What Is A Birth Injury? When Would A Birth Injury Lawsuit Be Filed?
The two most common birth injuries are cerebral palsy and shoulder dystocia.
Cerebral palsy occurs when the baby’s brain is deprived of oxygen during labor. On the other hand, shoulder dystocia is a physical injury to the baby’s shoulder that could happen during delivery.
Suppose it’s cerebral palsy or another brain injury case. In that case, the outcome tends to boil down to whether or not the physician performed a C-section on time or whether the baby was in the uterus too long. If the baby was in the uterus for too long, it can either be squeezed too much or have a cord around its neck — both circumstances denying the brain of oxygen.
If one of these birth injuries occurs, the case will likely come down to whether or not the baby should have been delivered by C-section sooner.
What Is The Difference Between Birth Defect And Birth Injury In A Medical Malpractice Claim?
A congenital disability (or birth defect) is genetically caused. It’s not the result of negligence.
On the other hand, a birth injury is an injury that happens during delivery, such as shoulder dystocia or cerebral palsy. A birth injury is not a condition the baby was genetically predetermined to have.
Who Can Be Held Liable For A Birth Injury?
The hospital, midwives, physicians, or nurses could be responsible for a birth injury.
In these cases, there is a preventable circumstance where the nurses failed to call in a doctor upon seeing problematic fetal monitoring results. So if the fetal monitoring strips are alarming enough that the nurses should call in the doctor, but they fail to do so, that’s a scenario where it may be the nurse’s fault.
One could also argue that the hospital should have had a policy requiring nurses to call in the doctor during specific circumstances. Or, maybe, the nurses call the doctor, and the doctor doesn’t come in. It may then be the doctor’s responsibility.
Each of these circumstances will be unique to your situation, so you must conduct a thorough investigation to determine who is at fault by contacting an attorney who is experienced in medical malpractice and birth injury law.
What Is The Statute Of Limitations For A Birth Injury Claim In Tennessee?
Typically, any personal injury claim in Tennessee must be filed by one of the parents at least one year from the date of the discovery of the injury.
However, in a birth injury case, the statute of limitations would not run on the child until the newborn child becomes 18 years old. At that point, the one-year statute of limitation starts to run.
In Tennessee, there’s also a statute of repose that says in any and all circumstances, no one can file a medical malpractice or Health Care liability claim more than three years after the cause of action accrued.
Thus, you would have to file within three years of the cause of action. Of course, there are some exceptions to the statute of repose, but those are very few.
Is A Birth Injury Claim A Medical Malpractice Claim As Well?
Our statute defines, calls, or labels medical malpractice claims as healthcare liability actions in Tennessee.
The law broadly defines healthcare liability actions to cover things one might not even think would be related to healthcare delivery. But certainly, birth injury claims fall within the definition of healthcare liability actions and medical malpractice claims.
What Should I Be Looking For When Researching A Birth Injury Attorney Near Me?
In the state of Tennessee, there are very few competent lawyers who do healthcare liability actions.
Many attorneys in the area choose not to take on these cases or steer clear of the more difficult birth injury cases– and most Tennessee birth injury attorneys can only manage several of these types of cases at once.
Thankfully, our firm in Cookeville will handle cases all over the state. Further, our cases tend to be bigger and more complex than average birth injury cases, which makes us an excellent choice for facing any challenging circumstance.
For more information on Birth Injury Claims In The State Of Tennessee, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (931) 322-5055 today.