The National Vital Statistics Report defines a birth injury as "an impairment of the neonate's body function or structure due to an adverse event that occurred at birth."
To put it more simply, a birth injury is an injury to a baby that occurs during the process of labor and delivery.
Though not all birth injuries are preventable, legal remedies may be available to help you cover the cost of injuries caused by the carelessness of a healthcare professional.
Birth injuries generally occur as a result of one of the following:
Though a birth injury can occur during any labor and delivery, birth injuries are more common when any of the following factors are present:
Birth injuries range from minor injuries that heal quickly without any intervention to severe injuries that require intensive care for the rest of the child's life.
Let's take a look at some of the most common birth injuries:
If any licensed healthcare professional did (or failed to do) something that caused your baby's birth injury, the healthcare professional may have committed medical malpractice. In order to establish a medical malpractice claim based on a birth injury in Colorado, you need to prove that:
Keep in mind that some birth injuries are unavoidable and others are necessary to avoid greater harm. In order to establish liability, the healthcare provider must have done something that a reasonable healthcare provider should not have done.
Most birth injuries are minor and require minimal medical treatment. However, serious birth injuries can require expensive and often lifelong treatment.
Fortunately, Colorado allows parents of injured children to recover economic damages (monetary losses) and non-economic damages (non-monetary losses) on their behalf:
|Economic damages||Non-economic damages|
|Medical expenses||Pain and suffering|
|Household care||Emotional distress|
|Lost earning capacity||Loss of consortium|
Although Colorado allows recovery of both economic and non-economic damages, the state limits (or "caps") the amount of damages you can recover in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
In order to recover any amount above $1 million, the plaintiff will need to prove to the court that the million dollar cap would be unfair under the circumstances.
Filing a birth injury claim is just like filing any other personal injury lawsuit with one exception.
The plaintiff must file a "certificate of review" within 60 days of serving the lawsuit on the defendant. The certificate of review must state that:
Every state has a "statute of limitations" that limits the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit. If you fail to file the lawsuit within the statute of limitations, the lawsuit is dismissed and you're permanently barred from filing it.
In most medical malpractice cases, the plaintiff has 2 years to file a lawsuit. However, any lawsuit brought on behalf of a minor under the age of 6 at the time of the malpractice must be filed before the child turns 8 years old.