Rosedale MD Birth Injury Lawyer
While childbirth is never a risk-free process, you should not have to worry about your child sustaining injuries due to negligence from your medical providers. They should be competent and well trained and should treat you and your child with the due care and attention you deserve and should follow all standard medical practices.
If they have deviated from the standard practices that they have been taught to adhere to or have acted without due care and attention, and your baby has suffered a preventable injury as result, you deserve to be angry. You are also entitled to hold them liable for the pain and suffering they have caused.
Here at Peter Angelos Law, our law firm is dedicated to helping victims of medical malpractice hold their medical providers accountable. As soon as you get in touch we can assign a medical malpractice attorney to your case. Each and every one of our attorneys has a track record for success in personal injury cases, medical malpractice cases, and in claims involving birth injuries.
We offer a free initial consultation and work on a contingency fee basis. We do this as part of our goal to make reliable representation accessible to all victims without fear of what happens if they lose. When you get in touch, we can arrange a case evaluation and answer any important questions you may have. If we decide your case is worth pursuing, we do so on a no-win-no-fee agreement. This means it costs you nothing to obtain representation from us, and you do not pay us anything if we do not win your case.
No parent should have to watch their child suffer from the results of a preventable birth injury, or worse, go through the pain of losing their child due to the negligence of their healthcare providers.
Common Birth Injuries Causes
When a newborn baby suffers from a preventable birth injury, the effects on their lives can be drastic. Injuries may lead to mental or physical impairments that affect the quality of their lives or their chances for healthy development.
Most of these injuries fall into two categories:
Prenatal errors occur during pregnancy, usually as a result of improper monitoring of the fetus. Part of your doctor's job is to ensure that all the relevant tests are carried out in a timely manner so that conditions can be diagnosed quickly and handled in the correct manner.
Labor and Delivery Error
Labor and delivery errors occur when the mother is in labor or giving birth. These usually happen when attending doctors, nurses and midwives act without due care and attention, or deviate from the standard medical practices.
Some of the more common causes of birth injuries that we see on a regular basis are:
Head Trauma During Delivery
During the birth, the baby's head needs to be handled with extreme care to prevent any head trauma or brain damage. Brain damage and nerve damage can lead to serious impairments and lifelong disabilities that affect their development and physical ability.
Neglecting to Perform Specialized Tests
Regular monitoring should include performing any specialized tests during pregnancy. This should allow for the timely diagnosis of conditions and allow for measures to be taken to ensure the right treatment is given.
During the delivery, if the baby suffers from any fetal distress or complications, it is imperative that your medical provider deals with them immediately. When complications are not handled quickly enough, they can lead to life-changing injuries and problems. In the worst-case scenarios, a lack of due care and attention when a complication arises can lead to the wrongful death of the child.
The most common complications are:
- Cerebral Palsy
- Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy
- Cephalopelvic disproportion.
- Maternal illness.
If it becomes apparent that the mother needs to be converted to a c-section, for example, if the child's heartbeat drops, it needs to be done immediately. If your medical provider fails to convert the mother to c-section in a timely manner, and you or your child have suffered injuries as a result, they may have been preventable.
It is down to the attending medical providers to monitor both the mother and the baby for signs of fetal distress and other complications that could warrant a conversion to a c-section.
Negligent Vacuum Use
If during the birth, the mother begins to struggle, it may be decided that she needs assistance. One way that this is done is through the use of a vacuum, which helps the child pass through the birth canal.
This decision should not be made lightly, as this method of assistance can easily cause serious injuries when done incorrectly.
If the mother is struggling or has been in labor for a long time, it can be extremely stressful for both her and her baby. If the doctors decide that the effort is becoming more than the mother may be able to handle, a forced delivery may be necessary.
Forced deliveries come with a much higher risk of injuries such as cerebral palsy, erbs palsy or brachial damage.
Oxygen deprivation is one of the more common birth injuries and can happen during either the pregnancy or the birth. When the brain does not get the oxygen that it needs, the tissue it is made of dies. This brain damage is usually irreversible and can have a dramatic effect on things like the child's development or physical movement.
When the brain tissue dies due to a lack of oxygen, this is called Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy or HIE. HIE needs to be diagnosed quickly, and the baby needs to be delivered immediately, or they could risk suffering permanent brain damage.
During pregnancy, there are a number of different conditions that could cause HIE. This is one of the reasons why fetal monitoring is crucial, as a timely diagnosis can be the difference between permanent injuries, disabilities, or even the death of the child.
If your child has suffered from brain damage during the pregnancy and you believe your medical providers could have done more, you should speak to a Rosedale MD birth injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Types of Birth Injuries That Could Be Caused by Medical Malpractice
The United States is one of the few developed countries in the entire world where birth injuries are getting worse each year (28,000 birth injuries caused by medical malpractice and rising),
When you pay such a high premium for healthcare, this statistic is a worrying one. Our personal injury attorneys see more and more birth injury cases each month for a range of different injuries, such as:
Brachial Plexus Injury
The nerve cluster at the top of a baby's arms is called the brachial plexus, and during birth, it can be damaged, causing a lack of function in that arm. In more serious cases, brachial plexus injuries can result in the arm becoming paralyzed.
These injuries usually happen when a baby's neck is pulled too much to either side during the birth. There is a much higher chance of this happening during a forced birth.
