Edgemere Birth Injury Lawyer
As a pregnant mother, the love you feel towards your unborn child and the excitement you feel during the nine months you carry them is unrivaled. During this time, you should be able to rely on the medical providers that are meant to ensure that you receive the care you need. They should be competent and perform all of the monitoring and testing that should be carried out.
No mother should have to suffer the trauma and emotional distress that occurs when their child is born with a birth injury or defect. Unfortunately, there are always risks associated with giving birth to a newborn, but well-trained medical staff should be able to mitigate these risks as much as possible.
What is unacceptable is when the medical providers assigned to pregnant mothers, act with negligence or do not provide the level of care that they are legally obligated to provide. When this happens, and your child has been born with a birth injury or defect that could have been preventable, it could qualify as medical malpractice, and you may be entitled to raise a medical malpractice claim against the providers responsible.
When it comes to a personal injury case involving preventable injuries or the wrongful death of a child during the pregnancy or childbirth, you deserve to hold the at-fault parties responsible.
Here at Peter Angelos Law, we dedicate much of our professional time to fighting on behalf of victims of medical malpractice and wrongful death. We will help you hold the negligent providers accountable and pursue compensation and the recovery of the damages you have suffered. This includes the pain and suffering you and your child have been subjected to.
Medical malpractice and wrongful death cases are the most complex cases personal injury attorneys handle, and this form of personal injury lawsuit can often take several years of fierce fighting to conclude.
During this time, your best chance of securing a successful outcome, one where you have the strongest chances of recovering your damages and pursuing compensation that accurately represents your suffering, will rely on the skill of the attorney representing your case.
Here at Peter Angelos Law, we have been fighting for clients across Maryland for over 70 years, with record-breaking settlements won in Baltimore City and numerous victories spanning areas like Edgemere, Sparrows Point, Towson, and Overlea.
Our Goal as Edgemere MD Birth Injury Lawyers – To Provide The Opportunity to all Malpractice Victims to Pursue Compensation
Medical malpractice can often be incredibly traumatic to victims, and the aftermath can be equally as distressing. When you or your child has suffered at the hands of a negligent medical provider, you will likely be dealing with emotional distress and may suffer a number of economic blows, such as further medical bills, time off work to deal with what has happened, and therapy.
The cost of these things can quickly add up and many victims are uncertain if they will even be able to afford an attorney.
This is why we choose to work on a contingency fee basis, which allows us to represent clients immediately with no upfront cost to the victim. We don’t charge for our initial consultation, case evaluation, or initial representation. This fee basis means you only pay us if we can secure a settlement or have your damages awarded in court. If we lose the case, there are no fees to pay, and you won’t pay us a penny.
This gives victims the confidence to pursue their cases and hold those responsible accountable without the fear of having to find fees if they lose.
The process will always begin with a free case evaluation that allows us to examine the events that happened, ask you important questions, and provide you with a space to tell your story and ask your own questions. If we think your case is a valid one, we can begin right away. If not, we will take the time to explain why your case may not have been negligence after all.
The Most Common Birth Injuries Causes
Understanding the cause of your child’s birth injury is important. Your attorney will need to determine the root cause of the injury and which of the two following categories it falls under.
Prenatal error, as the name suggests, is the term used when your baby’s injury was caused by something that happened while you were pregnant, before the birth. This kind of error is usually down to your medical providers failing to provide the adequate level of care that you were owed. Usually, errors during pregnancy occur because there was not an adequate level of fetal monitoring or your providers did not take into account certain requisites that may flag the child as having higher risk of certain conditions.
An example of this would be if the mother has diabetes or if the child is larger than the average child. Both these conditions make it more likely that they will suffer certain problems and thus, need to be monitored.
If your child has been born with conditions or injuries that are detectable during the pregnancy, it is likely that the adequate level of fetal monitoring was not carried out during your pregnancy.
Labor and Delivery Error
The second type of injury, are the ones that occur when you are physically giving birth to your child. The main cause of these injuries is either the negligent use of a forced delivery method, providers delivering in an incorrect way, or the failure to convert to c-section or perform emergency deliveries in a timely enough manner.
Here are the most common errors:
Head Trauma During Delivery
During birth, your attending medical providers must take extra care with your baby’s head as it is vulnerable to trauma. If too much pressure is applied to the head during the birth, there are a number of injuries that the child may suffer, such as:
- Brain Injury
- Facial Paralysis
Neglecting to Perform Specialized Tests
There are certain conditions that can be picked up through the right testing during the pregnancy, and there are certain indicators that a mother may exhibit that suggest the child has an increased risk of suffering certain problems during the pregnancy.
