Birth Injuries May be Caused by Medical Malpractice
The birth of your child should be a joyous and momentous occasion. However, this experience can become traumatic and overwhelming if your child suffers a preventable birth injury or birth defect due to medical malpractice. If your child has been affected by a birth injury due to medical malpractice, please do not hesitate to call (215) 666-7777 to speak with Brent Wieand, Esq, an experienced Philadelphia birth injury attorney.
Birth injuries may occur when a physician fails to properly evaluate and respond to conditions during labor or at the time of birth. For example, an OB/GYN physician may fail to perform a medically necessary cesarean section or use equipment during the birthing process that causes direct injury to the child. In other cases, birth injuries may occur due to care decisions made during pregnancy, including the use of pharmaceutical drugs.
Some types of birth injuries which may be caused by medical malpractice include:
- Birth Asphyxia
- Epidural Birth Injuries
- Forceps Injury / Fetal Lacerations
- Horner’s Syndrome
- Brain Ischemia
- Broken Bones / Infant Trauma
- Infant Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy
- Shoulder Dystocia
- Skull Fractures
- Spinal Cord Damage
- Erbs Palsy / Cerebral Palsy / Bell’s Palsy
- Neonatal Stroke
- Vacuum Extraction Injury
- Wrongful Death
If your child suffered a birth injury from medical malpractice, you may be able to file a birth injury lawsuit to seek compensation for their injuries.
Philadelphia Birth Injury Attorney
There are a variety of circumstances that can result in a birth injury or defect. However, not every birth injury is caused by neglectful medical care. Only an experienced medical malpractice lawyer can help you determine whether your child’s birth injury was preventable. If you suspect that your child’s birth defect or birth injury was caused by medical malpractice, attorney Brent Wieand can help.
The Wieand Law Firm is dedicated to representing people who have suffered catastrophic injuries due to medical negligence. We know how to find evidence of neglectful medical care that your doctors want to hide. Upon representation, the Wieand Law Firm will carefully review your claim and work with top medical experts to prove your case in court. Our goal is to keep you fully informed throughout the legal process while securing needed support for your child.
A birth injury lawsuit is often extremely complex and may require expensive and prolonged litigation. It is important to use an experienced trial attorney with the resources, know-how and tireless dedication needed to handle complicated malpractice litigation. For a free legal consultation, call Philadelphia birth injury lawyer Brent Wieand at (215) 666-7777.
Preventable Birth Injuries and Birth Defects
Birth injuries that occur during labor and delivery are, in many cases, totally avoidable. Some common reasons a preventable birth injury may occur, include:
- Improper pulling and/or twisting upon an infant during delivery;
- Medication errors during the mother’s pregnancy and during labor
- Failure of a nurse or treating physician to monitor the infant properly for distress,
- Failure to schedule and perform a needed emergency cesarean surgery (C-section)
- Improper handling and use of medical instruments used to assist with the birth. This may include forceps or a vacuum extraction tool.
- Communication breakdown between health care providers that allows for misdiagnosis or delay in taking action
Sometimes mistakes occur because the physician is inadequately trained to handle difficult deliveries. In other instances, the physician may be impaired due to exhaustion, inattention or simply may be having an off day. Unfortunately, a physician’s medical errors can cause permanent and severe impairments to the baby.
Contact a Philadelphia birth injury attorney if your child suffers from one of the following conditions:
Contrary to what many people believe, cerebral palsy is not a disease – it is brain damage that is often caused during pregnancy or birth. It can also be caused in young children after a head injury. Cerebral palsy can be caused by the deprivation of oxygen during labor, if a baby is dropped or forcefully extracted from the womb, was injured by a medical instrument or vacuum extraction, or as a result of delayed birth (which is common in instances of multiple births). These types of injuries can contribute or cause brain damage which develops into cerebral palsy
Erb’s palsy is a form of brachial plexus or brachial palsy and is a condition caused by nerve damage around the shoulder. It is frequently caused by shoulder dystocia during a difficult birth. Erb’s palsy is a paralysis of the arm that will sometimes resolve on its own over time. This type of injury generally occurs during a difficult childbirth often because of fetal macrosomia. Erbs Palsy may require corrective surgery.
During labor and delivery, medical professionals usually monitor the baby through an electronic fetal heart monitor (EFM) attached to the mother. The EFM can alert the physician to possible fetal distress. Fetal distress can occur when the baby is not receiving enough oxygen during labor. If left unaddressed, fetal distress can lead to the baby sustaining a brain injury.
