Lochearn MD Birth Injury Lawyer
The doctors responsible for monitoring you during pregnancy and assisting you with the birth owe you a duty of care. They should act in the manner they have been trained, adhering to all of the standard medical practices and acting with all due care and attention. This ensures that you have the best possible chance of carrying your baby and giving birth without complications.
Childbirth is never risk-free, but you should not have to add incompetent medical providers to your list of worries.
If you or your child have been injured during the pregnancy or during the birth, and the injury was preventable, this is medical malpractice, and you may be entitled to pursue compensation for the pain and suffering you and your child have been through, and you may be able to recover any damages you have incurred as a result of the malpractice.
As a parent, nothing hurts more than watching your children suffer, and you have every right to be angry and to hold those responsible liable.
At Peter Angelos Law, our attorneys dedicate their professional time to helping the victims of malpractice in all its forms. We are standing by, ready to assign a Rosedale MD birth injury lawyer to your case. As soon as you get in touch, we can get to work, investigating and building the strongest possible case on your behalf.
We take the time to listen compassionately, educate our clients, and build a confident and secure attorney-client relationship, so contact us today on 410-705-2405 if you have any questions about birth injuries in Lochearn.
Our Vision at Peter Angelos Law
Every year, victims decide against hiring a personal injury lawyer to pursue their medical malpractice claims. Many of them make this decision because they fear that losing their case will leave them worse off financially, having to find legal fees to pay their attorneys.
Here at Peter Angelos Law, one of our main goals is to ensure that all victims of malpractice have the option of seeking representation. In order to accomplish this, we do two things.
Firstly, for any new client, we offer a free consultation. In this initial consultation, we will evaluate your case, letting you know if it is one worth pursuing. We create a space where you can ask questions that you need to ask, and we will answer honestly. We will advise you on your options and will explain how our fee structure works.
Secondly, we work on a contingency fee basis fee structure, commonly known as no-win-no-fee. This non-recourse fee structure means that you retain an attorney from our law firm with no upfront costs, and you pay nothing if we cannot secure you a victory. We only take our payment as a percentage of your settlement, as discussed in our first meeting.
This means that if your case is worth pursuing, we will take it on, including the risks, allowing you to pursue compensation and recovery of your damages with confidence. We have a long history of experience in personal injury cases involving malpractice and birth injuries, giving us an advantage when it comes to tailoring a bespoke approach.
Causes of Birth Injury
Birth injuries that are preventable can leave both the baby and the mother with problems that affect them for the rest of their lives. Some injuries may leave a child with developmental problems, and some may leave the child with physical pain or disability that impairs them, reducing their quality of life.
Most of these injuries fall into two categories:
A prenatal error is one that occurs during the pregnancy period. Most prenatal errors occur because of a lack of attention or improper monitoring of the mother and her child. Your medical provider should carry out all required tests and examinations that may be necessary to ensure that any problems are detected in a timely manner. They should also provide patients with all relevant options during pregnancy to ensure the health and wellbeing of your baby.
Labor and Delivery Error
The other type of injury occurs during labor or birth. These injuries often happen when the attending medical providers make the wrong decision, take too long to make the right decision, or if they do not follow the standard medical practices.
Here are the more common causes of injury:
Head Trauma During Delivery
A newborn baby's head is extremely vulnerable to trauma, and during the birth, all due care and attention needs to be taken when it comes to handling the baby's head. Brain damage and nerve damage may occur if too much force is applied to the head, and this is often permanent, leaving the child with a life-long disability, impairment, or stunted development.
Neglecting to Perform Specialized Tests
There should be regular fetal monitoring, and adequate testing carried out during the pregnancy. This allows conditions to be detected early enough that the right measures can be implemented and, if necessary, the right treatment can be given.
When giving birth, your medical providers need to be alert to any fetal distress or complications. If they arise, they need to be addressed immediately. If complications are not handled promptly, they may result in the child or the mother suffering life-changing injuries.
