Birth Injury Malpractice

Birth Injury

Our attorneys at The Eichholz Law Firm recognize that birth injuries not only cause physical and emotional consequences for a family but financial difficulties as well. If a birth injury was due to medical malpractice, the family could file a lawsuit to receive compensation to cover pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical bills.

Birth injury lawsuits hold negligent medical professionals accountable and can prevent other parents from suffering the same fate with their own child.

Our dedicated attorneys at The Eichholz Law Firm will fight for the parents of newborn children who were injured due to the negligence of a medical professional. We have years of experience working with complex insurance and legal processes to guarantee that our clients receive the compensation they so rightfully deserve. Contact our team for more information on how we can provide you with the legal support you need so you can focus on your baby’s recovery.

Birth Injury Malpractice | The Eichholz Law Firm

About Birth Injuries

During birth, a baby could suffer an injury that can be caused by a variety of factors. The injury could be caused immediately, before, during, or after birth and delivery. Many of these birth injuries are minor and will eventually heal. More severe injuries can cause long-term health effects, including brachial plexus. Your legal claim is more than valid if a serious injury to your child was caused by medical malpractice by healthcare staff who were part of the delivery team.

Types of Birth Injuries

A medical malpractice injury can occur at any stage of the birthing process, but birth injuries that occur in the labor and delivery rooms are more common. Common types of birth injuries include:

Klumpke’s Palsy

Klumpke’s palsy affects the lower part of the brachial plexus nerves. This type of injury mainly affects the hand, wrist, and lower arm of the affected area. Both these types of palsies are usually caused by shoulder dystocia and can occur when a doctor pulls the baby too hard.

Cephalohematoma

Cephalohematoma is when there is bleeding between the skull and periosteum. As the blood begins to pool, an unnatural bulge may grow on the newborn’s head. Cephalohematoma is one of the milder brain injuries a newborn can suffer; however, it is often associated with jaundice, anemia, infection, and developmental delays.

Caput Succedaneum

Caput succedaneum is similar to cephalohematoma, except the collection of fluid occurs between the periosteum and the scalp. Swelling typically goes down by itself. One complication can be jaundice.

Fractures

One of the most common birth injuries is a bone fracture. The collarbone is most frequently affected as it is vulnerable during deliveries. A fracture can happen when the doctor pulls on the baby’s arm. Fractures can also happen in the baby’s legs and feet during a breech delivery. Fractures typically heal over time, but they can also cause damage to the nerves and result in an inability to move the arm, according to National Children’s Hospital.

Other types of injuries include:

  • Brachial plexus palsy
  • Brain damage or head trauma
  • Clavicle fracture
  • Facial paralysis
  • Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)
  • Shoulder dystocia
  • Torticollis (wry neck)

What Causes Birth Injuries?

A set standard of care is expected during labor and delivery from your healthcare professional. When that standard is not met, birth injuries can occur. The most common causes of birth injuries include the following:

Delayed C-Sections

If a baby suffers from fetal distress due to placental abruption (bleeding), a quick drop in their mother’s blood pressure or other delivery issues, an emergency C-section (cesarean section) is performed. Emergency C-sections are also performed if the patient suffers a uterine rupture, slowed labor, placenta previa, or a cord prolapse. Birth injuries can occur if the delivery nurse or physician does not realize that the mother necessitates an emergency cesarean section. If a C-section is delayed, their lack of awareness could seriously injure the mother and the baby.

Hypoxia

When a baby’s brain lacks oxygen, hypoxia can occur. Causes of hypoxia include damage or infection to the mother’s placenta and entanglement of the umbilical cord. If hypoxia isn’t treated quickly enough or properly, the baby could suffer permanent brain damage that could result in hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. If a child suffers from lifelong disabilities due to hypoxia, a birth injury case is certainly warranted.

Improper Use of Vacuum Extraction Devices

Vacuum extraction devices are occasionally used in certain situations to help a baby’s head pass through the mother’s birth canal. The risks associated with this procedure are high, which is why this option is only used in rare circumstances. The vacuum fits securely around the baby’s head because it is cup-shaped. In order to avoid injuries to the baby and its mother, the delivery team is responsible for ensuring that this device is properly used.

Birth injuries may also be caused by the following forms of medical malpractice:

  • Failure to communicate important health information with other healthcare professionals
  • Failure to monitor heart rate properly during pregnancy
  • Failure to recognize changes in a fetus’s condition
  • Failure to diagnose or treat placental abruption, umbilical cord entrapment, infections, or other birth-related health problems
  • Failure to follow correct delivery procedures
  • Failure to perform good prenatal testing

    Birth Injury Signs

    Some signs of birth injury can be seen after delivery including:

    • Low Apgar score
    • Odd seizures or movements
    • Difficulty feeding
    • Lethargic or sluggish behavior
    • Slow breathing
    • Slow heart rate
    • Blue or pale skin

    The birth injury may sometimes not be discovered until several years later during the child’s development. The signs to look out for include speech disabilities, problems with motor function, difficulty learning, and behavioral issues.

