Birth Injury Attorney in Tampa
The March of Dimes has given Florida a D+ report card for the quality of prenatal care. The report highlights some of the challenges mothers and infants face with getting adequate care in Florida. If your child has suffered a birth injury, the joy of welcoming a new member of the family can be overshadowed by fear and devastation.
Uncertainty over caring for your loved one can be emotionally and mentally taxing. At Darrigo & Diaz, we understand the challenges and fears you are facing. We strive to answer many of the questions about seeking compensation and finding the right birth injury attorney in Tampa.
Is There a Difference Between a Birth Defect and a Birth Injury?
A birth defect (also known as a congenital disability) is most commonly caused by genetics or other circumstances that occur as the child develops in-utero. Medications, drug/alcohol use, inadequate prenatal care, or injuries to the mother can cause birth defects and conditions in a child that would not have otherwise occurred.
A birth injury happens during the labor or birth process and causes the child to have a disability or condition in an otherwise healthy newborn. Birth injuries can result from medications given during labor, medical professionals’ errors during the labor and birthing process, and other causes. However, some types of injuries are unavoidable when complications arise.
How Common are Birth Injuries?
Birth injuries are relatively uncommon and have been steadily decreasing over the last few decades. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), 2013 showed a decrease in birth injuries of 1.9 per 1,000 births, compared to 2.6 per 1,000 births in 2004.
What are the Most Common Types of Birth Injuries?
There are many types of common birth injuries, and the severity can range from minor to life-altering for both the child and the family. The most common birth injuries include:
- Cerebral Palsy
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Erb’s Palsy
- Skeletal Fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Birth Asphyxia
- Bacterial Infections
- Fetal Stroke
- Internal Bleeding
What are the Most Common Causes of Birth Injuries?
There are generally two types of birth injuries: avoidable and unavoidable. Avoidable birth injuries are typically the result of medical malpractice. Unavoidable birth injuries occur when the natural circumstances surrounding the birth cause birth trauma. However, depending on the cause and type of injury, the line between avoidable and unavoidable may become blurred. Here are some examples of each type:
Common Causes of Avoidable Birth Injuries
- Cesarian section injuries or failing to perform a c-section when it was necessary.
- The use of vacuums, forceps, or other medical devices during delivery.
- Dangerous drugs that were given to the mother during gestation, labor, or birthing.
- Failure to diagnose infections or other conditions.
- Failure to diagnose or adequately treat high-risk pregnancies.
- Failure to detect signs of fetal distress or other issues during labor and delivery.
Common Causes of Unavoidable Birth Injuries
- The baby is large, causing difficulties in moving through the birth canal.
- Breech births, where the baby is not head-first.
- Premature birth.
- The umbilical cord becomes wrapped around the baby’s neck or body.
- The size or shape of the baby or the mother’s birth canal makes natural delivery difficult.
- Inefficient contractions from prolonged labor don’t adequately move the baby through the birth canal.
- The mother is morbidly obese.
My Child Suffered a Birth Injury. Can I Sue?
It depends on what caused the birth injury. If it was an unavoidable injury, you could not sue for damages. However, if the injury was caused by medical malpractice, you may be able to seek compensation. To successfully recover damages, your attorney must be able to prove the four main elements of medical malpractice.
What is the Statute of Limitations for a Birth Injury Lawsuit in Florida?
Generally, a birth injury lawsuit must be filed within two years of the injury. However, due to the complex nature of birth injuries and when symptoms of injuries become apparent, you may be entitled to a more extended period to file your claim. It is best to contact us. We can help you determine if you still have time to file a claim.to discuss your case confidentially
Who Will get the Money from a Birth Injury Lawsuit?
The amount you can seek to recover from a birth injury lawsuit varies due to many factors. Typically, you can file a claim for economic damages, such as current and future medical bills. You may also be able to file a claim for noneconomic damages such as loss of enjoyment of life and pain and suffering.
There is an additional resource for families of birth injury victims called the Florida Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Plan. Visit the NICA site to learn more about eligibility, benefits, and other resources for the families and victims of birth injuries.
Speak with an Expert Birth Injury Attorney
Here at Darrigo & Diaz, we specialize in all manners of personal injury and wrongful death cases. Since 1999, we have been a reliable advocate for the victims of birth injuries and their victims. We encourage you to connect with us by calling (813) 774-3341 for an immediate free, phone consultation with an expert birth injury attorney or by setting up a complimentary consultation with us online.