Woodlawn 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 with as few complications as possible. To ensure this happens during the pregnancy, they should conduct regular fetal monitoring. If there are any pre-natal conditions, they should be diagnosed quickly and dealt with.
During the birth, they should also take 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 recover any damages you have incurred and to pursue compensation for your pain and suffering.
Birth Injuries in the United States
There is always a degree of risk in any pregnancy and during every birth, but preventable injuries should never happen. In the United States alone, there are 28,000 cases of preventable birth injury every year, caused by the medical providers who are meant to help us. This makes us one of the few developed countries in the entire world where birth cases injuries caused by negligence are on the rise.
The consequences of preventable birth injury vary from case to case, but for many, the injuries can cause lifelong problems with development or motor function. This can affect a child's enjoyment of life and make life difficult for both them and their parents.
Here at Peter Angelos Law, we help victims of medical malpractice pursue the compensation they deserve for their suffering. We know that money will never repair the damage, but we also know that having financial security and the ability to seek the best possible treatment following a birth injury is something that all victims deserve.
Peter Angelos Law - Speak To a Woodlawn MD Birth Injury Lawyer about your Medical Malpractice Case
Many victims refrain from seeking representation from an attorney following their incident because they are worried that if they lose their case, they will be left financially vulnerable, having to pay fees or costs. To combat these fears, we offer a free initial consultation and case evaluation. This means you can receive some important advice, ask the questions you need to ask, and explore your options without worry.
We also work on a contingency fee basis, so if you decide to pursue your claim, you can do so knowing that we do not charge a penny unless we win you a settlement. If we win, we take a percentage of what we win you, as discussed in our initial consultation.
Common Birth Injuries Caused By Negligence
There are two main categories of injury caused by negligence during pregnancy and childbirth:
Prenatal errors include all problems, conditions and injuries that happen to a baby while they are still in the womb. The main errors that occur at this stage occur due to a lack of adequate fetal monitoring during the pregnancy. Throughout the entire pregnancy, your medical provider should be carrying out regular tests and ensuring that any tests that are specific to your child are facilitated.
This monitoring allows for the diagnosis of conditions in a timely manner. This ensures that, if possible, precautions are taken, and treatment is given on time.
A failed diagnosis can lead to serious problems later on, and a misdiagnosis can lead to the wrong treatment being given, while the main condition is left untreated.
Labor and Delivery Error
The second category includes all injuries that happen during labor or the physical birth. This is a critical time for baby and mother and doctors need to take extra care and caution to ensure the right decisions are made and that the baby is born without suffering physical injuries or trauma.
The most common birth injuries include:
Cerebral palsy occurs when there is a lack of oxygen to the brain during the birth or pregnancy. It is usually non-progressive, which means it should not worsen in severity after the 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
If during the birth, a baby's head is pulled too hard to one side or the other, there may be damage to the brachial plexus, which is a group of nerves at the top of the arms and neck. This can lead to a problem moving the arms or mobility in the shoulder or hands.
Improper use of Vacuums
The attending medical providers may decide the mother needs a forced delivery if she is struggling with the effort or the baby is showing signs of fetal distress, such as a drop in heartbeat.
To do this, they may use a vacuum, which attaches to the child's skull or shoulders. This decision needs to be made carefully because it comes with a number of risks. The vacuum can cause swelling or bruising, and, in the worst cases, it can even cause brain damage.
When the baby is being born, a common injury is when the blood vessels in their head are ruptured. For the most part, this is harmless and will heal quickly. However, it should still be checked out and examined as they do have the chance of calcifying, causing serious injury, and requiring surgery.
Horners syndrome refers to nerve damage in the sensitive nerves between the eyes and brain. If too much pressure is applied to the face during the birth, the result may be an injury that causes blindness or an inability to move one part of the face. This damage never usually heals, so it needs to be avoided at all costs.
The Process of Filing a Claim
If you have decided to raise a medical malpractice case, you should begin by speaking to your Woodlawn medical malpractice lawyers. They will help you understand the process and will assist you in filing your medical malpractice case with the Director of Maryland Health Claims.
Maryland Statute of Limitation
There are two reasons why it is important that you get in touch with an attorney as quickly as you can. The first is that the sooner you do get in touch and the sooner you agree to representation, the better your chances of successfully seeking the full and maximum compensation on offer to you.
