There are a variety of injuries that can occur to a mother or a newborn because of medical malpractice during the birth process. Unfortunately, these injuries often cause lifelong disabilities requiring significant medical care. Common scenarios that we are often asked to investigate because of possible medical malpractice during labor and delivery include:
- Cerebral palsy caused by encephalopathy
- Failure to timely diagnose and treat placental abruption
- Shoulder dystocia
- Trauma resulting from misuse of delivery devices
- Failure to timely diagnose and treat hypertension and/or preeclampsia
- Retained placenta
- Failure to timely diagnose and treat post-partum bleeding
Secrecy surrounds almost all medical errors. Studies demonstrate that physicians rarely tell patients when consequential medical mistakes occur. This problem is magnified when a traumatic birth injury occurs because infants are unable to communicate and the extent of dysfunction caused by a birth injury can go undetected because children must develop before their ability to function (and functional deficits) can be evaluated. For these reasons, parents of children who suffer neurological deficits as a result of a traumatic labor and delivery often do not even consider consulting an attorney until years after these events occur.
In New Jersey, the statute of limitations for injuries occurring at birth is within 2 years of the plaintiff’s 18th birthday if the child was born before 2004. The statute of limitations was shortened by the Patients First Act, however, and now these cases have to be filed by the child’s 13th birthday if the child was born after 2004.
If you think you or your child might have been injured as a result of negligence that occurred during labor and delivery, click the links above to learn more and call us to discuss whether we can help you.