Are Birth Injuries Preventable?
Both the pregnancy and the birthing process can carry a lot of inherent risks, and unfortunately, babies may be injured or develop birth defects without any cause.
However, many birth injuries are preventable. Shockingly, in the United States, we are one of the few developed countries where cases of preventable birth injuries are actually on the rise.
A birth injury refers to any injury that the baby suffers during the pregnancy or during labor and delivery.
Due to the vulnerability of mothers during these critical periods, your medical providers should take extreme care to monitor your child, and when it comes to giving birth, they should be competent and follow the right process, giving you and your child the best chances of a healthy birth with no complications.
If your medical providers do not provide the mother with adequate fetal monitoring during the pregnancy, or they act negligently during the birth, any injuries that your baby suffered were likely preventable.
No mother should have to watch their child suffer as a result of the negligence of the providers who owed them a duty of care, and you are right to be furious.
With the help of an experienced birth injury attorney at Peter Angelos Law, we can help you hold them responsible, and if it is found they did act negligently, we can pursue compensation for the pain and suffering you and your child have been subjected to.
Important Services Your Medical Providers Should Provide
Prenatal Care and Adequate Fetal Monitoring
Most birth defects occur during the first three months, but some can still develop later on. This means for the entirety of your pregnancy, your medical providers should be carrying out adequate fetal monitoring. Most birth defects can be detected in a variety of ways, from blood and fluid tests, to ultrasound.
Detecting Fetal Distress
Another reason that adequate fetal monitoring is extremely important for both the mother and the child, is that it allows the timely detection of fetal distress that indicates the child is suffering from HIE, or Hypoxic-Ischemic-Encolathapy. Commonly known as oxygen deprivation, this is a serious problem for the child as it leads to the death of brain cells. These brain cells cannot repair themselves, which means the brain damage caused is permanent.
Equally as important as detecting fetal distress during the pregnancy, is the monitoring for fetal distress during the birth process.
Minimizing the Risk of Premature Birth
When a child is born too early, there is an increased chance that their organs and immune system will not have developed fully. This massively increases the risk of them suffering birth injuries and further conditions after the birth.
Unfortunately, premature birth may not always be preventable, and in some cases, it may become necessary for the child’s safety. When this is the case, it is incredibly important that the medical providers convert the mother to c-section in a timely manner or induce labor quickly.
In certain situations, such as when the medical providers are worried that the mother will not be able to exert the energy to give birth by themselves, the decision may be made that a forced delivery is necessary. One way they may do this is through the use of a vacuum. This is not a decision to be made without a lot of consideration, as the vacuum carries a lot of risk factors, and may even cause brain damage if used incorrectly.
Do I Have a Medical Malpractice Case
If your child has been born with a birth injury, or a birth defect that should have been detected by monitoring, your child’s birth injury may have been preventable. Serious birth injuries can have an immense impact on both your life and the life of your child. They may be left with impairments that affect their development such as cerebral palsy.
When this is down to the negligence of your medical providers, you deserve to pursue a claim that allows you to seek compensation that covers your medical costs, damages and to provide your child with everything they need to have the best chance at a fulfilling life.
Long-term therapy, medical treatment, and any changes to your home and life you need to make should be covered.
Which Malpractice Law Firm To Hire For Your Case
Deciding to hold your medical providers accountable can be scary and for many mothers, there has never been the need to hire an attorney before. This may make it seem difficult to choose the right one.
Here is what we would look for:
Find an attorney that is willing to fight your case to the fullest extent. While the other party may offer a settlement, you must remember that your compensation should cover the entirety of the costs that your child’s future will require. This means long-term medical care and therapy and payment for anything they need to adapt if they have an impairment or disability.
We recommend looking for an experienced medical malpractice attorney on AVVO, as it rates attorneys independently based on a number of factors such as how long they have been practicing, their victories, client reviews, peer reviews from other attorneys, accolades, and awards.
Birth Injury/Defect Lawyer FAQ
Do all birth injuries/defects qualify me to make a claim?
Sadly, there are risks involved with childbirth that mean that a child can suffer a defect or injury naturally. You can only hold your medical providers accountable if they have acted negligently in some manner, and that negligence has caused the injuries or if they have failed to monitor your child for defects.
How long do birth injury cases take?
Birth injury cases can be really complicated and it will take a long time for your case to settle because of the need for an in-depth investigation.
Expect a medical malpractice case to last over a year and potentially several years. Due to the complexity of such cases, filing a claim and carrying out an investigation will require large amounts of time and effort. Additionally, medical insurance companies often employ the best legal teams to defend their interests, meaning the fight for a fair compensation payout will be difficult. Thus, a skilled attorney is essential in order to secure a just settlement.
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?
Birth injury lawsuits are funded through contingency fees, which are fees charged by a lawyer for representing a client in a lawsuit. This type of fee structure means that the attorney does not collect any payment unless the lawsuit is successful.
The attorney will usually take a percentage of whatever settlement or judgment is awarded to the client. In many cases, the contingency fee can range from 30 to 40 percent of the settlement or judgment, depending on the complexity of the case.
Do all birth injury cases go to court?
No, not all birth injury cases go to court. Many birth injuries can be resolved through other means, such as negotiation, mediation, or arbitration. In some cases, the parties involved may agree to an out-of-court settlement.
This type of settlement is often beneficial for all parties involved, as it can be less expensive and less time-consuming than going to court.
If the case does go to court, the court will typically look at all of the evidence, including medical records and expert testimony, and make a decision based on the facts of the case. Ultimately, it is up to the other party and your attorney to decide whether to take a birth injury case to court.
Contact a Birth Injury Lawyer Today
No parent should be subjected to the emotional trauma and distress of watching a child suffer from an injury that could have been prevented. With the long-term implications these injuries may have on your child’s life, it can be a difficult time for parents.
Here at Peter Angelos, we are compassionate to your struggles and we want to do everything within our power to make sure that you can give your child the best chance at a happy, fulfilling life. Usually, this means ensuring you have the ability to hold those responsible accountable and pursuing compensation that allows you to provide for all of your child’s needs.
Call us today and arrange a free consultation at 410-705-2405.