Halethorpe Birth Injury Lawyer
The love that a mother feels for her child is unrivaled. During the pregnancy, lots of excitement, and some level of anxiety is normal. While you are pregnant and when you are giving birth, you and your child are extremely vulnerable. It is the job of your medical providers to make sure that your needs are met and you are monitored correctly.
Carrying out adequate fetal monitoring during the birth allows for the early detection of birth defects and this is a crucial task. Your providers should also be extremely competent when it comes to the birth process, and should act quickly if it becomes obvious the baby is in fetal distress.
If your child has been born with an injury that could have been preventable or a birth defect that was not diagnosed during your pregnancy, you may have grounds to file a medical malpractice case.
In order to successfully file a case against a negligent medical provider, your best option is to seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney from a reputable law office such as Peter Angelos Law. Our Halethorpe birth injury lawyers can help you to build a strong case, one that has a good chance of securing you a settlement that accurately represents your damages and suffering.
Medical malpractice cases are exceptionally difficult due to their complex nature and the fact that medical insurance companies hire the strongest, most capable legal teams they can to defend their clients. These cases can take several years to complete, and this means you need to secure representation from an attorney that is willing to go the distance.
Here at Peter Angelos Law, we have been fighting for clients across Maryland for over 70 years, with record-breaking settlements won in Halethorpe and numerous victories spanning areas like Edgemere, Sparrows Point, Towson, and Overlea.
Our Goal as Halethorpe MD Birth Injury Lawyers - Giving Victims The Opportunity To Fight Their Cases to The Fullest
Watching your child suffer from injuries caused by a medical provider is extremely distressing, and knowing that they could have been preventable can leave parents furious. Medical malpractice is unacceptable, and we stand ready to help victims hold their providers accountable.
The result of a birth injury can be further medical treatments, incurring expensive medical bills, time off work to deal with what has happened and emotional trauma from watching your child suffer. Many parents are unsure of their options and may be concerned that they will not be able to afford to hire an attorney.
Fortunately, Peter Angelos Law is passionate about fighting on behalf of all malpractice victims, and this is why we offer free consultations to all victims and work on a contingency fee basis. This allows us to take on clients without the need for up-front payments or ongoing payments while we fight their cases. We only take our fees from your settlement if, and only if, we win your case. If we cannot win your case, you won't have to pay us a single penny.
With this option, our victims can focus on pursuing their case and holding the guilty parties responsible. Not only does this allow them to pursue compensation for their suffering and the recovery of their damages, it points out the error, making it less likely that future parents and their newborn babies will go through the same traumatic experience.
The Most Common Birth Injuries Causes
It is important to understand that birth injuries and birth defects have different causes and may occur at different times during your pregnancy or birth.
Prenatal errors usually happen when there is an injury or a lack of fetal monitoring that occurs during the pregnancy. The best way to avoid prenatal errors is for your medical providers to carry out regular, adequate fetal monitoring that allows them to detect defects and injuries.
Most birth defects can be detected by either blood or fluid tests, or through ultrasound, meaning that if your child has been born with a birth defect that should have been detected, this is negligence.
There are a number of indicators that increase a child's risk of developing a birth defect or injury, and this means your medical providers need to carry out adequate screening, on both the baby, and the parents, as many of these issues are genetic.
Labor and Delivery Error
Birth injuries usually happen during the labor or delivery process. These are usually physical injuries caused by negligence or poor decision-making. Newborn babies are particularly vulnerable to trauma and extra care should be taken to ensure that pressure is not applied to the skull, spine, or arms during the birth.
Forced delivery decisions, such as converting a patient for a c-section or using a vacuum must also be made in a timely manner and carried out in a fully competent manner.
Here are the most common errors:
Head Trauma During Delivery
Your medical providers need to take extra care to reduce any risk of head trauma. If too much trauma is applied to the head during the birth they may suffer from:
- Brain Injury
- Facial Paralysis
Neglecting to Perform Specialized Tests
Most birth defects and a number of illnesses and conditions can be detected using the right monitoring during the pregnancy. There are also precursors that may indicate a child has a higher risk of a certain issue that is genetic or due to their size, or the mothers health.
