Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries in a newborn can be devastating. If your baby sustained a spinal cord injury as a result of a doctor’s professional negligence, you may be able to sue for damages. Birth injury lawsuits can be complicated and turn into battles between the plaintiff’s experts and the defendant’s experts. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, our Upstate New York spinal cord injury lawyers have the experience to pursue damages on your behalf. We represent families in Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo, and Albany.Spinal Cord Injuries
A significant percentage of infant spinal cord injuries occur in the neck or upper spine. The higher the level of injury to the spine, the more serious the impact on the baby. Spinal cord injuries in an infant who is being delivered may result from blunt force trauma. Trauma may be inflicted by a careless obstetrician who pulls or twists too hard on the infant as they are being born, placing stress on their spinal column, or trauma may be inflicted by the improper use of a vacuum extractor or forceps used to assist with the baby’s delivery.
Medical negligence can result in an infant’s spine being torn or totally transected. However, there are also situations in which a medical condition causes damage to the spine, or a doctor inadvertently injures nerves in an infant with undiagnosed spina bifida. It is critical to get an expert opinion about whether there was medical negligence even before filing a lawsuit. Under New York law, we will need to file with the complaint a certificate of merit attesting to our consultation of an expert.Liability
To recover damages for a newborn’s spinal cord injury, a spinal cord injury attorney in Upstate New York will need to prove that the defendant failed to abide by a professional standard of care as required, and the failure caused your baby’s spinal cord injuries. We will need to retain an expert to address what the professional standard of care was, how it was breached, and how the breach caused actual damages in your situation.
The professional standard of care can vary by specialty, geographic location, the circumstances, and the patient’s medical profile. Usually, the expert in a spinal cord injury case will look at the accepted medical practices of an obstetrician in Upstate New York when faced with a similar situation. If the accepted medical practice would have been to schedule a C-section rather than risking the delivery of a baby who was too large, for instance, but your obstetrician risked a natural delivery while twisting a large baby too hard, this may constitute actionable medical negligence.
Symptoms of spinal cord injuries include weakness, lack of movement, bowel and bladder issues, abnormal reflexes, spasms, and loss of sensation. When these symptoms are present, a doctor should conduct a differential diagnosis and do any necessary testing to identify the injury. An Upstate New York spinal cord injury attorney can help pursue a claim based on a doctor’s failure to conduct testing so that adequate treatment for spinal injuries could be provided.Damages
Spinal cord injuries can have long-term effects for which families are unprepared. These injuries can result in paralysis and intellectual disabilities. An infant’s prognosis depends partly on whether the injury is complete or incomplete. Complete spinal injuries involve a complete loss of function and sensation below the level of the spine that was damaged. A baby with a complete spinal injury may have lifelong complications, including bowel and bladder dysfunction and increased vulnerability to lung and heart problems.
If we can establish liability, we may be able to recover compensatory damages for the spinal injuries suffered by your baby. These can include both past and future economic losses like lifelong medical care, surgeries, therapies, catheterization, and around-the-clock nursing. Damages can also include emotional distress and pain and suffering.
In some cases, severe spinal cord injuries result in the death of a newborn. It may be possible to recover for pecuniary losses arising out of the baby’s death by bringing a wrongful death lawsuit.Consult a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer in Upstate New York
Often, the arrival of a baby is a joyous occasion. Most parents do not anticipate catastrophic birth injuries or the attendant costs. If your baby suffered spinal cord injuries due to medical negligence, you should consult the experienced attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano. Call us at 833-200-2000 or contact us via our online form.