Birth Injury Lawyers
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The birth of a child is a joyous occasion for most parents eager to welcome a new addition to their family. We depend on doctors to ensure the health of mother and child throughout the pregnancy and during birth. Sadly, doctors may sometimes fail to perform their duties with proper care, which may cause injuries to the child during the pregnancy or the birthing procedure itself. If you or your child have been injured during the birthing process, you should contact a birthing injury lawyer to help you take the appropriate steps to pursue compensation.
If you or your child have been injured during the pregnancy or during your child’s birth, an experienced birth injury lawyer may allow you to focus on recovering from your injuries while your birth injury malpractice lawyer focuses on pursuing any compensation you or your child may be entitled to as a result of the birth injury. You should contact the experienced birth injury attorneys from Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation. If we cannot reach a favorable result for your claim, you will not owe us anything.
DETERMINING IF YOU HAVE A BIRTH INJURY CLAIM
Birth injuries due to a doctor's error are always tragic, but they are not always grounds for filing an injury claim. To pursue a birth injury claim successfully, it must be proven that the medical personnel’s conduct was below the accepted standard of care. Preventable injuries that occur may meet this threshold. Such behavior may include:
- Failing to recognize the presence of infection
- Failure to follow proper procedures
- Failure to provide proper medication
- Botched operations or surgeries
Doctors have certain protocols and a standard of care they must follow, and diverging from or ignoring this standard of care may constitute medical negligence. Once it is proven that medical negligence has occurred, it must also be proven that this negligent action is the cause of the injury.
COMMON BIRTH INJURY CASES
When a doctor fails to provide an acceptable standard of care, injuries can occur, including:
Erb’s palsy can occur naturally, but can also be caused by medical mistakes, such as a failed cesarean section or the improper use of medical tools. Erb’s palsy causes temporary or permanent paralysis that affects the shoulder and arm of an infant and can impact voluntary muscle control in this area.
Hypoxia occurs when an infant’s blood is deprived of oxygen during the course of the birth, often due to underdeveloped lungs, and failure to properly diagnose this condition in a timely manner can lead to brain and tissue damage.
Brachial Plexus Injury
Brachial plexus injuries are caused when the nerves connecting the shoulders, arms, and hand to the spinal cord are damaged. Injuries to these nerves can cause weakness and in some cases paralysis of the shoulder, arm, or hand.
Negligent Use of Medical Equipment
Negligent use of forceps or vacuum to assist in birthing can cause birth injuries such as broken bones, skull injuries, brain damage, and even stroke.
Cerebral palsy is a common birth injury sustained by infants caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain or body. This lack of oxygen in some cases may be caused by premature birth, but it may also be caused by trauma during the birthing process. Cerebral palsy permanently affects motor skills, and it may also impact muscle control. In some cases, cerebral palsy can impair hearing, vision, and intellect as well.
While some cases of cerebral palsy in infants occur naturally, even if the physician provides all proper care, negligence can play a role in many cases. A physician failing to diagnose and treat meningitis during pregnancy, properly monitor an infant's vital signs during delivery, failing to perform a cesarean section when needed, or failing to detect issues with the umbilical cord during delivery can all contribute to an infant being diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
Sometimes it may take some time for these injuries and their symptoms to become apparent. It may not be readily apparent that an infant has limited use of their arms or muscles, or whether the infant has suffered intellectual impairment as a result of a birth injury. As a result, some injuries may not become evident until later in the child's life.
WHO CAN BE HELD LIABLE FOR BIRTH INJURIES?
The key to a successful birth injury claim is proving medical malpractice. It must be proven that a negligent action was performed, or a failure to act appropriately occurred, and that this negligent action or inaction is the cause of the child's injury. There is a certain standard of care that physicians must follow during any procedure, and if a doctor fails to follow these protocols, this is negligent behavior.
Negligence is not limited to the treating obstetrician performing the procedure, however. Any member of the hospital staff including the treating obstetrician, nurses, anesthesiologist, and other staff who may be involved may be liable in the event of a birth injury if they have acted negligently. In some cases, the hospital may also be liable. The hospital has a duty to ensure that it is adequately staffed, ensure the staff is properly trained and credentialed, and that proper protocols and procedures are followed by its staff.
FILING A CLAIM FOR BIRTH INJURIES
Communication with the Hospital
If the hospital determines you or your child has suffered a birth injury due to the actions of their staff, they or their insurer may attempt to contact you or offer you a settlement upfront. You should be extremely careful about anything you say to the hospital or their representatives regarding the issue. Hospitals will seek to keep these incidents as quiet as possible, and the hospital may offer compensation to get the issue cleared up quickly and quietly. However, hospitals and their insurers also have a bottom line, and any settlement offer they make is likely to be far less than the compensation you or your child may actually be entitled to.
Contact An Attorney
If you or your child has suffered a birth injury due to the actions of a physician or other medical staff, or if you believe this has occurred, you should contact a birth trauma lawyer as soon as possible. Birth injury cases are complex and proving medical negligence can be difficult. The hospital and its insurer will have lawyers dedicated to denying the existence of negligence and preventing or limiting compensation. A birth injury lawyer may be able to help you determine if medical negligence was involved in your child’s birth injury and may be able to help you seek compensation for the damages caused by this injury.
Learn More: Why Hiring a Lawyer Will Help Your Case
It is important to maintain all records, including medical records, as well as any medical billing associated with the birthing injury. These records may be able to help your attorney determine if negligence occurred and establish the details thereof. Records of your medical expenses may also help your attorney when determining the compensation you may be entitled to.
Negotiation and Settlement
Once your attorney has investigated your case and has been able to determine that medical negligence may have played a role in causing a birthing injury, your lawyer may begin to negotiate with the hospital or its insurer to reach a settlement. Once both sides are able to agree on an amount for compensation, a settlement may be reached. If no settlement is reached, the case may go to trial.
COMPENSATION FOR BIRTH INJURIES
Compensation for birth injuries varies from case to case, dependent upon each case’s specific details. Compensation for birth injury cases may include:
Compensation for medical expenses can include costs of medical treatment or doctor’s visits, and it may also include compensation for ongoing and future medical treatment.
Loss of Income
If you were injured during the birthing process, you may be able to seek compensation for loss of income caused by inability to work due to injuries. Depending on the nature of the injury, you may be able to seek compensation for lost potential income as well.
You may be able to seek compensation for the costs of adapting your home to accommodate accessibility limitations caused by a birth injury.
Pain and Suffering
You may be able to seek compensation for the pain and agony you or your child may have suffered due to a birth injury. This type of compensation is usually calculated by taking into account the type of injury and the impact the injury has had on the quality of life of you or your child. Some states may place limits on the amount of compensation that can be awarded for pain and suffering, however.
Learn More: How to Calculate the Value of Case
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
The statute of limitations places a time limit on how long you have to file a claim. The statute of limitations for birth injuries varies by state, but in most states, it is 2 to 3 years from the date of injury. However, since many birth injuries may not be apparent for some time after they occur, this time limit may not begin until the injury was discovered or should have been discovered. It is important to contact a birth injury lawyer as soon as possible to ensure you are able to file your claim within this time frame and pursue any compensation you or your child may be entitled to.
GET HELP FROM A BIRTH INJURY LAWYER TODAY
At Zinda Law Group, our birth injury malpractice attorneys are here to assist you with your child’s claim. We help our clients pursue the maximum compensation they may be entitled to after suffering an injury during birth.
Call (800) 863-5312 today for a free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers. As one of our clients, you will not pay anything unless we can win your case.
Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.