Florida Bone Fracture Birth Injury Malpractice Attorneys
Having a child, whether it is your first baby or one who is joining a host of siblings, is generally a life-altering event associated with happiness. However, if the newborn suffered a bone fracture during the birthing process, your joy as a parent may be curtailed and replaced by worry about your child and the future.
Studies have revealed that almost all fractures that occur during the birthing process are caused by excessive force used during delivery. In most cases, this use of excessive force is the result of negligence amounting to medical malpractice on the part of the nurse or doctor.
If your child was injured during the birthing process, you may be legally entitled to compensation for the damages you and your child have suffered. These damages can include your child’s medical expenses, pain, suffering, and other damages, both current and future, that were caused by medical negligence during the birthing process.
The experienced Florida birth injury malpractice attorneys at Paul Knopf Bigger can help you pursue justice. We have many years of successful trial experience in all facets of Florida medical malpractice and have won numerous multi-million-dollar settlements and awards for the families whom we have had the privilege of representing. We are committed to obtaining justice for victims of preventable birth injuries and want to help you get the compensation you deserve.
What Causes Bone Fractures in Babies?
Bone fractures occur in approximately three babies out of every 1,000 births. In rare cases, a baby may suffer from a congenital condition that makes its bones brittle and subject to breaking easily. Reasons a baby may suffer a broken bone during the birthing process include:
- Breech baby. This is when the baby is exiting the birth canal with its buttocks or legs coming out first instead of its head. The baby needs to be removed quickly to prevent brain damage caused by oxygen deprivation. In the quest for a fast delivery, excessive force may be used when extracting the newborn from the birth canal.
- Large baby. This is common in a mother with gestational diabetes. The baby gets stuck in the birth canal and needs extraction. Excessive force when extracting the baby can cause bone fractures.
- Narrow birth canal. The scientific term for this condition is cephalopelvic disproportion. As happens in the case of a large or breech baby, the newborn needs to be forcibly removed from the birth canal, and the force can cause bone fractures.
- Prematurity. Babies born prior to 37-weeks gestation are considered premature. At this stage, their bones are more fragile, which makes them more susceptible to fracture.
- Shoulder dystocia. This is when the baby’s shoulder gets stuck behind the mother’s pubic bone and needs help repositioning and extracting from the birth canal. Some of the baby’s bones can get broken during this process.
All of these problems require medical assistance in order to remove the baby from the birth canal. This requires the use of birthing tools, such as forceps or vacuum extractors. When used properly, there should be no resulting bone fractures. When used negligently, the baby may suffer from the trauma of a bone fracture due to excessive force.
What Are the Most Common Types of Bone Fracture Birth Injuries?
Fractures can occur in all parts of the baby’s body. However, the most common ones are:
- Broken clavicle. A fractured clavicle, the shoulder bone, is the most common birth injury bone fracture. The injury may not be noticed immediately. The newborn may hold its arm on the affected side close to its body and not move it. The baby will cry in pain when the arm is lifted.
- Long bone fracture. Long bones are the femur, which is the upper leg bone and the longest bone in the body, and the humerus, which is the upper arm bone. These fractures occur more often in babies born by an emergency cesarean section than by vaginal delivery.
- Skull fractures. These are most often caused by instruments, such as forceps and vacuum extractors, used during the birthing process. If a skull fracture is suspected, a CT scan should be done to evaluate whether the fracture resulted in accompanying brain injury.
- Rib fractures. In a recent study, newborns with rib fractures also had broken clavicles. It is thought that the same force that caused the clavicle fractures might also have caused the rib fractures. Rib fractures often go undiagnosed and overlooked since they may not show up even in a chest X-ray until a callus (a bone bridge that assists in healing) is formed.
Importance of Seeking Treatment for a Birth Injury Bone Fracture
Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial because a birth injury bone fracture that is diagnosed and treated promptly often heals quickly without any lasting effects. If the fracture is not treated, however, the broken edges of the bone may cause nerve, ligament, or muscle damage. In addition, if the bone doesn’t heal properly, it can even result in physical deformity and disability.