A difficult labor and delivery can result in the mother sustaining an injury. These injuries must be properly diagnosed and treated to prevent serious harm. Physicians monitoring mothers post-birth should take proactive steps to diagnose and treat blood clots, excessive bleeding, or infections. Failure to detect and treat these serious health problems can lead to serious complications or death.
The newborn baby is also at risk for injuries following birth. Medical professionals who fail to detect signs of infections, respiratory issues, heart problems or other serious conditions may be liable for neglect if the child suffers serious injuries or death as a result of their error. If you had a newborn that appeared healthy at birth but later developed post-delivery complications, contact the birth injury lawyers at the Wieand Law Firm to discuss whether these injuries may have been the result of health care provider negligence.
Birth Injuries Suffered by Mothers
Birthing mothers can suffer serious injuries before, during, or after delivery. Some injuries that we commonly see at our law firm include:
- Birth injuries or sepsis
- Complications resulting from delayed C-sections
- Excessive bleeding
- Muscle and soft tissue tears
- Prolapsed bladder
An Adverse Event During Childbirth May Cause Permanent Injuries
The term “adverse event” describes a harm that occurred to a patient as a result of medical care. If you received notice that an adverse event occurred during delivery, there is reason to believe that malpractice may have occurred. Often, medical providers will assure their patients that the adverse event was not due to the quality of care provided.
You do not need trust this representation and have the right to investigate for yourself. If you are suspect that your child was injured or harmed during birth you should consult with an experienced attorney immediately. Birth injury claims are complex, and the burden of proof lies on the plaintiff to prove that the injury was caused by malpractice. An experienced Philadelphia birth injury attorney can help thoroughly investigate and prepare your case to increase your chance of obtaining compensation for your child’s injuries.
We’re here to help. For a free and friendly no obligation consultation the Wieand Law Firm and speak with a Philadelphia birth injury lawyer at (215) 666-7777. The consultation is always free and confidential. Our attorneys are well versed in the types and causes of birth injuries. Our firm is aligned with top experts, such as OBGYN physicians, anesthesiologists, pediatricians, and other medical specialists to provide the needed insight and support for birth injury claims.
5 Steps Parents Should Take Following a Birth Injury
Parents who suspect a birth injury has occurred frequently feel confused and overwhelmed. They aren’t sure if the hospital or physician is providing them with complete and truthful information about what occurred to cause their child’s symptoms. A Philadelphia birth injury lawyer recommends taking the following steps to help ensure you have the information you may need if you decide to file a birth injury lawsuit or insurance claim.
- Request your child’s medical records from the hospital or provider. Maintain a file that includes all expenses incurred from your child’s health issues. This might include hospital bills, therapy costs, medication costs, and other care costs such as home nursing.
- Document any injuries and subsequent health impacts. For example, take pictures of any lacerations caused by the use of forceps during delivery. Also document regularly about your child’s physical and psychological development and any deficits that you notice. This might include concerns such as behavior problems, weight loss, or chronic pain.
- Consult with a physician you trust to make sure your child receives necessary care and treatment. A physician will also be able to recommend or refer you to any specialists that your child might need to further evaluate their condition.
- Reach out to other parents with similar experiences. They can provide invaluable moral support and help give advice on how to cope.
- Contact the Philadelphia birth injury lawyers at our firm to determine if your child’s injuries were caused by medical malpractice or negligence.
Birth Injury Lawsuit Process
The Philadelphia birth injury attorneys at the Wieand Law Firm can help navigate the legal process and make it as low-stress as possible. You can anticipate the following steps in the birth injury lawsuit process:
- Free Case Review and Evaluation
The Wieand Law Firm offers a free case review and evaluation to help you understand your legal options and whether you may be eligible to take legal action. Your Philadelphia birth injury lawyer will ask questions about your pregnancy, labor and delivery, and your child’s symptoms or injuries. Many clients are unsure if their child’s health issues are the result of a birth injury. Our law firm has the knowledge and resources to determine if medical negligence caused your child’s injuries
- Collecting Evidence
Philadelphia birth injury lawyers will then gather evidence to support your claim. This evidence may include medical records, witness testimony, and testimony from experts in medical field, such as OBGYNs and anesthesiologists.
