Birth injuries can happen in Nevada whenever a doctor commits medical malpractice and the victim is a newborn baby. These injuries can alter the child's life and saddle them with serious medical conditions that will prove to be an obstacle for their whole life. Recovering compensation from the negligent doctor and their medical institution is critical.
The birth injury attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian can provide the legal representation that victims need to recover the financial compensation that they deserve.
How Birth Injuries Happen in Nevada
Birth injuries can happen in a huge variety of ways. In some cases, they happen because of the genetic makeup of the child and his or her parents. In others, they are the result of bad luck, with little that could have prevented it from happening.
However, lots of birth injuries are the result of a doctor's negligence. That negligence can take the form of a poor decision, a negligent action, or inaction in the face of facts that demand something is done.
Birth Injuries Can Happen Throughout the Pregnancy
While most birth injuries that are the result of medical malpractice happen in the delivery room, they can actually occur at any point during the mother's pregnancy. Doctors can cause a birth injury if they:
- Do not detect a clear genetic disease or threat;
- Prescribe the mother medication that would put a fetus at risk without first checking to make sure she is not pregnant; or
- Hurt the developing fetus with an internal procedure.
Some Examples of Nevada Birth Injuries
Because a birth injury only refers to the victim of a doctor's malpractice, there are actually numerous types of medical conditions that it encompasses. Children who have been afflicted with a birth injury can suffer from any of the following medical conditions:
- Facial paralysis, a condition often caused by the negligent use of an extraction device that leaves a child unable to move some of their facial muscles, potentially preventing them from closing their eyes or eating
- Broken blood vessels in the eye, or a subconjunctival hemorrhage
- Broken blood vessels in the baby's brain, which can take the form of an intracranial or subarachnoid hemorrhage
- Erb's Palsy, which is nerve damage caused by a traumatic delivery
- Cerebral Palsy, which can impair the child's motor skills
- Diabetic retinopathy, or vision loss caused by a preventable complication from the mother's diabetes
- Shoulder dystocia, which can make for a traumatic delivery and cause oxygen deprivation
Each of these medical conditions can come with a host of other medical complications and can span a wide range of severity. For example, oxygen deprivation can cause significant developmental delays or even brain damage if left unchecked for even a few minutes and can lead to perinatal asphyxia if it is allowed to persist. However, if it is detected and corrected quickly, the effects of the deprivation might be minor and easily overcome as the child grows.
Compensation for Birth Injury Victims and Their Family in Nevada
These medical conditions and the complications that they often cause are serious, debilitating, and expensive. When they were the result of a doctor's negligence, the doctor and their hospital should be held liable and forced to pay compensation for the foreseeable losses that they have caused.
In Nevada, that compensation can be divided into two parts:
- Economic damages, which are easy to state in a dollar amount; and
- Noneconomic damages, which are not easy to state in a dollar amount.
Economic damages include losses and setbacks like:
- Medical bills
- Anticipated medical expenses that will accumulate in the future for ongoing medical care
- Any reduction in the child's expected ability to earn an income as an adult
Noneconomic damages include things that are not as easy to quantify, like:
- The child's pain and suffering
- The child's inability to enjoy life to the fullest
- The parent's loss of companionship
- Emotional distress
The difference between economic and noneconomic damages is critical in Nevada's birth injury cases because birth injury lawsuits are considered to be medical malpractice claims, and all medical malpractice claims are subject to Nevada's damage capping statute, Nevada Revised Statute § 41A.035. That law limits the amount of noneconomic damages that can be recovered in a medical malpractice claim to a mere $350,000, no matter how debilitating the injury and no matter how much compensation the hurt child deserves to receive.
Nevada's Statute of Limitations Requires Claims to Be Filed Quickly
Nevada also has a statute of limitations that forces birth injury victims to file their lawsuit before a set period of time has expired. That law is found at Nevada Revised Statute § 41A.097.
For parents who are filing the lawsuit on their injured child's behalf, that time period is:
- One year after they should have reasonably discovered the injury; or
- Up to three years after the birth injury happened.
However, children can invoke their rights to compensation without their parents' representation. This extends the statute of limitations to:
- The child's 10th birthday, if they suffered brain damage or a birth defect
- 2 years after the child discovers that their birth injury made them sterile
Gilman & Bedigian's $55 Million Birth Injury Verdict
The lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian recently saw a birth injury case through to its final conclusion when they represented a birth injury victim and his family recover a record-setting $55 million verdict in Maryland.
Doctors at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore had failed to take appropriate action in the face of sure signs of fetal distress. Rather than performing a C-section right away, they waited nearly two hours. At that time, the boy was deprived of oxygen. When he was born, he had Cerebral Palsy and other developmental delays.
With the help of the lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian, the victim took his case to trial and won the compensation that he and his family needed.
Gilman & Bedigian: Birth Injury Lawyers in Nevada
If your child was born with a birth injury in Nevada and you suspect malpractice, reach out to Gilman & Bedigian by contacting us online.