This is because the sooner you get in touch, the better their chances of investigating on your behalf and the longer they have to build your case.
The second reason is the state's statute of limitations, which places a time limit on how long after an incident you are able to raise a 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.
Damages You Can Recover in Medical Malpractice Claims
One of the main jobs your attorney will do on your behalf is calculating what your damages are worth so that you can recover them. They will work out how much physical money the injuries have cost you and how much your pain and suffering is worth in terms of compensation.
The more cases similar to yours that your attorney has won, the better they will be equipped to calculate what these damages are in a fair and reasonable way that is hard to argue with, thus providing you with the best chances of a settlement.
The first damages that need to be worked out are your economic damages. These damages are anything you have had to pay or will have to pay that has a bill or receipt attached. Things like medical bills and property damage are common forms of economic damages.
Here are the most important economic damages to consider.
Lost Earning Potential/Wages
If you or your spouse have had to take time off work to handle the injuries caused by the medical malpractice, you may have suffered from a loss of wages or income. If you have had to take a long time off work, this can lead to financial worry.
It isn't just your loss of income that will be considered either. If your baby will never be able to work in a normal capacity, your attorney may attempt to pursue a life-time of lost earning potential.
You should not be left out of pocket for medical expenses that you have had to pay because of the injuries caused by medical negligence. Medical expenses can quickly add up, leaving a sizable and scary bill. Your attorney will help you recover all past and future medical expenses.
That means you can claim for all future medical expenses too. Your attorney may work with a medical expert to calculate what a lifetime of treatment might cost if your newborn baby is going to need it.
Your non-economic damages are any damages you have suffered that do not have physical prices attached. They are more difficult to calculate, as they will need to be worked out on a case-by-case basis and valued in terms of severity by your attorney.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering damages are to compensate you for the physical pain you or your child have had to go through and the emotional distress you have been put through as a result of the medical malpractice.
If your child will never be able to ride a bike or swim, your attorney might pursue damages for a loss of enjoyment of life, as they will miss out on things a normal child would do.
In the most severe and terrible medical malpractice cases, a child may lose their life due to a preventable injury. As a parent, this is devastating and will destroy your world and you have every right to be furious with your medical providers.
Whilst no physical amount of money will ever bring back your child or ease your grief, a wrongful death claim will hold the guilty party accountable. It will also compensate you for the loss of companionship and provide financial security while you and your spouse take time off work to grieve.
If you have lost a child, and you believe it was down to a preventable birth injury, you must get in touch with a medical malpractice attorney immediately. Your medical malpractice lawyer will be able to guide you through this difficult time.
Four Elements to Prove in Maryland Birth Injury Lawsuits
In order for your medical malpractice case to be a valid one, your attorney will need to prove four elements. If they can prove the following elements, your chances of success are good:
- 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 provider 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
Medical malpractice cases are complex and difficult to win. You will be fighting against an incredibly skilled medical insurance legal team, and this will require a strong attorney. Choosing this attorney, however, may seem like a scary and daunting task, especially if this is your first time needing representation from an attorney.
To begin with, it is a smart idea to check for potential attorneys on AVVO. This independent review site places a ranking upon attorneys based upon their success, client reviews, years of service, accreditations, and awards and peer reviews.
Once you have created a shortlist of good attorneys to check out, ring them and arrange an initial consultation with each of them. Prepare your questions and anything you need to ask and attend the consultation. During the meeting, check to ensure that you get along with them.
Even good attorneys may have personalities that clash with yours, and you may be working with them for the next several years. Make sure you are comfortable in your birth injury attorneys company.
During your free consultation with any potential birth injury lawyers, here are some things to look out for:
- Experience - Medical malpractice cases are much more complex than a traditional personal injury case and will require a personal injury lawyer that has experience in their nuances. You should ensure that any potential attorney can show you their track record of successful cases in similar cases to yours.
- Legal Expertise - Your Woodlawn personal injury lawyers should be extremely knowledgeable in the rules and regulations surrounding medical malpractice in Maryland. Your birth injury attorney should dedicate most of their time to dealing with medical malpractice cases.
- Medical expertise - Your attorney will not have medical training, but they should still have a firm grasp of all the standard medical practices and the medical field in general. They should also utilize a strong panel of experts that they can call upon when they need medical advice.