Birth Injury Lawyer Philadelphia, PA
Having a child should be one of the greatest moments in your life. However, for some parents, these memories are tragic and relate to injuries sustained by the newly born baby. If your child suffered harm during the labor and delivery process, and you believe an error was the cause, please reach out to a birth injury lawyer in Philadelphia, PA.
At Wieand Law Firm, LLC, we are available to listen to the details of your case and advise you on the next steps to take. For years, we have been helping parents recover compensation for malpractice during a birth injury. Although this might be the last thing you can think about, compensation may provide your child with the financial means to cover their medical care and other related costs. Our Philadelphia, PA birth injury lawyers can evaluate your case on your behalf. If you have legal grounds for a claim, rest assured we’ll take care of the difficult tasks at hand while you focus your attention on your baby.
What Steps To Take if You’ve Suffered a Birth Injury
Giving birth should be an exciting experience and a special time in your life. However, if you or your child have suffered a birth injury, then your happy experience could quickly become one of stress, pain, and difficulty. Not only can this be upsetting, but there may also be grounds for you to take legal action if these birth injuries were a result of negligence or malpractice on the part of a medical professional. If you are dealing with a birth injury, here are some things you should know.
Types of Birth Injuries for Infants
The birth of a child is supposed to be a celebrated and magical time of a parent’s life. Unfortunately, this joyful time can quickly shift when a tragic and unnecessary injury occurs at birth. While some birth injuries may cause minor injury, many birth injuries due to negligence or malpractice result in permanent and significant physical or cognitive deficit. In addition to injury to the baby, injuries at birth can also affect the mother. A Philadelphia birth injury lawyer will advocate for your family when a birth injury occurs, and fight for fair compensation for these injuries.
A Philadelphia birth injury lawyer can assist your family with medical malpractice or negligence that results in birth injuries such as:
- Spinal cord injury – these injuries are often significant and can result in life-long impairments
- Perinatal Asphyxia – this injury is caused when the infant does not receive enough oxygen during labor and can result in irreversible neurological impairment and loss of cognitive function.
- Facial Paralysis – damage to the infant’s facial nerve, resulting in paralysis. While sometimes this can heal on its own, permanent damage can also occur
- Brachial Plexus Injuries – injury to the bundle of nerves that run from the upper spine and down through the neck, shoulder, arm, and hand. While mild or temporary impairment may occur, approximately 10% of these injuries result in permanent disability.
- Maternal Birth Injuries
Birth injuries can also affect the physical and emotional health of the mother. A birth injury lawyer can help if you have sustained a maternal birth injury such as:
- Physical Birth Injuries – Undiagnosed or improperly managed conditions during pregnancy – such as preeclampsia, diabetes, or infection – can result in trauma to the mother during the delivery process. These unnecessary traumas may result in excessive hemorrhaging, organ failure, a total hysterectomy, or even maternal death.
- Mental Injuries – Mothers who endure birth traumas are more likely to experience depression or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). These mental injuries can interfere with bonding with the infant or the mother’s ability to care for the infant. Medication and therapy are sometimes needed to assist the mother through unnecessary birth trauma.
As a birth injury lawyer in Philadelphia, PA has to offer, we have handled a number of unfortunate cases involving medical malpractice and birth injuries. It is important to understand that a birth injury is not the same as a birth defect, which are related to genetic or environmental faults during pregnancy. Examples of birth-related injuries include:
- Brain damage
- Bleeding on the brain
- Erb’s Palsy
- Cerebral Palsy
- Broken bones
- Perinatal asphyxia
- Shoulder dystocia
- Facial paralysis
- Spinal cord injuries
Compensation may be available for not only the baby but may also be available for complications suffered by the mother. For example, failure to diagnose pre-eclampsia, or failure to control excessive blood loss during the labor and delivery process. In these cases, or those not listed above, it is important to speak with an experienced birth injury lawyer in Philadelphia, PA.
Determining whether or not a doctor or facility acted negligently will come down to an investigation of the incident, as well as a comparison against their actions and those of another doctor, with similar expertise, who would have exercised in a similar situation. If their level of care fell short of what would have been expected, you may have the right to file a medical malpractice claim for a birth injury.
