As a parent, you want what’s best for your child. When your baby suffers a serious injury during childbirth due to medical negligence, it can be devastating.
You trusted the doctors and hospital staff to safely deliver your child, and they failed. Now, you face a lifetime of medical care, therapy, and challenges.
At a time when you should be bonding with your new baby, you have to deal with the harsh realities of medical bills, insurance claims, and an uncertain future. However, you don’t have to go through this alone.
A birth injury medical malpractice lawyer can help you find justice and fair compensation so you can focus on your child’s care and recovery.
What Is a Birth Injury?
A birth injury is any harm or damage sustained by an infant during the birthing process. This includes injuries occurring immediately before, during, or just after delivery. Some common birth injuries include:
Cerebral palsy refers to a group of disorders that affect movement, muscle tone, and posture.
It is caused by damage to the developing brain, often before or during childbirth. Cerebral palsy can range from mild to severe and may impact a child’s mobility, speech, and cognitive abilities.
Erb’s palsy, also known as brachial plexus injury, affects the network of nerves running from the upper spine to the arm.
It can occur during delivery when an infant’s shoulder gets caught in the birth canal, causing nerve damage.
This can result in loss of movement or sensation in the arm. Physical therapy and in some cases surgery may help improve mobility and function.
Intracranial hemorrhage refers to bleeding within the brain. It can be caused by physical trauma during delivery or complications from the birthing process like oxygen deprivation.
Intracranial hemorrhage may lead to seizures, impaired cognitive development, cerebral palsy, or other lifelong disabilities. Immediate medical treatment is required to minimize damage.
If your child has sustained a birth injury, seeking advice from a birth injury medical malpractice lawyer could help determine whether negligence was involved.
They can evaluate your legal options for obtaining compensation to cover extensive medical bills and other costs of caring for a child with a disability.
No amount of money can undo the harm, but it can make a difference in your child’s treatment, development, and future well-being.
Common Types of Birth Injuries Due to Medical Malpractice
As a birth injury medical malpractice lawyer, it’s important to understand the common types of injuries that can occur due to negligence during labor and delivery.
Knowing the signs and symptoms of these preventable injuries can help build a strong case to obtain justice and compensation for clients.
- Cerebral Palsy: Damage to the brain that impairs muscle coordination and body movement. Signs include abnormal muscle tone, poor motor skills, and impaired speech or vision. This can be caused by lack of oxygen to the brain during delivery due to improper use of forceps or failure to perform a C-section when needed.
- Erb’s Palsy: Nerve damage in the arm caused by excessive pulling or twisting during delivery. Symptoms include loss of sensation and inability to move the arm. With proper diagnosis and treatment like physical therapy or surgery, some functionality may be restored over time. However, permanent loss of range of motion and strength is common without swift medical attention at the time of injury.
- Facial Paralysis: Damage to the facial nerve that controls expression and eye movement. This can cause drooping eyelids, crooked smile, and difficulty closing eyes or mouth. It is often due to improper use of forceps during delivery and may require corrective surgeries and therapy for moderate recovery of function.
- Other injuries: Fractured bones, excessive blood loss, respiratory distress, and organ damage can also occur due to oxygen deprivation or physical trauma during birth. Seeking counsel from a birth injury lawyer is critical to determining fault and next steps toward justice in these situations. Proper diagnosis, treatment, and management of lifelong effects may help improve quality of life for the child despite the negligence that caused their suffering.
Signs Your Child May Have Suffered a Birth Injury
If your child suffered injuries during or shortly after birth, they may have been caused by medical malpractice. Some signs that your baby may have experienced a birth injury include:
Problems feeding, sucking, or swallowing can indicate potential head, neck or brain trauma.
If your baby chokes, coughs or seems unable to coordinate sucking and swallowing, it could point to nerve damage or other injury.
Fractures of the clavicle (collarbone), arm, or leg bones can occur during a difficult delivery. While some breaks heal on their own, others may require treatment and can lead to permanent issues if not properly addressed.
Excessive bruising, especially around the face and head, can be a warning sign of trauma during birth. While some bruising is normal, severe or widespread bruising needs to be evaluated by a doctor.
Seizures, especially within the first few days of life, can indicate a serious birth injury such as a head bleed, lack of oxygen to the brain, or nerve damage.
Immediate medical attention is required to determine the cause and appropriate treatment.
If your child exhibits any of these signs or other issues that concern you, consult their pediatrician as soon as possible.
Early diagnosis and treatment of birth injuries is critical to limiting long-term damage.
Speaking to a birth injury medical malpractice lawyer can also help determine if negligence was involved and ensure your child receives the resources they need to thrive.
No amount of money can undo the harm, but holding the responsible parties accountable and planning for your child’s future care and needs are important steps towards justice and healing.
