If doctors are not careful during pregnancy, labor or delivery of a baby, severe and even life-altering injuries can result, from cerebral palsy and spinal cord injuries to nerve damage.
The damages from a birth injury can be extensive and affect victims and their families financially, as well as physically and emotionally. That is why contacting an experienced attorney is so important during this difficult time.
The Richmond birth injury attorneys at Geoff McDonald and Associates are prepared to determine if you may be eligible to pursue compensation. We understand how important compensation can be as victims and their families seek to move forward. The consultation is free and comes with no obligation to take legal action. We do not get paid unless you receive compensation.
Call our firm today to schedule your free consultation. 866-369-9051
Defining a Birth Injury
It can be easy to confuse a birth defect with a birth injury. A birth defect is something that occurs during the development of the fetus in the womb and is not caused by medical malpractice.
However, a birth injury is something that occurs during pregnancy, labor or delivery and it is the result of a failure to uphold the appropriate medical standard of care.
Examples of birth defects include:
- Cleft palate
- Spina bifida
- Club foot
- Misshaped or missing heart valves
Birth injuries could include things like Erb’s palsy and cerebral palsy.
Causes of Birth Injuries
Birth injuries are generally caused by a lack of oxygen or some sort of physical trauma during the birthing process.
Some common examples of medical malpractice that may result in birth injuries include:
Failing to Properly Monitor the Baby
Doctors need to closely monitor the baby for signs of distress, such as a lack of oxygen. Sometimes a lack of oxygen could be caused by the baby being tangled in the umbilical cord. The placenta could also be damaged. Doctors also need to respond appropriately when they discover signs of stress. For example, they may need to perform a C-section to get the baby out to prevent harm to the brain and heart.
Negligent Use of Delivery Tools
Sometimes doctors need to use tools to aid in the delivery, such as forceps or vacuum extractors. Forceps may be necessary if the baby is positioned awkwardly in the womb. For example, if the baby is positioned feet first, the labor process could be more difficult and there could a higher risk of injury to the baby.
If the mother is having trouble pushing the baby out through the birth canal, doctors may use a vacuum extractor to help pull the baby out. However, since the extractor attaches to the baby’s head, doctors need to be cautious to help avoid severe head injuries.
Failing to Treat Infections Quickly
Physical and mental injuries can result if infections are not treated quickly. Doctors must be carefully monitoring the mother and baby for signs of an infection.
Prescribing Medication That Causes Side Effects
Doctors may prescribe medication to a pregnant mother to deal with problems that are unrelated to the pregnancy, such as depression or other psychological issues. Some of these medications can cause side effects that injure the baby in the womb.
Failing to Perform a C-Section
Doctors need to know when they should perform a C-section because it is too dangerous for the baby to be in the womb. For example, maybe the baby is suffering from a lack of oxygen. It can take just a few minutes of oxygen deprivation for a baby to suffer permanent injuries.
If you think your baby suffered an injury during the birthing process due to medical malpractice, call a Richmond birth injury lawyer today for a free consultation.
Geoff McDonald and Associates. Phone: 866-369-9051
Types of Birth Injuries
There are many different types of birth injuries and some may heal relatively quickly. For example, a broken collarbone is a common injury that could have been prevented but it may heal within a matter of weeks. Babies could also suffer scratches to the scalp because of delivery tools.
However, there are other injuries that can cause significant damage and affect the child for the rest of his or her life. These can include spinal cord injuries, excessive bleeding, jaundice, Erb’s palsy, cerebral palsy, Klumpke’s palsy and brachial plexus injury, among others.
Erb’s palsy can impair the development of an arm, resulting in severe weakness and lost function. Cerebral palsy can result in severe cognitive and physical problems, including trouble walking, using fine motor skills, learning difficulties, trouble with speech and seizures.
If you think your child’s birth injury could have been prevented, you should consider contacting our firm to discuss the situation in a confidential consultation.
How a Birth Injury Lawyer May Be Able to Assist You
Medical malpractice cases are quite complicated. Proving medical malpractice requires a thorough investigation, understanding of the law and access to industry experts.
That is why many medical malpractice victims decide to hire a lawyer to represent them. The attorneys at Geoff McDonald and Associates have the resources, experience and knowledge to thoroughly investigate these cases and build a robust argument for our clients. We are prepared to obtain medical records, carefully review the details of your treatment, and review the medical professionals involved to discover past instances of malpractice or negligence.
If you hire our attorneys, we could handle finding a medical expert to provide expert testimony to validate your case, as required by Virginia law. Under state law, you must find an expert who practices in the same specialty as the health care provider accused of medical malpractice.
We know how to determine the full value of a claim, including the cost of potential future treatment and other damages. We understand compensation does not change what happened, but it can be very important as families look to provide their child with the treatment that he or she needs to make the best recovery possible or manage his or her condition in the best way possible.
For more information on how we may be able to assist you, call today to set up your free consultation.
What is a Birth Injury Case Worth?
Damages from a birth injury can be extensive, from past, current and future medical bills to pain and suffering, home modifications, and physical therapy. These injuries can quickly become very expensive to treat, particularly when they result in long-term or lifelong disabilities like cerebral palsy or Erb’s palsy.
As each case is unique, it is important to discuss the situation in detail with a licensed attorney. Our birth injury lawyers in Richmond offer a free consultation to learn more about the potential value of your claim. We understand how to calculate the value of future medical bills and treatment expenses.
Deadline for Filing a Claim
There is a two-year statute of limitations for birth injury claims. That means you have two years from the date of the injury to file a claim. If you fail to file a claim before the two years pass, you may lose the right to do so.
However, there is an exception to this deadline if the victim is still receiving treatment. The statute of limitations is paused during this time. This could give you significantly more time to file a claim.
Since this is a complex issue, you should contact a Richmond birth injury lawyer as soon as possible to determine if you have a case and how much time is left to file.
Contact a Richmond Birth Injury Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Talking to an experienced lawyer can be an important step to take after learning of your child’s birth injury. Your child may need extensive medical treatment for years to come, and a lawyer may be able to obtain compensation to cover those expenses.
At Geoff McDonald and Associates, we have been representing injury victims and their families in Virginia for more than two decades. If you have a case, our legal team is prepared to launch a comprehensive investigation to determine the cause of your child’s injuries and the value of the damages you have suffered.
The consultation is free of charge, and there is no obligation to take legal action. Our attorneys do not get paid unless you do.