The Fight for Fairness: Pursuing Birth Injury Compensation

Statistics from the CDC show that 6 out of 1,000 infants born in the US suffer severe birth injuries, ranging from developmental disorders to neurological issues and broken bones. The Alvarez Law Firm have successfully represented numerous birth complication and injury cases over the years across the US and are ready to serve clients in Nevada. Our dedicated birth injury lawyers have the experience, knowledge, and resources to navigate your case toward a positive resolution.

Examples of Serious Birth Injuries

Here are some examples of serious birth injuries that can have lasting impacts on both the child and their family:

  • Cerebral Palsy: This neurological disorder affects muscle coordination and movement, often resulting in difficulties with mobility, speech, and daily activities.
  • Erb's Palsy: This condition is characterized by weakness or paralysis in the arm due to nerve damage during birth, typically occurring when excessive force is applied to the baby's head or shoulders during delivery.
  • Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE): HIE occurs when there is a lack of oxygen and blood flow to the baby's brain during labor or delivery, leading to brain damage and potential long-term neurological impairments.
  • Brachial Plexus Injuries: These injuries involve damage to the nerves that control movement and sensation in the arms and hands, often caused by excessive stretching or pulling during delivery.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: Injuries to the spinal cord during birth can result in paralysis, loss of sensation, and other lifelong challenges depending on the severity and location of the injury.
  • Facial Nerve Injuries: Damage to the facial nerves during birth can lead to facial paralysis or weakness, affecting the baby's ability to smile, close their eyes, or make facial expressions.
  • Bone Fractures: Fractures, particularly of the collarbone or arm, can occur during difficult deliveries or when excessive force is used, causing pain and potential complications during healing.
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What Are Some Common Causes of Nevada Birth Injuries that Count as Medical Malpractice?

Malpractice, a type of medical negligence, occurs when healthcare professionals or institutions, such as doctors, specialists, and hospitals, do not deliver care up to the recognized standards, causing injury, sickness, or deterioration in the patient's condition.

Here are some common causes of birth injuries that may be considered medical malpractice in Nevada:

  • Delayed or Improper Response to Fetal Distress: Medical professionals are trained to recognize signs of fetal distress during labor and delivery. Failure to respond promptly and appropriately to these signs, such as abnormal heart rate or oxygen levels, can lead to oxygen deprivation and brain damage in the baby.
  • Misuse of Assisted Delivery Tools: Tools like forceps or vacuum extractors sometimes assist in difficult deliveries. However, improper use or excessive force with these tools can cause injuries such as skull fractures, nerve damage, or brain hemorrhages in the newborn.
  • Failure to Perform a Timely Cesarean Section (C-Section): In cases of fetal distress, placental abruption, or other complications, a timely C-section may be necessary to prevent harm to the baby. Delaying or failing to perform a C-section when medically indicated can result in serious birth injuries.
  • Medication Errors: Administering incorrect medications or dosage during labor and delivery can have adverse effects on both the mother and the baby. For example, medications that cause excessive uterine contractions can lead to oxygen deprivation in the baby.
  • Inadequate Monitoring During Pregnancy or Labor: Proper monitoring of the mother and baby's health throughout pregnancy and during labor is crucial to identifying and addressing potential complications. Neglecting to monitor vital signs, fetal heart rate, or other key indicators can contribute to birth injuries.
  • Failure to Diagnose and Treat Maternal Infections: Certain infections during pregnancy, such as Group B Streptococcus (GBS) or sexually transmitted infections, can pose risks to the baby if not correctly diagnosed and treated. Failure to screen for and manage maternal infections can lead to birth injuries or complications in the newborn.
  • Improper Handling of High-Risk Pregnancies: High-risk pregnancies due to factors like maternal age, pre-existing medical conditions, or multiple gestations require specialized care and monitoring. Negligence in managing these high-risk situations can result in birth injuries.

How Do I Prove Medical Malpractice in a Birth Injury Lawsuit?

Proving medical malpractice in a birth injury lawsuit in Nevada involves several key steps and considerations:

Establishing the Standard of Care

The first step in proving medical malpractice is establishing the standard of care that should have been provided. This involves showing what a reasonable and competent healthcare provider in a similar situation would have done.

Demonstrating Breach of Standard of Care

Once the standard of care is established, you need to demonstrate how the healthcare provider or institution breached this standard. This could involve showing specific actions or omissions that deviated from accepted medical practices.

Linking Breach to Injury

It's essential to establish a direct link between the healthcare provider's breach of the standard of care and the birth injury or harm suffered by the baby or mother. This often requires expert medical testimony to explain how the negligence led to the specific injury.

Negotiating or Litigating

Depending on the circumstances of the case, you may have the option to negotiate a settlement with the healthcare provider's insurance company or proceed to trial. Your Alvarez Law Firm attorney can advise you on the best course of action based on the specifics of your case.

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Who Can Be Held Responsible for a Newborn Birth Injury?

