New Mexico Attorneys Representing Families in Birth Injury Lawsuits
During a natural birth, an infant must travel through the birth canal. While many babies are delivered via natural birth without issues, during some births, shoulder dystocia will occur, and medical intervention will be needed to help the baby pass through the birth canal. Shoulder dystocia can lead to substantial and lasting injuries, and a doctor who fails to prevent harm caused by shoulder dystocia may be liable for medical malpractice. If your child suffered a birth injury due to shoulder dystocia, it is advisable to talk to a knowledgeable attorney regarding the evidence that you must present to recover damages. The capable New Mexico birth injury lawyers at the Branch Law Firm have ample experience advocating for families harmed by devastating birth injuries, and we will work diligently to help you protect your interests.
Complications of Shoulder Dystocia
Shoulder dystocia occurs when a baby’s shoulders become lodged above the mother’s pubic bone after the baby’s head is delivered. Shoulder dystocia is generally diagnosed when a baby is not fully delivered within one minute of the delivery of the baby’s head, and it is a medical emergency that requires immediate intervention. Factors that increase the risk of shoulder dystocia include maternal obesity, gestational diabetes, large infants, epidural anesthesia, and operative vaginal delivery. Complications that often occur in babies due to shoulder dystocia include Erb’s palsy, cerebral palsy, fractures of the collar bone or arm, nerve damage, hypoxia, and brachial plexus injuries.
Recovering Damages for Shoulder Dystocia
Often, when an infant suffers an injury at birth, it is due to negligent medical care. Thus, many parents file medical malpractice lawsuits on behalf of their child against the health care provider responsible for the child’s harm. To recover damages in a lawsuit arising out of a birth injury, a plaintiff and their lawyer must first establish the standard of care imposed on the defendant, which is the care that a competent medical professional in the same practice area and in the same community would provide in similar circumstances. The plaintiff must then show that the defendant had a duty to abide by the standard of care, but the defendant’s behavior nonetheless constituted a deviation from the standard. In most cases, the plaintiff will need to establish both the standard of care and the manner in which the defendant breached the standard through expert testimony. Finally, the plaintiff must prove that the breach caused their harm.
Damages Recoverable in a Birth Injury Lawsuit
If a plaintiff in a birth injury lawsuit in New Mexico successfully establishes the defendant’s liability, he or she may be awarded compensation for the economic and non-economic harm caused by the defendant. Notably, in birth injury cases, both the injured child and the child’s parents may be able to assert claims against the defendant. Thus, in cases involving shoulder dystocia, the damages recoverable may include the cost of any medical treatment needed for the injuries sustained by the child, as well as the cost of any treatment that will be needed in the future. If a parent could not work due to a child’s injury, the parent may be able to recover lost earnings, and if the child’s injury diminishes the child’s ability to work in the future, he or she may be awarded damages for loss of earning capacity. Additionally, the child may be awarded compensation for the pain and suffering caused by his or her injuries.
Speak to an Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If your child suffered complications due to shoulder dystocia, it is prudent to speak to an experienced attorney regarding the circumstances surrounding your child’s harm. At the Branch Law Firm, our birth injury lawyers can help you pursue the full amount of compensation recoverable under the law. We have offices in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, and we represent people in birth injury lawsuits throughout New Mexico, including people in Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Roswell, Clovis, Hobbs, Los Alamos, Rio Rancho, Alamogordo, Las Vegas, Santa Fe, Carlsbad, Taos, Farmington, and Los Lunas. You can contact us via our form online or at (505) 243-3500 to set up a free and confidential meeting.