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A child's birth should be a cause for celebration. But when negligent medical professionals cause your child to experience fetal distress, oxygen deprivation, or physical trauma, you have a right to take legal action.

The long-term costs for medical care for your child, along with the emotional trauma you've had to endure, can be a burden too significant to handle on your own. At Munley Law, we fight for the injured children and their families who suffered from a birth injury. Let our birth injury attorneys help you get the financial compensation you need for your baby.

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What is a Birth Injury?

BirthAccording to the National Library of Medicine, a birth injury is any damage to the newborn's body due to an adverse event that occurred at birth. Birth injuries can occur at any point in the birthing process or during pregnancy.

A birth injury is different from a birth defect, which is a congenital disorder that occurs during the baby's development in the womb.

Types of Birth Injuries Caused by Medical Negligence

Sometimes, a birth injury is simply an accident that no one could have prevented. However, in many cases, birth injuries are a result of medical negligence or a medical error in the delivery room. Common birth injuries that result from inadequate medical care include the following.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is the most common motor development disability impacting children. While cerebral palsy can occur as a result of improper development in utero, some children develop the condition after experiencing brain damage during labor and delivery.

Most children who are diagnosed with cerebral palsy are later diagnosed with a co-occurring condition such as epilepsy.

Erb's Palsy

Erb's palsy is a type of brachial plexus palsy, a nerve condition of the shoulder and arm, resulting in weakness and loss of muscle function.

Brachial plexus injuries often occur during a difficult delivery where the baby's shoulders get stuck in the birth canal, leading to injury.

Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy

Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, or HIE, is a brain injury that results from a lack of oxygen or blood flow before, during, or shortly after birth. HIE is also known as asphyxia. It is estimated that 80 to 90 percent of HIE cases are not preventable, but for those that involve complex labor and delivery where fetal distress was not taken care of or monitored, families may have a birth injury .

Spinal Cord Injuries

Often, a spinal cord injury sustained during birth is a result of a medical mistake during delivery. Commonly, this can be due to the umbilical cord being compressed, causing nerve damage and injuries.

Spinal cord injuries may also result from assistive devices such as a vacuum extractor or forceps, which can cause series injury when used improperly.

Lastly, if a doctor does not diagnose spina bifida during pregnancy and medical treatment is not given shortly after birth, or the delivery process becomes challenging due to spina bifida, a serious or fatal injury may occur.

Fractures

When a baby is in a breech position for delivery or is bigger than average and becomes stuck, a fracture of the clavicle or collarbone can occur. This may be diagnosed when the medical team or parents realize the baby does not move the arm on the side of the break often.

Causes of Birth Injuries

Birth Injury LawyersWe often think that birth injuries only occur at birth. However, they can occur at any time during prenatal care, during delivery, or shortly after birth.

Failure to Monitor

When a medical provider fails to monitor the mother and child throughout pregnancy, a medical malpractice claim may be utilized to recover financial losses. Typically, a failure to monitor claims results from healthcare providers failing to keep track of the vitals of the mother and child during labor and delivery.

This includes recording the baby's heart rate and knowing the signs of fetal distress as well as the mother's blood pressure. It can also include failing to take appropriate action for complications during labor or concerning test results.

When a standard of care is not followed, and the mother and child are not taken care of during the delivery process, the child may suffer from birth injuries such as developmental delays and brain damage from lack of oxygen, cerebral palsy, and hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.

Medication Error

Many medications have been deemed unsafe for use by pregnant women. Unfortunately, healthcare providers may still prescribe or fail to prescribe a drug, leading to catastrophe.

Common medication errors causing birth injuries include:

  • A medical provider prescribing a drug during pregnancy that harms the baby.
  • The wrong dosage of a medication being prescribed to a woman during pregnancy.
  • A woman receiving medications improperly during labor and delivery.

Trauma During Delivery

Unfortunately, there are situations where birth trauma cannot be avoided. This may include situations where the baby is too large and becomes “stuck” during delivery or maternal illness, causing complications during birth.

However, when there is trauma during delivery that causes the baby to suffer a medical condition, something must be done. Trauma during delivery includes improper use of extractors during delivery or botched forceps delivery, utilizing assistive devices too late, not having a timely C-section, etc.

How a Birth Injury Law Firm Can Help with Your Case

We count on medical experts to care for us during some of the lowest times in our lives. But we also hope to have them by our sides during our highest times, like the birth of a child. When preventable injuries occur due to medical negligence, causing your child to have a shortened or diminished quality of life, you need a legal team by your side.

The personal injury lawyers of Munley Law have handled some of the most complex cases in birth injury litigation and will use our experience to hold those negligent parties accountable.

