Birth Injury Attorneys
Medical professionals, including midwives, nurses, and OB-GYNs have a legal and ethical duty to meet standards of care. Unfortunately, when this duty is breached in the delivery room, innocent newborns suffer the consequences.
According to the National Healthcare Quality Report (AHQR), approximately 6 to 8 out of every 1,000 infants born in the United States are born with a birth injury. This means that about 1 in every 9,714 babies are born with a birth injury nationwide. The most common types of birth injuries happen during deliveries involving an instrument. Not all birth injuries are caused by the negligence of a healthcare professional. But individuals who suffer birth injuries resulting from medical negligence may be entitled to monetary compensation.
If you or a loved one suffered a birth injury as the result of the negligence of a medical or healthcare professional, you should immediately consult with an experienced birth injury attorney. These cases are generally complicated and should be handled by a law firm that specifically handles medical malpractice cases. The legal team at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas has decades of experience in handling all types of medical malpractice claims, especially birth injuries.
What Is a Birth Injury?
Birth injuries are not the same as birth defect, which is a problem the baby develops before birth. A birth injury is any damage or harm to a baby that happens during or near the time of birth –which means they are almost always preventable.
Sometimes birth injuries are temporary, and other times they are permanent, lasting a lifetime. Symptoms can vary from one newborn to another. Although one infant may have mild symptoms, the same injury may happen to a different infant and cause severe symptoms.
Symptoms of some birth injuries may not even become apparent until the child has enrolled in school. Other symptoms for certain birth injuries become obvious immediately at birth. The severity of symptoms and signs will greatly depend upon each child’s individual circumstances as well as the types of birth injury.
Common Types of Mistakes or Errors Resulting in Birth Injuries
Some common examples of mistakes or errors made by healthcare professionals that result in a birth injury include:
- Delaying or failing to recognize the need for a cesarean section
- Failing to detect an umbilical cord wrapped around the unborn child’s neck
- Failing to attach enough significance to signs and symptoms of fetal distress
- Failing to refer a woman with a high-risk pregnancy to a specialist
- Failing to take necessary steps to avoid premature delivery
- Failure to take appropriate precautions upon signs of oxygen deprivation to the fetus
It is important to immediately consult with an experienced birth injury attorney if you believe that your child suffers signs related to a birth injury. The birth injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas have the experience to help you determine whether you have a valid claim and help you obtain the full extent of the compensation you and your child deserve.
Common Types of Birth Related Injuries Caused By Medical Malpractice
Most birth injuries happen when the infant is deprived of oxygen, causing brain damage. When a healthcare fails to promptly deliver a baby who is in distress, or fails to properly resuscitate a baby after being born, there is a possibility that the resulting lack of oxygen will cause serious brain damage. Babies can also suffer injuries when they are improperly delivered, or when they are not properly oxygenated during surgery.
Some common types of birth related injuries caused by medical malpractice include:
- Cerebral Palsy. Shoulder dystocia injuries happen when the newborn’s shoulder gets stuck in the mother’s pelvic bone during the birth process. If delivering healthcare professionals fail to properly deal with this injury, shoulder dystocia can result in brachial plexus palsy.
- Brachial Plexus Palsy. Brachial Plexus Palsy happens when the upper extremity of the arm, the shoulder usually, is injured during the delivery process. Symptoms include weakness in the affected arm and the inability to use certain muscles in that arm. The shoulder and hands may also be affected. Total brachial plexus palsy results in paralysis of the shoulder, arm, and hand.
- Erb’s Palsy. Erb’s Palsy is a type of incomplete Brachial Plexus Palsy marked by the nerves of the upper arm being affected, usually after a birth injury. Newborns with Erb’s Palsy can also experience the loss of feeling and weakness in the affected area. In severe cases, newborns may have total paralysis in the affected arm.
- Klumpke’s Palsy. Klumpke’s Palsy is a type of incomplete Brachial Plexus Palsy that affects only the lower arm, wrist, and hand. An infant suffering from this type of birth injury will typically have total paralysis in the affected area, and the hand usually takes on a permanent, claw-like shape.
- Birth Paralysis. Birth paralysis can be caused by shoulder dystocia or cerebral palsy. This type of birth injury can range from loss of sensation in one area of the body to quadriplegia, or loss of movement in all four limbs.
- Spinal Cord Injuries. Spinal cord injuries are possibly the most severe type of birth injuries, which can result in paralysis and neurologic problems. Spinal cord injuries often happen as a result of a traumatic nerve or cord damage, a meningeal tear, or other injuries from the use of forceps.
- Intracranial Hemorrhage or Subarachnoid Hemorrhage. A subarachnoid hemorrhage is one of the most common types of intracranial hemorrhage (brain bleed). It involves bleeding in the skull, commonly under the two innermost layers of the brain covering. Infant brain hemorrhage can be caused by the use of birth-assisted tools during delivery or by dropping the baby just after delivery. A hemorrhage is typically treated by brain surgery to close off the hemorrhage, stop the bleeding, and to keep other brain cells from dying.
You Need an Experienced Birth Injury Attorney
Birth injury cases, and any other medical malpractice claims, are generally complicated legal claims that should only be handled by attorneys who specialize in these types of cases. When choosing legal representation in a birth injury case, it is important to consider the following:
- Look for experience – identify a firm with a proven track record of recovering settlements and favorable jury verdicts in birth injury cases.
- Find an attorney who has extensive trial skill – although not every lawsuit involving a birth injury proceeds to trial, you want to hire an attorney who can argue your case before a jury should settlement negotiations fail.
- Hire an attorney who values clear and direct communication – timely responses and personal attention in all legal cases, but especially birth injury cases that are more sensitive and emotional for the parties involved.
If your child was the victim of a birth injury due to the negligence or reckless of healthcare professionals, you need a good attorney on your side. The legal team at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas has the experience to balance the scale of justice and hold those accountable for their negligent actions.
Call an Experienced Birth Injury Attorney Today!
If you or your child was harmed during pregnancy or labor as a result of the negligence of healthcare professionals, immediately call the legal team at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas. We are eager to hear your story, answer your questions and lay out all of your options. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our experienced insurance birth injury lawyers, please call us at 949-727-9300.