Birth Injuries Caused by Medical Negligence
A birth injury can turn what should be a joyful occasion into a medical crisis with devastating financial implications. Common birth injuries like cerebral palsy are almost always entirely preventable with proper monitoring and medical care during birth. These injuries usually result when doctors, nurses, or other medical staff are negligent in providing care. Birth injuries are particularly tragic because they dramatically impact the rest of the child’s life. A condition like a brain injury caused by a traumatic birth will not only cause ongoing stress for the parents, but can require enormous future expenses for necessary medical treatment.
If you believe your child’s injuries resulted from medical negligence, a birth injury lawyer from Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C. can investigate your case. Before filing a birth injury lawsuit, we will get answers about what happened to your family. Then, we take into account not only your past damages but any and all future expenses as well. This includes future medical treatments as well as any necessary changes to your home and more. We have extensive experience handling birth injury cases for clients throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and nationwide. In one case, we helped our clients reach a settlement of $8.9 million on behalf of a child who suffered a brain injury due to lack of oxygen during birth. We have successfully handled many more birth injury cases for our clients.
What are the Most Common Types of Birth Injuries Caused by Medical Negligence?
Birth injuries can occur as a result of negligence before, during, and after childbirth. In order to prevent birth injuries, it is important for obstetricians and other medical staff to continuously monitor the mother and child. When they fail to do so, serious birth injuries can result. The most common types of severe birth injuries and resulting conditions include:
- Neonatal brain injury. A number of medical mistakes may result in brain injury to a newborn. Improper delivery techniques, as well as misuse of forceps and vacuum extractors, may cause these injuries. Lack of oxygen during birth is another common cause and may result from many kinds of medical mistakes, including failure to perform a C-section and/or monitor the mother and child for signs of distress. In addition to conditions like cerebral palsy, an infant brain injury may cause delayed development, other motor control conditions, and even death.
- Brachial plexus injuries. Nerve damage to the upper spine may cause a brachial plexus injury (BPI), which affects the ability to move one or both arms. The most severe cases, such as cases of Erb’s Palsy, involve the total paralysis of a limb. These injuries can often be prevented by a C-section. Misdiagnosed cephalopelvic disproportion, a condition where the baby is too large to fit through the birth canal, is a common cause of BPIs.
- Spinal cord injury. When medical negligence causes a baby’s spine to twist during delivery, the result may be a spinal cord injury. This can result in paralysis of varying degrees, depending on the site and severity of the damage.
- Birth injuries to the mother. Sometimes, medical negligence during birth can harm the mother as well as the child. Severe lacerations, infections, and other injuries can have lifelong effects or may result in the mother’s death.
How Our Birth Injury Lawyers Can Help You
The birth injury lawyers at Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C. can help answer the difficult questions about your child’s injury. Our experienced birth injury attorneys can help you to gather evidence if your child’s injury was the fault of a doctor or another medical professional.
We know how to investigate medical malpractice that may have led to your children’s birth injury. Our skilled attorneys can:
- Review medical records. The medical records help us to evaluate the care and treatment that the doctors and other medical professionals gave before, during, and after delivery. The medical records may also show information about oxygen levels and vital signs that provide insight into what went wrong.
- Consult with experts. We consult with top-notch independent doctors, nurses, and others to determine whether your child’s injury resulted from the failure of health care providers to meet the proper standard of care. We speak with life-care planning specialists and other experts to determine what your injured child’s future needs will be.
- Seek a fair settlement or verdict.We aggressively seek settlement with the individual doctors or other parties at fault in your case. We will fight for a full and fair amount that covers all past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and non-economic damages like pain and suffering. If the settlement offer is less than you deserve, we won’t hesitate to take your case to trial and present a fully prepared case to a jury.
Birth injury cases are complicated. At Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C., we believe it is critical that you work with attorneys who pay close attention to details, overcome issues that may arise during the litigation, and protect your rights throughout the legal process. Our experienced birth injury lawyers will do everything they can to help you recover maximum compensation so that you can better provide for your child’s care.
When is a birth injury a result of negligence?
