Sparrows Point Birth Injury Lawyer
No mother or father should have to watch their newborn child suffer from an injury caused by the negligence of the medical providers assigned to care for them. These medical providers should have been trained to a high competency and should follow all of the standard medical practices they have been taught to adhere to, to the letter. When they don’t, or they act without due care and attention, and a newborn baby is harmed as a result, the parents may be entitled to raise a medical malpractice case against the provider.
If you or your child have suffered from injuries that you believe were preventable, it is normal to be angry, and we are here to help you hold those responsible accountable. By filing a malpractice case against them, you can pursue the recovery of any damages you have suffered, and you can seek compensation for the pain and suffering your child has been put through as a result of their negligence.
Medical malpractice is notoriously complex due to the laws and rules surrounding malpractice claims. Medical insurers also hire the most capable and aggressive legal teams they can find to defend their clients and reduce their liability. This means the best way to pursue compensation is always to hire legal representation with experience and victories in past cases similar to yours.
At Peter Angelos Law, we have over 70 years of experience working on behalf of clients in similar situations to yours. As soon as you get in touch with one of our team, we can get to work right away, investigating your case, calculating your damages, and negotiating with the other party and their insurance.
Our Goal as Sparrows Point MD Birth Injury Lawyers – To Provide all Malpractice Victims With Skilled Representation
Reliable representation should not be reserved for those that can afford it. Victims of medical malpractice are just that, victims, and should have the opportunity to pursue compensation regardless of their financial situation. In fact, most victims suffer from the economic damages of the medical malpractice, such as further medical bills or time off work to handle what has happened.
This is one of the reasons why we offer our service on a contingency fee basis. This means we take a flat percentage of your settlement if we win it but do not charge anything up-front to fight your case. If we lose the case and cannot secure you a settlement, you do not owe us anything, meaning you can pursue your claim with confidence.
It all begins with a free initial consultation and case evaluation, where we will ask you some crucial questions about what has happened. The answers to these questions will allow us to deduce if your claim is a valid one, and if it is, we can begin right away.
Types of Birth Injuries That Are Often Caused by Medical Malpractice
Brachial Plexus Injury
Damage to the brachial plexus, which is a cluster of nerves that are at the top of the arms, can lead to impairment in the arms and, in the worst cases, can leave babies with life-long paralysis. This damage usually happens when the baby’s head is pushed to one side with too much force during the birth.
Cerebral palsy is caused when the brain does not receive the right level of oxygen while the baby is in the womb or during birth. The brain needs oxygen to survive, and without the correct flow of it, the brain cells begin to die. This is extremely serious because the brain does not have the ability to repair itself in the same manner that the rest of the body does. This means that the dead brain cells will never repair, and the damage is not reversible.
Cerebral palsy ranges in severity depending upon the level of deprivation and the period of time the brain has been deprived of oxygen. Some of the symptoms are easily manageable, but in more serious cases, the child may have developmental problems or impairments that stay with them throughout their entire life.
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
During the pregnancy, when the fetus is forming, the spine needs to connect and seal properly in order for the baby to have normal motor function. If this does not happen, there can be a range of problems. Spina bifida can be detected with a number of tests, such as blood tests, fluid tests, and ultrasound, meaning that it should always be detected if there has been adequate fetal monitoring carried out.
Spina bifida can leave children with motor impairment or paralysis, with the severity dependent upon how high on the spine the damage is.
The spine is similar to the brain in the fact that it does not have the same healing abilities as, say, your muscles and skin. This means the damage is permanent and will never be repaired. Babies with spinal bifida may need to have surgery to correct some of the damage so that it does not get worse, but it will not fix the problem.
If your child has been born with spina bifida, and your medical providers had no knowledge of it, this is most likely down to negligence and a lack of fetal monitoring.
Damage to the spine may result in:
- 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
If your child is suffering from the above symptoms, you should contact a Sparrows Point personal injury attorney who deals with birth injury and medical malpractice immediately.
During birth, your medical providers need to make sure that there is not too much pressure applied to the baby’s head and face to avoid facial paralysis.
Facial paralysis is common, and in most cases, it will resolve itself in several days or weeks. Still, in more serious cases, the paralysis may be permanent and may leave the child unable to move parts of their face.
The most common cause of facial paralysis is forced delivery or incorrect use of a vacuum.
