Dallas Birth Injury Attorney
We Fight for Victims of Childbirth Malpractice
Aldous \ Walker's birth injury lawyers fight for victims of negligence-related birth injuries. If this happened to you, we invite you to contact our law firm today for an evaluation of your legal rights and options, or continue reading to learn more about childbirth trauma.
Call (214) 307-6307 to get in touch with us!
What Is Birth Injury?
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), birth injury is the impairment of the infant’s body function or structure due to adverse influences that occurred at birth. This can also be used interchangeably with birth trauma, which is defined as a physical injury sustained by an infant in the process of birth.
Birth Injury Causes
Birth injury causes generally fall into two camps: those caused by physical trauma and those caused by oxygen deprivation. While birth injuries have a variety of causes that vary drastically from case to case, they typically all have one thing in common: they began with a childbirth complication that was mismanaged or handled improperly. We’ve listed some commonly cited birth injury causes below:
- Improper use of forceps or vacuum extractor
- Fetal monitoring failures
- Abnormal birth presentation or position (ex: breech or shoulder first)
- Large birth weight
- Umbilical cord prolapse or strangulation
- Failure to progress / prolonged delivery
- Pitocin (induction medication) mistakes
- Vaginal delivery in mothers with small pelvis
- Maternal infections such as Group B Streptococcus
This is not a comprehensive list, and any one of these factors on their own does not guarantee a birth injury outcome. It is the mismanagement of these types of conditions that can lead to an injury, and an injury during childbirth can lead to serious medical conditions, permanent disabilities, and disfigurement.
Conditions Caused by Birth Injuries
In some cases, an injury during childbirth does not cause any lasting damage. Other times, the injury leads to a permanent injury with lifelong consequences – physical, emotional, and financial. Some of those conditions include:
Cerebral palsy is a congenital disorder affecting a person’s movement. While it can be caused by oxygen deprivation during labor and delivery, it has other causes.
Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)
Most commonly caused by asphyxia during birth. Asphyxia can be caused by remaining too long in the birth canal, umbilical cord strangulation, and more.
Paralysis resulting from injury to the brachial plexus group of nerves in the arm/shoulder. This can be caused by excessive pulling during delivery, shoulder-first presentations, or vaginal delivery when cesarean would have been safer.
These and other conditions resulting from birth injuries can impose a financial burden that most families cannot afford on their own. By way of a birth injury lawsuit against the negligent party, the family could pursue financial compensation to cover injury-related expenses.
Liability of Doctors and Hospitals
If something goes wrong during childbirth, and you or your child are injured, you may have legal grounds to file a claim to sue the doctor, hospital, or healthcare organization responsible for that harm. Who to sue varies from case to case, and is best determined by an attorney experienced in this area of litigation.
Birth Injuries vs. Birth Defects
“Birth injury” and “birth defect” are commonly confused terms. While they can produce similar outcomes, they differ in substance. As we explained, a birth injury is trauma suffered by an infant during childbirth. Birth defect describes a physical or chemical defect present at birth, and is usually either inherited genetically or induced by environmental factors. There is not usually a legal cause of action in birth defect cases, unless the environmental cause is something like a dangerous pharmaceutical, which is a different type of litigation entirely.
Standard of Care in Birth Injury Cases
One phrase you will hear often in birth injury litigation is “the standard of care for physicians.” This simply means that the physician breached a duty of care. It is conduct that misses the mark of acceptable medical care as set by the medical community at large. In birth injury trials, one thing the jury will decide is whether the physician or hospital’s conduct was reasonable given the customary practice among other physicians and hospitals.
Statute of Limitations in Texas
In Texas, the statute of limitations in many civil injury cases is two years (from the date of injury, date injury was discovered, or from the date of death). Application of the limitations statute for bringing lawsuits is complex and best evaluated by an attorney familiar with civil trial law. For the most accurate determination of how long an individual has before their ability to bring a civil action expires, contact an attorney at Aldous \ Walker, LLP.
Birth Injury Statistics
According to the National Vital Statistics Reports, a division of the CDC, Texas does not specifically report on birth injuries. These data reflect birth injury statistics on a national scale, or general childbirth data from the Texas Department of State Health Services.
- In 2006, nearly 157,700 injuries to mothers and newborns occurred during childbirth and may have been potentially avoided
- Infants delivered by cesarean are at a greater risk for different types of birth trauma than infants delivered vaginally
- In 2012, about 12% of all births in Texas were premature and about 1% were vaginal deliveries in mothers with prior cesareans. Both these factors are known risks that, if managed improperly, can lead to birth injury
- Injury occurs in 1.1% of cesarean sections in the Western World
Legal Representation for Birth Injury Cases
Aldous \ Walker, LLP represents those harmed by the negligence or wrongdoing of others. If this describes what happened to you, we invite you to contact our Dallas birth injury lawyers for a free evaluation of your legal rights and options! We’ve handled birth injury cases successfully, and are experienced in medical negligence cases.