Cerebral palsy is a condition that happens due to oxygen deprivation, trauma, or the baby being born prematurely. It is a non-progressive condition, so it should not get any worse after birth.
It can cause a variety of different impairments, and the severity of these impairments will be different depending upon the level of oxygen deprivation the baby has suffered.
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.
A baby's spine is extremely vulnerable, and during birth, it has to seal properly for the baby to have full motor function. If this does not happen on time, or there is an injury or lesion on the spine, there can be serious problems.
With the spine, damage does not repair in the same way that it does in the rest of the body; this means this damage is permanent. Surgery may be carried out to prevent the condition from worsening, however.
Correct fetal monitoring should be carried out throughout the pregnancy, as this condition can be diagnosed through a number of different tests. These tests include blood tests, testing the fluid around the fetus, and the use of ultrasound.
This means that if your child has developed spina bifida during the pregnancy and you were not aware of it, it could be down to the negligence of your healthcare provider.
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.
During the birth, when the baby passes through the birth canal, if there is too much pressure on the face, this can cause facial paralysis. Facial paralysis occurs when the nerves surrounding the baby's face are damaged through trauma. This most often occurs when doctors decide to assist the mother through a forced delivery or vacuum.
Facial paralysis often heals within a couple of days or weeks, but in more serious cases, the damage may be permanent, and the baby may suffer from an inability to close one eye or a lack of movement on one side of the face for a prolonged period.
The Duty of Care
All medical providers automatically assume a duty of care to their patients. This duty is to follow the standard medical practices and to act with all due care and attention that their charges deserve. If they have failed to do so, and you believe the injury your child or yourself have suffered could have been preventable, you should speak to our birth injury attorneys.
Statute of Limitations for a Birth Injury Lawsuit in Maryland
Each birth injury attorney on our team handles medical malpractice claims on a regular basis. The sooner you get in touch with your attorney, the stronger the case they will be able to build, and the better your chances of raising a successful medical malpractice claim.
There is also the state's statute of limitations to consider. In Maryland, all personal injury lawyers, medical malpractice lawyers, and wrongful death lawyers are bound by the statute of limitations. This places a time limit on how long after the incident you have to make a claim.
For birth injuries and medical malpractice, you only have three years from the date the malpractice occurred or five years if you discovered the injuries later on. However, your time limit will not exceed three years from the date you discover the injuries or five years from the incident that caused them.
This might seem like you have a long time to make your claim, but medical malpractice and birth injuries are notoriously complex. Even for the cases that are clear-cut and simple, it could take over a year, and many cases take several years to complete. More importantly, the longer you leave it to get in touch with a team of Rosedale MD birth injury lawyers, the harder it is going to be for them to uncover evidence and build the strongest possible case.
Four Elements to Prove in Maryland Birth Injury Lawsuits
In order to build the strongest possible case, your attorney will use four elements as the basis of their arguments. They will need to prove these four elements, especially if the case moves to court, as they will be expected to provide evidence that they have done so.
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
In order to pursue the full and maximum compensation on offer to you, you are going to need the best possible birth injury attorney that you can find. This may seem like a difficult task with so many on offer. If you have never had the need for an attorney before, you may not know how to research and decide upon who you want to represent you.
Independent review sites like AVVO are a great place to start as they independently review attorneys based on their reviews from past clients, years of service, accreditations, and awards. This gives you a great overall picture of their skill and experience. Word of mouth is always great, too. If you have a family member or friend who recommends a good attorney, check them out as well.
Once you have a shortlist of potential attorneys, you should arrange some initial consultations with each of them. Prepare your own questions and make sure you take this time to ensure they are what you are looking for. You should feel confident in their abilities and comfortable in their presence.
Medical malpractice cases can take several years, so make sure you get along with your potential attorney.
During your free consultation, here are some things to look out for:
- Experience - The first thing you should ask for is your attorneys' track record in similar cases. The more cases similar to yours they have won, the better. The other party will be represented by a strong legal team, and this means your attorney will need to be skilled, experienced, and ready to fight on your behalf.
- Legal Expertise - While all law firms that handle personal injury may be able to help, a dedicated medical malpractice lawyer will have deeper knowledge in regard to medical malpractice law. We recommend choosing an attorney who dedicates most of their professional time to wrongful death, medical malpractice, and birth injury cases.
- Medical Expertise - While your medical malpractice attorney will not be a medical professional themselves, they should have a firm grasp of the medical industry. Where their knowledge is not sufficient, they should have experts on hand to advise them.
Maryland Birth Injury FAQs
Unfortunately, there are always risks when it comes to childbirth, and some injuries are not preventable. If your medical provider has acted competently, with due care and attention, and has followed all the standard medical practices they are meant to adhere to, then you might not have a claim.
However, if they have acted negligently or have deviated from the standard practices, this may mean the injuries were preventable, and if they were, you most likely have grounds for a claim.
You should contact a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible for a case evaluation if you are uncertain.
Contact a Maryland Birth Injury Lawyer Today
It is a parents' worse nightmare to watch their children suffer from injury. If this has happened to you, you deserve to pursue compensation for the pain and suffering you have both been through.
You expect a level of competency from your medical providers and when they act negligently; you have every right to be angry and every right to hold them accountable.