Birth injuries are devastating to infants, parents, siblings, and other family members. At a time when new parents expect to bond with their baby, instead, they are confused and anxious about what the future may hold for their family and/or worrying about how to secure appropriate care for their child. Additionally, many parents are heartbroken to learn that if doctors and hospitals took proper precautions before, during, and after a child’s birth, many birth injuries could have been prevented.
While you do not want something like this to happen to your family, be aware of any odd behavior that you notice among the medical professionals at the hospital, any procedures that do not seem right, or anything else that might indicate medical malpractice has taken place. Our experienced legal team will ensure that you are given the finest representation as we review the circumstances of your delivery, your child’s injuries, and any negligence that may have occurred. Even if you suspect that medical malpractice, you should reach out to us for assistance. Do not allow your baby’s injuries to go unchecked.
Most Common Types of Birth Injuries
If your baby suffered from long term effects due to an injury at birth, LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton may be able to help you secure your child’s future. An experienced Baltimore medical malpractice lawyer can thoroughly investigate your child’s birth injury to determine who may be liable for causing the injury. We will then discuss all options with you to determine the best course of legal action. Your case is unique, and we will create a strategic approach that will help us reach a favorable resolution. Every condition, injury, and circumstance will require a different form of compensation for you and/or your child.
We ask that you do not reach out to the hospital, doctors, or nurses. You may be upset with your insurance provider, or you might receive calls from the hospital’s billing department. Do not complain to these people or say anything profane. They often record their calls for quality and training purposes, and you do not want to say anything that could be used to invalidate your claim. Your family has suffered enough, let us manage the case on your behalf. If you receive letters or calls from an attorney who wants to discuss the case or offer a quick settlement, send that information to us.
Medical facilities want these cases to go away as quickly as possible without admitting fault. We will build a robust case that shows how the birth injuries occurred, who is responsible, and how much the responsible parties should pay because of their negligence.
Medical Malpractice and Birth Injury Services
LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton has a passion for representing those injured due to someone else’s negligence. Our attorneys have more than 100 years of collective experience and the in-depth knowledge necessary to handle even the most complex medical malpractice lawsuits relating to birth injuries. We understand the unique nature of birth injury lawsuits and will do everything possible to obtain the compensation you need for your child. Our team works with specialists who can accurately predict the long-term expenses related to lasting birth injuries.
Our lawyers handle birth injury lawsuits involving:
- Brachial plexus palsy: Brachial plexus palsy could be caused by poor delivery techniques or equipment, and your child’s arm muscles may cease to function. Any impaired arm movement should be investigated soon after the birth.
- Brain damage: Children could suffer from many forms of brain damage that cause learning problems, motor function issues, and even paralysis. Your child cannot reach their full potential if they were injured during delivery.
- Cranial nerve trauma: Cranial nerve trauma can cause a number of disorders and/or palsies that your child will deal with for the rest of their life. These conditions may not appear immediately, but they can be traced back to poor delivery management.
- Cerebral palsy: This is a form of cranial trauma that can take on many forms, and it will impact your child’s balance or posture. You may not notice these issues right away, but these problems could have been caused by a traumatic delivery.
- Erb’s palsy: This is paralysis of the arm that could occur due to nerve damage during delivery. If your child cannot function properly even when they are little, they could have been injured during the delivery.
- Facial paralysis: Facial paralysis is a direct result of cranial trauma that occurred during the delivery. Doctors or midwives should be aware of how to deliver the child safely without causing cranial trauma or facial paralysis.
- Intracranial hemorrhages: Intracranial hemorrhages could occur during or after the birth because the baby was handled improperly. Other medical conditions could cause these hemorrhages, and the medical staff attending to your delivery should be aware of these issues.
- Meningitis: Infant meningitis is caused when bacteria spreads to the baby’s spinal column during birth. If the birth was not managed properly by the doctor or midwife, the baby could face a lifetime of complications or die.
- Nerve injuries: Children who have nerve damage after the birth may not show signs right away. However, nerve damage can be traced back to the poor management of a delivery or faulty medical devices.
