Mistakes by a medical professional before, during, or after birth are extremely dangerous for the mother and the child. Birth injuries can lead to various complications, including permanent disabilities or death.

If you or a loved one were harmed by a healthcare practitioner’s failure to use reasonable care during the child delivery process, you should speak with a Columbia birth injury lawyer. A compassionate medical malpractice attorney with Whetstone Perkins & Fulda could help you file a claim for fair compensation.

How Birth Injuries Impact The Child and Mother

Birth injuries consist of a broad category of complications both to the mother and the child and typically happen due to a medical professional’s breach of the appropriate standard of care.

Certain medical procedures during the childbirth process can place a mother at greater risk of injury. For example, a cesarean delivery or VBAC could potentially increase the likelihood of harm.

Birth injuries can cause further problems and even lead to death in situations where a mother experiences an extreme amount of blood loss. In addition, specific incidents can permanently impact a woman’s ability to have children in the future. Some common injuries to mothers during delivery include the following:

  • Vaginal tears
  • Uterine ruptures
  • Pelvic fractures or injuries
  • Incontinence
  • Postpartum hemorrhaging

Similarly, injuries to a baby during the birthing process can permanently impact their life, such as:

  • Bruising or fractures
  • Brachial palsy and other injuries to the spinal cord or limbs
  • Brain injuries like cephalohematoma
  • Medical equipment injuries
  • Subconjunctival hemorrhaging or injuries to the child’s eyes
  • Cerebral palsy or other neurological disorders

A Columbia attorney could investigate the incident that led to you or your loved one’s birth injuries and collect the necessary documentation to file a claim.

Did Negligence Cause the Birth Injury?

When a mother or child experiences a birth injury that was caused by a medical professional’s mistakes, the injured party can potentially pursue a claim for medical malpractice.

Healthcare professionals are guilty of malpractice if their actions or omissions do not align with a reasonable standard of conduct for what medical staff should do in a particular situation, pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. § 15-79-110.

A doctor could be found guilty of malpractice if they failed to account for a mother’s pre-existing health condition, such as obesity, high blood pressure, or diabetes. Some other scenarios where malpractice by a doctor may occur include:

  • Ineffectively monitoring fetal growth or vital signs
  • Prescribing the wrong medication
  • Using excessive force when pulling the baby during birth
  • Incorrectly using medical tools such as forceps
  • Failing to perform a cesarean when necessary

In addition, healthcare professionals could commit medical malpractice leading up to the birth, like negligently advising a mother to undertake a cesarean when a pre-existing condition could lead to an increased risk of complications.

Procedural Requirements For Malpractice Claims From Birth Injuries

If you plan to pursue a medical malpractice claim due to a birth injury in Columbia, the state has several procedural requirements before you can file. These measures are intended to discourage frivolous lawsuits.

You must notify the medical professional of your intention to file a lawsuit, pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. § 15-79-125, and the notice must specify details about the basis for your claim. The parties must also participate in mediation within 90 to 120 days of the notice of intent to file suit.

Additionally, you must file an affidavit of an expert witness medical professional, pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. § 15-36-100. The expert should describe at least one action from the case demonstrating the healthcare practitioner’s failure to use a generally accepted standard of reasonable care.

Statute of Limitations on Birth Injury Claims

Individuals only have three years from the date of injury to file a medical malpractice claim under the state’s statute of limitations, pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. § 15-3-545. However, when the medical provider is associated with a government entity, the statute of limitations is only two years. A knowledgeable lawyer in Columbia could help you file your birth injury claim within the legal deadline.

Speak With a Columbia Birth Injury Attorney Today

Along with physical harm, birth injuries can take a negative toll on an individual’s mental health. You could recover damages for lost wages, medical expenses, emotional distress, and other losses you endured.

A Columbia birth injury lawyer with Whetstone Perkins & Fulda is ready and available to speak with you about your case. Contact a dedicated personal injury attorney as soon as possible to preserve your claim.

Whetstone Perkins & Fulda