The Devastating Effects of Birth Injuries
The birth of a child should be a joyous occasion. However, in some cases, errors or negligence during labor and delivery can lead to serious, lifelong injuries for the baby.
These birth injuries, known as birth trauma, can have devastating, long-term effects on both the child and the family.
Birth injuries may cause damage to the baby’s brain, bones, or nerves. This can result in conditions such as cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, seizures, or broken bones.
The child may face a lifetime of physical therapy, surgeries, and mobility challenges.
Cognitive and developmental delays
A lack of oxygen or trauma during birth can lead to intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, speech and language delays, visual impairments, and other problems.
Early intervention and special education may be required, but the child may still face significant struggles in school and daily life.
In addition to physical and cognitive issues, birth injuries often cause emotional damage as well. Both the child and the family may experience feelings of shock, grief, anger or depression.
Coping with the challenges of disabilities or impairment can put a huge emotional strain on all members of the family.
The costs associated with a birth injury are staggering. Lifelong medical care, therapy, mobility equipment, educational support, and loss of income can easily reach millions of dollars. This further compounds the devastation for families.
If your child has suffered a birth injury due to medical negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.
Speaking to a birth injury medical malpractice lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and options for pursuing a lawsuit or settlement to cover medical costs,
loss of future income, and other damages. Justice, answers and financial relief may be possible.
Your Legal Options After a Birth Injury
If your child has suffered a birth injury due to medical malpractice, you have legal options to pursue.
Speaking with a birth injury medical malpractice lawyer is an important first step.
They can review your case, determine if negligence was involved, and advise you on the merits of a lawsuit.
Filing a lawsuit against the physicians and hospital responsible for the negligent care during delivery is often the only way to obtain compensation for lifelong care and treatment of your child’s injuries.
A lawyer can handle compiling medical records, consulting with expert witnesses, negotiating with insurance companies, and taking the case to trial if necessary.
Monetary damages in a successful birth injury case may include payment for current and future medical bills, rehabilitation, loss of future earning capacity, pain and suffering, and other expenses.
In some situations, a settlement between parties can be reached before going to trial.
A lawyer will try to negotiate the maximum settlement to cover all costs associated with the injury.
While a settlement may seem like an easy resolution, you need an attorney to determine if the offered amount is fair and meets your child’s needs.
You only have one opportunity to settle the case, so you want the best outcome possible.
Statute of Limitations
Each state has laws setting deadlines for filing a birth injury lawsuit, known as statutes of limitations.
This can be as little as two years after the date of injury, so time is of the essence. If the deadline passes before taking legal action, you forfeit the right to recover damages.
A medical malpractice lawyer is aware of the laws in your state and will file accordingly before time runs out.
No amount of money can undo the harm caused by medical negligence, but it can help ensure your child receives the lifetime care they need.
Speaking to a birth injury lawyer about your legal options is the first step towards finding justice and securing your child’s future.
Do I Have a Medical Malpractice Case?
To determine if you have a legitimate medical malpractice case, consider the following:
Did the doctor fail to meet the standard of care?
The standard of care refers to the level of care that a reasonably competent doctor would provide under the same circumstances.
If your doctor failed to diagnose or treat your condition properly, did not obtain your informed consent, or made errors that a competent doctor would not have made, this could indicate failure to meet the standard of care.
Did the doctor’s negligence cause harm?
In addition to proving the doctor was negligent, you must show that their negligence directly caused harm.
The harm could be physical, mental, or financial. Without proof of harm, you typically do not have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Do you have evidence to support your claim?
To build a strong case, you need evidence like medical records, expert medical opinions, and testimony from other doctors to prove negligence and harm.
Eyewitness accounts and records of follow-up care and treatments may also help support your claim. Lack of solid evidence could make it difficult to prove your case.
Is the statute of limitations still open?
Each state has a statute of limitations for filing medical malpractice claims. This time period typically ranges from 1 to 3 years from the date of harm or discovery of negligence.
If too much time has passed, your claim may be barred. It is best to consult with an attorney as soon as possible.
Do you have grounds for a lawsuit?
In some situations, poor outcomes can occur despite appropriate medical care. Not all bad outcomes signify malpractice.
To have grounds for a lawsuit, you must be able to show that the doctor failed to meet the standard of care, and that failure directly caused significant harm.
If you believe you have a legitimate medical malpractice case, discuss the details with an experienced attorney. They can properly assess the merits of your claim and advise you on the best course of action.
Why Hire a Birth Injury Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If your newborn suffered harm during labor or delivery due to negligent medical care, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
However, these cases can be highly complex. Hiring an experienced birth injury medical malpractice lawyer is crucial.
