Birth Injuries Attorney
When an injury is caused during birth by medical negligence, the family of the injured child should qualify for compensation through a birth injury lawsuit.
The attorneys at DLG For Me understand that birth injuries have devastating physical, emotional, and financial consequences for the families involved and will do what it takes to make you whole again.
About Birth Injuries
Birth injury cases are among the most devastating cases we see. The unnecessarily traumatic beginning of a life we excitedly anticipated for months is emotionally crushing and the effects on the child and family are lifelong.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 28,000 babies are injured during childbirth each year. Birth injuries are not always avoidable, but in so many cases they are a result of avoidable mistakes made by health care providers. When a mother or baby is injured during childbirth, they may have a viable claim against the doctors, nurses, or other health care providers who delivered the baby.
Birth injuries take many forms, including:
- Cerebral palsy
- Brain injuries
- Nerve injuries
All these injuries can cause permanent consequences and prevent your child from living an independent life. Severely injured babies often never leave home because they require the lifelong care of their parents, forever changing the entire family’s future.
If you believe your baby was injured at birth by medical malpractice, you might be able to recover some of your losses by partnering with a birth injuries attorney.
Cerebral palsy is a permanent condition and a group of disorders that result from brain damage. Improper use of medical devices during delivery, such as vacuum extractors and forceps, can cause cerebral palsy, as can lack of oxygen.
Children with cerebral palsy have impaired motor and cognitive functions and typically require extensive therapy and medical care.
Children with cerebral palsy have difficulty controlling their movements, and there are different degrees of impairment. While some children with cerebral palsy learn to walk and run, others can only walk with crutches or are limited to a wheelchair.
Cerebral palsy can manifest as a number of different symptoms:
- Spasticity is abnormal tightness in the child’s muscles that exists even when the child is at rest. It can show up as stiff arms or legs that are difficult to bend.
- Hypotonia is low muscle tone that can cause the child to have difficulty sitting up.
- Diplegia causes difficulty controlling symmetrical parts of the body, such as both legs.
- Hemiplegia causes trouble moving one side of the body, such as the right leg and arm.
- Dystonia occurs when muscles contract uncontrollably and causes muscle spasms or involuntary movements.
Children with cerebral palsy can also experience seizures and difficulty seeing, hearing, and learning.
There is no cure for cerebral palsy, but there are many treatments that can help affected children live a better life. If your baby was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, you will likely encounter some or all of these therapies.
- Physical therapy helps the child stretch, strengthen, and learn new movements.
- Occupational therapy helps the child learn daily tasks using exercises and troubleshooting challenges.
- Speech therapy helps the child learn to talk and find other ways to communicate.
- Assistive devices including braces, wheelchairs, and communication keyboards are a few common devices that help children with cerebral palsy.
- Medications can help children with spasticity and other conditions associated with cerebral palsy.
Medical negligence causes many kinds of brain injuries, some of which cause lifelong complications. Brain injuries can result from physical trauma or lack of oxygen.
Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) involves death of brain cells caused by lack of oxygen before and after delivery. Children with HIE can experience developmental delays and impaired cognitive function. Cerebral palsy and epilepsy can also result from HIE. Uterine, umbilical cord, and placental complications, brain trauma, and fetal anemia are a few of the common causes of HIE.
Brain injuries can also occur from head trauma during delivery. Because babies’ skills are flexible, they’re susceptible to fractures during labor and delivery. The use of too much force or improper use of forceps and vacuum extractors can lead to skull fractures. Skull fractures themselves are dangerous and can lead to brain damage if the brain protrudes through the fracture. Oftentimes, skull fractures lead to surgery and require medical monitoring to ensure that they heal properly.
Brain damage in infants can be difficult to detect early on. Some signs that a baby might have sustained a brain injury include:
- Unusual appearance, such as a broad forehead or unusual facial features
- Abnormal eye movements
- Excessive crying
- Difficulty swallowing, feeding, and sleeping
With early detection, there are some treatments that can help a newborn with brain injuries. Hypothermic treatment for babies who suffered oxygen deprivation has been shown to reduce some of the severe effects of brain damage. Surgery might be required to relieve pressure on the brain.
Most cases of infant brain injuries could have been prevented, and it’s important to examine the circumstances surrounding delivery to determine whether a medical mistake was made that caused your child’s injuries.
If you need help determining your next steps after your baby is diagnosed with a brain injury, you can trust the experienced and compassionate team at DLG For Me to guide you and help you get the compensation you will need to care for your child.
