Reisterstown MD Birth Injury Lawyer
Medical malpractice occurs when the medical providers who owe us a duty of care, breach it by acting negligently. One of the most common forms of medical malpractice, is preventable birth injuries.
In the United States, there are 28,000 cases of preventable birth injury every single year, and this number is on the rise, not the decline. This is a shocking number, especially when the cost of healthcare and insurance is so high.
If you or your child have suffered an injury, and you have reason to believe that the injury was preventable, you should get in touch with a dedicated birth injury attorney. Together, you may be able to pursue compensation for the pain and suffering your baby and you have been put through, and you might be entitled to recover all of the damages you have incurred as a result. If you would like to speak to a lawyer about medical malpractice, or birth injuries, contact us today on 410-705-2405.
Peter Angelos Law - Medical Malpractice Attorneys
At Peter Angelos Law, we dedicate most of our professional time to the representation of medical malpractice, birth injury, and wrongful death cases. This narrow focus gives us an unrivaled advantage in crafting robust strategies for our clients. From the negotiation stage through to litigation, we don't settle for less, and we won't rest until we explore all avenues.
We want all victims to have the opportunity to obtain reliable legal representation. We offer a free consultation and case evaluation to all new clients. This allows new clients to seek immediate legal advice and discuss their options with a dedicated attorney.
If you decide to proceed with representation, we work on a contingency fee basis, which means we take no fees upfront or if we lose. Only if we win your case do we take any payment at all. We take on the risks so our clients can fight for what they may be owed with confidence.
During pregnancy, adequate examinations, imaging and testing must be carried out to prevent prenatal errors from happening. Proper examinations and ultrasounds allow for conditions and problems to be detected at the earliest possible instant, giving your medical providers adequate time to diagnose and treat the problem. It also will provide important information to your doctor, allowing you to make informed medical decisions during your pregnancy.
Without the correct tests and examinations, there may be a missed diagnosis, with the condition going without treatment and without giving the mother needed information to allow her to make informed decisions during her pregnancy..
Another example of a prenatal error is a misdiagnosis. If a condition is diagnosed incorrectly, the wrong treatment may be given during the pregnancy, causing further injury to either the mother or the fetus.
Labor and Delivery Error
Complications can occur during labor or birth that need to be dealt with immediately. If the pregnancy has run for longer than 42 weeks, there is an increased risk of these complications.
There are a number of ways that medical providers can act negligently during this time. They may use improper delivery techniques or fail to convert to c-section in a timely manner. Other errors include a lack of monitoring and medication errors.
These errors may lead to serious injury, and tragically, in some cases, the child may lose their life.
The most common birth injuries include:
The brain requires a steady flow of oxygen, even as a baby, and if this oxygen flow is reduced or cut off, brain tissue begins to die. One common condition this can cause is cerebral palsy, which is a non-progressive condition caused by oxygen deprivation.
With cerebral palsy, the condition does not normally get worse after 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.
Brachial Plexus Palsy
There is a group of nerves at the top of the arms called the brachial plexus. These nerves are vulnerable during birth, and if a baby's head is pulled too hard to one side or the other, it can damage this nerve cluster. This can lead to movement problems or impairment in the arms, shoulders, neck, or hands.
Improper use of Vacuums
When the mother is struggling to give birth, and the labor is becoming stressful to the baby and the mother's body, a forced delivery may be necessary. One way that this may be done is through the use of a vacuum that attaches to the baby.
Medical providers need to make this decision carefully. Improper use of the vacuum can lead to a number of serious injuries, including brain damage.
It is common for the pressure of birth to cause blood vessels in the baby's scalp to rupture. This can lead to a pooling of blood, and while this is normally harmless, in some cases, this blood can calcify, leading to complications.
This needs to be monitored as a surgical intervention may be necessary.
Horners syndrome occurs when, during the birth, there is damage to the nerves connecting the eyes to the brain. This usually occurs when the baby has a large force placed on its face.
Horners syndrome may lead to permanent nerve damage in the face or blindness.
A common birth injury that occurs from improper delivery techniques or a lack of due care and attention is broken bones and fractures. There should be constant monitoring of the baby so that if they are in fetal distress, it is detected early, and a decision can be made quickly.
If your baby has been born with a fracture and there were other options, or the decision to act was not made quickly enough, you could have a case, as the fracture may have been preventable.
Spinal Cord Injury
The spine is similar to the brain in the regard that it will not repair if there has been damage. If the spine does not attach properly during the pregnancy or it is damaged during birth, it may lead to life-long impairments and disability. The further up the spine the damage occurs, the worse the impairment.
Common Forms Of Child Birth-Related Medical Negligence
- The incorrect use of tools used during birth, such as the use of vacuums and forceps.
- Incorrect or lack of fetal monitoring during labor and delivery.
- Delayed or failure to give treatment during fetal distress.
- Failure to convert to a c-section in a timely manner.
- Administering an epidural incorrectly.
The Process of Filing a Claim
Filing any medical malpractice case in Maryland will begin with the victim or their parent filing a medical malpractice case with the Director of Maryland Health Claims.
Next, your Reisterstown birth injury lawyers will need to build your case and appeal for a settlement from the other party. If this cannot be negotiated, your case may be escalated to court.
Maryland Statutes of Limitation
There are two important reasons you should file your case as soon as possible after the incident or after the injuries have been discovered.
The first reason is to protect your chances of a successful claim. You should involve your personal injury lawyers as soon as possible. When dealing with personal injury cases such as medical malpractice cases, wrongful death cases, and birth injury cases, the more time you give your attorney, the better. This will give them the best chance to investigate, build your case and calculate your damages.
