today to build your claim against a hospital.
Types of Birth Injuries
If your baby was born with any of these mentioned issues and you have reason to suspect negligence, speak with a Kansas City medical malpractice lawyer experienced in birth injuries. Birth injuries describe multiple issues, some of which leave newborn babies with lifelong complications or disabilities.
Some of the most common birth injuries include:
- Cerebral palsy. Oxygen deprivation or other forms of brain damage can cause cerebral palsy, a neurological condition that typically impacts motor skills and brain function. Children born with cerebral palsy experience a wide spectrum of symptoms. Some children can carry on with daily life in much the same way as other children with minimal intervention of medical devices while others will require more assistance with daily life and tasks like walking, eating, and normal daily activities.
- Brachial plexus or Erb’s palsy. Stretching a baby’s neck or shoulder too far during delivery can result in this condition, which often leads to numbness and reduced motor function in the affected arm. Infants with Erb’s palsy often experience developmental delays in the affected part of the body, but may overcome this difficulty later with physical therapy or surgery.
- Bone fractures. A delivering doctor who is too rough with a newborn or places excessive pressure on sensitive areas can cause bone fractures. If a doctor assesses that a bone fracture is a serious risk, he or she should take appropriate action to prevent such an injury, such as suggesting a Caesarean section delivery.
- Surgical instrument injuries. Forceps and vacuum extraction tubes can cause bruising and lacerations. Cephalohematoma is a common example of an injury from a vacuum tube that causes blood to pool between the skull and cranial skin.
- Nerve damage. Newborn babies are incredibly fragile, and twisting, stretching, or exerting too much pressure on different parts of their tiny bodies can cause serious nerve damage. Damaged nerves will sometimes repair themselves over time, but completely severed nerves will either require advanced surgical remedies or result in permanent nerve damage.
Contact a Kansas City Birth Injury Attorney
We know how difficult these situations can be and our law firm is here to help. To schedule a free consultation with a Kansas City personal injury attorney, please call us at (816) 268-1960 or complete our free online form.