As parents, your biggest priority is the safety of your children. During pregnancy, the mother has to take extra care with what they do and what they eat in order to protect their unborn child and themselves.
Your doctors, nurses, and other medical providers should do the same. They should take extra care to monitor the fetus during birth and extra care when they are delivering the baby. When your medical providers act without due care and attention or deviate from standard medical practices and cause injury, this is medical malpractice.
If you or your baby have suffered an injury due to this negligence, you are entitled to raise a malpractice claim in order to recover your damages and pursue compensation for both your and your baby's trauma.
Here at Peter Angelos Law, we can represent you during your medical malpractice claim. Our personal injury law firm will help you fight the other party's insurance company. As your legal representation, we can provide legal counsel and assist you in recovering damages, such as your medical bills and lost wages. We can also help you calculate a fair compensation figure for your non-economic damages, such as your child's pain and suffering or loss of quality of life.
We have witnessed firsthand the tragedy and trauma that medical malpractice can cause, and we don't want anyone to suffer alone. One of our main goals is to ensure that reliable representation is accessible to all victims.
For this reason, we offer free consultation, case evaluation, and legal advice to all new clients. We also work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we don't charge upfront, and we only take our fees when we win your case. If, for whatever reason, we cannot win your case, you don't have to pay a penny. Call us today at 410-705-2405 to find out how we can help you.
Peter Angelos Law - Fierce Advocacy - When You Need It Most
Our team of personal injury lawyers has been fighting personal injury cases since 1961, giving us over 50 years of experience. We are also led by an attorney of an incredible pedigree, a Baltimore champion of the people.
From countless medical malpractice and wrongful death cases to winning a staggering $4.5 billion dollar settlement from Maryland's tobacco giants, we are proud to be led by an attorney of his skills and experience.
Common Birth Injuries Causes
While birth injuries and risks cannot totally be avoided, many birth injuries are preventable, and this is unacceptable.
These injuries may require lifelong treatment and may have a massive impact on their quality of life. In the worst cases, the baby may suffer permanent disabilities and developmental impairments or, in the worst cases, may even lose their life as a result of the negligence.
Most of these injuries fall into two categories:
Labor and Delivery Error
Labor and delivery error birth injuries occur when a medical provider acts negligently or without due care and attention during the birth. When this happens, the baby can suffer from physical injuries or suffer oxygen deprivation, or nerve damage that later causes problems.
Prenatal error injuries happen when there is a lack of monitoring or lack of attention during the monitoring stage of the pregnancy. Your medical provider should be monitoring the fetus and ensuring that conditions are spotted, diagnosed, and dealt with in a timely manner.
Delayed diagnoses, failed diagnoses, or misdiagnoses of pre-natal problems can lead to serious problems. A failed diagnosis may mean treatment is not given at all. A delayed diagnosis can mean treatment is not given quickly enough, and misdiagnosis can mean the wrong treatment is given.
Your medical provider should be competent and trained to monitor correctly. This means that prenatal injuries are often preventable and have happened due to a lack of due care and attention.
Some of the more common causes of birth injuries that we deal with are:
Head Trauma During Delivery
During birth, your newborn's head needs to be treated with extreme care. If there is too much pressure, the baby can suffer brain damage, head trauma, or nerve damage to the central nervous system. This kind of damage is often irreversible and may cause lifelong impairments.
Neglecting to Perform Specialized Tests
All throughout the pregnancy, your baby needs to be monitored. Your medical provider should ensure that the correct monitoring and testing take place at the correct times. This ensures that conditions and problems are spotted, diagnosed, and dealt with as soon as possible. If they fail to do this, and your baby suffers from a problem that should have been found in those tests, this could have been preventable.
During the delivery, problems are extremely time critical. If things go wrong and complications happen, your medical providers need to address them immediately. If your baby is suffering from fetal distress during the delivery for too long a period, and they suffer injuries, this could have been preventable.
Certain complications could easily result in life-changing injuries or even the wrongful death of the child.
The most common complications are:
- Cerebral Palsy
- Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy
- Cephalopelvic disproportion.
- Maternal illness.
When problems arise during the birth that indicate that the child is in fetal distress or there is a drop in heartbeat, your medical provider needs to convert you to a c-section in a timely manner.
