Birth Injury

Causes of Birth Injuries

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Birth injuries may be caused by anoxia, hypoxia, birth trauma, prolonged labor, failure to timely deliver, failure to deliver by c-section, excessive or prolonged use of Pitocin, failure to properly resuscitate, failure to give antibiotics, and a host of other causes.  Sometimes the doctors refer to the child who has suffered serious birth injuries as having “cerebral palsy,” a catch-all term that includes children with many types of brain injuries originating near the time of birth; associated diagnoses include HIE (hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy) and birth asphyxia.  Other children who experience a traumatic birth may escape brain injury, but suffer injury to the limbs, like Erb’s palsy, which is a nerve injury to the brachial plexus, leading to disability of the arm and shoulder.  In other cases, the baby is actually born uninjured, but then suffers injury as a result of the failure to treat conditions such as infection (sepsis or meningitis) or excessive jaundice (hyperbilirubinemia or kernicterus).

Not all birth injuries can be prevented.  However, some of these injuries are avoidable and would have been prevented by appropriate medical care.

If you are the parent, relative, or friend of a child who has suffered from a potentially avoidable birth injury, we welcome your call.  We will discuss your case in detail.  If we think it is justified, and you think it appropriate, we will obtain the medical records and review the details of the delivery and early treatment.

Statute of Limitations on Birth Injury Cases

It is not uncommon for the parents of a child to contact us years after the child’s birth.  Many of our clients are older children or teenagers by the time we undertake to represent them.  We fully understand why there may be delays in coming to the point of investigating the child’s claim.  If you fall into this category, you are not alone.  Similarly, it is not uncommon for us to hear from parents who have already received the opinion of a lawyer who declined your child’s case.  We welcome the opportunity to re-evaluate the claim.  These are life-changing injuries, and these potential claims deserve careful consideration.  From time to time, we have accepted birth injury cases that other lawyers have rejected and have pursued them to successful outcomes.  Even if you just want a second opinion, we welcome your call.

In most states, the statute of limitations for cases filed on behalf of injured children provides longer opportunities for filing than the periods that apply to adults.  In Missouri, these claims can be filed up until the child’s 20th birthday; in other states, the rules are different, and the filing time may be shorter, but most states allow at least 8 to 12 years.  Other time factors affect the ability to gather evidence and pursue a claim, including the question of whether older medical records are still available.  We have generally found that we can obtain the necessary records in most cases for at least 10 or 12 years and sometimes significantly longer than that.

If you believe your child has an injury that could have been prevented by good medical care, call us. No obligation.  We are pleased to talk with you.  Be assured that we do not take a case unless we feel strongly about it after our investigation and after conferring with experts in the field.  Let us put our experience to work for you.