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When a baby cannot be delivered naturally, then a woman will have to undergo a C-section, or cesarean section, during labor. A C-section is a procedure in which the baby is delivered when the doctor makes an incision in the mother’s uterus and abdomen. In the United States, around 32% of babies are delivered via C-section. This surgery only happens if there’s a high-risk pregnancy or when the baby is in the breech (feet first) position and cannot get into the proper position before birth.
Some reasons that a pregnancy may be high-risk and a C-section would be necessary include if the mother has diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, high blood pressure or any other condition that would make vaginal delivery an unsafe procedure. If your baby has a congenital illness, then being delivered naturally could be harmful to them. If your baby is too large or you are overweight, or you’re older, the chances are you may have to get a C-section. If you have active genital herpes or HIV, which could be given to the baby through a vaginal delivery, a C-section would be required.
You might schedule a C-section beforehand, or the doctor may tell you when you’re already in labor that they’re going to need to perform one.
Symptoms of a Delayed C-Section
If you need a C-section, and your doctor is either not giving you one or delaying giving you one, then some birth injuries could occur. Some of these birth injuries could affect your baby for the rest of their life. They include:
- Developmental delays
- Oxygen deprivation, which could result in cerebral palsy or brain damage
- Erb’s palsy, also known as brachial plexus palsy
- Shoulder dystocia
- In extreme cases, death to the child or mother
Treatment for Delayed C-Section Injuries
Some delayed C-section injuries can be treated with minimal medical intervention, while others require lifelong care.
Erb’s palsy happens when there is damage to the brachial plexus nerves, a network of nerves that’s located between the head and the shoulders. Shoulder dystocia occurs when one or both of the baby’s shoulders becomes stuck inside of the mother’s pelvis during birth, and it can result in a claw-like hand, light paralysis, pain, and nerve damage. Both Erb’s palsy and shoulder dystocia may resolve on their own or with some physical therapy, range of motion exercises, and massage. If an injury is more severe, a baby might need surgery.
Cerebral palsy, a condition that affects how a baby will move their muscles and maintain balance and posture can last a lifetime. Brain damage might, too. A child might not be able to go to school or work when they’re an adult. They might need to take medications, attend regular physical and occupational therapy appointments, get surgery, and use medical equipment like crutches or a wheelchair to help them get around.
How Do I Know if Medical Malpractice Caused C-Section Injuries?
It’s difficult to prove that medical malpractice led to your baby’s C-section injuries. Only an experienced birth injury lawyer would be able to tell you if medical malpractice may be to blame.
However, there are some signs that medical malpractice was a factor. If the following happened to you, you may have a case:
- Your doctor did not catch any health problems the baby was having
- The doctor didn’t ask you about health issues or determine you were not fit to undergo vaginal delivery
- The doctor failed to properly monitor you and your baby for signs of distress
- Your doctor brushed off warning signs of distress
If any of these occurred, and your baby became injured as a result of these issues, then you might be able to prove medical malpractice.
Keep in mind that the courts make it very difficult to prove medical malpractice because they don’t want patients suing doctors all of the time. Then, doctors would be out of business and nobody would want to go into the medical field. Oftentimes, cases get thrown out before they can even get to court.
When you call up a birth injury lawyer, they will let you know if you have enough evidence to bring forth a case of medical malpractice, and if they can help you, they will.
How Much Will I Receive From a C-Section Injury Settlement?
If you are able to successfully prove that a delayed C-section caused injury to you and/or your baby, then your settlement could include compensation for your:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of companionship and enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- Future medical care
- Loss of earning capacity
What you receive is going to depend on how high your damages were. Your lawyer will be able to calculate your economic damages like your medical bills and lost wages, and noneconomic damages like pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. If your baby’s injury is mild, then your damages will be lower, but if your baby now has a lifelong injury to contend with, they will be higher. This is because they will not only need money for care, but they are going to be limited in their earning capacity and their ability to function on their own in their adult life.
Settlement Offers in a C-Section Injury Case
When your lawyer calculates the damages, they will then go to the defendant, who is the doctor, another medical professional, or hospital where you were given care, and attempt to negotiate a settlement offer. Sometimes, the defendant will agree to the settlement just to put this incident behind them and protect their reputation. Other times, your lawyer will have to renegotiate to reach an agreement. If the settlement is not satisfactory, or the defendant does not want to settle at all, you absolutely have the right to take them to court. If you have strong enough evidence, the closer you get to the court date, the defendant may become nervous and settle with you. Every step of the way, your lawyer will provide you with guidance on what to do and when it’s best to accept an offer.
Why Contact a Birth Injury Lawyer?
Right now, you need to focus on caring for your baby and yourself. You need to look after your family. A birth injury lawyer will take care of litigation for you so you don’t have to become stressed out or worried about your case. They are your advocate; all you have to do is provide them with the evidence you have and they will take care of the rest.
C-Section Birth Injury Attorneys
If your baby became injured as a result of a C-section, then get in touch with birth injury attorneys Gilman & Bedigian for help. We’ll get you the compensation you deserve.
Contact Gilman & Bedigian 24/7 for a free consultation at (800) 529-6162.