A serious situation can also occur if the fracture is severe and not treated properly. Severe cases can result in a bone infection called osteomyelitis. This condition can be treated, but it can cause fever, nausea, swelling and lost range of motion.
Can You File a Florida Medical Malpractice Lawsuit for a Bone Fracture Birth Injury?
If your child has a bone or bones that were fractured during the birthing process and you suspect medical negligence was the cause, you need skilled legal representation to help you hold the negligent health care provider accountable and to obtain the financial compensation you deserve. It may seem clear that the fracture was caused by the doctor or nurse’s negligence, but Florida medical malpractice cases can be complex right from the beginning.
A legitimate birth injury medical malpractice claim must demonstrate four elements:
- Duty – The negligent health care provider had a duty to provide the standard of care a reasonably prudent practitioner of the same specialty would have provided in similar circumstances.
- Breach – The negligent health care provider breached that standard of care.
- Cause – The health care provider’s negligence caused harm to your child.
- Damages – The harm your child suffered because of the health care provider’s negligence caused damages, such as current and future medical expenses, pain, suffering and a diminished capacity to enjoy life.
If you can demonstrate the aforementioned elements, you may be able to obtain substantial compensation for economic and non-economic damages recoverable under Florida law. This compensation may include:
- All past, current and future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Other damages that are unique to your situation and recoverable under Florida law.
Showing that the healthcare provider breached his or her duty and that the breach led to your child’s injury and damages is a complicated legal process. It requires a thorough investigation and understanding of all the facts of the case, high quality expert testimony and skill as a trial lawyer.
The proven bone fracture birth injury malpractice attorneys of Paul Knopf Bigger have the experience and skill you need to handle your child’s case. We have won many multi-million-dollar settlements and awards for our clients who have been seriously injured by medical negligence in Florida and have the expertise necessary to pursue just compensation for your child’s injury.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Florida Birth Injury Malpractice Cases?
The Florida statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits is two years from the date the medical negligence occurred, was discovered or should have been discovered, and the absolute latest date permitted for initiating a claim is four years from the date the medical negligence occurred. For cases involving children, however, the four-year deadline does not exclude the possibility of bringing an action on or before the child’s eighth birthday, as long as the parents were not expected to have known about the injury and the possibility that it was caused by medical negligence.
Before you file a claim, Florida law requires a thorough investigation and notice of intent to take legal action. The investigation, which must include a review of the claim by an appropriate medical expert, can take quite a lot of time, so it is important to contact a qualified Florida medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to get started on your case.
Accomplished Florida Bone Fracture Birth Injury Malpractice Attorneys
A difficult birth is the main factor in birth-related fractures. These births are associated with the use of excessive force during the delivery process, either by the use of forceps or vacuum extractors. Nurses and doctors may also twist and pull babies that are not moving properly through the birth canal in an attempt to avoid the use of birthing tools. The result can be a baby who is born with a bone fracture.
If your child suffered a bone fracture because of medical negligence during the birthing process, the accomplished birth injury malpractice attorneys of Paul Knopf Bigger can help you hold the responsible party accountable for negligence and obtain the compensation you deserve. The team of medical malpractice attorneys at Paul Knopf Bigger have the experience, skill and resources you can depend on to win your bone fracture malpractice case.
Attorneys throughout the U.S. trust us to handle their clients’ complex Florida medical malpractice claims. If your child was injured because of medical negligence in Florida, we are the attorneys you too can depend on to provide the excellent advocacy, transparency and results you want.
Call us at 855.292.2111 or submit the “Free Case Evaluation” form on our website to discuss your case for free with an experienced Florida birth injury malpractice attorney you can trust for excellence in the pursuit of justice.
Baxha, A., Amarin, Z, Abu-Hassan, F. (2013, July 31). Birth-associated long-bone fractures. International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics.
Dump. V., & Kamity, R. (2021, Jan. 5). Birth trauma. StatPearls Publishing.
National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. (2021, April). Fractured clavicle in the newborn.
National Library of Medicine. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia (2021, April). Macrosomia.