Birth Injuries Affecting Mothers
Medical negligence during labor and delivery can have a devastating outcome on both the baby and mother. If you were injured by medical staff during your pregnancy or while delivering your baby, speak with a birth injury lawyer in Philadelphia, PA to discuss your options for legal action.
Types of Injuries
When you are in need of medical attention, you trust physicians and hospital staff to provide the level of care you need. However, sometimes these trained professionals act negligently or maliciously, causing harm to the people they are meant to be helping.
For pregnant and delivering mothers, there are many types of physical injuries that may be sustained. An overly tired obstetrician or a distracted nurse can ruin your chances of a healthy and safe delivery. Examples of common complications include:
- Tears or lacerations
- Abnormal bleeding
- Broken bones
- Uterine rupture
These can be caused by medical staff, or they can occur on their own but go unnoticed or undiagnosed. Either of these scenarios creates a danger for women while pregnant or following labor. If you have experienced any of these issues, a birth injury lawyer in Philadelphia, PA, like Wieand Law Firm, LLC, may be able to help you get compensation.
Physical damage is not the only way that mothers can be hurt by medical professionals. Mental and emotional trauma is common in cases involving birth injuries. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can occur after a difficult labor or frightening encounter with negligent medical staff. The effects of PTSD can last for months, years, or even a lifetime, and if you are experiencing symptoms associated with this disorder you deserve justice.
Post-natal depression can also occur following complicated deliveries and can make it difficult to bond with your new baby. This can have a ripple effect, causing damage to the newborn, as well as other children and family members. Reach out to a birth injury lawyer in Philadelphia, PA who may be able to help you receive financial compensation to cover the additional costs associated with these conditions.
Unfortunately, tragedy can strike during what should be one of the most joyful moments in a family’s life. The negligence and carelessness of a doctor or nurse can change the circumstances of labor in an instant. If that rings true for you, let Wieand Law Firm, LLC lend a listening ear and discuss what options you have for justice.
Wieand Law Firm, LLC has a team of dedicated, experienced, and tenacious lawyers who fight for individuals, families, parents, and children. We know how exhausting a birth injury can be and want to help. Call a birth injury lawyer in Philadelphia, PA today.
When an expecting mother or father prepares to welcome new life into the world, they dream of a future full of bedtime stories, first steps, birthday parties, and graduations. In some cases, however, injuries that occur during labor and delivery can delay or prevent these milestone occasions. Many times, these birth injuries are entirely preventable and occur due to errors made by the medical team during the birthing process. If you believe that your child’s birth injury was caused due to negligence or medical errors during labor and delivery, it’s important to consult with a birth injury lawyer Philadelphia residents depend on to get justice and monetary support for their families.
Taking the First Step
By contacting a birth injury lawyer, you can take the first step in pursuing fair compensation for the pain and devastation caused by an unnecessary birth injury. The Wieand Law Firm, LLC, will take the time to listen and review your unique situation and provide the skilled advice that you need to take action.
To speak with a Philadelphia birth injury lawyer at the Wieand Law Firm, LLC, call us today at 215-666-0402 for a free, no obligation consultation.
Expectant mothers and fathers arrive at the delivery room filled with anticipatory joy. Unfortunately, all too quickly those feelings of delight can turn to worry, fear, and shock when difficulties during the delivery process are not anticipated or managed competently. If you have been in this situation, you need the Philadelphia birth injury lawyer in your corner.
8 Birth Injury Myths
1. There Is No Known Cause of Cerebral Palsy
Medical negligence does not cause every case of cerebral palsy but it does cause some. Some cases of CP may be caused by injuries suffered during labor and delivery. A birth injury lawyer in Philadelphia, PA can help you determine whether medical negligence may have caused your child’s cerebral palsy.
2. Shoulder Dystocia Can Not Be Predicted
Shoulder dystocia has several risk factors that your doctor should be aware of. Risk factors include high birth weights, diabetes or gestational diabetes, dystocia that occurred in previous pregnancies, pregnancies involving multiple births and being overweight or gaining too much weight during pregnancy.
3. Birth Injuries are Immediately Apparent
Some birth injuries, such as brain injuries, have subtle symptoms that may take days, months or years to fully manifest.
4. Filing a Lawsuit Won’t Help My Injured Child
Some birth injuries may result in conditions that require a lifetime of expensive medical care. Seeking compensation through a lawsuit may help ensure that your child has the necessary resources to cover current and future medical expenses. An attorney at Wieand Law Firm, LLC can help you pursue compensation for your child’s medical bills and other expenses.
