Shoulder dystocia is a birth injury that requires immediate attention and specialized care. This is because the injury can have serious consequences on the baby, like long-term damage to their nerves and muscles, brain damage, and even death.
If your baby has experienced shoulder dystocia during childbirth, there are several legal options to seek justice for the recovery of your baby, which we are going to explore in this article.
What is Shoulder Dystocia?
This injury occurs when the baby’s shoulder gets stuck behind the mother’s pubic bone during delivery. This is considered a medical emergency and requires immediate attention from healthcare providers.
According to a study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the incidence of shoulder dystocia is estimated to be between 2% and 3% of all vaginal deliveries. It’s more common nowadays than in the mid-20th century (presumably because there are more big babies being born now).
The problem is, shoulder dystocia can lead to a wide range of complications. For example, these injuries can cause the baby to suffer from oxygen deprivation, nerve damage, fractures, and even death in severe cases. That’s why timely and appropriate medical intervention is crucial to minimize these risks.
In Indiana, healthcare providers are required to follow certain standards of care when delivering babies to prevent birth injuries like shoulder dystocia. If they fail to do so, you can pursue legal action for medical malpractice.
Negligence Causes of Shoulder Dystocia
Shoulder dystocia can be caused by various factors, including the size of the baby, the mother’s pelvic shape, and the baby’s position during delivery.
However, in some cases, shoulder dystocia is caused by medical negligence. Healthcare providers can commit negligence in many ways, such as improper use of birth-assisting tools, failure to perform a necessary C-section, or inadequate monitoring during labor.
Under Indiana law, healthcare professionals must provide a certain standard of care to their patients. In fact, according to the Indiana Code § 34-18, causing an injury by the failure to meet this standard of care is grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
What Are Your Legal Options After Shoulder Dystocia?
The legal landscape is complicated to handle after a shoulder dystocia case. However, knowing your rights and the steps you should take will help you to pursue justice. Here is what you need to know about taking legal action after a birth injury in Indiana:
In Indiana, individuals who have experienced shoulder dystocia during childbirth due to medical negligence can file a medical malpractice lawsuit or pursue a birth injury claim. These legal actions will help you recover compensation for several types of damages, including:
- Medical expenses.
- Lost wages.
- Pain and suffering.
- Long-term care costs.
- Other damages related to your/your baby’s injuries.
However, the type of claim you can make depends on the specific circumstances of your case. For example, the nature of the negligence involved and the extent of the injuries sustained by the baby will significantly influence the legal options available to you.
Additionally, pursuing legal action also involves proving that your healthcare provider was negligent and that this negligence caused your baby’s injuries.
The Process of Filing a Lawsuit for Shoulder Dystocia
After deciding to pursue legal action, your next step will probably be to file a lawsuit. Filing a lawsuit for shoulder dystocia involves multiple steps, each one of which is crucial when building a strong case.
Overall, the roadmap for pursuing legal action after medical malpractice involves gathering all pertinent medical records and evidence, followed by consultation with medical experts to establish negligence.
Once negligence is proven, the next step involves filing a lawsuit against healthcare providers or facilities and possibly going to trial if settling isn’t possible. During all these phases, a personal injury lawyer can help you build a strong case, handle paperwork, and negotiate on your behalf.
How We Can Help You Sue for Shoulder Dystocia?
At Christie Farrell Lee & Bell, our experienced shoulder dystocia attorneys can help you pursue fair compensation for your child’s injuries after a shoulder dystocia case in Indiana.
We have been handling birth injury cases since 1993, so we know how to navigate the intricacies of Indiana’s legal system. Our most recent birth injury case secured $2 million in compensation for the mother and her family (you can explore this and other settlements in our case results).
If your child has experienced shoulder dystocia during birth, don’t hesitate to contact us for legal assistance. We can help you by building a strong case, filing the claim, and negotiating fair compensation on your behalf.