    Determining If Your Child Sustained Injuries Due to Medical Malpractice

    As mentioned in the information presented above, birth injuries can be caused by a variety of factors. In order to find out if the medical staff that handled your delivery was responsible for any injuries your baby sustained, you should contact an attorney who has experience with birth injury cases. Our birth injury lawyers at The Eichholz Law Firm will review medical files, the type of medical equipment that was used, diagnostic testing, and additional information regarding the pregnancy and delivery of your baby. We will closely examine the delivery team to see if your child’s injury was due to their negligence and if they may have failed to meet any standards of care that could have protected the child from harm during delivery. If it has been determined that nurses or doctors were responsible for the injury, we will help you file a birth injury suit against them.

    Monetary Damages in a Birth Injury Case

    Parents whose child sustained serious injuries during birth due to a medical professional’s negligence might be eligible to file a claim to receive monetary damages. While the money will not be able to entirely compensate for the pain and suffering the family and child have had to endure, it provides parents with a resolution and financial aid to help get them through a challenging, difficult time.

    The compensation a family receives could cover a variety of financial losses or expenses they have faced due to the birth injury. Here is a list of several types of damages parents could collect if the birth injury lawsuit is successful:

    • Loss of enjoyment
    • Companionship loss
    • Income loss
    • Pain and suffering
    • Future and past medical bills
    • Other healthcare expenses such as therapy, in-home care, or special medical equipment

    Monetary Damages in a Birth Injury Case

    Parents whose child sustained serious injuries during birth due to a medical professional’s negligence might be eligible to file a claim to receive monetary damages. While the money will not be able to entirely compensate for the pain and suffering the family and child have had to endure, it provides parents with a resolution and financial aid to help get them through a challenging, difficult time.

    The compensation a family receives could cover a variety of financial losses or expenses they have faced due to the birth injury. Here is a list of several types of damages parents could collect if the birth injury lawsuit is successful:

    • Loss of enjoyment
    • Companionship loss
    • Income loss
    • Pain and suffering
    • Future and past medical bills
    • Other healthcare expenses such as therapy, in-home care, or special medical equipment

    Birth Injury Malpractice Settlements

    When children suffer an injury as a result of the negligence of a healthcare professional, they deserve to have their medical bills paid and expenses for treatment covered for as long as they need. Even some of the milder birth injuries can cause pain and emotional anguish that cannot be quantified by money.

    Parents of children injured during birth have successfully filed lawsuits against doctors and other health care professionals who acted negligently or failed to act in a reasonable manner.

    In one case, a federal judge in Florida ruled that a doctor at a federally funded health care clinic was found negligent after refusing to order a C-section, ultimately causing the child to be born with brain damage. The federal government was forced to pay nearly $34 million to the child. In another lawsuit in 2017, a couple was awarded $14.5 million after a jury found an obstetrician provided negligent care that resulted in and brain damage.

    Hiring the Right Birth Injury Attorney

    The lengthy legal process involved in a birth injury lawsuit can be quite complex, which is why it is important to have an experienced attorney by your side working for you so you can spend more time focusing on your baby’s recovery. If your child was injured during labor, our experienced attorneys at The Eichholz Law Firm are here for you.

    Medical expenses for birth injuries can be quite costly. We work to help you get the financial compensation your family deserves with a birth injury lawsuit. Depending on where your claim is filed, the statute of limitations can differ. Parents may only have a small window of time to take legal action against a healthcare provider.

    References

    • ABPLA. “What is Medical Malpractice?”, American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys, https://www.abpla.org/what-is-malpractice. Accessed June 5th, 2018.
    • Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “Newborn Clavicle Fractures”, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/conditions/newborn-clavicle-fractures. Accessed June 5th, 2018.
    • American Association of Birth Centers. “What is a Birth Center?”, American Association of Birth Centers, https://www.birthcenters.org/page/bce_what_is_a_bc?. Accessed June 5th, 2018.
    • Nicolette Larsen. “Birthing Center versus Hospitalized Birth”, CrissCross, https://digitalcommons.iwu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1024&context=crisscross. Accessed June 5th, 2018.
    • Y. Peter Kang. “Fed. Gov’t Hit With $34M Verdict In Brain Damage Birth”, Law360, https://www.law360.com/articles/914339/fed-gov-t-hit-with-34m-verdict-in-brain-damage-birth. Accessed June 5th, 2018.
    • Y. Peter Kang. “Pa. Federal Jury Awards Couple $14.5M Over Birth Injury”, Law360, https://www.law360.com/articles/886318/pa-federal-jury-awards-couple-14-5m-over-birth-injury. Accessed June 5th, 2018.

    Please seek the advice of a medical professional before making health care decisions.

    At the Eichholz Law Firm We Are Lawyers That Care About You

    Our clients are at the center of everything we do and our team is focused on delivering results. We are committed to fighting for justice and increased social responsibility in our community.

    Our objective is to provide expert legal services in an effort to maximize results for clients who have been injured through the negligence of others.













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