Erb’s palsy (affecting the shoulder and upper arm) or Klumpke’s palsy (affecting the forearm and hand) happens when the brachial plexus nerves are ruptured or torn during delivery.
The brachial plexus is a bundle of nerves in the shoulder that connects the neck to the arm. Erb’s and Klumpke’s palsy are distinguished by the location of the nerve injury. When the brachial plexus is torn or damaged, signals between the brain and arm are impaired, and the arm and hand are unable to function as they normally would. These injuries can lead to moderate immobility, paralysis from the shoulder down, muscular atrophy, stunted arm growth, and diminished sensation in the affected arm.
Erb’s and Klumpke’s palsy are preventable with proper obstetric care, and obstetricians should recognize the risk factors and take measures to prevent injury. When they fail to do so and your baby is injured as a result, you might be eligible to file a claim for damages.
If your child was diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury, you will need the financial resources to provide extensive therapies and medical care. Contacting a lawyer is your best option for getting the compensation your baby deserves. Call the experienced attorneys at DLG For Me to give your family help in navigating this difficult time.
Medical errors can involve acts or omissions. Doctors are expected to meet a heightened standard of care when providing medical care and treatment, and when they fail to act as a reasonably prudent doctor under the circumstances, they can be liable for foreseeable injuries that result to the baby or mother.
Doctors are expected to monitor pregnant patients for risk factors and complications before childbirth so they are prepared for a successful delivery. Common complications include:
- Placenta previa
- Perinatal asphyxia
- Shoulder dystocia
When a doctor does not address or misdiagnoses pre-delivery complications, the possibility for injury during childbirth is increased.
Medical errors can also occur with improper use of medical equipment during labor and delivery. Forceps, vacuum extractors, and fetal heart rate monitors are a few tools that can cause serious injuries if not handled prudently.
If your baby was injured at birth, and you suspect your health care providers were negligent in causing the injury, you might be eligible to file a claim for compensation. Contact the compassionate lawyers at DLG For Me to help provide for your baby’s needs.
Determining if you have a birth injury claim
If your baby was injured during childbirth, you might have a claim against the doctor or hospital that provided your medical care. Children born with cerebral palsy, brain injuries, or nerve injuries might have a case against the health care providers that will compensate the family for increased costs associated with the injury.
Because birth injuries can be caused by naturally occurring complications or medical errors, it’s difficult to determine whether you have a claim without the assistance of experts to review your case. Birth injury cases are usually very complicated and are best handled by an experienced birth injury lawyer who has access to experts that can analyze your medical records and give an opinion on the cause of the injury.
As with all medical malpractice cases, birth injury claims involve complex rules that are difficult to navigate without the help of an attorney. You can safely assume that the defendants involved will have their own legal representation and likely have more financial resources at their disposal to fight the lawsuit.
If your infant was injured at birth, the best thing you can do to provide for them is to speak with a lawyer who can present your best case. Contact DLG For Me today for a free consultation that will not require you to become our client unless you want to.
The statute of limitations in birth injury cases
The statute of limitations sets a strict deadline for filing a birth injury lawsuit. The timing varies from one to four years, and sometimes longer, depending on the state where the injury occurred. It’s important to immediately seek an attorney’s advice on how long you have to file a claim as soon as you believe you or your child was injured by medical negligence because certain factors of your case can affect when the statute of limitations starts to run. And, when the statute runs, your opportunity for justice ends.
While some birth injuries are immediately apparent after delivery, others can manifest after some time lapses. In some states, determining when the statute of limitations expires in a particular case depends not only on when the injury was sustained, but also on when it was discovered.
With so many factors contributing to the deadline for filing a claim, your best option is to speak with an experienced birth injury lawyer today who can advise you on your filing deadline. Call DLG For Me as soon as possible for a complimentary consultation with lawyers who can help you determine if you have a viable claim for compensation.
Compensation available in birth injury cases
The toll birth injuries take on a family extends far beyond the physical health of the child. The emotional toll and guilt the parents endure is devastating. The time required to care for an injured child takes parents’ time away from work and siblings who also need attention.