All Maryland birth injury lawyers should also take the time to tell you about the statute of limitations. These place a legal time limit on your case. You have a certain amount of time, under these statutes to raise a claim, or you will forgo the right to raise it once the time has elapsed.
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.
- An infant child has 3 years from the time they reach the age of 18 years to bring a lawsuit for injuries he or she may have sustained as a result of a birth injury. The statute of limitations referred to above will apply to a parent of the minor child.
Damages A Personal Injury Law Firm Can Help You Recover in a Medical Malpractice Claim
One of the most important tasks your attorney will carry out on your behalf is pursuing the recovery of any damages you have suffered as a result of the birth injury. To be able to do this, they will first need to work out what your damages are worth in the most accurate manner possible. These calculations will leave them with a figure that will form the base of your negotiations.
The more cases your attorney has fought and won that are similar to yours, the more experience they will have in calculating damages. This experience should mean they are more accurate, and when it comes to subjective damages that need to be judged on a scale, they know exactly where on the scale your damages fall.
When it comes to recovering damages for a birth injury, they will consider the value of your economic and your non-economic damages:
The first damages that need to be calculated are the economic damages you have incurred. Economic damages are any damages that have resulted in the victim suffering financially.
Here are the most important economic damages to consider.
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.
Lost Earning Potential/Wages
In most cases of birth injury, the parent will have to take a period of time away from work. Your baby may need further treatment or to be kept in hospital while they recover. You may also have to take time off if you have suffered injuries yourself.
Taking time off work usually results in lost wages or income. This may be anxiety-provoking, especially if it leaves you in a difficult situation financially.
In cases where the injuries suffered by the child are going to impair them for life to the extent where they will never be able to work in a normal capacity, your attorney may pursue a lifetime of lost earning potential to compensate them for that loss.
It should not be the responsibility of the parents to pay for the medical expenses when their child has suffered a preventable injury. Birth injuries may result in the need for life-long treatment or physical therapy, and this can be an ongoing cost.
Your attorney may be able to help you pursue the recovery of all medical expenses you have dealt with and will look at what future medical costs might look like.
We recommend keeping a treatment diary so that you can keep tabs on all of the medical expenses you have had to deal with.
Non-economic damages are those that you have suffered that are subjective and need to be calculated on a scale of severity.
Pain and Suffering
The pain and suffering you and your baby have had to endure as a result of the error needs to be considered. Birth injuries can lead to emotional trauma, physical pain, and a lot of anxiety and stress.
Pain and suffering can cover a loss of enjoyment of life as well. If your baby has been born with a preventable impairment that stops them from riding a bike when they grow up, they should be compensated for this loss of enjoyment.
In the most tragic cases of preventable birth injury, the injuries can be so severe that the child loses their life. No parent should have to face the grief of losing a child due to the negligence of a care provider.
While no amount of monetary compensation is going to remove the grief or make it easier, it can provide you and your spouse with financial security while you take time off work to grieve.
If you have lost a child during pregnancy or childbirth, and you suspect it could have been preventable, you need to get in touch with a birth injury attorney immediately. These cases need to be handled by a lawyer with experience, as they are more complex than normal injury cases.
Four Elements to Prove in Maryland Birth Injury Lawsuits
In any medical malpractice, personal injury, wrongful death, or birth injury case, your attorney will look to prove the four important elements of negligence. If they can do this, your chances of a successful claim are strong.
These elements are:
- 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 Reisterstown MD Birth Injury Lawyer To Hire For Your Case
Deciding which birth injury lawyer you want to represent you in your case is often a difficult decision. We recommend that you take your time to do the research here and not go off flashy t.v ads or billboards.
To start with, we recommend checking independent review sites. Check out your potential attorneys on sites like AVVO, which give independent ratings to attorneys based upon a number of factors, such as previous wins, client reviews, accolades, awards, and peer reviews.
Once you have made a shortlist of potential attorneys, you should set up an initial consultation with each of them. Before you head into these meetings, it is a good idea to make a list of questions you want to ask. This list of questions should give you a feel for their abilities and ensure that your personalities don't clash. You may be spending the next several years discussing personal issues with your attorney. Make sure you are comfortable in their presence.
During your free consultation, here are some things you might want to ask about:
- Experience - Many personal injury attorneys will handle malpractice cases, but we recommend looking for one that has extensive experience in birth injury and medical malpractice. Choosing a law firm that dedicates much of its professional time to medical malpractice may be the difference between failure and success. Ask your attorney to see their past wins and victories in cases similar to yours.
- Legal Expertise - Your attorney should have a full understanding and knowledge of the medical malpractice rules and regulations. They should know exactly how to proceed with your case.
- Medical expertise - It is unlikely that any medical malpractice attorney will have medical training or medical background. However, they should have a firm understanding of the medical industry, and where their knowledge is lacking, they should have access to experts who can advise them.
Speak to a Reisterstown, MD Birth Injury Lawyer Today
No parent should have to witness the suffering of their child at the hands of a negligent medical provider, and you have the right to be angry. You also have the right to pursue compensation and the recovery of your damages.
Remember, medical malpractice involves fighting against the insurance company that is defending the at-fault party. These insurance companies employ the strongest and most aggressive legal teams possible due to the size of the payouts in cases involving malpractice.
By seeking representation from an attorney at Peter Angelos Law, you will have an advocate with a reputation for fierce representation from a firm well known in courtrooms up and down Maryland.
We will not back down, and we will not settle until every avenue has been exhausted.
To discuss your case, call us today at 410-705-2405.