Melbourne Birth Injury Lawyer
Birth Injuries in Brevard County
Birth injuries are some of the most devastating types of medical malpractice cases we handle at Nance Cacciatore. Your child should have been a normal, healthy baby, but they now face significant injuries and potential lifetime complications because of an error made during the delivery process. Sadly, thousands of babies suffer this fate every year.
At Nance Cacciatore, our Melbourne birth injury attorneys help families who are coping with the reality that a doctor or nurse’s negligence has changed their lives forever.
In the years since our founding in 1963, we have handled many birth injury cases involving:
- Erb’s palsy
- Cerebral palsy
- Asphyxiation causing brain damage
- Folic acid disorders
- Shoulder dystocia
- Broken bones
In addition to our combined legal experience, our partner S. Sammy Cacciatore is board-certified in medical malpractice by the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys. We use our resources, knowledge, and special expertise to build strong and compelling cases for our clients. Our goal is to recover full and fair damages for the suffering you and your family have endured.
What Are Common Birth Injuries?
Birth injuries are different from birth defects. Whereas birth defects generally result from complications and genetic factors affecting the infant before birth, birth injuries are preventable injuries that occur during pregnancy, labor, delivery, or immediately following birth. While the term “birth injury” is most commonly used to refer to infant injuries, birth injuries can also affect mothers.
Some common birth injuries include:
- Brachial Palsy/Erb’s Palsy: When the brachial plexus nerves (the bundle of nerves that controls shoulder, arm, and hand movement) is damaged during birth, the infant can suffer a condition known as brachial palsy or Erb’s palsy. Brachial plexus injuries are often caused by doctors and other medical providers twisting or turning the infant’s head or shoulder during delivery, resulting in stretching, bruising, swelling, and tearing of the affected nerves.
- Caput Succedaneum: Commonly caused by vacuum extraction, caput succedaneum is the swelling of the soft tissues on the infant’s head/scalp. Depending on the degree of injury, swelling may be significant. In some cases, this occurs naturally as the baby moves down the birth canal and can result in bruising.
- Cerebral Palsy: Cerebral palsy is a technically a group of disorders that affect mobility, movement, posture, and balance. There are various types of cerebral palsy with differing symptoms and treatments, but there is no known cure for the condition. In most cases, cerebral palsy is caused by brain damage occurring immediately before or during birth. This brain damage often results from oxygen deprivation, though other conditions, such as kernicterus, can also lead to cerebral palsy.
- Cephalohematoma: Cephalohematoma occurs when there is internal bleeding between the skull and scalp tissue. The most common symptom is a noticeable raised area or bump on the infant’s head in the hours after birth. Often, cephalohematoma will heal on its own as the baby’s body reabsorbs the blood. However, in some circumstances, cephalohematoma can lead to jaundice.
- Facial Paralysis: When an infant experiences pressure on a facial nerve, either due to the natural process of childbirth or a medical provider’s use of forceps to assist in the birth, it can result in facial paralysis. In relatively mild cases in which the nerve is bruised, facial paralysis will generally heal on its own. In more severe cases involving a torn facial nerve, the infant may require surgery to repair the nerve.
- Fractures/Broken Bones: The most common type of bone fracture affecting newborns is a fractured clavicle (collarbone). This often occurs when a medical professional improperly attempts to remove the infant from the birth canal or when the infant is in the breech position. With proper treatment, fractured clavicles (and other infant broken bones) heal completely.
- Hypoxia: If an infant does not receive adequate oxygen during labor or delivery, they can suffer hypoxia. Hypoxia refers to inadequate oxygen to the brain, which can result in various conditions, including cerebral palsy, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), and brain damage. Similar to hypoxia, anoxia refers to insufficient oxygen flow to the tissues within the body. Anoxia can also lead to serious and long-lasting birth injuries.
Please note that this is not a complete list; if you believe your child suffered any type of birth injury or was otherwise harmed due to the negligence of a medical provider, do not hesitate to reach out to our firm. Our Melbourne birth injury lawyers have a long history of successfully fighting for the rights of injured children and their parents. We have recovered millions for our clients, and we are ready to fight for you and your family.
How Long Do You Have to Sue for a Birth Injury?
In Florida, you have a limited amount of time to file a birth injury claim. In most cases, medical malpractice lawsuits must be filed within two years of the date of the injury or the date on which the injury was discovered/reasonably could have been discovered. Additionally, medical malpractice lawsuits cannot be filed for injuries occurring more than four years prior, regardless of when the injury was discovered.
However, birth injury cases are a little different. Children born after July 1, 1996 are entitled to file birth injury lawsuits (or have them filed on their behalf) until their eighth birthday. But, if the child’s parent or guardian knew or reasonably should have known about the birth injury, this eight-year statute of limitations may not apply.
Because these cases are so complex, it is important that you consult with a knowledgeable birth injury lawyer as soon as possible to avoid missing out on your chance to seek financial compensation.
Why You Need an Attorney
Birth injury lawsuits can be brought against specific medical providers, such as a doctor or midwife, or a medical facility, such as a hospital. To bring a claim, you will need to prove that the provider in question failed to uphold the standard of care; it is not enough to simply prove that your child was injured. You must demonstrate that the medical provider failed to act in an appropriate manner or acted in a way that another qualified provider would not have in the same or similar circumstances. Often, proving this involves the testimony of expert witnesses.
In fact, birth injury cases take a lot of preparation and evidence gathering to be successful. As your lawyers, we need to prove beyond any shadow of doubt that the person or entity we are suing is liable for the injury—either because of something done that hurt the baby or for negligence that led to the birth injury.
At Nance Cacciatore, we use our in-house investigator and nationally known experts to help build and prepare your case. Our team works hard to put together a compelling case that shows insurance companies we have a serious claim and that we are prepared to fight for maximum compensation, including going to trial if necessary.
Contact Us Today to Learn More
If your child suffered a birth injury caused by medical malpractice or negligence, contact our personal injury attorneys today. From our office in Melbourne, we serve all of Brevard County, including communities such as Titusville, Cape Canaveral, Rockledge, Cocoa, and Melbourne/Palm Bay.
It does not cost you anything to speak to a lawyer at our firm about your potential case, nor will you pay any out-of-pocket expenses should you choose to work with our firm. We offer our legal services on a contingency fee basis, meaning we only collect attorney fees if/when we successfully recover compensation for you.