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Birth injury overview

Houston parents-to-be are overwhelmingly excited about the birth of their newborn babies. They plan and anticipate the birth for months before the baby even arrives. Most of the time, these births happen without incident, but occasionally birth injuries do occur.

In many cases, something happens during the birth and delivery process that results in a birth injury. These injuries are different than birth defects, which happen during or before the pregnancy. Birth injuries can include cerebral palsy, hypoxic and anoxic brain injury, complications from a Caesarean section, shoulder dystocia, failure to monitor fetal conditions, forceps injuries and other conditions that are caused by something having gone wrong during the birth. Many of these injuries that occur can give rise to a lawsuit if a doctor fails to adequately assess the situation or respond to the conditions and complications.

Birth injuries occur in five out of every 1,000 births in the United States. Although this is a small percentage of babies who are born, the results of the injuries can be devastating to parents. If a person believes that they have a birth injury case, they will need to prove that a medical professional was negligent in their care. They will have to show that the conduct of a medical professional fell below the generally accepted standard of medical care in a similar situation.

If a child suffers harm during the birth and damages are awarded, they are often awarded to the child in the form of a trust. Recent legislation may limit the amount of certain kinds of damages that are awarded, but there are a number of categories that may not be limited to a certain amount. These can include compensation for loss of future wages, pain and suffering and medical expenses.

Source: FindLaw, "Birth injury FAQ," accessed on Sept. 1, 2014

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