My Child Was Injured During Childbirth – Do I Have a Case?

 

Childbirth is among the most meaningful and memorable moments in a person’s life; it is also a time of significant vulnerability, both for the mother and her child. Though most birthing injuries are fairly mild and do not cause long-term impairment, a serious birthing injury can have devastating, lifelong impacts. If you believe your child has been injured due to the errors of a medical professional, contact a birthing injury lawyer at Will Davidson LLP today for help.

Causes of birth trauma

There are several reasons why a birthing injury may occur, most of them natural or purely accidental. For instance, particularly large babies, especially those weighing more than 4,000 grams (8 pounds, 3 ounces) are susceptible to injury. So, too, are premature babies – those born before 37 weeks of pregnancy – due to their underdeveloped and fragile bodies.

Other factors like awkward fetal positioning or the size and shape of the mother’s pelvis can cause problems.

In some cases, birth trauma is caused or contributed to by the errors or negligence of medical professionals. It is in these instances that malpractice may have occurred and the injured family may have grounds to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Forms of birth trauma

Birthing injuries come in many forms and vary widely in severity. Swelling, bruising, and cuts are all particularly common, especially in births involving vacuum extractors or forceps. These are unlikely to have long-lasting impacts.

Other relatively common injuries include cephalohematoma, where bleeding occurs beneath the child’s cranial bones; subconjunctival hemorrhage, when small blood vessels in the baby’s eyes break; facial paralysis caused by pressure on the face during birth; and fractures, most often to the clavicle or collarbone.

Brachial plexus injuries are perhaps the most common form of serious muscle-related birth trauma. The brachial plexus is a group of nerves that supplies a person’s arms and hands. Injuries to the grouping most often occur when there is difficulty delivering a baby’s shoulders. In cases where the plexus is bruised or swollen, the baby may temporarily lose the ability to flex and rotate its arms; if the nerves are torn, the paralysis can be permanent.

Many of the most serious birth traumas are caused by the deprivation of oxygen to a child’s brain, known as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). This injury is believed to cause more than 800,000 neonatal deaths per year, globally, and can stem from a wide range of causes, including brain or skull trauma, infections, prolonged late stages of labor, and umbilical cord accidents or issues. HIE can result in epilepsy, developmental delays, motor impairment, neurodevelopmental delays, cognitive impairments, and in rare cases Cerebral Palsy.

Should I consult a birthing injury lawyer?

If your child has suffered a birthing injury that you believe was caused by the errors or negligence of a medical professional, contacting an experienced birthing injury lawyer should be a top priority. However, not all medical errors are ground for a malpractice case. In Canada, medical malpractice has not occurred unless the error or omission would not have been made by another medical professional in a similar situation.

If medical malpractice has occurred, a birthing injury lawyer at Will Davidson LLP may be able to help you access compensation. Call us today at 1-800-661-7606 to arrange a no-obligation consultation and learn how we can help.

 

OPP addresses dangerous trucking with safety blitz

 

In December, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) conducted a five-day transport truck safety blitz that resulted in thousands of charges and many more thousands of stops. The operation’s success will be of comfort to law enforcement and personal injury lawyers who noticed an uptick in injuries involving commercial vehicles in 2017.

“Despite giving advance notice, the Ontario Provincial Police stopped close to 3,500 commercial motor vehicles, laid 1,836 charges and took 71 unsafe commercial motor vehicles out of service,” a force release said.

The blitz was launched in response to a particularly deadly year which saw trucks involved in 87 fatalities and approximately 6,200 collisions on Ontario roads. More often than not, truck drivers were at fault.

“Our OPP data tells us that the driver of the transport truck is at fault in 65 per cent of the 6,200 collisions,” OPP deputy commissioner Brad Blair told the CBC.

One such collision occurred on Halloween night on Highway 400 north of Toronto. The 14-vehicle accident caused three fatalities and involved two fully loaded tankers, three additional commercial vehicles, and several passenger automobiles. The fiery accident, which one attending officer likened to “Armageddon,” forced authorities to close a major section of the highway and prompted Brian Patterson, president and CEO of the Ontario Safety League, to request a special investigation by the Ontario Chief Coroner. Patterson called the collision a “tipping point,” echoing the concerns of some personal injury lawyers.

The OPP’s safety blitz occurred from December 11 to 15 and included aircraft, sprinter vans, and two OPP transport trucks used by officers for a better view of bad driver behaviour, including distracted, impaired, or aggressive driving. Officers in the transport trucks alerted patrollers, who pulled over the offending truck drivers.

The blitz yielded the following charges, per the CBC:

  • 537 improper documentation charges
  • 336 speeding charges
  • 223 distracted driving charges
  • 185 defective equipment charges
  • 111 charges for following too closely
  • and 185 other moving violation charges

While the blitz was focused on transport trucks and commercial vehicles, the OPP was careful to stop passenger vehicles that drove dangerously around trucks.

“We got complaints from both sides of the aisle, where truck drivers also complained about cars cutting in front of them, taking away their following distance, driving in their blind spots,” explained OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt.

If you or someone you love has been injured in an automobile accident involving a transport truck or commercial vehicle, contact the personal injury lawyers at Will Davidson LLP today to learn how we can help you access compensation for your injuries.

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