Texas Medical Malpractice Lawyers Answer Common Birth Injury Questions

At Tome Rhodes Law Firm, our Texas trial lawyers have earned a national reputation for providing the high quality service and representation victims and families need following preventable injuries. This includes a noteworthy record of success in challenging cases involving medical malpractice and birth injuries.

Having handled these cases for many years, we are well aware that birth injuries can make for tragic and devastating setbacks. We also know the complex medical and legal issues involved can make it difficult for families to determine when they have the right to pursue legal action and file claims or lawsuits.

To help you gain a better understanding of birth injury lawsuits in Texas, our award-winning attorneys have answered a few of the most commonly asked questions we receive:

What is a birth injury?

In the most general terms, a birth injury is any physical injury (to a baby or to the mother) that happens at birth. While these injuries may happen at birth, they can be caused by various factors during pregnancy, labor, delivery, and even shortly after a child is born. Common birth injuries include brain injuries or brain damage, broken bones and lacerations, disfigurement, cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, shoulder dystocia, and a range of other disabilities.

What’s the difference between a birth injury and a birth defect?

Differentiating between a birth injury and a birth defect is important when it comes to understanding your right to file a birth injury lawsuit. That’s because birth injuries can be prevented in some cases, and may be caused by the negligence and mistakes of nurses, doctors, and other health care providers who treat pregnant mothers and oversee deliveries. On the other hand, birth defects are congenital in nature, meaning they are present at birth and may be caused by genetic mutations or other unknown causes. Birth defects don’t always give rise to lawsuits, but they may in limited cases, such as when mothers who exposed to toxic substances while they were pregnancy, including dangerous medications.

Was my child’s birth injury preventable?

This is one of the most important questions to ask when assessing your right to legal action, but it is difficult to answer without a personal evaluation of your situation and the medical issues involved. Generally, birth injury lawsuits are medical malpractice cases that focus on the conduct of medical professionals who care for and treat mothers and newborns. If these medical providers committed errors or were negligent in some way, and cause injuries as a result, those injuries may be considered preventable.

The standard for determining when a birth injury is preventable stems from determining whether or not medical professionals failed to uphold their “duty of care,” or the legal obligations they have when it comes to treating patients in accordance to acceptable medical guidelines and standards. If a reasonably skillful doctor would have been able to avoid the injuries you or your child suffered under the same or similar circumstances, there is a strong possibility that your child’s birth injury could and should have been prevented.

Do I have a case?

Again, whether or not you have a case depends on the individual circumstances involved. By assessing your pregnancy and delivery, the conduct of medical professionals involved, and determining if their conduct constituted medical negligence, we can help you determine the merits of your case. To help you gauge what types of injuries or situations give rise to birth injury cases, we’ll discuss a few common examples below:

  • Lacerations, fractures, brain damage, and other preventable injuries caused by the improper use of medical devices designed to facilitate the birthing process, such as forceps and vacuum extractors.
  • Oxygen deprivation, brain damage, and various disabilities that result when medical professionals fail to appropriately monitor fetus’s during delivery and / or detect signs of fetal distress that would warrant intervention and an appropriate course of action.
  • C-section injuries, including injuries that result when medical professionals fail to perform or delay performing C-sections when circumstances would warrant one.
  • Injuries that result from medical professionals failing to identify, diagnose, treat, and appropriate manage risks associated with various risk factors or complications, such as infections in mothers, gestational diabetes, large fetuses or multiple fetuses, preeclampsia, and more.
  • Injuries caused by the improper use of medications, including labor-inducing drugs like Pitocin that can make contractions more powerful and frequent, and which can cause complications when used incorrectly.

You can learn more about when it may be time to contact a birth injury attorney on our blog.

What can a birth injury lawsuit do?

A birth injury lawsuit, like any medical malpractice or personal injury lawsuit, is designed to hold negligent individuals and entities accountable for conduct that results in injuries. In terms of a birth injury, this means holding a negligent medical professional accountable for committing errors that lead to preventable birth injuries and what are often profound and far-reaching damages suffered by babies and families. When these cases are successful, they not only provide families with a sense of justice, but also with financial compensation for various damages they might have incurred, including:

  • Medical expenses
  • Future medical needs (i.e. specialized care, therapy, medical devices, and other medical needs a child will require as they age)
  • Lost income suffered by parents who must take time off work to care for an injured or disabled child, as well as lost earning potential when injuries prevent children or families from working.
  • Non-economic damages to account for the “intangible” losses families endure, such as their mental anguish, emotional pain and suffering, and more

Request a FREE Consultation with a Proven Texas Birth Injury Law Firm

Tom Rhodes Law Firm P.C. has become one of the most widely recognized law firms in Texas and the nation for a reason – we care about our clients, and we have the experience, resources, and determination to help them succeed in challenging cases. If you have questions about birth injuries, whether you may have a potential case, and how our firm can guide you through these difficult times and the legal journey ahead, please do not hesitate to reach out to our team for a free consultation. Our lawyers are ready to answer your questions personally. Call (505) 544-4088 or contact us online to get started!