Adequate fetal monitoring is a must, and when it is carried out it means that these problems are detected at the earliest possible moment.
If it becomes obvious that the child is in fetal distress, and is suffering from a lack of oxygen or other critical conditions, your medical providers may need to make the decision to speed up the delivery through forced delivery.
This decision needs to be made immediately if there are signs of HIE or oxygen deprivation, to prevent long-lasting, permanent brain damage.
Delay in Converting the Mother to Caesarian Section
Conversion to c-section is a time-critical procedure, and once it becomes obvious it is necessary, any further delays can lead to serious problems. If your medical providers failed to convert you to a c-section in a timely manner and your child suffered an injury as a result, you may have a case that they didn't act with the right level of due care and attention.
Negligent Vacuum Use
One of the ways that a forced, assisted delivery can be carried out, is by using a vacuum that attaches to the child to assist them through the birth canal. This decision should not be made lightly, as it carries a number of risks. The incorrect use of a vacuum can lead to skull fracture or brain damage and this is why its use should be limited to competent individuals trained in its use and risks.
One of the most important reasons that adequate fetal monitoring is a necessity is that it allows for the detection of HIE, or Hypoxic-Ischemic-Encephalopathy (Oxygen Deprivation). When a baby suffers from oxygen deprivation, brain cells may begin to die.
The brain cannot repair itself in the same way that much of the rest of the body is able to and this means the brain damage is permanent. The earlier that HIE is detected, the sooner your medical providers can act, and the better the chances of avoiding life-long damage to the baby's brain.
Oxygen deprivation can happen for a number of reasons, and can occur in either the pregnancy period or during the birth.
HIE can be detected during pregnancy with the correct monitoring, making it essential that your provider regularly carries out checks and can be prevented during the birth if the baby is monitored for fetal distress throughout the birth.
The Duty of Care Owed to Patients
Personal injury attorneys handle both a medical malpractice and wrongful death case as they fall under personal injury law.
In a personal injury case, such as a medical malpractice, birth injury, car accident or wrongful death case, you will need to prove that the at-fault party acted negligently. Under Texas law, to act negligently, you must have owed the victim a duty of care at the time. A duty of care is a legal obligation placed upon an individual to ensure they act in a manner that protects another individual's health and wellbeing.
Negligent behavior is any behavior that breaches this duty of care. For this breach to have happened, they must have acted unreasonably. To deduce if a person acted unreasonably, your attorney will compare their behavior to the behavior of a reasonable person. If the at fault parties actions can be seen as different from how a reasonable person would have acted in the same situation, then they have acted unreasonably, and this behavior is negligence if they owed a duty of care at the time.
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 In Halethorpe, MD
For victims of personal injury, birth injury, malpractice and wrongful death, the state has laws that place a legal time-limit on you to bring your claim against the at fault party.
The Statute of Limitations in Maryland states that you have 3 years from the date of the malpractice or 3 years from the date you discovered the injuries. If you discover the injuries later than the date of the incident, you must still bring your claim within 5 years of the date of the incident.
This prevents cases from being brought against providers when too much time has elapsed for a valid investigation and case to be carried out, such as many decades after the event.
However, even though 3 years seems like a long time to make a decision, the sooner you decide to pursue your case, the better your chances of success. If you involve an attorney at the earliest possible convenience, you give them the most time possible to build a case, investigate, seek expert testimonials and negotiate a settlement.
Four Elements Your Halethorpe MD Birth Injury Lawyer Will need to Prove
Once your attorney has taken on your case, they will begin to look at the four elements of negligence and how to prove them in your case.
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
Finding an attorney that is best suited to your case is crucial in its success. When you are considering something as complex and serious as holding a medical provider responsible for malpractice, you are looking at a tough battle.
Knowing what to look for in a medical malpractice attorney will help you narrow down your choices and will make it more likely that you find an attorney that is going to fight your case to its fullest potential.
