The months leading up to the birth of a baby represent a time of tremendous excitement and hope. Sadly, when medical negligence in the labor and delivery suite occurs, that sense of great anticipation often turns to tragedy. Parents of children harmed in this way are certain to feel overwhelmed, frustrated and angry, and they may not know where to turn.
Because birth injuries often produce life-altering, frequently permanent disabilities and health concerns, it is crucial that the families of those victims pursue every dollar of available compensation.
A St. Petersburg birth injury lawyer can help bring order to chaos and heartbreak by pursuing full accountability from the medical professionals responsible for the losses sustained.
Categories of Birth Injuries
Birth injuries are extraordinarily unfair, because even the most uneventful pregnancies in which every possible safeguard was taken can be characterized by professional negligence at their conclusion.
The types of harm regularly resulting from labor and delivery mistakes are numerous, and fortunately, many of them are relatively minor and temporary in nature. However, there are other products of professional malpractice at the time of birth which can produce truly profound consequences for babies and their families. These injuries which warrant contact with a birth injury lawyer in St. Petersburg include:
- Spinal cord damage
- Brachial Plexus injury, or damage to the nerves surrounding the shoulder
- Cerebral Palsy and other lasting motor disabilities
- Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy
- Internal bleeding
- Erb’s Palsy
- Broken bones
Despite the fact that babies are born every day, all around the world, without difficulty, there are still unacceptable numbers of incidents in which the medical professionals entrusted to manage those births fail in their duties to meet the acceptable, and required standard of care.
When this happens, extremely severe harm can be the end result, with victims facing a lifetime of physical, emotional, and financial challenges. Some of the most commonly witnessed professional acts and omissions constituting labor and delivery negligence in St. Petersburg include:
- Improper or insufficient fetal heart rate monitoring
- Failure to appreciate and respond to fetal distress
- Mishandling cases of shoulder dystocia
- Negligent administration of Pitocin or other induction drugs
- Failure to promptly diagnose placental abruption, maternal infection, or entanglement of umbilical cord
- Failure to effectively communicate with other attending medical staff
- Dangerous delays in identifying need for delivery via c-section
Florida Birth Injury Laws
Parents of children harmed by suspected medical negligence at birth need to know that the law provides them with the opportunity to seek fair compensation for the damages they have suffered as well as those that will continue to mount in the future. However, as a birth injury lawyer in St. Petersburg will tell you, the time to file a claim is limited.
The provisions contained within Fla. Stat. § 95.11(4)(a),(b),(d) state that victims and their families generally have two years within the injury date to file suit. However, if detection of the injury was delayed, the period will be extended an additional two years from the date it was discovered.
If a medical professional is determined to have intentionally hidden information so that his or her malpractice could not be identified, families are given two years from the date of discovery up to a total of seven years after the injury event. A minor child who wishes to file suit on his or her own behalf is given until their eighth birthday to do so, no matter when the harm was in fact discovered.
Benefits of An Attorney
While it is true that no amount of monetary compensation will eliminate the heartache, betrayal, and difficulties stemming from labor and delivery malpractice, families need to know that resources may be available that can at least begin to lessen their burdens. Successful plaintiffs may be able to secure payment for medical bills, therapy, rehabilitation, special education services, emotional distress, physical pain, and other categories of loss.
As mentioned before, time is of the essence when it comes to ensuring that your family receives justice in the aftermath of medical negligence. To learn how a St. Petersburg birth injury lawyer can help secure the bright future your child deserves, contact us today.