If they take too long to do this, and either you or your child have suffered injuries due to this hesitation, you should speak to an attorney immediately.
Negligent Vacuum Use
If a mother is struggling, the attending medical provider may decide to utilize a vacuum to assist. This decision should not be made lightly as there are a number of risks that come with the use of vacuums.
If birth is taking a long time, it can cause immense stress on both the mother and child. If this effort is becoming more than the mother can physically handle, the attending nurses and doctors may need to intervene.
This needs to be done with extreme caution as physical injuries come with an increased risk of brachial injury and cerebral or erbs palsy.
Many birth injuries occur due to oxygen deprivation during pregnancy or birth. When the brain does not receive enough oxygen, brain tissue dies, and this is called HIE. HIE stands for Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy.
When a baby suffers from HIE, it means that there is an immediate need for them to be delivered. If they are not delivered in a timely manner, they could suffer permanent brain damage.
If your baby has suffered from injuries caused by oxygen deprivation and you feel your medical provider did not monitor correctly, this is medical malpractice, and you should speak to an Overlea birth injury lawyer immediately.
Types of Birth Injuries
With over 28,000 preventable birth injuries every single year, the United States is one of the only developed countries where birth injuries are actually on the rise.
Common injuries our birth injury attorneys deal with include:
Brachial Plexus Injury
Brachial plexus injuries happen when a newborn baby suffers trauma to the nerves in the upper arm. When this happens, the baby might suffer from a total paralyzation of the arm or reduced functionality.
The main reason this occurs is when the baby's neck has been pulled to one side with a lot of force during the birth. This may happen through no fault of the attending medical providers, but it can often happen when due care is not taken during a forced or assisted delivery.
When a baby suffers from oxygen deprivation or premature birth, one of the common problems that occur is cerebral palsy. This is a non-progressive injury, which means that normally, it does not become any more severe after birth.
Cerebral palsy can cause a variety of problems. It may cause physical impairment, or it may cause a cognitive issue that leads to problems in the child's development. The more oxygen deprivation the child suffered, the worse these impairments will be.
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 tissue between the spinal cord and the brain is vulnerable during birth. Before the baby is born, this tissue needs to seal together in order for the baby's spine to function correctly. Spina bifida occurs when the spine does not seal properly or there are lesions on the spine.
Because spinal tissue does not repair in the same way as normal tissue, the damage is usually permanent. Surgery may be carried out to ensure the condition does not worsen, but the child will never recover function to the part of the spinal cord that was damaged.
Spina bifida should be detected and diagnosed during pregnancy. Tests can include ultrasound monitoring, blood tests, or an examination of the fluids that surround the fetus. If your medical provider fails to diagnose the condition or they fail to inform the parents properly, you may be entitled to hold them liable for medical malpractice.
The severity of spina bifida varies depending on how serious the spinal injury is and the location of the injury. The symptoms are usually worse the higher up the spine the lesion is found.
- 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.
If there is too much force and pressure applied to a baby's face during the birth, it can cause nerve damage and facial paralysis. This often occurs when doctors intervene and use forced delivery methods, including the use of vacuums and forceps.
For newborn infants, this damage may lead to the inability of the brain to send signals to parts of the face. This might exhibit itself in a lack of movement on one side of the face or being unable to close one eye. While symptoms often clear up within a few days, more serious cases may be permanent.
As part of the duty of care that all medical providers owe to their patients, it is their duty to keep their children safe from harm. If your baby has been injured, and you feel the injury could have been prevented, you should contact a birth injury attorney immediately.
Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice in Overlea, MD
If a healthcare provider has acted negligently, then you should speak to a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. They will get to work quickly to protect evidence, investigate your case, and increase your chances of maximum compensation.
It is also important to act quickly, as all personal injury cases are ruled by a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is a law that limits the amount of time you have after an incident to make a claim. Once this period has passed, you lose your right to compensation.
For medical malpractice claims, you have just three years from the date the incident occurred. In rare cases where an injury was not discovered until later, this time frame may be exceeded. However, it can never surpass five years. These cases are challenging and require the guidance of an experienced Maryland personal injury lawyer.