Adequate fetal monitoring should be carried out to ensure that if these problems are likely, they will be picked up early. This can allow treatment or procedures to be carried out early that may mitigate the problem.
When these tests have not been carried out and a child is born with a condition that should have been tested for and detected, you may have grounds for a claim.
If problems arise during birth, such as the detection of fetal distress, the birth process may need to be sped up and your medical providers may need to consider forced delivery methods or conversion to a c-section.
If it has become obvious that the conditions have been met that warrant a forced delivery, the decision must be made as soon as possible to reduce the risks associated with doing so.
Delay in Converting the Mother to Caesarian Section
One of those decisions that need to be made without delay is converting a mother to c-section in a timely manner. Every second your provider delays in making this decision can increase the risk of severe injuries to your child.
Negligent Vacuum Use
The use of the vacuum is a decision that should never be made lightly as it carries a number of risks. This means the decision must be weighed against the risk of not using the vacuum. However, this decision must be made in a timely manner to reduce the risks.
The use of a vacuum must only be carried out by an individual that is fully competent in its use as incorrect use can carry terrible side effects, such as leaving a baby with brain damage or skull injuries.
One of the main reasons why a child needs to be monitored extremely carefully is due to the risk of oxygen deprivation. The crucial period between the child being ready to be born and being born is one of the highest risk times for a child to suffer oxygen deprivation, but it can also happen for a number of reasons during the pregnancy.
The medical term, HIE, stands for Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy. When HIE happens, the brain begins to suffer damage as the cells die from a lack of oxygen. Unfortunately, the brain does not possess the ability to heal after damage, and this means that brain damage is often permanent.
HIE can be detected during pregnancy with the correct monitoring, making it essential that your provider regularly carries out checks.
The Duty of Care Owed to Patients
As medical malpractice is a form of personal injury case, just like a car accident case or a premise liability case, you will need to prove negligence in your case.
In order for negligence to have occurred legally, there must have been a duty of care owed to the victim at the time of the malpractice. They must then have breached this with their actions.
A duty of care is a legal obligation to act in a manner that ensures the safety and well-being of somebody else.
In order to breach the duty of care, the at-fault party must have acted in a way that can be seen as unreasonable. Usually, this means comparing their actions to that of the behavior of a trained, reasonable provider.
It should be relatively straightforward for a skilled personal injury lawyer that handles malpractice to decide if your case is a valid one during the initial consultation.
Statute of Limitations for a Birth Injury Lawsuit
As a victim of medical malpractice, you are bound by the state’s statute of limitations, which places a time limit on how long you have to make claims after a malpractice incident. This time limit is in place to prevent people from attempting to sue their medical providers many years down the line when there will not be sufficient evidence to prove the case.
The statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims in most states is 3 years from the date your child was born, with the only exception being if the injuries were discovered at a later point in time. In this situation, you have 3 years from the date they were discovered, but the time must not elapse 5 years from the date your child was born.
To ensure the best chances of a successful claim, it is recommended you bring it as soon as possible after the incident, as evidence becomes harder to track down and harder to discover the further you get from the date of the incident. This makes it harder for your attorney to build the strongest possible case on your behalf.
Four Elements to Prove in Maryland Birth Injury Lawsuits
Your Edgemere MD birth injury lawyer, once they take on your case, will then begin to work through the four elements that they need to prove for the case to be successful.
The four elements in personal injury cases are:
- The Duty of Care – The legal obligation that is owed to another person to act in a way that ensures their health and safety
- The Breach of the Duty of Care – Behaviour that is unreasonable, thus breaching the duty of care to the individual
- Causation – The fact that the behavior that breached the duty of care, directly caused the victim to suffer injuries
- Damages – Those injuries directly caused the victim to suffer economically and non-economically
Which Malpractice Law Firm To Hire For Your Case
With something as serious as holding your medical providers accountable for injuring your child, your choice of law firm is extremely important as it will be the deciding factor in your success.
In the aftermath of the trauma you have been through, you may be feeling overwhelmed, and if you have never needed to hire an attorney before, the task may seem stressful and difficult.
Knowing what to look for is important, and there are certain qualities that you should look for.
