Minneapolis Prematurity Injuries Attorneys
Roughly 10 percent of American newborns are premature. These mothers give birth prior to the 37th week of gestation. Premature infants, especially those born prior to 32 weeks, usually have a number of health issues, mostly because their bodies, including their lungs and other internal organs, are underdeveloped. Furthermore, “preemies” often have lingering sensory issues. An extensive, and costly, stay in a neonatal intensive care unit sometimes cures some of these problems.
The compassionate Minneapolis prematurity injury lawyers at Wais, Vogelstein, Forman, Koch & Norman understand the devastating effects that premature birth usually has on a family. These effects are usually financial and emotional. So, compensation is available for both economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. This compensation does not turn back the clock and give a family a healthy child. But it does give the family the resources it needs to carry on with life.
What Causes Premature Infant Injuries?
Medical negligence, or a lack of care, usually causes premature infant injuries. This negligence could take one of several forms.
Prenatal doctor visits are supposed to be a time for physician and mother-to-be to have meaningful interaction. Frequently, however, patients hardly speak with their doctors. Instead, they mostly interact with nurses or patient care technicians. When doctors do speak with their patients, on average, they listen for about ten seconds before they move on to another subject.
As a result, doctors often overlook premature birth risk factors. Other doctors see the risks, but do not fully appreciate them. For example, if Amy has a history of delivering preterm babies, her doctor might dismiss the risk as “borderline” or “manageable.” As a result, her doctor could be unprepared for a predictable labor emergency.
In general, confidence is an admirable quality among physicians. Overconfidence, however, is a very dangerous character trait.
There could be a darker side as well. Sadly, many doctors do not particularly care about their patients. They view labor and delivery as a financial transaction. The less time they invest, the more money they make. Such an attitude is clearly misplaced.
Damages in a Medical Malpractice Claim
As mentioned, medical negligence is a lack of care. Most doctors have a fiduciary duty. Since the duty of care is so high, the available compensation in these cases is usually high as well. Additionally, a serious birth injury could mean a very heavy financial burden. For example, a good NICU could cost over $3,00 a day. The rule of thumb is that babies must stay in the hospital until they are fully mature. So, the hospital costs could add up quickly. Typically, group health insurance companies do not pay injury-related costs.
So, the damages in a birth injury claim include compensation for economic losses. These losses include not only infant-related medical bills, but also lost work and medical care for the mother.
Additionally, since the injury was not the victim’s fault, our Minneapolis prematurity injury lawyers can obtain compensation for noneconomic losses. These losses include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment in life, emotional distress, and loss of consortium (companionship). Generally, these damages are much larger than the economic damages.
Finally, victims might be entitled to additional punitive damages. This compensation is available if there is clear and convincing evidence that the doctor or other responsible party intentionally disregarded a known risk.
Contact a Diligent Hennepin County Lawyer
Injury victims are usually entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced premature birth injury lawyer in Minneapolis, contact Wais, Vogelstein, Forman, Koch & Norman LLC by going online or calling 410-567-0800. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.