Damages available in birth injury cases include:
- Medical bills for the initial injury
- Future medical bills, rehabilitation, and therapy
- Future lost income of the child
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
Children with birth injuries often have special needs, which can cause significant financial strain, and should be accounted for when calculating your damages award or settlement. Just a few of the special needs you might encounter with a child injured at birth include:
- Costs to remodel your home for wheelchair access
- Special schools
- Cognitive and occupational therapy
- Caregivers with specialized skills
The therapies and interventions necessary to care for a person injured at birth can aggregate to tens of millions of dollars. If your child has been injured at birth, call an experienced and compassionate lawyer at DLG For Me today because you will need a lifetime’s worth of financial resources to provide for your child’s special needs.
Liable parties in birth injury cases
Health care providers including physicians, nurses, therapists, anesthesiologists, hospitals, clinics, and others can be liable for acts and omissions in the performance of their professional duties that cause a patient to be injured.
Mistakes can happen with fetal and maternal monitoring, medications, applying too much force to get the baby out, or even waiting too long to order a Cesarean section (C-section).
Doctors are expected to monitor the mother and baby before delivery so they are prepared for potential complications. Most brain injuries and other neurological injuries that happen during birth are preventable with a timely C-section. When doctors wait too long to get a baby out, the delivery might become so difficult that the doctor must use more force than ideal to deliver the baby. The timing of delivery is crucial to having a healthy baby, and the health care providers involved are expected to know the appropriate time for each patient. Unreasonable delays in delivering the baby can lead to birth injuries to the baby and mother, and the doctor ordering the procedures can be liable for failing to act quickly enough to prevent harm.
Negligent handling of assistive devices like forceps and vacuum extractors can also cause serious birth injuries for which the medical staff and facility can be held liable. These devices can cause skull fractures and dangerous hematomas that could have been prevented with proper use or other interventions.
If your baby was born with cerebral palsy, brain injuries, or nerve injuries, the health care providers involved in your case may be liable to compensate your family for the damages they caused. Call DLG For Me today for advice on your claim and your options to provide for your baby.
The standard of care in birth injury cases
The medical standard of care doctors owe patients is the level and type of care that a reasonably prudent and skilled health care professional in the community would have provided under similar circumstances. When health care professionals fail to conform to the standard of care when performing professional services and, as a result, a patient is injured, health care professionals may be liable for damages.
In a birth injury or medical negligence lawsuit, an expert medical witness will testify on the standard of care under the case specific circumstances, how the health care providers involved deviated from that standard, and how the mother’s or baby’s injury resulted from the health care provider’s failure to do their job with the requisite skill.
In some states, expert testimony in the form of an affidavit is required from the outset of litigation. One of the many reasons it’s important to hire a lawyer for a birth injury case is that lawyers have access to these crucial experts.
If you think your doctor’s medical malpractice or negligence caused or contributed to your child’s birth injury, call DLG For Me for a free consultation. We have the resources to get your case resolved.
Filing a birth injury claim
You may be entitled to compensation if a medical professional's negligence led directly to your child’s birth injury.
Statistics show that plaintiffs who do not hire a lawyer after suspected medical malpractice will almost always recover nothing on their own and never hold wrongdoers to account. On the other hand, those who hire an experienced lawyer have a chance to recover the life changing compensation they deserve and encourage defendants to be on their best behavior in the future.
Call DLG For Me today for a free consultation with a compassionate lawyer who can help you determine your options and next steps toward financially providing for your injured baby.
What is a birth injury lawsuit?
When an infant suffers an injury during birth, their parents--with the help of a birth injury attorney--may be able to file a medical malpractice claim against the medical professionals involved.
Negligence in a medical setting occurs when a doctor or other medical professional's actions fail to meet the standard of care expected of health care providers under similar circumstances.
If your baby was injured at birth and you believe medical negligence was the cause, call for legal advice today because your time to file a claim is limited.
What is Brachial Palsy?
Brachial palsy occurs when the nerves that control the arms and hands are stretched too far or torn from the spinal column, causing permanent damage to the bundle of nerves in the shoulder called the brachial plexus.
Brachial palsy is often caused in breech births or with shoulder dystocia, where the baby's shoulder gets lodged in the mother’s pelvis during delivery. Pulling on the baby’s arm or hand with too much force or stretching the neck too far can damage the nerves in the brachial plexus, leading to impaired motor function or paralysis in that arm.
What is Hypoxia?
Hypoxia occurs when a baby's brain is deprived of oxygenated blood near or at the time of delivery. Hypoxia can cause developmental delays and cognitive impairment.
Hypoxia can occur when a physician fails to order an emergency cesarean section to deliver the baby safely.