5. Birth Injuries Are the Same Thing as Birth Defects
Birth defects are usually the result of genetic abnormalities that develop before a child is born. Birth injuries occur as the result of the labor and delivery process and may be preventable with appropriate medical care.
6. It Is Too Late To File a Claim for My Child
Most birth injury claims have a two-year statute of limitations in Pennsylvania. If your child was born less than two years ago, you can probably still file a lawsuit. A birth injury lawyer in Philadelphia, PA can help you determine whether you still have time to file.
7. My Doctor Couldn’t Have Done Anything To Prevent My Child’s Injury
It isn’t always immediately obvious when negligence by your medical team may have resulted in a birth injury to your child. An attorney at Wieand Law Firm, LLC can evaluate your case to determine whether medical negligence is a likely cause of your child’s injury.
8. I Should Believe My Doctor
Even honest doctors with many years of experience sometimes make mistakes. Your doctor may be unaware of the mistake or be unwilling to accept responsibility for it. You should not accept your doctor’s word as proof that no mistake occurred.
Philadelphia Birth Injury Law Infographic
1. Understand What Birth Injury Is
If you are considering contacting someone like Wieand Law Firm to discuss whether or not you need a Birth Injury Lawyer in Philadelphia PA then you need to first take some time to learn about what a birth injury is. First, it is important to understand that a birth injury is different from a genetic defect, or another issue that was preexisting. A birth injury is something that occurred at the time of birth and is due to either the neglect or malpractice of a medical professional. Some types of birth injuries can include broken bones, cerebral palsy, and brain damage.
2. Know What Your Rights Are
There are many who may experience a birth injury and simply think that they can’t do anything about it because they don’t understand what their rights are. Others may be afraid to reach out to someone like Wieand Law Firm and get ahold of a Birth Injury Lawyer in Philadelphia PA because they aren’t absolutely sure that they need representation. While it can be understandable to hesitate if you are uncertain about your situation, if you feel that you or your child might have experienced a birth injury, then you need to make sure that you contact someone so that you can at least be certain of what your rights are.
3. Seek Help From the Right People
Once you know what your rights are, you need to make sure that you are getting ahold of the right Birth Injury Lawyer in Philadelphia PA to provide you with the help that you need. There can be many different options, and some may be better than others. Beyond that, there are lots of details to know when it comes to birth injury so making sure that you have a knowledgeable lawyer can make a significant difference in how successful your case is.
Giving birth should be a joyful occasion. However, it can be a stressful one if you or your child experience a birth injury. The good news is that you have options, and that help is available.
Philadelphia Birth Injury Law FAQs
Are birth injuries preventable?
You should consult the Philadelphia birth injury lawyer to determine whether your birth injury was preventable. Birth injuries can occur due to a variety of factors. However, failure in communication and practice protocols among the health care professionals in the delivery room is the most commonly cited root cause of preventable birth injuries. The Premier Perinatal Safety Initiative (PPSI), points out several common failure points:
Missed signs of fetal distress – fetal distress occurs when the fetus is not receiving adequate oxygen or nutrients. Frequently this is initially noted by the mother recognizing a decrease in the movements of the fetus. When a physician chooses not to take these concerns seriously or fails to order the appropriate diagnostic exams, the fetus may become compromised. You should consult with the Philadelphia birth injury lawyer if your physician overlooked signs of fetal distress that resulted in a birth injury.
Delayed C-sections – When a mother undergoes difficult labor, there is a risk of the fetus becoming lodged in the birth canal. Delaying C-sections during these types of difficult birthing situations may result in birth hypoxia or anoxia. This occurs when the baby does not have adequate amounts of oxygen before, during, or after labor. This can result in brain damage to the infant or wrongful infant death.
Misuse of labor-inducing drugs – Sometimes labor-inducing drugs, such as the high-risk medication Pitocin, are used for the practitioner’s convenience rather than for medical necessity. If Pitocin is administered in an improper dose, or if the drug causes contractions to be too lengthy, too robust, or too numerous, the fetus may not be able to receive enough oxygen and cause many medical complications. The Philadelphia birth injury lawyer points out that administration of Pitocin should only be considered medically necessary when risk to the life of the fetus or mother is present. Misuse of this medication can have a number of significant complications such as significant changes in the fetus’ heart rate or blood pressure, cerebral palsy, and neonatal seizures.