Proving that a health care provider’s negligence caused a birth injury is key to a malpractice claim. You must be able to establish a connection between the negligence and the injury; without that connection it will be impossible to prove your case. For plaintiffs to receive compensation for their damages, they must prove these four elements:
- A doctor-patient relationship existed.
- The doctor breached his/her duty of care.
- The breach of care resulted in the patient’s harm.
- The patient suffered specific damages.
The doctor’s negligence and the harm resulting from the negligence are at the center of most birth injury claims. Determining whether a doctor acted negligently during labor and delivery comes down to comparing their actions with what a reasonably careful physician, with similar expertise, would have done in the same situation. Typically, plaintiffs use expert witness testimony to prove this element during a case. Pennsylvania courts require expert testimony except in the rare cases where it is unnecessary to pursue the claim.
“Dan J., Josh and Fran, more than four years ago my life and the life of my family was changed. … Then a good family friend brought me to your firm. …Because of you all I was given a voice and it was heard loud and clear. … We are now able to put this behind us and move forward. So Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!”— Danaka and Mark Anderson
“When a loved one is catastrophically injured, your first concern is to get the best medical care. But you should also get the best legal team as soon as possible. After my daughter was paralyzed in a van accident, I was referred to Eisenberg Rothweiler…the next morning, Fred Eisenberg and Dan Sherry flew up to the hospital.”— Al Piro
“It was a difficult time for my wife and me, but you always assured us that you would do your best to make life more comfortable for us in the future—and YOU CAME THROUGH. …We really appreciate all the time and research you put into our case. …You are more than our lawyers—you are our friends. As a former Vietnam Vet and Marine, I say to you “Semper Fi”.”— Leo & Diane Leinheiser
Call Today for a Free Consultation with a Philadelphia Birth Injury Lawyer
Caring for a child with a birth injury like paralysis or brain damage can strain a family’s finances. In addition to specialized medical care, you may face expenses like home remodeling for accessibility, additional schooling, and/or daily living assistance costs. However, if medical negligence is to blame, you can recover compensation through a birth injury lawsuit to pay for your child’s care.
If you or a loved one has experienced obstetrical malpractice or other medical negligence that resulted in a birth injury, we are here to help. Contact us today to speak with a knowledgeable Philadelphia or New Jersey birth injury lawyer. We offer free initial consultations and handle cases on a contingency fee basis, so you pay nothing unless you win your case.
How Do I Know if Medical Malpractice Caused My Child’s Birth Injury?
Not all complications during childbirth are grounds for a medical malpractice case or birth injury lawsuit. All medical procedures, including delivering a baby, carry a degree of uncertainty. When doctors and nurses follow proper procedures, this uncertainty is minimized. Nevertheless, in order to file a case for medical malpractice, you must be able to prove the following:
You must have proof that your doctor or nurse acted in a way that another qualified doctor would not under similar circumstances. For example, your obstetrician may neglect to monitor the baby’s heart rate during delivery, even though this is standard procedure.
Even if medical negligence is present in your case, it must be a direct cause of the birth injury. For example, if your child was born with a genetic birth defect, you might not be able to collect compensation even if your doctor failed to monitor the fetal heart rate.
Sometimes doctors make mistakes that cause no actual harm. For example, an obstetrician might not have monitored a baby’s heart rate, but the child was born perfectly healthy anyway. If so, you could not file a birth injury lawsuit because no injury resulted from the doctor’s negligence.
It is not always easy to determine whether a birth injury resulted from medical malpractice. In part, the reason is that medical professionals rarely inform patients when they make a mistake. Additionally, parents and doctors alike may not notice a birth injury until the child grows older and starts showing symptoms.
However, a birth injury lawyer from our law firm can alleviate your confusion and worry. We have experience investigating these kinds of cases, and we can get answers about what happened to you and your child. If we find evidence of medical malpractice, our attorneys can help get the compensation you need.
Contact Our Law Firm Today
If you or your child were injured before, during, or after birth from negligence, you should contact us right away. Our lawyers are experienced and here to help.
Call us today to schedule your free, confidential, no-obligation consultation. We handle all of our cases on a contingency fee basis. You won’t owe us anything unless you win your case.
We are located in downtown Philadelphia in the Center City district about a 5-minute walk from Rittenhouse Square.