How do Forceps Cause Injuries?
When a mother is having difficulty delivering a baby, her physician may use specialized forceps to grasp the baby’s head and aid in the delivery.
The use of these forceps sometimes causes skull fractures, brain damage, or nerve damage in a child's chest, head, or neck when used with too much force or at the wrong angle.
How do Vacuum Extractors Cause Injuries?
Specialized vacuum extractors or vacuum pumps are sometimes used to latch onto a baby and gently help guide them through the birth canal.
Although widely regarded as safer than forceps, vacuum extractors cause thousands of birth injuries each year. Vacuums cause injuries in a variety of ways.
- The doctor places the suction cup on the wrong part of the baby’s head.
- The doctor twists the head or neck too much.
- The doctor pulls too hard on the extractor.
- The doctor fails to abandon the vacuum and order a timely C-section.
Vacuum pump injuries can cause serious, and potentially life-threatening, injuries including hematomas and hydrocephalus. If left untreated, these injuries can lead to pressure on the baby’s brain resulting in surgery and irreversible brain damage.
How does Failure to Order a Cesarean Section Cause Injury?
Emergency cesarean sections may be necessary to deliver a child safely.
When a medical professional fails to identify the need for an emergency cesarean section, the baby may suffer from lifelong injuries.
If you think your doctor waited too long to order a C-section, you might be entitled to compensation for the consequences. The team at DLG For Me has the experience necessary to determine whether your child was injured during birth as a result of a healthcare professional's negligence.
To find out whether you qualify for a birth injury claim, contact the experienced, compassionate professionals at DLG For Me today.
Check out this article to discover more about birth trauma and how a birth injuries attorney might be able to help your family.
What does a birth injury attorney do?
After you hire a birth injury lawyer and have an initial consultation, the lawyer will begin investigating your claim and gathering evidence. One of the first things the firm will do is to order your medical records and have a nurse review them for a better understanding of what occurred in the delivery room. From there, a medical expert witness will usually get involved to determine whether the health care providers conformed to the standard of care and whether they caused your baby’s injury. Then, the firm might file a lawsuit or send a settlement demand.
After a lawsuit is filed, the attorney will initiate discovery, in which the parties exchange evidence of the incident details and associated costs. Discovery is often contentious and can drag out the litigation for months or even years.
If the parties are unable to reach a settlement agreement, the court will set the case for trial, and your lawyer will prepare you to testify before a judge or jury. The uncertainty of a jury verdict ordinarily leads plaintiffs and defendants to seek a negotiated settlement that limits their potential exposure.
How long do I have to file a birth injury claim?
The timeframe for filing an injury lawsuit is called the statute of limitations. Determining the deadline for filing a lawsuit is determined under the facts of each particular case. Factors that affect the statute of limitations include the state where the injury occurred, the date the injury was sustained, and the date the injury was discovered.
Each state has its own statute of limitations. These typically vary from one year to four years. The best way to determine your deadline to file a lawsuit is to call a birth injury attorney who can examine the facts and state laws relevant to your case.
What are birth injury damages?
“Damages” is a legal term for the dollar figure allotted to compensate a person for an injury that is the fault of another person or company. Damages are meant to make injured parties whole by repaying economic losses and financially compensating for future physical, emotional, and economic costs of the injury.
A child who is injured at birth may require physical therapy, a customized education plan, and other special care. Should the child require a wheelchair, your home might need expensive remodeling for accessibility. One parent might need to stop working to care for the child, resulting in substantial lost income and lost opportunities.
All these costs compound to create turmoil and take an emotional and financial toll on the family.
If your baby was injured in childbirth, you need the financial resources to care for a child with special needs. Our compassionate and experienced attorneys understand that the consequences of a birth injury can far exceed the obvious damages.
Call DLG For Me for a free consultation today because the time you have to file a claim is limited.
Do I need a birth injury attorney?
If your baby sustained a birth injury that you believe was caused by medical negligence, your best option is to consult with a lawyer because having legal representation significantly improves your chance of winning and increases your potential award.
Lawyers know the procedural rules and have access to experts and witnesses you will need to present your strongest case. You have nothing to lose and plenty to gain from making the initial call. At DLG For Me, we work on a contingency basis, which means that we don’t charge a fee unless we win for you.
If your child was injured at birth, the attorneys at DLG For Me can help by filing a claim for compensation against the responsible health care providers.
To find out whether you may qualify for compensation, fill out our case review form today.
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