- Filing the Birth Injury Lawsuit
Once initial information, including an attestation of merit from an expert in the field, has been gathered, attorneys will file a lawsuit by sending a demand letter that states that you are suing the defendant for compensation for the birth injury. The birth injury lawsuit may name multiple parties, depending on the circumstances of your case. The defendants typically are required to respond in about 30 days. Most times, the defendants refuse the demand for compensation and respond explaining that they are not liable for the birth injury.
When a demand for compensation is denied, the discovery process begins. Both the plaintiffs and the defendants will gather additional evidence to support their claim.
- Settlement Negotiations
Once the supportive evidence is gathered, lawyers from the plaintiffs side and the defendant’s side will enter into settlement negotiations. Your Philadelphia birth injury attorney will use the gathered evidence to induce the defendant to provide full compensation for your child’s injuries.
Sometimes, a fair settlement between the parties is unable to be reached. When settlement negotiations fail, your birth injury lawsuit may go to trial to seek a verdict award. A jury trial may result in the plaintiff winning a larger award than the defense offered during negotiations. However, there is a risk that the jury may side with the defendants and the plaintiff may not win any compensation. Therefore, the vast majority of birth injury lawsuits settle before trial.
The process for a birth injury lawsuit can be complicated and require multiple steps. That’s why its important to have a Philadelphia birth injury attorney on your side to lead the way.
Philadelphia Birth Injury Lawyers
The attorneys at the Wieand Law Firm work to represent victims of serious and catastrophic injuries. In our eyes, nothing is more catastrophic that a birth injury to an innocent child. Our lawyers work fervently to secure compensation for you to help ensure that you and your child have the resources needed for their medical bills and treatments. Many children with birth injuries require ongoing medical treatment during childhood, and sometimes for the rest of their lives. These treatments may include future surgeries, medications, physical therapy and more.
Our lawyers work with families across Pennsylvania and Jew Jersey. We can helpful families that live in areas such as:
Some clients worry that hiring a lawyer from Philadelphia will mean long drives to the city for paperwork, meetings, and depositions. Don’t worry – we can do meetings via virtual platforms, such as Zoom, and if you are uncomfortable with technology, we can come to you!
What is the Time Limit for Filing a Birth Injury Lawsuit?
Pennsylvania has a 2-year statute of limitations for parents to file a birth injury medical malpractice lawsuit from the date of negligent care, and 2 years to file an infant wrongful death lawsuit. However, a minor child who was injured at birth has until their 20th birthday to file a claim.
Birth injuries can take months or years to fully manifest. Therefore, reach out to a seasoned medical malpractice attorney to help you understand if you are able to file a claim. It takes time to procure medical records and consult with medical experts to properly investigate these complicated claims. Therefore, it’s recommended to reach out as soon as possible to preserve your rights.
Compensation for Birth Injury Lawsuits
When you file a birth injury claim, you can seek compensation for the losses and expenses related to your child’s birth injury and subsequent health conditions and disabilities. For many families, obtaining compensation for the birth injury is important in helping them to access the care and treatments they need for their child. Children with birth injuries often suffer with ongoing medical needs, and obtaining a settlement can help provide money to the family for:
- Hospital and other medical expenses
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Projected future medical expenses, such as future surgeries
- Travel expenses
- Home care
- Lost earnings
- Behavioral therapies
- Educational interventions
- Assistive devices, such as specialty wheelchairs
Projecting Future Losses
Projecting future losses is critical when seeking compensation for a birth injury through a birth injury lawsuit. Children with birth injuries may have a lifetime of medical care that comes with enormous medical expenses. Our team of Philadelphia birth injury lawyers can project the cost of care, including long-term care costs. We work closely with physicians and financial experts to research your child’s conditions, needs, and help value their future expenses to help achieve a settlement that fully compensates your family.
In addition to pursuing compensation for your child, you may be able to sue for the future hardships you will experience as a parent and caregiver. These losses may include your future lost wages, the cost of housing your child, and the costs associated with caring for an adult dependent.
Can I Afford a Philadelphia Birth Injury Lawyer?
Pennsylvania birth injury attorneys at the Wieand Law Firm do not charge any out-of-pocket or upfront fees. Therefore, you can feel confident to pick an experienced birth injury lawyer to represent you in filing your claim. The lawyers at our only charge a small portion of the overall winnings to cover legal fees and expenses.
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