A birth injury medical malpractice lawyer has specialized knowledge and experience in this area of law.
They understand the intricacies involved in proving medical negligence and liability in situations involving labor and delivery.
They have handled cases involving conditions like cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, and hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.
Medical records review plays an integral role in birth injury cases. An attorney will thoroughly analyze prenatal records, hospital records,
and test results to determine if the standard of care was breached. They know how to identify signs that labor and delivery staff failed to properly monitor the fetus, recognize fetal distress, respond in a timely manner, or take appropriate action.
Birth injury cases also often require testimony from medical experts. A lawyer has connections with obstetricians,
neonatologists, and other specialists that can provide opinions on whether inappropriate or negligent care caused harm to your baby. They understand how to effectively present complex medical evidence in a trial.
The legal process in pursuing a medical malpractice claim can be complicated and emotionally draining.
However, an experienced lawyer can handle the procedural aspects, allowing you to focus on your baby’s needs.
They will fight aggressively to hold the negligent parties accountable and secure maximum compensation to provide for your child’s present and future care.
If your newborn suffered a brain injury or other harm due to medical negligence during birth, do not hesitate to contact a birth injury medical malpractice lawyer for a free initial consultation,
regarding your legal rights and options for pursuing justice. They have the expertise and compassion to guide you through this difficult experience.
What to Expect When Pursuing a Birth Injury Claim
When pursuing a birth injury claim, you can expect the process to be complex and lengthy.
However, an experienced birth injury medical malpractice lawyer can guide you through each step to seek justice and compensation.
Your lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding your baby’s birth injury.
This includes reviewing prenatal records, hospital charts, test results, and statements from doctors, nurses, and other medical staff present during the delivery.
The investigation aims to determine whether the injury was preventable and if proper standards of care were followed.
Filing a Lawsuit
If the investigation finds evidence of negligence or malpractice, your lawyer may file a lawsuit against the at-fault parties.
Lawsuits must be filed within the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims in your state, which is usually within 2-3 years of the injury. However, birth injury cases can take several years to resolve.
Many birth injury cases settle out of court through settlement negotiations between the parties.
Your lawyer will negotiate the best possible settlement to cover current and future medical expenses, loss of wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. If negotiations are unsuccessful, the case proceeds to trial.
During a trial, lawyers present evidence and witness testimony to a judge or jury. They must prove negligence or malpractice caused your baby’s injuries by a preponderance of evidence.
Jury verdicts can award significantly higher damages than settlements. However, there are no guarantees, and you risk receiving nothing if the verdict is unfavorable.
The legal process for birth injury claims is complicated, but with an experienced lawyer advocating for your child,
you can seek fair compensation to cover medical costs, rehabilitation, accommodations, loss of future earnings, and improved quality of life.
While no amount of money can undo the harm, it can help secure your baby’s future and hold negligent parties accountable.
Why is it crucial to have legal representation in birth injury cases involving medical malpractice?
If your child has suffered harm during the birthing process due to negligence or improper medical care, seeking counsel from an experienced birth injury medical malpractice lawyer is critical.
These cases can be extremely complex, and having skilled legal guidance will help ensure your family receives fair compensation for the damages.
A knowledgeable attorney will conduct a thorough investigation into what went wrong during the pregnancy, labor, and delivery.
They will review medical records, interview involved healthcare professionals, consult with independent medical experts, and determine if the standard of care was breached.
If medical negligence is established, the lawyer can build a strong case to pursue damages through settlement or trial.
Damages in birth injury cases may include compensation for intensive medical care and treatment, loss of future earning capacity, pain and suffering, and reduced quality of life.
For severe, life-altering injuries, damages can amount to many millions of dollars. Without legal counsel, families may not receive the full compensation they rightfully deserve.
An adept birth injury lawyer will also handle all legal procedures properly, ensuring important deadlines are met, documents are filed correctly, and the intricacies of medical malpractice law are navigated.
The litigation process can be lengthy and complex. Skilled representation provides both legal and emotional support during what is often an extremely difficult time.
In summary, birth injury medical malpractice cases call for highly specialized legal counsel. Securing a lawyer with experience in this area of law helps guarantee your rights are protected, the proper parties are held accountable,
and maximum recovery is obtained so you can get your child the care and resources they need. No family should go through such an ordeal alone.
What steps should I take if I suspect medical malpractice caused my child’s birth injury?
If you suspect medical malpractice caused harm to your baby during childbirth, take the following steps:
Consult with medical experts
Discuss your concerns with obstetricians, pediatricians, or other doctors unrelated to the case. Get their professional opinions on whether the care provided met acceptable medical standards.
Their assessments can help determine if you have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Review medical records
Obtain and closely examine all medical records related to your pregnancy, labor, and delivery.
