An infant’s skull is not fully formed until well into their first year, and until the bones are fused and hardened, babies can face serious injuries from trauma to their head. Skull fractures can be caused by far lighter blows or pressure in infants than in children or adults, and delicate care is required. If your doctor fails to treat your baby with the soft touch they need and causes skull fractures or bulges while delivering the baby, you may be able to sue them for the birth injuries.
Talk to our Miami attorney for infant skull fractures or bulges during childbirth for help with your potential case. Our attorney at Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA may be able to file a lawsuit on behalf of you and your infant child for injuries sustained during childbirth, including skull fractures and bulges. To schedule a free legal consultation and learn more about filing your claim, call our office today at (305) 694-2676.
Causes of Skull Fracture Injuries from Childbirth
Doctors must use the proper care and skill when delivering a baby. Babies have very fragile skulls and bodies, and mishandling an infant can cause serious injuries. Many injuries sustained during the delivery can cause ongoing physical issues that may follow the baby through childhood and into their adult life. Conditions like cerebral palsy and other developmental disorders have been linked to brain injuries sustained during childbirth, but more immediate injuries like skull fractures and deformations can also occur.
When a baby is having trouble coming out, doctors have many options for how to make the delivery easier. They might have the mother push more, potentially causing unnecessary injury to the mother and the baby. Alternatively, they may turn to a C-section if the mother will be unable to deliver the baby through the birth canal. As an in-between measure, doctors may forego the risks of a C-section by using forceps to help guide and pull the baby through the birth canal.
Forceps are large metal tongs used to grip a baby by the head and help pull them out. In most cases, the pressure used should not be enough to harm the baby, and anything beyond minor depressions and pink or red marks on the skin should be avoided. In some instances of forceps use, the baby can suffer serious injuries to the head, skull, and brain.
Pressing too hard with forceps can deform the baby’s skull or fracture the bones of the skull. A baby’s skull is still soft, and the different bones of the skull typically have not yet fused by the time the baby is delivered. This means that any undue pressure on the skull could physically change the shape of the skull, potentially causing damage to the brain and ongoing discomfort and developmental issues for the child. If the pressure is hard enough, it could even break the bones in the skull and cause serious traumatic brain injury or death.
Suing a Doctor for Skull Fractures and Deformation During Birth
If your child does face injuries to the head, face, skull, or brain during childbirth, you may be entitled to sue your doctor for the injuries and results of that injury. Holding your doctor accountable for the injuries your child faced means filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against the physician and, potentially, against the hospital.
A medical malpractice lawsuit is based on a claim that the doctor was “negligent.” This means proving four major elements of your case to the court:
- The doctor owed you and your child a standard of care based on the reasonable expectations of how a doctor in the same situation should perform.
- The doctor breached that duty by failing to use the proper care or skill.
- Your baby suffered injuries because of the doctor’s breach of the standard of care.
- The baby and your family suffered damages the court can order compensation for.
Proving the standard of care typically means using a medical expert in your case. Your lawyer can hire a medical expert, typically a doctor of similar training and experience, who can testify to what the standard of care should have been and highlight the doctor’s mistakes to the jury. If you can convince the jury that your doctor provided negligent care, you should be entitled to any damages you can prove were related to the negligence.
In a medical malpractice lawsuit for birth injuries, you can claim some surprising damages. First, you may be able to claim damages for any medical care your child needs to treat their injuries. This can include not only the immediate medical costs, but also the ongoing costs of care for any developmental disorders or permanent injuries they suffered, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, and ongoing doctor’s visits. You can also claim damages for the future wages your child might miss in their adult life because of the permanent injuries or disabilities they faced from skull fractures or bulges as an infant.
You may also claim independent damages for pain and suffering. These damages will be based on the child’s suffering and projected future suffering caused by the injuries.
Call Our Miami Birth Injury and Skull Fracture Attorney for a Free Consultation
If your child suffered skull fractures, bulges, or deformations in the skull during their birth, contact Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today. Our Miami skull fracture during childbirth lawyer may be able to help you and your family understand if you have a case, what your case is worth, and how to proceed with a medical malpractice lawsuit. For a free legal consultation on your case, contact our office today at (305) 694-2676.