Brooklyn Park MD Birth Injury Lawyer
During your pregnancy, and during the birth of your child, your medical providers must take every measure to ensure that your child is born without complications. To ensure this happens during the pregnancy, they should conduct regular examinations and ultrasounds. If there are any prenatal conditions, they should be diagnosed quickly and dealt with.
During the birth, they should also ensure that the right decisions are made. If you are going to require a forced delivery or conversion to a c-section, these decisions should be made in a timely manner and carried out with competency.
When this does not happen, and your medical providers act in a negligent manner, without due care or attention, and you or your baby have suffered injuries as a result, they may have been preventable. If the injuries were preventable, you have every right to be angry, and you have the right to attempt to recover any damages you have incurred and to pursue potential compensation for your pain and suffering.
Birth Injuries in the United States
While no pregnancy is risk-free, every single year, there are thousands of cases (28,000) of birth injury that could have been preventable. This number is a shocking statistic, making the United States one of the few developed world countries where the number of preventable birth injuries each year is on the rise.
Considering that in the U.S, you pay more for your health care than anywhere else in the world, if you or your child have suffered a preventable birth injury, you have every right to be angry.
Preventable birth injuries can range in severity, from minor injuries to serious ones, even fatalities. Some injuries may affect the development of the child or leave them with lifelong impairment or disability.
At Peter Angelos Law, we are passionate about helping all victims of medical malpractice pursue justice and potential compensation for their damages. While we know no amount of money will ever repair the damage, by pursuing compensation, you can ensure you have financial security and the money to seek further care for your child.
Peter Angelos Law - Speak To a Brooklyn Park MD Birth Injury Lawyer about your Medical Malpractice Case
Every single year victims of medical malpractice try to pursue compensation alone under the misconception that they cannot afford representation or that losing the case will land them in further hardship due to legal fees.
One of our goals here at Peter Angelos Law is to make reliable representation a choice for all victims, not a privilege for those who can afford it. We offer all new clients a free initial consultation, and we work on a contingency fee basis.
In the free initial consultation, we create a space for you to tell us about your case. We take time to build the attorney-client relationship, listening compassionately, advising to the best of our ability, and keeping you educated and informed about what is happening.
In our first meeting, we will explain our fee structure as well. Contingency fee basis work is non-recourse, meaning you only pay our fees if we win your case and we win you a settlement. We will discuss our payment, which is usually a flat percentage fee, taken from your settlement. If we lose the case, you don't have to pay a penny for our time.
If you feel confident that we are the right choice after our initial consultation, we can begin representing you..
Common Birth Injuries Caused By Negligence
There are two main categories of injury caused by negligence during pregnancy and childbirth:
When errors occur during pregnancy and before birth, they are known as prenatal errors. Prenatal errors that occur during pregnancy are usually caused by a lack of appropriate examinations and tests or the improper interpretation of ultrasound findings.
In order to ensure the safety of the child and the mother during pregnancy, regular tests should be carried out at the right intervals. These tests help diagnose problems early so that they can be handled correctly.
Prenatal errors include the failed diagnosis of a problem, the misdiagnosis of a problem, or a failure to carry out tests that should have been carried out, such as for hereditary diseases.
Labor and Delivery Error
The other form of birth injury are those that occur during the actual labor and delivery. Childbirth is a difficult time for both the baby and the mother, and the attending medical providers need to be alert and competent, ready to handle whatever direction the birth takes.
If they are not competent or act negligently, there are a number of ways that the baby can be harmed. The most important thing is that the baby and mother are closed monitored on fetal monitoring. Fetal monitoring involves an external monitor placed on the center of the mother’s belly, allowing the doctors and nurses to watch the baby’s heart rate and the mother’s contraction pattern to ensure that both mom and baby remain safe during the delivery stage.
The most common birth injuries include:
When there is a lack of oxygen being supplied directly to the brain during birth, the child might suffer cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy can have a range of symptoms and lead to a variety of problems, but it is usually non-progressive, which means it should not worsen after birth. This can often occur when the doctor fails to delivery the baby in a timely manner. Oftentimes, the doctors and nurses are not reviewing the results of the fetal monitor showing the baby’s heart rate. If heart rate is elevated, that can be a sign that the baby is in distress and needs to be delivered immediately.
Symptoms can include:
- Involuntary movements.
- Delays reaching milestones such as motor skill milestones.
- Poor muscle coordination.
- Weakness in one leg or arm.
- 'Scissored' gait.
- Stiff or tight muscles.
Brachial Plexus Palsy
Another injury that can occur during delivery is when the baby's head is pulled with force in either direction. There is a cluster of nerves known as the brachial plexus, and if these are damaged by force, the baby may have problems with motor function in their arms or shoulders.
Improper use of Vacuums
If the mother is struggling with the effort of childbirth or there are complications that warrant the decision, a vacuum may be used to help with the delivery. This is called a forced delivery and can cause injury if done incorrectly. When done incorrectly, there can be bruising or swelling to the brain, and in the worse cases, the child may suffer brain damage.
When the blood vessels in the baby's head are ruptured during birth, it can pool blood. While this is harmless most of the time, sometimes the blood can calcify, and the child will require surgery to remove it.
The Process of Filing a Claim
Once you have spoken to your attorney and your case has been evaluated, if they believe it is worth pursuing, you will begin the process of filing a claim.
Your attorney will help you do this, as there will be a series of steps you must follow in order for your case to be heard. It will begin with filing the paperwork to file a malpractice case with the Director of Maryland Health Claims.
Maryland Statutes of Limitation
Getting in touch with an attorney as soon as possible serves a number of purposes.