In the most severe situations, complications that are not handled correctly can lead to the wrongful death of the child.
The most common complications that need to be diagnosed and addressed immediately should they arise are:
- Cerebral palsy
- Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy
- Infections such as Group B Strep
- Maternal illness.
- Any drop in heart rate.
Delay in Converting the Mother to Caesarian Section
While the decision to convert a mother to C-section should never be taken lightly, when it becomes apparent that it is necessary, the medical provider attending should convert the mother in a timely manner. If it has become apparent that you are going to need a c-section, but your medical provider has delayed the decision, and you or your child have suffered an injury, it may have been preventable.
Negligent Vacuum Use
If a mother begins to struggle with the effort of giving birth, the decision may be made to utilize a vacuum to assist. This decision should never be made without a lot of consideration for the potential for harm, as the vacuum may cause injury to the baby.
Forced deliveries are when the medical providers attending have to step in and assist the mother with the birth. Forced deliveries need to be handled with care as they come with a much higher risk of causing injury and leaving the baby with problems such as cerebral palsy.
One of the most common forms of birth injury occurs when the brain of the child is deprived of the full flow of oxygen that it needs. When this happens, the tissue in the brain begins to die, and if left unchecked, this may result in brain damage or impaired physical movement. The brain does not repair in the same way that the rest of the body does, meaning this damage may be permanent.
The medical name for this lack of oxygen is Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy or HIE. This is one of the reasons why fetal monitoring during pregnancy is so crucial. If detected during the monitoring, the correct steps can be taken to prevent the child from suffering brain damage or, worse, the wrongful death of the child. This also commonly results in cerebral palsy, a devastating and complex injury suffered by newborns.
If your child has suffered brain damage during the pregnancy, you should speak to an experienced birth injury attorney, well versed in medical malpractice and personal injury law.
Types of Birth Injuries That Could Be Caused by Medical Malpractice
Brachial Plexus Injury
At the top of the arms is a cluster of nerves known as the brachial plexus. During childbirth, these nerves are vulnerable, and if too much trauma is applied, such as when the baby's head is pulled too hard to one side or another, they are easily damaged.
If the brachial plexus is damaged, it can lead to a loss of function in the arm or, worse, total paralysis of the arm, shoulder, or hands.
Cerebral palsy occurs when there is a lack of oxygen in the brain. It can happen during pregnancy or during birth or may happen due to the baby being born prematurely.
In most cases, cerebral palsy is a non-progressive condition, so it should not worsen after the baby is born.
The level of impairment and the severity of symptoms will depend upon the level of oxygen deprivation suffered before birth.
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.
The spine of a newborn baby has to seal properly in order for the child to have full motor function after birth. If the spine does not seal on time, or too much force is applied to the spine, it can lead to a lesion developing.
The spine is like the brain. It does not repair from damage, meaning any damage to the spine is permanent. Surgery may be carried out to prevent the injury from worsening, but surgery cannot repair the damage.
Spina bifida can often be detected via fetal monitoring during pregnancy. There are blood tests, fluid tests, and even ultrasound can be used to detect signs of spinal bifida.
When it comes to spinal injury and spinal lesions, the further up the spine, the worse the symptoms in the majority of cases. These symptoms can include:
- Bladder or bowel problems.
- Difficulty with planning, organizing, or solving problems.
- Atypical eye movement.
- Difficulty paying attention.
- Hip injuries.
- Club foot.
- Weakness or paralysis of the legs.
Facial paralysis can be caused when too much pressure is applied to the face during birth. This occurs when the nerves are damaged from too much force and often happens in a forced delivery or one involving a vacuum.
In many cases, facial paralysis heals within a couple of days, but if the trauma is severe enough, the damage could be permanent. This may result in the child having the inability to close one eye or move one side of their face.
The Duty of Care
For a valid negligence case, the party responsible must have owed you a duty of care at the time they acted negligently. Common examples of why a person may assume a duty of care include the duty of care road users owe to each other, or that private property owners owe to visitors to their property.
