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Birth Injuries in a New York Hospital: Who Is Liable?

Many newborns are born with health problems. Sadly, there are common injuries that are the direct result of malpractice. Each year, thousands of infants and their mothers sustain injuries because of negligent actions by their medical professional or doctor. In the U.S., the number of infants born with injuries at birth is staggering and is around seven out of every 1,000 newborns. When an injury is a result of negligence, it’s appropriate to take legal action.

Giving birth to a new infant should be a wonderful experience, but this isn’t always the case. Healthcare professionals can perform actions that have devastating consequences. If you reside in New York and you believe your newborn was injured during birth due to the action of the doctor, an experienced New York birth injury lawyer can work closely with you to hold the doctors responsible for the injuries your newborn faces.

What Are Birth Injuries?

A birth injury isn’t always an accident. When you place your newborn’s welfare and your own in the hands of a doctor, you’re trusting that the doctor knows what they’re doing and won’t be negligent or reckless in their actions.

But healthcare professionals don’t always act in the best interest of the mother or child. Often, the negligent or reckless actions of the healthcare professional delivering the baby or performing a birth surgery result in birth injuries. Birth injuries can be minor or major, with some being more severe and having long-lasting consequences for both the newborn and the mother.

Examples of birth injuries include:

  • Cerebral Palsy: This is a condition of the brain that is caused by a lack of oxygen or physical injuries to the skull. It can cause the newborn physical disabilities they’ll have to live with for the rest of their life, including developmental problems.
  • Bone Fractures: These can be caused by the misuse of forceps or vacuum tools during delivery.
  • Brachial Plexus Injuries: These are complications that occur when the shoulders of the newborn become stuck behind the mother’s pelvic bone.
  • Asphyxia: When the infant can’t breathe for a lengthy period, it can result in asphyxia. This can cause serious physical and mental disabilities and/or severe brain damage.
  • Shoulder Dystocia: This condition occurs when the infant’s shoulders and head become lodged behind the mother’s pelvic bone. It can cause hemorrhaging, ruptures, and other injuries.
  • Spinal Cord Damage: This can occur by positioning a newborn improperly during birth or by other types of reckless actions.
  • Erb’s Palsy: This is an injury to the newborn’s upper arm nerves.

These are only some of the many types of injuries that can occur due to medical malpractice or the negligent actions of a healthcare professional or doctor. A lot of birth injuries that affect infants continue to cause consequences later on in their life.

A few of the above-mentioned injuries will impact any newborn who is struggling from them physically or developmentally long into adulthood. They may even lower quality of life or life expectancy, in the worst cases. This is why it’s so important that you contact a New York birth injury lawyer as soon as you suspect an injury to your child is due to medical recklessness or negligence.

Who Is Liable in New York Birth Injuries?

Birth injuries are typically disabling and frequently permanent. However, most birth injuries can be preventable with proper and timely medical intervention. In New York, when birth injuries are the result of medical negligence, you, as the parent, are entitled to compensation to cover all medical expenses of your child.

You should know that any medical malpractice action that your child’s birth injury triggers can target more than one party who could also be held liable for your child’s injury. Multiple parties can be liable and can be targeted by a lawsuit, including an obstetrician, anesthesiologist, nurse, clinic, hospital, or drug company.

When Can Hospitals Be Held Liable for New York Birth Injuries?

A hospital can be held liable “directly” in some medical malpractice cases for institutional negligence. Hospitals can also be found “vicariously” liable for the negligence of employees. Hospitals must run a complete background check on each and every prospective employee. They must confirm every degree, every license, and every certification. If an issue arises due to a complete background check not being conducted, the hospital can be held liable “directly” for negligent hiring.

Doctors must also be checked before they’re provided with hospital privileges. Hospitals need to have adequate personnel (i.e. nurses) to properly care for patients every day of the year, around the clock.

A hospital can become liable “vicariously” for the negligence of an employee if the negligent action of the employee happened within the “course and scope” of their employment duties. However, certain obstetricians work as contractors at hospitals and not as employees. Therefore, while vicarious liability doesn’t fall on the hospital in cases like these, the hospital could be directly liable, in some cases, for granting an incompetent doctor privileges.

Contact Our New York Birth Injury Lawyers at Dalli & Marino LLP Today

A birth injury can leave your family financially and emotionally devastated. When you learn that the injury was caused by the error of a healthcare professional and could be prevented, it only adds to your emotional pain. If you believe your newborn’s injuries were due to a medical professional’s error, you are entitled to file a malpractice claim and seek compensation.

We understand the pain that a newborn’s injuries can inflict on parents. You shouldn’t have to deal with the burden of medical expenses related to these injuries on top of your emotional pain. Contact our experienced New York birth injury lawyer at Dalli & Marino, LLP, to talk about the details of your potential case. We have the experience, knowledge, and resources to handle birth injury claims skillfully. Contact us at (888) 465-8790 or fill out our contact form on our website to speak with our experienced birth injury attorney today.

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