One of the most important is that you have a legal time limit in which to raise a case relating to medical malpractice, and once this elapses, you cannot raise a case.
The second reason is that your attorneys will always have a better chance of building the best possible case the more time you give them to do so. Evidence can become harder to find, and the investigation becomes much more difficult if you leave a long period between the incident and the claim.
Maryland's statute of limitations states you have:
- Three years from the date the malpractice injury or error occurred.
- If in rare cases, you do not discover the injury until a later date, you may have a longer period, but your time will never exceed five years from the date the injury occurred or three years from the date the injury was discovered.
In cases involving injury to an infant as a result of negligence in the labor and delivery process, the child will have until 3 years of reaching the age of 18 to pursue a claim for injuries sustained by the child. The parents of the child must adhere to the statute of limitations specified above.
Damages You Can Recover in Medical Malpractice Claims
Your attorney will need to calculate the damages you and your child have suffered in order to pursue their recovery through a claim. The more experience and cases your attorney has to draw upon, the better they will be at doing this in a way that is difficult to argue with.
There are two forms of damages in a personal injury or malpractice case.
The first damages are any damages that require the victim to suffer financial damage. This includes lost wages and medical bills, as well as any other calculable economic cost.
Here are the most important economic damages to consider.
Lost Earning Potential/Wages
If following the pregnancy, you or your spouse have had to take a period of time of work to recover or assist with the child, this will usually lead to lost wages or a reduced income. The longer you have had to take off work, the worse this can be and the more anxiety you may be feeling.
If your baby was the injured party, and they have suffered injuries that are going to require long-term treatment or that resulted in the child suffering an impairment that will prevent them from working in a normal capacity, you need to speak to an attorney.
With an expert's help, they may decide to pursue a lifetime of lost earning potential on behalf of your child.
Medical care is expensive, and the bills can quickly mount up. If you have suffered medical bills due to the negligence of your doctor during the birth or pregnancy, you may be able to pursue the recovery of all of your medical expenses.
If you or the child have suffered injuries that need long-term treatment, you may be able to recover compensation for future medical bills too.
Future Care Costs
These include the ongoing costs for medical treatments, hospitalizations, nursing services, medications, and rehabilitation care, among other things. These costs are typically determined by an expert in life care planning who can determine the needs and services required for the injuries sustained. A life care planner will also determine the cost of the needs and services required, along with the duration of time they will be necessary over the expected lifetime of the patient.
The second category of damages that will need to be included in the calculations are any non-economic damages. These damages are subjective, meaning a lot will depend upon the skill of your attorney in how much they judge the damages to be worth.
Pain and Suffering
The main non-economic damage is your pain and suffering. Claiming pain and suffering may allow you to pursue compensation for the physical pain and emotional distress the injuries have put you through.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life
If your child will never be able to throw a ball, swim, or ride a bike because of the injuries caused, your attorney may judge what this loss of enjoyment of life is worth in terms of compensation.
The most tragic birth injuries will result in the child, or the mother losing their life. As a parent, losing your child is devastating and will lead to serious emotional trauma. If the death was due to negligence and could have been prevented, you have every right to vent your fury and pursue financial compensation and justice from your medical providers.
There is no level of financial compensation that will bring a loved one back to life, but the financial security that wrongful death claim compensation can provide can at least ensure your security during this terrible period.
If you believe the death of your child or spouse could have been preventable, you need to contact an attorney immediately to discuss your options.
Four Elements to Prove in Maryland Birth Injury Lawsuits
Maryland state demands that all negligence cases need to prove four elements in order for them to be valid. To ensure your case is a valid one, your attorney will need to prove:
- The medical provider owes you a duty of care - All medical providers automatically assume and owe a duty of care to their patients.
- The medical provider breached their duty of care - They behaved differently from how a reasonable medical professional would in similar circumstances.
- The breach of their duty of care resulted in preventable birth injuries.
- These injuries led to damages, such as medical expenses.
Which Birth Injury Attorney To Hire For Your Case
When you are facing the insurance companies that defend clients in medical malpractice cases, the level of your legal representation is extremely important. Pursuing fair compensation may rely on the skill and determination of your attorney, and their reputation may also have an effect on the dealings.
Many people have never had the need to seek an attorney before, let alone one that dedicates most of their time to medical malpractice cases. That can make the decision a tough one to make, as so much is riding on the decision.
We recommend that you do your due diligence on all potential attorneys. Don't just take their word for it; check independent review sites like AVVO that provide reviews based on client reviews, peer reviews, awards, accreditations, and accolades.
Once you have a shortlist of potential attorneys, arrange your first meetings with them and use this time to ask them your questions and ensure your birth injury attorneys' personalities and yours do not clash. You may be spending the next few years working with them, so make sure you will be comfortable discussing personal matters with them.
During your free consultation with any potential birth injury lawyers, here are some things to look out for:
- Experience - With the additional hurdles, tougher insurance legal teams, and further rules surrounding medical malpractice cases, they need to be handled by an experienced attorney. We recommend choosing one who dedicates most of their professional time to working on malpractice cases. You should also ask to see previous victories.
- Legal Expertise - Your Brooklyn Park, MD, birth injury lawyers should be extremely knowledgeable in the rules and regulations surrounding medical malpractice in Maryland.
- Medical expertise - While you should not expect your attorney to have medical training, they should have a firm grasp on medical concepts and the medical industry in general and should have access to experts to advise them.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Speak to a Brooklyn Park, MD Birth Injury Lawyer Today
No parent should have to watch their child suffer at the hands of those who were meant to look after them. If your child has suffered a preventable birth injury, get in touch with one of our attorneys today to discuss your case.