Birth Injuries in Georgia
Securing fair and full compensation for victims of birth injuries
Expecting parents trust that healthcare providers and supporting staff at hospitals, birthing centers, and any other labor and delivery setting will provide the best care possible. When that trust is broken, and a healthcare provider acts negligently, it can have dire and lasting consequences.
Birth injuries happen when someone commits malpractice, and that negligence harms a newborn baby. The malpractice can occur either during the pregnancy or during the delivery itself – either way, drastically impacting an infant’s chance at a normal life. Our expert medical malpractice attorneys at Bell Law Firm can help Georgia victims and their families when a child has been born with a medical condition because of malpractice. We have the medical and legal expertise to get you the fair and full compensation your family deserves.
What is a birth injury?
A birth injury most commonly refers to physical harm or damage that occurs to a baby during the process of labor and delivery. These injuries can happen for various reasons, ranging from mild to severe.
What are examples of common birth injuries?
Common types of birth injuries include:
1. Brachial Plexus Injury: Damage to the nerves that control the arm and hand muscles. This can occur when there is difficulty delivering the baby’s shoulder.
2. Cerebral Palsy: A group of disorders that affect movement and muscle coordination. Cerebral palsy can result from brain damage before, during, or shortly after birth.
3. Fractures: Bone fractures may occur during the birthing process, especially if there is a difficult delivery or the baby is in an unusual position.
4. Intracranial Hemorrhage: Bleeding within the baby’s skull, which can result from trauma during delivery.
5. Facial Nerve Injury: Damage to the facial nerve during delivery, which may lead to facial paralysis.
6. Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy: Oxygen deprivation to the baby’s brain, which can result in brain damage.
How common are birth injuries?
The occurrence of severe birth injuries is relatively low, and most deliveries result in healthy babies. However, the prevalence of birth injuries can vary depending on various factors, like the overall health of the mother and baby.
Certain risk factors may increase the likelihood of birth injuries. These factors include:
- Large Birth Weight
- Prolonged Labor
- Breech Presentation
- Use of Assisted Delivery Techniques
- Maternal Health Conditions
How do I know if I have a potential birth injury case?
It’s important to note that not all birth injuries are avoidable or the result of medical negligence. Some birth injuries are inherent risks associated with the birthing process. However, in cases where medical negligence, improper care, or mistakes during delivery contribute to a birth injury, you may choose to explore legal action.
Determining whether you have a potential birth injury case can be complex – which is why Bell Law Firm is here to help.
How long after birth can you sue for malpractice in Georgia?
The statute of limitations for filing a birth injury lawsuit in Georgia is seven years. The clock usually starts ticking from the date of the alleged malpractice or the discovery of the injury.
Because of the time limit, it’s crucial to consult with a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible if you believe you have a potential case. Attorneys can provide guidance on the specific laws in your jurisdiction, assess the details of your situation, and help you understand the applicable deadlines for filing a lawsuit.
Can you sue a hospital for traumatic birth?
Yes, it is possible to sue a hospital for a traumatic birth if there is evidence of medical malpractice or negligence that contributed to the trauma. Medical malpractice lawsuits can be filed against healthcare providers, including hospitals, when there is a breach of the standard of care, resulting in harm to the patient.
Here are some common scenarios where a hospital might be held liable for a traumatic birth:
1. Negligent Care: If the hospital staff, including the doctors, nurses, or other healthcare professionals, provided care that fell below the accepted standard, and this negligence led to trauma during childbirth.
2. Inadequate Supervision: If there was a lack of supervision or inadequate monitoring during labor and delivery, and this contributed to the trauma.
3. Failure to Respond to Complications: If the medical team failed to respond appropriately to complications during childbirth, leading to avoidable harm to the mother or baby.
4. Inadequate Staff Training: If the hospital staff was not adequately trained, leading to mistakes or substandard care during childbirth.
5. Faulty Equipment or Facilities: If the hospital’s equipment or facilities were faulty or inadequate, and this contributed to the traumatic birth.
To pursue a lawsuit, you need to establish that the hospital or its staff breached the standard of care, that this breach caused the trauma, and that the trauma resulted in damages such as medical expenses, pain and suffering, or long-term consequences.
How do I sue for a birth injury in Georgia?
If you or a loved one has been harmed by substandard care, you may want to file a lawsuit. Here’s how to start your medical malpractice case.
1. Find a qualified attorney with a history of success in medical negligence cases and experience taking cases all the way to trial. The greater the harm, the more providers, employers and insurers will get involved. That’s when you need the most qualified, experienced counsel.
2. Obtain and review medical records. Once the attorneys have evaluated your case, they should help you obtain certified medical records from the healthcare organization where the negligence occurred. Qualified attorneys like Bell Law Firm will then review the medical records closely in consultation with medical experts to identify the precise actions and inactions that resulted in negligence.
3. Obtain an expert affidavit. Once you and your attorneys have identified what went wrong, the case should be evaluated by qualified healthcare professionals (experts) who are willing to testify on your behalf. Some states, including Georgia, will reject the lawsuit if it is not supported by an expert’s sworn affidavit.
4. File the complaint. A complaint is a document that launches the lawsuit. It should tell your story clearly and thoroughly based on the medical records and other evidence. A complaint should also spell out each instance of alleged negligence as a “claim” or a “cause of action.” That way, the court and defendants know you’ve done your homework and are backed by qualified attorneys and experts.
Bell Law Firm is ready to help you receive full and fair compensation. If you believe you have a birth injury case, do not delay in contacting Bell Law Firm for a free consultation. Call us today at 404-249-6768 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation.