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Pennsylvania Birth Injury Lawyer

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The Pennsylvania birth injury lawyers of Munley Law have spent decades supporting injury victims, including the most vulnerable–newborns. A birth injury results from physical trauma to the mother or infant during the labor and delivery process, resulting in harm. For many families, a mistake in the delivery room can lead to a lifetime of medical needs and recurrent costs.

If your child suffered a birth injury, a Pennsylvania birth injury lawyer from Munley Law can guide you through the legal process and help you secure the compensation you need to care for your baby. For a no-obligation, free consultation, contact Munley Law today.

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What is a Birth Injury?

Pennsylvania Birth Injury lawyers at Munley law can help if your child suffered a birth injuryDuring the labor and delivery process or shortly after delivery, a baby may suffer a physical injury that may or may not cause harm to a structure or function of the body. Birth injuries may range in severity from mild to life-threatening.

How Do Birth Injuries Occur?

Birth injuries are most likely to occur when a baby is large, weighing more than eight pounds; is born prematurely; is breeched; the labor is long; the mother’s pelvis is not large enough to birth the child vaginally.

In these cases, medical tools like forceps or vacuums may be used to remove the child. Further, excessive force may be needed, or a cesarian section may need to be performed. When these measures are taken, birth injuries are more likely to occur.

Sometimes, a birth injury can occur due to genetic or environmental factors or maternal infections as well. However, these should be documented during the mother’s prenatal care.

Birth injuries can also occur due to negligence, such as missing the signs of fetal distress, oxygen deprivation due to improper delivery, delaying birth, failure to treat maternal infection, and medical malpractice.

What Are Common Types of Birth Injuries in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania birth injury lawyer?The most common types of birth injuries include brachial palsy, bruising and swelling, cephalohematoma, facial paralysis, and subconjunctival hemorrhage.

Brachial Palsy

Brachial palsy occurs when part of the arm or hand is injured during childbirth. In most cases, the baby cannot flex or rotate the arm for a few weeks or months, but mobility returns. The nerve may be torn in severe cases, causing permanent nerve damage.

Brachial palsy most often occurs when there is difficulty delivering the shoulders.

Bruising

When the baby experiences increased pressure in the birth canal, bruising of the face and head can occur. Also, bruising and marks on the face and head may be left behind if forceps are used or if delivery requires a vacuum extraction.

Caput Succedaneum (Swelling)

It is very common for babies to experience swelling after birth due to the pressure on the scalp. This swelling typically resolves within days.

Cephalohematoma

When there is a difficult vaginal delivery, there may be bleeding in the area between the skull and the fibrous covering. It may look like a raised lump on the head in the hours after birth. However, the blood does reabsorb and may take as little as weeks or as much as a few months to go away completely.

If the area is large, the baby may develop jaundice.

Facial Paralysis

Facial paralysis can occur if pressure on the baby’s face injures the nerves. This can happen if forceps are used during delivery.

The most common way to know paralysis has occurred is if the baby cries, there is no movement on the side of the face with nerve damage, and the eye does not close. This often resolves within weeks, but surgery may be required to repair the nerves if the nerve is torn.

Fractures

When a baby is breached, there can be difficulties delivering the baby’s shoulder. This can cause the clavicle or collarbone to break. Luckily, these injuries tend to heal quickly. However, the baby may need a bandage or splint to help with painful movement.

Subconjunctival Hemorrhage

While contractions are painful for the mom, they can also cause injury to the baby. The pressure of contractions and delivery can break small blood vessels in the baby’s eye or eyes. The redness, though alarming, is harmless and resolves in a week to 10 days.

Other Birth-Related Injuries

While those above are the most common birth injuries, other more severe injuries can occur. These include:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Brain injury or permanent brain damage
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Kernicterus
  • Hypoxia
  • Infection
  • Death

If your child suffered a preventable birth injury, you can recover compensation by filing a birth injury claim.

How Do I File a Birth Injury Claim in Pennsylvania?

To file a birth injury claim in Pennsylvania, it is wise to consult with a medical malpractice lawyer, as these cases are complex and emotional for all involved. To have a successful claim, you must be able to prove medical negligence. You must also adhere to filing deadlines and requirements, as missing a deadline can forfeit your right to sue.

These cases often end in a settlement and out of court, but sometimes, they can go to trial.

Proving Medical Negligence For a Child’s Birth Injury

To prove medical negligence for a child’s birth injury, you need to establish 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 to be suffered

If you cannot prove negligence in your birth injury case, you will not have a successful claim. However, a birth injury attorney can help you establish this breach in care by reviewing medical records and accounts from the birth, meeting with professionals in the medical field, and gathering evidence.

Statute of Limitations on Pennsylvania Birth Injury Claims

In addition to proving negligence, you must abide by the statute of limitations of a birth injury lawsuit. Most medical malpractice cases have a statute of limitations of two years. However, birth trauma involves a minor, so the clock on the statute of limitations does not begin until the child’s 18th birthday, meaning you have until your child is 20 to file a claim.

As a parent, you can file a claim before then on behalf of your child. Your lawyer can explain the process for doing so. However, recovering compensation now means your injured child cannot recover compensation in the future.

What Compensation Can Philadelphia Birth Injury Lawyers Get For Me?

Compensation for a birth injury will ultimately depend on the medical care required to treat your child. These damages include current and future medical expenses, treatment and rehabilitation costs, home modifications, medical equipment, and more. Further, as the parent, you may have lost income due to the injury as you stayed with your child, or you may be unable to return to work as you must become a full-time caretaker.

You may also recover compensation for non-economic damages like pain, suffering, and loss of life enjoyment.

What is the Average Settlement for a Birth Injury Lawsuit?

No two birth injury cases are identical, making the average settlement difficult to calculate. The amount not only depends on the severity of the injury but also calculates long-term needs. Further, if a case ends in a trial instead of a settlement, the amount of compensation given can change.

In general, a birth injury lawsuit may result in thousands to millions of dollars in compensation to cover medical bills and other needs.

How a Pennsylvania Birth Injury Lawyer Can Help You

We expect medical professionals to exercise the utmost care, especially for our most vulnerable patients. But when injury results from negligence in the delivery room, a birth injury lawyer can guide you through the legal process.

A birth injury lawyer can help you by:

  • Gathering medical records
  • Securing testimony
  • Meeting with medical experts to gauge what happened during the birthing process
  • Establishing negligence
  • Calculating damages
  • Representing you in negotiations or court

Many birth injuries are minor and are unavoidable due to the pressures of labor. But suppose your hospital or birthing center was negligent in the care provided to your child or the mother during labor and following. It resulted in birth defects, brain damage, or other severe injuries. In that case, you have a right to seek compensation.

The Pennsylvania Birth Injury Attorneys of Munley Law Fight For Families

The birth of a child should be a joyous occasion. But when a medical professional is negligent and injury occurs to a baby’s brain, spine, or other body part, you need a law firm you can trust.

Birth complications happen, but negligence never should. The Pennsylvania birth injury attorneys of Munley Law will help you get the compensation you need for current medical bills, future medical care, lost wages, and more.

If an injury occurred during labor and delivery, resulting in severe injury or developmental delays to your child, call us today for a no-obligation, free consultation. Our medical malpractice lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means you shoulder no costs until your claim is closed and your case is won.

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