All medical providers automatically assume a duty of care to their patients. This duty of care is to act appropriately, following the medical practices and acting with all due care and attention to prevent harm coming to their charges.
If your medical provider has acted without due care and attention, or they have deviated from the standard medical practices, and you or your child have suffered injuries, you may have a malpractice claim.
Statute of Limitations for a Birth Injury Lawsuit in Maryland
When it comes to any personal injury case, personal injury claim, personal injury lawsuit, or medical malpractice claim, you are bound by the state's statute of limitations. This legislature places a legal time limit on how long you have to make a claim relating to a specific incident. Once this time has elapsed, your case will be thrown out if you try to raise it.
The sooner you involve your personal injury lawyers in your case, the better, as you will have more time to make your claim. Besides the legal time limit, the sooner you agree to representation from a personal injury law firm, the easier it will be for them to build the strongest case. Evidence will be easier to find, and proving things like causation will be easier to do.
The statute of limitations in Maryland states:
You have three years from the date of the malpractice incident or, in some circumstances where the injuries were discovered later, you have five years from the date but no more than three years from the discovery of the injuries.
If your child has a claim for injuries he or she incurred as a result of birth, he or she will have three years from the age of 18 to bring a claim for injuries. The minor’s parents will typically have three years from the date of birth to pursue a claim. It is important to pay attention to these very important deadlines when considering bringing a claim for birth injuries.
Four Elements to Prove in Maryland Birth Injury Lawsuits
There are four important elements involved in any negligence case in Maryland. Your attorney will be seeking evidence to prove these four elements, and if your case goes to court, they will be expected to show the courts their evidence.
These elements are:
- The medical provider owes you a duty of care - All medical providers owe a duty of care to their patients.
- The medical provider breached their duty of care - They behaved differently from how a reasonable person 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 Malpractice Law Firm To Hire For Your Case
When facing off against medical malpractice insurance companies, you are going to need a birth injury lawyer with a strong reputation and a wealth of experience and skill. Over the past decade, medical malpractice payouts have been substantial, and to combat this, medical malpractice insurance companies now employ the strongest, most aggressive legal teams possible to defend their clients.
This makes it important that you research your potential attorneys before agreeing to representation. We recommend that you start with independent review sites like AVVO, that rate attorneys independently based on previous victories, client reviews, accreditations and accolades, and peer reviews.
Once you have narrowed your choices down and have a shortlist of potential attorneys, arrange an initial consultation and prepare the questions you want to be answered. You should also use the initial consultation to ensure you are confident and comfortable around your attorney, as you may spend the next few years working with them and discussing personal issues.
During your free consultation, here are some things to look out for:
- Experience - The most important thing to look for in an attorney is their track record for success. Ask them how many cases, similar to yours, they have won favorable outcomes in. Ask to see proof and previous client referrals. The more experience your attorney has and the better their representation, the stronger your chances of a reasonable out-of-court settlement.
- Legal Expertise - Most personal injury attorneys handle medical malpractice cases. However, attorneys that spend equal time as car accident lawyers or dealing with motorcycle accidents as they do dealing with medical malpractice cases may not be the best option. We recommend choosing a team of medical malpractice lawyers that dedicate most of their professional time to malpractice, wrongful death, and birth injury cases.
- Medical Expertise - Your medical malpractice attorney will most likely have no medical training themselves. However, they should have a firm grasp of medical concepts and the industry in general. They should also have a panel of medical experts on call, ready to advise them in areas they are not knowledgeable.
Maryland Birth Injury FAQs
Contact a Lochearn MD Birth Injury Lawyer Today
As a parent, you should be able to hold any medical provider who has caused you or your child a preventable injury to account. If they have acted negligently, you may be entitled to recover your damages and pursue compensation for your child's pain and suffering.
Call us today and arrange a free consultation at 410-705-2405.