We will prove that negligent healthcare providers caused your child harm by showing that:

  • There was a patient-doctor relationship
  • The doctor owed a duty of care
  • That duty was breached
  • The breach of duty resulted in birth injury(s)
  • The birth injury caused specific damages

Further, we will work tirelessly to meet the for medical malpractice lawsuits. By missing the deadline, which can range between two to three years, you risk not having the compensation you need for medical costs. However, if you decide to wait until your child is of age to file a claim, you have until they are 20 years old.

We also connect with expert witnesses to support your evidence and build a strong case. This expert testimony can make all the difference in your case.

Meeting with an experienced birth injury lawyer lets you learn how to secure maximum compensation for your child.

How Much Compensation Am I Entitled To for a Birth Injury?

Factors like the severity of your child's injuries and the types of injuries sustained, long-term health needs, and maternal death following delivery can all impact the amount of compensation you may be entitled to for a birth injury.

The following are common damages you may recover.

Medical Expenses

In some cases, your insurance company may only cover some costs for your child's birth injury or extended stay in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Even if there is coverage, that is only after out-of-pocket expenses and deductibles are met.

With the help of an experienced attorney, you may be able to recover compensation for medical expenses related to the pregnancy, labor, and delivery, depending on when the injury occurred.

Further, you may get compensation for the child's ongoing and further medical needs.

Therapy

If the injury during birth caused your child nerve damage, permanent disability, and/or chronic pain, physical and occupational therapy may be required for their care. However, these therapies can be expensive, and sometimes insurance companies only cover treatment for so long or for only a certain amount of visits.

Your personal injury attorneys can help you get the money you need to send your child to therapy for their entire life if medically necessary.

Adaptive Equipment

Some lifelong disabilities require adaptive equipment to be mobile and complete tasks we take advantage of daily. Walkers and wheelchairs, eating aids, and home modifications can cost thousands of dollars—none of which you should have to pay because of negligent medical staff.

Pain and Suffering

Severe injuries from birth trauma are not just physically taxing; they can be emotionally trying, too. The emotional distress can be a burden to the family and child alike, all of which can be compensated with the right legal team.

Money can't change a doctor's negligent actions, but it can help you move forward with life without financial stressors.

When Should I Contact a Birth Injury Lawyer?

If you suspect that something went wrong during the birth process that should not have occurred or could have been prevented or that your child did not receive proper care after delivery, resulting in catastrophic injuries, you should contact a lawyer.

Evidence will disappear quickly, and doctors' and hospitals' medical malpractice insurance companies will look for ways to minimize the payout they are responsible for. To avoid this, contact a lawyer who can begin the legal process right away.

What's the Difference Between a Birth Defect and a Birth Injury?

Many people use birth defect and birth injury interchangeably, but the reality is they are two separate things. The main difference between the two is what causes them.

A birth injury is caused by trauma during the birthing process. A birth defect happens while the child is still in utero. Typically, a birth defect is caused by a genetic or environmental factor, whereas a birth injury is caused by the actions or inactions of medical professionals during the birthing process.

How Much Do Birth Injury Lawyers Cost?

Most birth injury lawyers work on a basis. This means there are no upfront costs to you, and you only pay if your case is won. In some cases, filing fees are added to your cost, but your birth trauma lawyers will explain the cost structure.

How Do I Know My Child's Birth Injury Was Caused By Malpractice or Negligence?

In order to prove that a child's birth injury was caused by malpractice or negligence, you must establish that there was a legal duty by the doctors owed to the patient. There must have been a breach of this duty where the medical attention given did not meet the standard of care expected, and as a result, damages were suffered.

If you suspect your child suffered a birth injury at the hands of a negligent medical professional, you should begin documenting everything. Get copies of medical records, talk with others who were present at the delivery, and be sure to keep a detailed record of what went wrong.

Then, call a birth injury lawyer from Munley Law.

How Long Do I Have to File a Birth Injury Lawsuit?

You typically have two years to file a birth injury lawsuit. However, if you wait until your child is no longer a minor to take legal action, the child has until they reach age 18 for the clock on the statute of limitations to begin, meaning until they reach age 20.

Contact Munley Law for a Free Consultation

If your child suffered preventable birth injuries that have left them with lifelong medical complications, you do not have to suffer the financial burden alone. These negligent healthcare professionals need to be held accountable.

At Munley Law, we handle a wide range of complex birth injury cases and will put our experience to the test for you. We've secured millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for our personal injury attorneys, including substantial birth injury settlements.

If your child received a birth injury diagnosis, you need to call Munley Law. Call Munley Law today or connect with us online to meet with a birth injury attorney.

Do I Have A Case?

If you think you may have a personal injury case, contact us now for a FREE consultation.

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    BBB Accreditation Badge The information contained on this website does not create an attorney-client relationship nor should any information be considered legal advice as it is intended to provide general information only. Prior case results do not guarantee a similar outcome.
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