Neonatal injuries are injuries incurred by an infant shortly after or during birth. The term “neonatal injury” is often used interchangeably with “birth injury.” However, “neonatal” refers to infants up until about age 28 days. Thus, neonatal injuries are those injuries occurring within the infant’s first month, while birth injuries typically refer to injuries directly connected with the childbirth process.
Both birth injuries and neonatal injuries are cause for concern due to the fact that they can cause long-term or lifelong damage. In particular, cerebral palsy is often attributed to neonatal injury instances.
Some common neonatal injuries include:
- Untreated or improperly treated meningitis
- Botched or wrongful circumcision
- Improper resuscitation after a birth incident
- Cardiac arrest
- Various other injuries
Who Can be Held Liable for a Neonatal Injury?
Many different parties can be held liable for a neonatal injury, depending on the facts surrounding the injury. For instance, liability can be found with:
- A doctor or physician (for example, if they were found to be negligent or engaged in any type of medical malpractice)
- Nurses and nursing staff (negligent care or handling of the infant)
- Persons in charge of medicines or pharmacy matters
- Various other parties
A common liability issue is a misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnosis a condition in the infant. If left unchecked, this can lead to further injury and complications over time.
Are There any Legal Remedies for Neonatal Injury Claims?
Neonatal injuries can be very serious. As mentioned, they can often be connected to lifelong conditions and developmental issues. As such, legal remedies typically involve a monetary damages award to compensate the victim for losses associated with a neonatal injury. These can include amounts associated with loss of earning capacity, medical costs, and other expenses. Since neonatal injuries occur very early in life, such awards should reflect loss of future possibilities and income.
In serious cases, a neonatal injury can also be connected with a wrongful death claim. This can also affect the legal remedies issued to the victim’s estate. Some state laws may regulate the amount of damages issued in a medical malpractice claim.
Should I Hire a Lawyer for Assistance with a Neonatal Injury Lawsuit?
As mentioned, neonatal injuries can lead to serious complications and may require legal action to resolve. You may need to hire a personal injury lawyer in your area if you or a loved one has been affected by a neonatal injury issue. Your attorney can research the laws in your area to determine your options, and can also counsel you on detailed matters such as filing deadlines. If you need to appear in court, your attorney can represent you during those times as well.