When complications arise during labor and delivery, a medical team may need to act quickly to prevent severe injuries to the mother and child. If a physician or other staff member fails to respond appropriately to these types of emergencies, a child may be injured and left facing permanent disability.
If you believe that your doctor acted negligently, causing your child to be harmed during childbirth, you should consult with a Phoenix shoulder dystocia lawyer to discuss whether you could be entitled to compensation. A birth injury attorney could assess the situation and evaluate whether the negligence of a healthcare professional may have contributed to your child’s injuries.
Shoulder dystocia occurs when a child’s shoulder gets stuck inside a mother’s pelvis during childbirth. Certain factors could increase a child’s risk of shoulder dystocia, and physicians and medical staff are obligated to respond accordingly. Common risk factors for shoulder dystocia include maternal obesity, carrying more than one child, and overdue pregnancies.
When members of the medical team do not take the necessary measures to prevent shoulder dystocia, both the mother and child may suffer significant injuries and complications. Examples of negligent behavior that could cause shoulder dystocia include:
It is important to differentiate between a medical error and medical negligence. While some medical errors may not foreseeable or preventable, medical negligence is when a healthcare professional fails to apply the standard of care expected in their field. If a physician’s actions do not meet the standard of care that a reasonable doctor would have provided, given the same situation, the doctor may be found to have acted negligently. A skilled attorney in Phoenix could determine if a doctor acted negligently, resulting in shoulder dystocia.
Shoulder dystocia injuries inflict damage to a network of nerves known as the brachial plexus. The brachial plexus forms the network of nerves in the neck and upper area of the spine. If these nerves are damaged, strained, or torn, the child could be paralyzed or permanently lose functional use of their shoulder and arm. Shoulder dystocia may also lead to other serious injuries, including brain damage, oxygen deprivation, and fractured bones.
A diligent attorney in Phoenix could help victims pursue compensatory damages for their shoulder dystocia injuries from the negligent medical provider. Arizona Revised Statutes § 12-542 provides injured patients with up to two years from the alleged malpractice date to pursue a claim. A lawyer could help the claimant file their shoulder dystocia case before the close of the statutory deadline in Phoenix, as well as explain any exceptions that may prolong the statute of limitations.
If you or your child suffered harm due to a negligent doctor, you should get in touch with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. A Phoenix shoulder dystocia lawyer could provide a deeper understanding of your legal rights and help ensure you do not miss out on any compensation which may be owed to you. Call our office today to schedule your initial consultation.