Finding an attorney that is more than willing to go the distance is important. Some attorneys prefer to run more of a settle-mill style process, fighting hard for settlement, even if the settlement does not accurately represent the victim’s damages.
While strong negotiation skills are always important, as a settlement is the quickest way to receive compensation, you should always choose an attorney with a fierce reputation for litigation, one that will not settle for less than you deserve.
When doing research on a potential attorney, our first action would always be to check them on AVVO. AVVO is fully independent, meaning attorneys cannot influence it themselves. They place a rating on attorneys using a wide variety of factors, such as how long they have been practicing, their victories, client reviews, peer reviews from other attorneys, accolades and awards.
This should help you narrow down your potential options.
Once you have a shortlist, you might want to choose one or two attorneys to begin with, and arrange a free consultation with them. This meeting is important for both parties. They will be able to decide if your case is valid and worth taking on, and you will be able to ask important questions and get a feel for them and their personalities.
During your free consultation, here are some things to look out for:
- Experience – When it comes to fighting complex cases like birth injury, wrongful death, and malpractice, by far the most important thing to look at, is the history of your attorney. If they can showcase victories in both complex cases and cases similar to yours, it is a good indication of their ability. The more cases they have won, the more experience they will have to draw upon and the more robust they will be. This means they will be able to adapt to your case as it evolves.
- Reputation – When attorneys have won a lot of cases and have been fighting for a long period of time on behalf of clients, they will have built relationships with both the Judges and attorneys that may be involved with your case. Sometimes, if your attorney has a fierce reputation for litigation and winning court cases, the insurance company may decide to settle instead of risk fighting such a skilled attorney in court.
- Medical Expertise – While your attorney will not have received medical training, an attorney with a lot of experience in medical malpractice cases will have a firm understanding of the field. They will also have medical experts they can draw upon to provide expert testimonials and advice when necessary.
- Legal Expertise – Most personal injury lawyers will have experience with medical malpractice cases. Certain law firms, such as ours, dedicate much of our professional time to medical malpractice cases and less time to things like car accidents. This means we are better positioned to help.
Edgemere MD Birth Injury Lawyer FAQ
Do all birth injuries qualify me to make a claim?
Unfortunately, childbirth is never risk free, and there are a number of injuries that can happen through no fault of your medical providers. Excellent training and providers that follow all practices and act with competency can reduce the chances of an injury, but they cannot totally remove the risk.
The only time a birth injury will allow you to make a claim, is if it was preventable because of the actions and negligence of your providers.
The best way to know if this was the case in your situation, is through the help and expertise of medical experts and your attorney when they examine your case.
How long do birth injury cases take?
With the complexity of medical malpractice, birth injury and wrongful death cases, you should expect the case to take over a year at best and several years at worst. This is because there are a number of additional steps when it comes to filing a medical malpractice claim in Maryland. Filing the claim will need to go through the right channels and an in-depth investigation from both parties will need to be carried out.
Another influence on the time it takes, is the fact that medical insurance companies hire the very best legal teams to defend them from the historically high payouts that are often awarded after a malpractice case. Their job is to reduce the liability of the medical provider, thus reducing your payout. This means the fight will be tough and your attorney will need to be as skilled as possible to secure a fair and just compensation payout.
Even the skilled and aggressive legal representation that is behind the other party may be more likely to settle if they are facing an attorney with a reputation for success.
How are birth injury lawsuits funded?
Most personal injury and malpractice attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, our firm included. This allows us to help victims when they are at their lowest, without them having to find money to pay for the help that they should have access to without question.
We only take payment from our services from a successful case, and it comes out of your settlement, meaning you never have to find money to pay us directly from your own bank.
Do all birth injury cases go to court?
Court costs are pricey for both parties, and because the Judge and jury are third parties, it is often a risk to rely on their decisions. This means that both parties will want to avoid a legal battle whenever possible. This is why 7 in 10 cases settle outside of court.
While this does mean it is more likely that your case will settle, 30% of cases will require a court battle, and this means you need an attorney that is a fierce advocate, capable of fighting your case in court.
Contact an Edgemere Birth Injury Lawyer Today
No parent should have to be exposed to the trauma of watching their child suffer from injuries that could have been preventable. These injuries may cause your child to suffer life-long problems and pain, and require long-term therapy. Certain impairments may affect their development or reduce their ability to live a full enjoyable life and you deserve to pursue compensation that will help you to give them the best chances of living their lives to the fullest.
Call us today and arrange a free consultation at 410-705-2405.