Determining who can be held responsible for a newborn birth injury in Nevada involves examining the circumstances surrounding the injury and identifying the parties whose actions or negligence contributed to or caused the harm.

Healthcare Providers

Healthcare providers such as doctors, nurses, midwives, and obstetricians can be held responsible if their actions or omissions during pregnancy, labor, or delivery result in a birth injury. This can include:

  • Failure to monitor the mother and baby's health
  • Misdiagnosis of medical conditions
  • Improper use of medical tools or medications
  • Delayed or inappropriate medical interventions

Hospitals and Medical Facilities

Hospitals and medical facilities can be held accountable for birth injuries if they fail to:

  • Maintain proper standards of care
  • Adequately train and supervise staff
  • Ensure sufficient staffing levels
  • Implement policies and protocols to prevent medical errors and negligence

Other Parties

  • Pharmaceutical Companies: In cases where a birth injury is caused by a defective medication or medical device administered during pregnancy or childbirth, the pharmaceutical company responsible for manufacturing or distributing the product may be held liable for the harm caused.
  • Other Healthcare Professionals: Other healthcare professionals involved in the mother's prenatal care, such as radiologists, genetic counselors, and laboratory technicians, may also be held responsible if their negligence contributes to a birth injury.
  • Third Parties: In some cases, third parties unrelated to the healthcare provider or facility may be held responsible for a newborn birth injury. For example, the manufacturer may be liable if a medical device used during delivery is defective and causes harm.
  • Government Agencies: In rare cases involving government-run healthcare facilities or federally funded healthcare programs, government agencies may be held responsible for birth injuries if their negligence or actions contribute to the harm.

What Compensation Can I Get for a Birth Injury Lawsuit in Nevada?

Compensation, also known as damages, can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case, the severity of the birth injury, and the resulting impact on the child and family. Here are some types of compensation that you may be entitled to seek in a birth injury lawsuit in Nevada:

Medical Expenses

This includes current and future medical costs related to the birth injury, such as:

  • Hospital bills
  • Surgeries
  • Medications
  • Rehabilitation therapies
  • Assistive devices
  • Ongoing medical care

Lost Income

If the birth injury requires parents to take time off work to care for the child or if it affects their ability to work in the future, compensation may be sought for lost wages or earning capacity.

Pain and Suffering

This encompasses physical pain, emotional distress, mental anguish, and reduced quality of life experienced by the child and family members due to the birth injury.

Disability and Impairment

Compensation may be awarded for permanent disabilities, impairments, or limitations caused by the birth injury, including:

  • Loss of mobility
  • Cognitive deficits
  • Speech impairments
  • Sensory impairments

Rehabilitation and Therapy

Costs associated with rehabilitative therapies can be included in the compensation, such as:

  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Behavioral therapy 

Special Education Needs

If the birth injury results in educational challenges or the need for special education services, compensation may cover the costs of:

  • Specialized schooling
  • Tutors
  • Assistive technology
  • Educational support services

Home Modifications

If the birth injury requires modifications to the home environment to accommodate the child's needs, such as wheelchair ramps, accessible bathrooms, or adaptive equipment, the costs of these modifications may be included in the compensation.

Punitive Damages

In cases of extreme negligence or intentional misconduct by the responsible party, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar conduct in the future.

Can I File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit for Birth Injuries in Nevada?

Yes, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit for birth injuries in Nevada under certain circumstances. Typically, the personal representative or executor of the deceased child's estate has the legal standing to bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of the child's beneficiaries, such as surviving parents, siblings, or other family members. It's essential to be aware of the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Nevada. In Nevada, the general statute of limitations for medical malpractice, including birth injuries, is typically two years from the date of the alleged medical negligence or from the date when the injury was discovered or should have been discovered with reasonable diligence. In certain situations, the statute of limitations may be tolled or paused, such as when the injured party is a minor. In cases involving birth injuries to a child, the statute of limitations may be extended until the child reaches a certain age, usually 18 years old, to allow the child to file a lawsuit within a reasonable timeframe after reaching adulthood.

Nevada law provides some exceptions or extensions to the statute of limitations in specific circumstances. Your case may be limited in the time you can file it so that is why it is important to contact your Nevada  attorney to review as soon as possible. 

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Seek Justice with The Alvarez Law Firm for Birth Injuries in Nevada

Mistakes made during pregnancy or childbirth can transform a joyous occasion into a devastating one. The highly regarded birth injury lawyers at The Alvarez Law Firmhave assisted many families in receiving the appropriate compensation from negligent healthcare providers and are ready to help in Nevada.

"Integrity for justice" is not just a slogan; it's the cornerstone of all our endeavors. Our firm offers thoughtful and empathetic legal advocacy to assist you in seeking accountability from healthcare providers for your child's injuries. Contact us today to arrange a free and confidential consultation with one of our skilled Nevada medical malpractice lawyers.

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