A Birth Injury Can Be Devastating.
The Stroudsburg Birth Injury Lawyers at Munley Law Can Provide Legal Help
Every parent wants the same thing for their newborn – a safe delivery and a happy, healthy new baby. Fortunately, Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania is close to some of the leading hospitals in the United States who provide excellent care to their patients. However, even with some of the top hospitals and medical professionals, mistakes still do happen. When your newborn suffers a birth injury, the results can be devastating.
The aftermath of a sudden birth injury is chaotic, scary, and overwhelming. In what should have been a time of celebration, parents of an injured newborn are instead faced with difficult medical decisions. At Munley Law, we want to give parents of injured newborns the space and financial resources to focus on the health of their child. When you file a birth injury lawsuit, you can secure fair compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses from your child’s injury.
If your newborn suffered a birth injury due to the negligence of a medical professional, reach out to the birth injury lawyers at Munley Law. Call today for a free consultation with one of our compassionate birth injury lawyers. We will discuss all your legal options and then get to work to recover the compensation you deserve.
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What Is a Birth Injury?
The National Institutes of Health offers this definition for a birth injury: an impairment of the infant’s body function or structure due to an adverse event that occurred at birth. In other words, when the baby suffers a trauma either during the pregnancy, during delivery, or right after that is considered a birth injury.
Medical errors are the main cause of birth injuries. In fact, medical malpractice continues to be the third-leading cause of death across the United States. The medical professionals who could have possibly caused the injury include, but aren’t limited to:
- Health care facilities
What Are the Most Common Birth Injuries?
Thankfully, the rate of birth injuries has declined in the last several years due to improved prenatal assessment of the mother and the baby. Doctors are also more likely to perform a cesarean section if there is an increased risk of a birth injury. However, even with declining rates, 7 of every 1,000 births still result in a birth injury.
The most common birth injuries are:
- Brachial palsy: This is when the group of nerves in the arms and hands (called the brachial plexus) is injured. This most commonly happens when there is trouble delivering the baby.
- Bruising, scalp scratches, forceps marks: When forceps are used in delivery, they can leave temporary marks or bruises on the baby’s face and head.
- Facial paralysis: Pressure on the baby’s face during labor and delivery can result in partial face paralysis. If a nerve is bruised, the paralysis may lift within a few weeks. However, if the nerve was severed, the baby may require surgery to fix it.
- C-section errors: These injuries can affect both mother and baby. For the newborn, a c-section error can result in an umbilical prolapse, lacerated bowels, nerve damage, or lung and heart complications.
- Brain injuries: These can include seizures, or Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE), which prevents adequate blood flow to the baby’s brain.
- Preeclampsia: A blood pressure condition that develops during pregnancy.
- Uterine Rupture: A complete division of all three layers of the uterus.
Signs of birth injuries
Not all injuries are visible right away and some may worsen as the child develops. If you recognize these signs in your child, it is in their best interest to seek medical attention right away. Signs of different birth injuries can be:
- Developmental delays (the child is missing milestones)
- Difficulty breathing
- Muscles are inactive or weak
- Not responsive to noises or voices
- Irregular heartbeat
How Does Negligence Cause Birth Injuries?
When we step into a doctor’s office or hospital, we are relying on the medical professionals to do everything in their power to make sure we are safe and healthy. A doctor has a legal duty to his or her patient to provide the best care possible. Anything less than that is negligence.
Negligence is failure to take the proper care in doing something. There are stages during the pregnancy, delivery, and neonatal care that doctors must properly observe both the mother and the newborn. If anything is wrong, they must act quickly.
During pregnancy, medical malpractice most often occurs in the form of misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis. The mother must be thoroughly screened for high-risk factors such as preeclampsia, diabetes, and infections. If anything is missed or ignored, that is medical malpractice.
Labor and Delivery
Although healthy babies are delivered every day, many factors can easily go wrong. Medical professionals need to be diligent to make sure the mother and baby are healthy.
Medical professionals can commit medical malpractice during labor and delivery by:
- Failing to properly monitor mother and baby
- Failure to order a C-section
- Failure to detect fetal distress
- Misuse of Pitocin
- Misuse of forceps, vacuum, and other medical instruments
Even if the delivery went smoothly, medical emergencies can still happen. Doctors, nurses, and other health care staff must monitor the baby’s oxygen levels, examine the baby in case of jaundice, and make sure the mother’s blood loss is under control. If the medical staff failed to protect the mother and newborn after the delivery and the baby was injured as a result, there was clear negligence.
When should I contact a Munley Stroudsburg birth injury lawyer?
The parents of an injured newborn have two years from the date of the injury (or the date of discovery) to file a birth injury claim. While this may seem like a long time, parents will agree – two years flies by. If your newborn has extensive injuries due to medical errors, bills will surely start piling up. It is in your best interest to act quickly and get your claim filed as soon as possible.
There is no law in Pennsylvania stating that you need legal representation in a personal injury lawsuit. However, your chances of recovering the maximum compensation greatly increase when you have a legal expert in your corner. When you go up against a large hospital and its insurance company, it can be extremely intimidating. Insurance adjusters are notorious for manipulating facts to get you to settle for less. When you work with a Munley birth injury lawyer, we will do the negotiating. If necessary, we will take your case to trial.
The Stroudsburg birth injury attorneys at Munley Law are continually listed in The Best Lawyers in America. We have won millions for our clients, including a $5 million settlement in one of our medical malpractice cases. Call today for your free consultation – we will get to work to ensure your family’s financial future is secure.
Stroudsburg Practice Areas
Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys
27 N 6th St,
Stroudsburg, PA 18360