Some attorneys are more geared towards pursuing settlements, and this means they will be less likely to push for a court battle if they cannot negotiate a settlement that truly represents your damages. It is essential that you choose an attorney that is a fierce trial lawyer, as well as a strong negotiator. This ensures they are prepared for either eventuality.
We recommend beginning your search by checking on independent review sites, such as AVVO. These sites place a rating on an attorney based upon their past success, peer reviews from other attorneys, awards and accolades and client reviews.
This should help you narrow down the choices of potential firms and attorneys so you can make an initial consultation with them.
This should help you narrow down your potential options.
During your free consultation, here are some things to look out for:
- Experience - The most important thing to consider when speaking to a potential attorney, is their history for winning cases. You should ask them about their past victories. The best attorney will be one that has won complex cases like yours before as it means they will have the experience and knowledge to draw upon to fight your case to the very fullest. They will be much more robust and no matter what direction your case takes, they will be able to adapt and evolve to match it.
- Reputation - Attorneys that have been fighting and winning cases similar to yours for a long time in your state will have garnered a reputation. They will have working relationships with many of the opposing attorneys and the Judges that may preside over your case if it ends up in court. Sometimes medical insurance companies will be more likely to settle outside of court, simply because they know you have an attorney on your side that will fight them in court aggressively.
- Medical Expertise - Your attorney will not have been to medical school and will not have medical training but an attorney that works on medical malpractice cases should have a firm understanding of the medical field. They will also have experts on call to fill in the gaps in their knowledge and provide expert testimonials.
- Legal Expertise - While most personal injury lawyers will take on medical malpractice cases, we recommend choosing a law firm that has decided to dedicate most of its professional attention to medical malpractice and wrongful death cases. This ensures they are dialed in to medical malpractice and are not handling other areas at the same time
Halethorpe MD Birth Injury Lawyer FAQ
Do all birth injuries qualify me to make a claim?
Childbirth is never without risk. Certain injuries and many birth defects can occur naturally, without any intervention from medical providers. Unfortunately, this happens fairly often and if the defect or injury happened naturally, your medical providers are not responsible for them.
However, negligent medical providers can, and do, cause injuries and fail to monitor for birth defects. When this happens, the injuries may have been preventable and this means that you most likely have a case against them.
The only true way to understand if your child's injuries were preventable, is to have your case examined by an attorney.
How long do birth injury cases take?
Once a medical malpractice case has been raised, there are a number of complicated steps and a full investigation that must happen. Your attorney will need to take time to speak to expert witnesses and depose the other party. They will also need to negotiate with the insurance company and their legal team.
How long all of these steps take will depend upon the complexity of the case. If your child's injuries are minor and the liability is clear the case may settle relatively quickly. If not, you should expect a long fight that could take several years to complete.
Medical malpractice payouts are usually fairly substantial and this means the other party's insurance company is going to fight aggressively to reduce their payout.
How are birth injury lawsuits funded?
Here at Peter Angelos Law, we work on a contingency fee basis that allows us to take cases on for no upfront cost and no cost for representation. We simply take a flat percentage fee from any settlement we win or the damages you are awarded in court if we have to fight a court battle.
If we cannot win your settlement or in court, you will not have to pay us anything.
Do all birth injury cases go to court?
Court costs can add up quickly when it comes to lengthy trials and this means that both parties will try to avoid a court battle if possible. 70% of cases will settle outside of the courtroom and this means your case will likely never see court.
However, 30% of cases do require court intervention, so ensuring you have a fierce trial attorney as your advocate is crucial.
Contact a Halethorpe Birth Injury Lawyer Today
The trauma of watching a child suffer from preventable injuries can be unbearable for any parent. These injuries can have lasting effects on their physical and emotional well-being, requiring long-term treatment and possibly hindering their development. You should not have to bear the burden of these costs alone and should pursue compensation that will allow your child to live their life to the fullest.
Call us today and arrange a free consultation at 410-705-2405.