No child should have to start life with the pain of a broken bone, and no parent should have the added complication of having to figure out the appropriate medical care and treatment plan for their child’s broken bone. Regardless of how your baby was hurt during birth, a fractured bone is tragic.
If your child has already suffered a broken bone injury—or you are worried that your child might suffer this injury when you give birth—then it is important to understand what bones may break, how to recognize the symptoms of a broken bone, when you may have a legal case, and what you can do to protect your child’s rights.
Bones That May Break During Birth
A baby’s bones are different from an adult’s bones. Babies are born with more bones than an adult; over time, some of them fuse together. At birth, however, they are softer and more fragile than an adult’s bones. While any bone can break during birth, the most common breaks include clavicles or collarbones. Other broken bones may include those in the leg, foot, skull, cervical spine, arm, and elsewhere in the body.
Symptoms of a Broken Bone at Birth
It is important to talk to a trusted doctor about the possibility that your child has broken a bone during delivery if your baby experiences:
- Constant and inconsolable crying—particularly when a specific part of the body is touched or moved.
- Inability to move part of the body.
- An obvious deformity.
If the doctor confirms that a bone has been broken then the doctor will talk to you about treatment options. Additionally, you will need to determine if the break was the result of someone else’s negligence so that you can take the appropriate steps to protect your child’s recovery.
When a Broken Bone Is a Birth Injury
Not all broken bones are birth injuries. Sometimes babies suffer broken bones because of congenital conditions or unavoidable medical emergencies, during which doctors did everything they could to prevent injuries to your baby.
However, sometimes, broken bones are birth injuries. A birth injury occurs when a hospital, a doctor, a nurse, or another medical provider fails to provide reasonable care and your child is hurt as a result. More specifically, a birth injury occurs when:
- Your baby was owed a duty of care. The doctors and nurses attending to you during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, the hospital where you gave birth, and others owe your child a duty of care.
- The duty of care was breached because the person who owed the duty of care (such as the doctor, nurse, hospital, etc.) failed to act like a reasonable person (doctor, nurse, or hospital) given the circumstances.
- The breach of the duty of care caused your child’s broken bone injury, which would not have happened but for the breach in the duty of care.
- Your child has a legal right to damages.
A birth injury could happen, for example, if doctors failed to perform a necessary C-section and instead used delivery assistance tools such as a vacuum or forceps in a negligent way that resulted in your child’s broken bone.
How to Protect Your Baby’s Rights If the Broken Bone Was a Birth Injury
Many broken bones will heal with appropriate medical care. Other broken bones will result in permanent impairments. Either way, your child may be entitled to a legal recovery if you can prove that the broken bone was a birth injury caused by medical malpractice. Your child’s recovery may include compensation for past, current, and future:
- Medical expenses.
- Physical pain.
- Emotional suffering.
- Lost income, if it is a permanent impairment that may impact your child’s ability to work in the future.
- Other damages, as appropriate.
To protect your child’s recovery, please take action today. Your child is too young to take action independently, and critical evidence will be gone by the time your child could take such action. Accordingly, your child is dependent on you to protect his rights. Please call our experienced birth injury lawyers today for a free consultation so we can discuss how you can protect your child’s rights, hold the right person accountable for your child’s injuries, and get your child a full and fair recovery.