Look for any signs of negligence or substandard care, e.g. failure to properly monitor the fetus, delays in performing an emergency C-section, improper use of birth-assisting tools like forceps or vacuum extractors.
Spotting dangerous errors or omissions in the records can reveal evidence to support a malpractice claim.
Contact a birth injury lawyer
If medical experts and records point to malpractice, contacting a lawyer specializing in birth injury and medical malpractice cases is advised.
An experienced attorney can fully evaluate your situation, help determine who is liable, and pursue appropriate legal action.
They are well-versed in complicated medical issues and legal procedures surrounding birth injury cases.
Keep in mind that there are statutes of limitations on medical malpractice and personal injury claims.
This means there are legal deadlines for filing a lawsuit, which typically range from 1 to 3 years, depending on your state.
Speaking to a lawyer as soon as possible about your options is critical, especially for birth injury cases.
The steps above outline the prudent course of action to take if medical negligence caused harm to your child during delivery.
Securing expert medical opinions, thoroughly examining records, finding a qualified attorney, and adhering to statutory time limits can all help build a strong case and achieve justice through proper legal channels.
No amount of compensation can undo the damage, but it may provide for your child’s future needs.
Can I schedule a consultation with a birth injury lawyer to discuss my case?
Consulting with a birth injury lawyer is a crucial first step to understand your legal options and determine if you may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
most birth injury medical malpractice lawyers offer free initial consultations. During this meeting, the lawyer will review the details of your case,
ask questions about your child’s injury and the events surrounding their birth, and evaluate whether the doctor, hospital, or other medical staff acted negligently.
If the lawyer believes you may have a valid medical malpractice claim, they can explain your legal options for pursuing compensation to cover costs like medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and future care needs.
The lawyer can also advise you on statutes of limitations – the timeframe you have to take legal action. For birth injury cases, this is typically within 2-3 years of the injury, though some states allow more time.
To prepare for your consultation, gather as much information as possible about your child’s injury and medical records from the birth.
Be ready to provide details about what happened before, during, and after delivery that caused your child’s injury.
Bring a list of questions you may have regarding medical malpractice lawsuits, the claims process, and your rights as a patient.
During the meeting, don’t hesitate to ask the lawyer about their experience with birth trauma and malpractice litigation.
An experienced birth injury lawyer will have handled many similar cases and understand the complex legal and medical issues involved.
They can properly evaluate the merits of your claim and determine the best path forward to pursue justice for your child.
A consultation with a birth injury medical malpractice lawyer is the critical first step to get answers,
understand your options, and fight for fair compensation. Be prepared, ask questions, and find a lawyer with experience handling these highly complex cases.
How much does it typically cost to hire a birth injury medical malpractice lawyer?
The cost to hire a birth injury medical malpractice lawyer typically depends on several factors, including:
- The complexity of your case. More complex cases that require extensive research and expert testimony will cost more than straightforward cases.
- The experience and reputation of the attorney. Top attorneys with decades of experience handling birth injury cases will charge higher rates than less experienced attorneys. Their expertise and proven track record of success may be worth the premium, however.
- Whether the case goes to trial. Cases that are settled out of court are typically less expensive than those that go to trial. Trial cases require many additional hours of work to prepare evidence, question witnesses, and argue the case.
- Contingency fees. Most birth injury lawyers work on contingency, meaning they only get paid if they win your case. The standard contingency fee is 33-40% of the final settlement amount. You will owe no upfront costs, but the lawyer gets a percentage of the settlement. If no settlement is awarded, you owe nothing.
- Expenses. In addition to the lawyer’s fees, there are often additional expenses for things like expert medical witnesses, exhibits, travel, and court costs. Make sure you understand what expenses you may be responsible for, even if the lawyer is working on contingency.
The total cost will vary significantly based on the details of your case, but you can expect to pay between $50,000 to $500,000 or more in legal fees for a birth injury medical malpractice case.
While this may seem like a lot, a successful case can result in a life-changing settlement to cover medical care, therapy, and other costs for your child, so the investment may be well worth it.
Meet with a few lawyers to discuss the details of your case and get estimates of potential costs before deciding if pursuing legal action is right for your family.
You and your family have been through a traumatic experience, and seeking justice is an important part of the healing process.
A birth injury medical malpractice lawyer has the experience and expertise to investigate your case and determine if negligence was involved.
They can handle the complex legal process on your behalf so you can focus on caring for your child. Though no amount of money can undo the harm, a successful case can provide financial compensation to cover extensive medical bills and life-long care costs.
It may also hold the responsible parties accountable and help prevent future incidents. After suffering such a devastating loss, you deserve answers and justice. Speaking with a lawyer about your legal options can be an empowering first step.