- Oxygen deprivation: Oxygen deprivation can cause many of the problems listed above, and doctors or midwives should be held accountable if they knew that their actions would cause harm to the baby.
- Shoulder dystocia: Shoulder dystocia occurs when the baby’s shoulder is caught in the mother’s pelvis. A doctor or midwife should know how to correct this problem and minimize injury. If the baby is not delivered properly, they could experience a lifetime of pain and arm dysfunction.
Common Causes of Birth Injuries
Birth injuries can be the result of various mistakes, complications during deliveries, and acts of negligence, including the following:
- Breached delivery: A breached delivery is dangerous for the baby and the mother, but a skilled doctor or midwife can carefully deliver the baby without injury. You may feel the medical professional who delivered your child did not follow the proper procedures, and that amounts to malpractice in many cases.
- C-section injuries: C-sections are necessary for a variety of reasons, and the mother may choose a C-section because she does not believe a vaginal birth is possible. Doctors may also prefer a C-section to a V-back or believe the baby could be injured during a vaginal delivery. Doctors who previously performed this procedure know the appropriate way to deliver babies via C-section, and they must follow those procedures. If your surgery is not completed properly, your baby could be injured.
- Exposure to bacteria: Babies must be monitored carefully during the birth, and every medical professional should use sterile equipment. If the hospital staff does not use sterile equipment or sterilize their equipment properly, your baby could be exposed to bacteria that could cause a range of medical conditions.
- Failure to detect complications: Doctors and nurses are the experts when it comes to labor and delivery, but they often ignore mothers or signs of complications. A doctor or nurse who has neglected the patient and the baby should be held accountable for their actions. The baby must also be monitored during the birth to ensure problems do not arise. If the medical professionals are not paying attention to what is going on during the birth, your child could be injured.
- Failure to identify, monitor, or act upon signs of fetal distress: Fetal distress is simple to detect in most cases because hospitals and medical professionals have access to advanced diagnostic equipment. When the medical team in the room does not heed the warning signs of fetal distress, they could injure your baby. You deserve compensation, and you can reach out to one of our lawyers for assistance.
- Failure to identify risk factors: Some mothers exhibit risk factors during the pregnancy or in the delivery room that can be mitigated. If the doctors and nurses did not act appropriately, your baby could have been injured because of their negligence.
- Gestational diabetes: Gestational diabetes should have been tested for and managed properly before the delivery. If your doctor or midwife did not test for this condition, treat you properly, or ask you to take steps necessary to mitigate gestational diabetes, your baby could be injured. These medical professionals must be held accountable for their negligence before you went into labor.
- Improper planning for delivery: Doctors and nurses should plan for the birth with the mother. Every mother should know where to check in, when they should arrive to the hospital, and have a plan for the birth. Doctors and midwives who do not prepare mothers for the delivery could be held accountable for any birth injuries. If doctors or nurses turn away women who are in labor, birth injuries could occur. Also, the doctor or midwife may not have reviewed the necessary medical data before the delivery.
- Improper vacuum extraction: Vacuum extraction must be completed using industry standard techniques. We can work with medical experts to show that the attending doctor or midwife did not manage the vacuum extraction properly.
- Misdiagnosis of pregnancy conditions: Pregnant women may complain of pregnancy issues that doctors or midwives ignore. The doctor may not interpret the available data properly, or the doctor might not understand what is happening with the mother. A doctor or midwife who cannot adequately treat the mother must be held accountable for their actions.
- Misuse of instruments during delivery: When doctors or midwives do not know how to use equipment for a delivery, they could easily cause a birth injury. We will investigate your case, determine how these medical instruments were misused, and file a claim on your behalf.
- Perinatal asphyxia: Perinatal asphyxia occurs when the baby does not have the appropriate flow of oxygen before, during, or after the delivery. While doctors cannot prevent these problems in all cases, they should understand the warning signs of this condition. The doctor or midwife may also cause this condition because they are not managing the delivery properly.
- Respiratory distress: Respiratory distress can be caused by several factors, and some of those situations have nothing to do with the doctor or midwife. However, these medical professionals should understand when respiratory distress has occurred, how to handle the problem, and how to expedite the delivery to ensure that the baby is not injured. Medical professionals who do not take the appropriate steps to protect your child should be held accountable for their negligence.