The Four Elements of Negligence
Medical malpractice claims are based on negligence, which means that in order to prove liability and secure compensation, your attorney will need to establish that the four elements of negligence are present in your case.
The four elements of negligence are:
Duty of Care
First, it is necessary to establish that you were owed a duty of care. In medical malpractice cases, the first element is simple to prove, as all medical providers owe a duty of care to their patients. Medical providers should adhere to high standards of care in order to keep patients safe from harm.
The second element of negligence is a breach of a duty of care. A medical provider breaches their duty of care if they behave differently from how a reasonable person would in a similar situation.
The third element of negligence is causation, meaning the breach of duty caused preventable injuries. In order to claim compensation, the negligent actions of the healthcare provider must have caused the injury. If the injury was not preventable, then you will not be able to claim compensation.
The final element of negligence is damages. The negligent behavior must have led to an injury that resulted in damages, such as medical expenses.
Potential Damages You Can Recover in a Personal Injury Case
The task of a personal injury attorney is to help you to recover financial compensation that is representative of your experiences. They will work out how much you are owed and fight for a fair settlement in your case. To determine how much you are owed, they will evaluate your damages, such as:
Pain and Suffering Damages
Pain and suffering damages are to compensate you for your non-economic losses, such as your physical pain and emotional distress. You can also claim compensation for loss of enjoyment in life. For example, if your child will be left unable to participate in activities they might have enjoyed, such as riding a bike or swimming, because of their injuries, then this should be reflected in your settlement.
If you or your spouse have missed work to care for the injuries caused by the malpractice, then you could be compensated for your lost wages. You could also be compensated for the loss of earning potential if you are left unable to return to work or if your child is left unable to work in a normal capacity.
Often the biggest worry after a birth injury is medical bills and expenses. A skilled attorney will help you recover past medical expenses related to medical malpractice and will also ensure that your future costs are considered. They will draw upon expert testimony to determine what your ongoing costs might be and will fight for fair compensation.
Wrongful Death Claims
In the worst-case scenario, medical malpractice can result in death. No amount of money can ease your grief, but you should not have to suffer financially due to someone else's negligence. It will also help to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions.
How to Choose an Overlea Birth Injury Attorney
If you have been the victim of medical malpractice, then it is essential you secure experienced representation. It is essential that your attorney can support you during this difficult time and maximize your chances of securing the compensation you deserve.
If you have never needed an attorney before, then finding the right match can feel like a challenge. It is important to remember that an impressive ad is not always representative of a high-quality law firm.
Following a recommendation, ad, or google search, it is a good idea to dig a little deeper. You can read up about a potential attorney on independent review sites like AVVO, or if an attorney offers a free consultation, you can ask to see reviews from previous clients.
It is important that you find an attorney who has a good track record, is willing to show you previous reviews, and who has experience in medical malpractice claims. It is also worth considering whether you like your potential attorney and feel comfortable speaking to them openly about your injury claim and without judgment.
During your free consultation, here are some things to consider:
- Legal Expertise - Medical negligence is highly complex and difficult to prove. It is full of rules and regulations, and you may be facing large legal teams with a wealth of resources at their disposal. Your attorney should dedicate a large percentage of their time to helping victims of medical malpractice.
- Experience - Personal injury lawsuits involving birth injuries are difficult to navigate. It is important that your attorney has handled similar cases in the past and secured compensation for clients in a similar position to you. It is also important that they have trial experience. Opposing legal teams know which attorneys are willing to go the distance and take a case to trial and are, therefore, more likely to offer a fair settlement outside of court.
- Medical Knowledge - Your attorney most likely won't be medically trained. However, they should have a certain level of understanding of the medical field and a pool of experts that they can draw upon to provide evidence and advice.
Overlea Birth Injury FAQs
Contact Peter Angelos Law Today For a Free Consultation
If you or your baby have suffered injuries as a result of the negligent actions of a medical provider, then you need an attorney who is able to give your case the dedication it deserves. At Peter Angelos Law, we fight aggressively for victims of personal injury and will fight tirelessly to secure justice in your case.
You need a team of attorneys who have the experience necessary to do everything possible for your case, and at Peter Angelos Law, we have fought medical malpractice claims for over 50 years. We are proud of our long history of wins and are committed to doing the same for you.