Unnecessary forceps or vacuum use –use of a specially designed instrument to help with delivery, such as forceps or vacuum, during the last part of labor is often referred to as an assisted vaginal delivery, or operative vaginal delivery. Approximately 5 percent of all deliveries in the United States use these types of devices to extract the fetus down the birth canal. Incorrect positioning of the cup or forceps on the fetal head may result in fetal scalp lacerations, bleeding inside the baby’s brain, fetal skull fractures, seizures, or facial nerve palsies.
What is a Birth Injury Lawsuit?
A birth injury occurs when a medical professional, such as a doctor or nurse, inflicts and injury or personal illness on a newborn or expectant mother. This injury results in harm and may occur at any time during pregnancy, labor and delivery, or the period after delivery.
Sometimes, birth injuries are a result of a negligent act by a health care provider. A birth injury lawsuit is a medical malpractice lawsuit in which injured parties can hold physicians, hospitals, and other clinical staff liable when their negligent actions result in preventable harm. Negligence can result when a medical provider fails to follow and uphold the care practices and standards of their profession.
While sometime children recover fully after a birth injury, other times a child may suffer lasting or permanent damages. These children may require an exorbitant amount of resources in order to provide them with the highest quality of life and to meet their medical and developmental needs.
Parents or guardians can seek justice for their child’s birth injuries through a birth injury lawsuit. A birth injury lawsuit can help families obtain compensation so they can provide the resources the child needs for their ongoing care.
Birth injury lawyers have experience dealing with the complex nature of these cases. They understand what is needed to hold medical providers and institutions accountable when they fail to provide the proper standard of care to patients. The birth injury lawyers at our firm are committed to supporting families who have been harmed by preventable birth injuries.
What is the Statute of Limitations on a Medical Malpractice Birth Injury Claim?
The statute of limitations for a birth injury claim depends on a variety of circumstances.
42 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 5524(2)
Under most circumstances in Pennsylvania, a person has two years from the date that the injury is discovered, or should have reasonably been discovered, to file a claim. Therefore, a parent of a child with a birth injury would have two years to file a claim. It’s important to note that not all birth injuries are immediately apparent. Birth injuries that only are discovered after the child experiences developmental delays may mean that the statute of limitations may be later than the date of the child’s birth.
40 P.S. § 1303.513
The child, who is injured as a minor, has two years from the date that they reach the age of majority (18 years old) to file a claim. That means, that the affected child has up to their 20th birthday to file a birth injury claim.
Wrongful Death Claims:
42 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 5524(2):
The statute of limitations for wrongful death claims in Pennsylvania is 2 years.
Does Pennsylvania Have Capitations on Damages for Birth Injury Claims?
Plaintiffs typically hope to receive monetary damages to compensate them for their injuries. For birth injury cases, monetary compensation is particularly important to help families access the care and resources needed to care for their child.
Generally, there are two classes of damages.
- Economic damages: refer to specific costs you have incurred as a result of the injury. These costs can include medical bills, lost wages, etc.
- Non-economic damages: refer to all other types of damages, such as emotional distress, pain, and suffering, etc.
Damage capitations are laws that limit the amount of non-economic damages that can be awarded for a claim. Pennsylvania does not have any cap on damages for economic or non-economic birth injury claims.
Even if your state has damages caps, it does not limit how much you can recover for economic damages, such as medical expenses. Capitations only apply to non-economic damages.
Additionally, caps only apply to jury verdicts, not to settlements. A capable birth injury attorney in Philadelphia PA can help you navigate the legal system to help you get the best result possible for your claim.
Who Can Be Held Liable for Birth Injuries in Pennsylvania?
After a birth injury, parents often struggle to determine what went wrong and who can be held responsible for their child’s injuries. Sometimes, there is no liable party that can be held responsible for the injury, as the birth injury was not due to negligence or could not have been prevented. Other times, a liable party can be held responsible for negligence or inadequate care that caused the birth injury.