Common Birth Injuries Causes
Birth injuries come in two forms, depending upon when the error occurred. Both forms of birth injury type carry risks that are extremely serious and may leave the baby with lifelong impairment or conditions that affect the way they live their lives. Some injuries will require long-term treatment or therapy.
When these injuries are caused by negligence, they may have been preventable, and this means you deserve to pursue compensation for this lifelong effect on their lives.
The first type of error that can occur is a prenatal error. This is an error that occurs during the nine months of pregnancy and is often down to a lack of fetal monitoring. Your medical providers should take every precaution and ensure that every test that should be carried out, is carried out in a timely manner that allows a quick diagnosis of conditions. This makes it more likely that they can be dealt with or that measures can be put in place.
When adequate fetal monitoring is not carried out by the medical providers responsible for looking after you and your baby, and your baby is born with conditions or injuries that were not detected by monitoring, you may have a case, especially if they could have been preventable.
Labor and Delivery Error
The second category of birth error is when an error happens during labor or delivery. This is a crucial time for the baby and mother, and the medical providers on hand need to make sure they act with due care and attention and follow all of the standard medical practices to the letter. When they fail to do so, and their actions cause an injury, the injury may have been preventable, and you may be entitled to make a claim against them.
Some of the more common causes of birth injury that we handle on a regular basis are:
Head Trauma During Delivery
A baby’s head is at risk of a number of injuries during birth, most of them due to too much pressure and trauma being applied. Head trauma can result in a number of injuries, such as brain damage and paralysis.
Neglecting to Perform Specialized Tests
Adequate fetal monitoring should be carried out throughout the pregnancy. Your medical providers should carry out routine check-ups and, where necessary, perform the right specialized tests.
Adequate fetal monitoring allows for conditions and injuries to be detected at the earliest possible moment, allowing for treatment to be given that may prevent lifelong injuries.
During the delivery, there should be constant monitoring of the baby to make sure they are not compromised or in fetal distress. Monitoring like this allows for problems to be spotted immediately, and this allows for quicker decisions that may prevent the baby from suffering from an injury.
If your medical providers are not monitoring properly, or they delay in making decisions that need to be made in a timely manner, the baby may suffer injuries as a result. These injuries can be extremely serious, and in the worst possible cases, they can lead to the death of the child.
The most common complications are:
- Cephalopelvic disproportion
- Maternal illness
Delay in Converting the Mother to Caesarian Section
Converting the mother to c-section is one of the decisions that need to be made in a timely manner when it becomes obvious that it is necessary. Every minute that your medical providers delay when making the decision to convert can result in the child suffering from life-long injuries.
Negligent Vacuum Use
While it is often necessary to use a vacuum when the mother is struggling with the effort required to give birth, the decision must be made correctly. This is because the use of a vacuum comes with a number of risks that could harm the baby.
Vacuum use must only be carried out by a competent individual and if they act without the right level of care and attention, this negligence can leave the baby with brain damage and other serious injuries.
Oxygen deprivation is one of the more serious risks that a baby can face during both pregnancy and birth. HIE or Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy, which is the technical name, happens when brain cells begin to die due to a lack of oxygen. This damage is irreversible as the brain cannot repair the dead cells.
HIE can lead to brain damage, and this can manifest in physical disability, mental developmental problems and in the worst cases, can lead to the death of the child.
HIE needs to be detected as quickly as possible so that measures can be taken to stop it, which is one of the reasons why adequate fetal monitoring is absolutely crucial.
The Duty of Care Owed to Patients
Your personal injury lawyer will need to prove that the medical provider owed you and your child a duty of care, and that they breached this duty of care in order for your case to be a valid one.
To assign liability, they will need to prove that the medical provider acted negligently. Negligent behavior is any behavior seen as different from how a reasonable medical provider would have acted in the same situation.
All medical providers automatically assume a duty of care to their patients, which makes proving the first element, the duty of care, relatively straightforward.
To prove that the medical provider acted unreasonably, they will compare how a trained, competent medical provider should have acted, to how the medical provider responsible acted.
An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to advise you on whether or not your case was caused by negligent behavior or not.
Statute of Limitations for a Birth Injury Lawsuit in Sparrows Point, MD
As a victim of medical malpractice, you are bound by the state’s statute of limitations that places a time limit on how long you have to make claims after a malpractice incident. This is important to bear in mind because after this time period has elapsed, you will not be able to make a claim relating to that 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.