- Umbilical cord strangulation: If doctors or midwives do not move quickly to correct this problem, your baby could be injured or even suffocate. We will work with medical experts to understand if the attending doctor or midwife followed the appropriate protocols to protect your baby.
- Unsuccessful induced labor: Induced labor can cause the mother’s blood pressure to drop, and the baby’s heart rate could slow. If the delivery is unsuccessful, the baby could be injured, and the mother could suffer from extreme medical problems. We will investigate your case to determine if induction was necessary, handled properly, and safe for you or your baby.
- Untreated seizures after birth: Babies must be monitored in the hospital, and the medical staff in the room should be aware of any seizures that your baby experiences. When these seizures are not treated, your baby could suffer long-lasting harm or death.
- Use of excessive force at delivery: Some doctors use a heavy hand when trying to deliver a baby, but excessive force could injure the mother or the baby. We will research your case to find any signs of excessive force that may have resulted in compensable injuries. Doctors cannot claim that excessive force was necessary. Modern medicine has practically eliminated the need for the use of force during birth.
Who is Responsible for Birth Injuries?
Medical professionals who are responsible for preventable mistakes can be held accountable for a child’s birth injury. The doctor who delivered the baby may have erred when handling the birth, and the injury could cause a lifetime of pain and medical treatment for your child. You should not attempt to investigate the case on your own when your child suffered from a birth injury. We will use all the information gathered for the case, and work with medical experts who can pinpoint any preventable errors that occurred.
We may also find that the hospital or medical clinic is responsible for the injury because they did not provide the proper equipment, train their staff properly, or provide a safe space for the birth. You never know how the hospital is managed when you are in labor, and we will uncover any issues that could have caused your baby’s injuries. In extreme cases, defective equipment or products that should have been recalled may have caused your child’s injuries, and we will ensure that manufacturers are held accountable, along with the hospital and any responsible medical professionals.
How Can I Recover Compensation for Birth Injuries?
You may have grounds to file a medical malpractice claim against the health care provider responsible for your child’s injuries and recover compensation for medical expenses, long term care, and other damages. Recovering compensation for a birth injury can take on many forms. You are entitled to compensation for:
- Current medical expenses
- Your child’s future medical care because of the birth injury
- Your future medical care because of the birth injury
- Emotional distress
When you are subjected to pain and suffering because of a preventable birth injury, you may file two separate claims. You can file a medical malpractice claim that will pay for your pain and suffering or medical expenses. A birth injury claim is slightly different; in these cases, you are suing for medical expenses for your child.
Mothers who also suffer from injuries caused by the mismanagement of their labor and delivery should bring forth any claims. You may suffer from a lifetime of pain, and you do not want your disabled child to be forced to take care of you because of someone else’s negligence. Children who suffer birth injuries may need intensive medical care for the rest of their lives, and parents should not be expected to shoulder those expenses.
These injury cases are often paid for through structured settlements or trusts. These trusts will be used to pay for the child’s medical care, and the trusts may be released to the child when they become a legal adult. The structure of the lawsuit depends on how your injury occurred, and our lawyers will discuss your options before proceeding with the case.
Can I File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
If your child died because of a birth injury, you have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Parents have three years from the date of death to file the suit, and the lawsuit could recover damages for burial and medical expenses. If you believe that your child died because of a preventable birth injury, reach out to us as soon as possible to prevent any delays in your case.
Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness Tolzman & Hamilton Obtain Compensation for Birth Injury Victims and Their Families
LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton is dedicated to protecting your rights if your child suffered a birth injury due to a health care provider’s negligence. Reach out to an experienced Baltimore medical malpractice lawyer for help with your case right away. Call us at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online or a free consultation. We keep flexible office hours and are available by phone 24 hours a day for emergencies.
Located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie and Prince George’s County, we represent victims throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood and Elkridge.
LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, P.A. may associate with other attorneys to serve as lead counsel in malpractice cases, at no additional cost to our clients.