There are frequently many medical professionals involved in childbirth, including physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals. Medical professionals who provided care may be held responsible if they acted negligently and failed to uphold specific standards of care. The medical professionals may include obstetricians, nurses, anesthesiologists, radiologists, or midwives.
Additionally, business entities such as clinics or hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, or durable medical equipment companies may also be held liable for birth injuries. Each case is different, and a seasoned birth injury attorney in Philadelphia PA can determine what parties should be named in a birth injury lawsuit.
Can I Afford to Hire a Birth Injury Attorney?
Top birth injury attorneys provide free case reviews and consultations for families who are coping with birth injuries. Additionally, most birth injury attorneys in Philadelphia PA work on a contingency fee basis. This means that they only earn money if they win your claim.
In a contingency fee agreement, you pay a percentage of the settlement or verdict amount to cover the attorney fees. Therefore, families who are affected by a birth injury do not have to worry about paying for an attorney out of pocket. If the attorney does not win your case, you don’t owe any fees.
Why do I need a birth injury lawyer?
Unfortunately, babies with birth injuries often face a long and arduous road ahead. The impacts of a birth injury can not only affect the child’s physical health but also their cognitive development. When this happens, the impact is borne by the entire family. At the Wieand Law Firm, you can speak with a birth injury lawyer Philadelphia trusts who understands the far-reaching impact of birth injuries. That’s why our team provides personalized attention and support. The Wieand Law Firm will ensure that our most fragile and special clients have the fullest representation to provide for their current and future medical and care needs. Our focus on your legal representation allows you to focus on your family, and most important, your child.
What type of current and future needs do I need to plan for?
It is important to discuss your claim with a birth injury lawyer in Philadelphia PA knows and trusts. At the Wieand Law Firm, we realize that parents thrust into a birth injury situation are overwhelmed and often living in day-to-day turmoil meeting of their child’s mounting medical needs. The Wieand Law Firm will pursue all legal remedies to ensure that families they represent have access to and funds to support:
- Outpatient appointments
- Medical Day Care
- Physical, occupational, and speech therapies
- Respite care
- At-home nursing care
- Durable medical equipment, such as mobility devices
- Home renovations to accommodate physical challenges
- Special needs accessible vehicle
- Academic support needs
- Funeral and bereavement expenses
Birth Injuries in the United States
Approximately six to eight babies per one thousand suffer a birth injury. Assisted deliveries using forceps or a vacuum, or babies over 9.9 pounds may be at a greater risk for harm. In most cases, the child can be treated for the error and will go on living an enjoyable life. Some babies are not as fortunate and will suffer long-lasting, or permanent, health problems. If this should happen, extensive, medical treatment may be required.
Birth injury cases can be extremely complicated, and cover a broad range of legal issues. Whether compensation is available will depend on whether risk factors were considered before and during the delivery. Seeking legal advice is prudent to ensure your child has adequate representation, compensation (if applicable) is the true amount in respect to the harm suffered.
How Our Philadelphia Birth Injury Lawyer Can Help
Frequently, common birth injuries can be prevented with qualified and conscientious medical care. A birth injury lawyer can help your family identify whether an infant birth injury may be due to malpractice or negligence. Typically, a birth injury lawyer will request medical records to review. Additionally, he will meet with you and any witnesses that were in the delivery room when the injury occurred. Therefore, it’s recommended that as soon as possible after a birth injury occurs, you or a representative write down the recollection of events leading up to the birth injury. If it appears that there might be evidence of malpractice, the medical staff may also be deposed to provide statements. A birth injury lawyer may consult an expert witness with extensive experience in obstetrics to review the medical information and provide an opinion or testimony regarding the appropriateness of care provided.
Brent Wieand is the birth injury lawyer Philadelphia residents know to call who can assist you through the legal process of a birth injury case. It’s important that you share all communication that you have had with your medical doctor or representative from the health care system. We can then retrieve all pertinent medical records for expert review. We work with top medical doctors to carefully review and evaluate your unique circumstances. In addition, we will often obtain the personal testimony of the healthcare providers involved. If there is cause for legal action, our firm’s expertise will guide you through each step of the litigation process, ensuring that you are kept informed each step of the way.
Call the Wieand Law Firm, LLC to receive professional consultation and advice regarding your specific situation. We understand how challenging dealing with a birth injury can be, and we are here to help. Call us today at 215-666-7777. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice.
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