When it comes to medical malpractice claims, you have 3 years from the date your child was born. The only exception to this is if the injuries have been 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.
For the best chances of a successful claim, you will bring it as soon as possible after the incident. The closer to the incident that you involve your attorney, the better. 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
In personal injury cases, proving negligence is crucial, and to do this, your attorney will need to look at the four elements of negligence cases. They will need to prove each one in order for your case to be successful.
This becomes even more important if your case proceeds to the courtroom.
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
Holding those responsible for your child’s birth injury is important, and making sure that your damages are accurately calculated will ensure that you receive compensation that covers your child’s pain and suffering and future medical bills.
In order to do this, you should ensure that you choose the right attorney for the job. Many mothers who come to us for help have never needed an attorney before, and that can make the task a difficult one, as they do not know what to look for.
Medical malpractice cases are notoriously long-winded and difficult, and this means they can last for several years before they complete. You need to make sure that your attorney is willing to go the distance and will not settle for any less than you deserve. They should be ready to abandon the negotiations and litigate your case in court if the other party is not playing ball.
If you are currently doing your research on a potential attorney, we recommend checking them out on an independent review site, to begin with. AVVO is perhaps the best choice, as it rates attorneys on a wide variety of factors, such as peer reviews, client reviews, years of service, and accolades.
Next, you should take full advantage of the free consultation that most attorneys offer. You can arrange a meeting with several of your chosen attorneys and create a list of questions to ask them to gauge their ability.
During your free consultation, here are some things to look out for:
- Experience – The most important thing you should look for in an attorney is a proven track record of success. You should try to look for an attorney that has won cases just like yours in the past, the more the better. The more cases they have won, the more robust they will be at handling problems and the better equipped they will be. This means they will be able to tailor a strategy for your case based on their past successes. Insurance companies will also know which attorneys are known for their strong litigation and success rates, and this will mean they will be more likely to offer a fair settlement.
- Medical Expertise – Your attorney will not have medical training, but they should have strong medical knowledge and access to medical experts who can assist them when they need clarification.
- Legal Expertise – While many personal injury lawyers will handle medical malpractice cases, we recommend choosing one that dedicates a lot of their time to malpractice and if possible, birth injury cases.
Sparrows Point MD Birth Injury Lawyer FAQs
Do all birth injuries qualify me to make a claim?
Giving birth carries a number of risks, and this means that sometimes birth injuries happen through no fault of the medical provider. If they have acted within the standard medical practices. and have given all due care and attention to the mother and child, the injury was, most likely, not preventable, and this means you may not have a case.
A birth injury claim can, however, be raised against any medical provider who has acted negligently or has not followed standard medical practices. If your child has been injured and it could have been preventable in any way, you most likely have a case against the medical provider responsible.
You should always have your case examined by a skilled birth injury lawyer, as only they will be able to evaluate your case accurately and inform you if it is a valid one.
How long do birth injury cases take?
Due to their complexity, medical malpractice cases often last several years. This is because of the long-winded nature of investigating a medical provider and their negligence and the additional steps you have to take to raise a claim against a medical provider in Maryland.
Cases can also take longer because the attorneys that defend medical providers are usually highly trained and skilled. They will work extremely hard to devalue your claim and reduce their client’s liability. This means that your attorney will most likely have a difficult fight ahead of them.
The more skilled your attorney and the better their reputation, the more likely it will be that the other party offers a settlement, as they know they have a strong chance of losing a court battle.
How are birth injury lawsuits funded?
We work on a contingency fee basis structure here at Peter Angelos Law, as this allows us to represent clients without them having to find the fees to hire us up-front. We take the risk on for our clients, working for no upfront cost and for no cost if we lose your case.
Do all birth injury cases go to court?
Neither party will be aiming for a court battle as they are long-winded and come with a myriad of court costs. Most serious cases where liability is clear, will settle out of court.
You should, however, always be prepared for the eventuality that your case will need court involvement, and this is why you should always ensure your attorney is a trial-tested lawyer that can fight your case in court.
Contact a Sparrows Point Birth Injury Lawyer Today
If you or your child has experienced an injury that could have been avoided had your medical provider acted responsibly, you are entitled to seek compensation for any distress caused. Fighting the medical insurance companies can be difficult, and you need a determined advocate that will not rest until all avenues of recourse have been explored.
Call us today and arrange a free consultation at 410-705-2405.