Helping Birth Injury Victims Seek Justice
When a child is injured during the birth process, he or she may be affected for an entire lifetime. In such cases, it is important to take legal action with the help of a Phoenix birth injury attorney – not only to hold the doctor accountable for mistakes he or she made, but also to help your child get the resources needed for a lifetime of care.
At Harris, Powers & Cunningham PLLC, our birth injury lawyers can help. Our team of experienced attorneys have the resources, knowledge and experience to help our clients achieve the most favorable results for their birth injury cases.
Contact our office in Phoenix today and schedule a Free consultation. You can reach us online or by calling 602-910-6779. If your child’s birth injury is the result of medical negligence, our lawyers never hesitate to take strong and effective legal action.
Holding Doctors Accountable For Their Mistakes
Birth injuries may result from a broad range of negligent acts by doctors and other health care providers, including:
- Not monitoring or responding to changes in fetal heart rate
- Failure to manage a delayed delivery correctly
- Mechanical problems
- Early discharge from the hospital
- Negligent use of forceps or vacuum pumps
- Undetected oxygen deprivation, which can result in hypoxia
- Strangulation by the umbilical cord
- Failure to manage a high-risk delivery correctly
- Failing to recognize fetal distress
- Failing to perform a cesarean section as needed
These negligent actions can lead to several serious – and often long-term – injuries and/or conditions, including cerebral palsy, shoulder dystocia, head injuries, fractures, Erb’s palsy and injuries to the spinal cord, just to name a few.
Answers To Frequently Asked Questions About Birth Injuries
Below, we’ve provided answers to common questions we are asked by prospective clients. If you have additional questions, we would be happy to provide answers during a free initial consultation.
What are examples of birth injuries?
There are many injuries that can occur during birth. Some examples of catastrophic birth injuries include:
- Cerebral palsy;
- Brain Damage; and
- Seizure Disorders
Most birth injuries, however, are not life-altering. These include:
- Bruised or torn nerves in the face, resulting in partial facial paralysis (which could improve on its own or require surgery);
- Damage to the group of nerves known as the brachial plexus, resulting in a condition called brachial palsy; and
- Marks or bruises left by the forceps used to aid in delivery
Though these injuries by themselves are not typically catastrophic, they can be used as persuasive evidence there was a traumatic birth process leading to your baby’s catastrophic injury of cerebral palsy, paraplegia, brain damage, seizure disorder, etc. Therefore, it is important to seek a legal opinion if you believe malpractice was a factor in your baby’s injury.
How common are birth injuries?
It is difficult to compile accurate statistics on this issue because birth injuries are underreported. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that approximately 7 babies out of every 1,000 births will suffer a birth injury.
What are the risk factors for birth injuries?
Risk factors for birth injuries include the size of the mother and baby, how the baby “presents” in the birth canal (headfirst or breach), a mother’s development of preeclampsia around the time of birth, as well as many others. Health care providers must appropriately respond to and treat risk factors to avoid causing injury.
Can a traumatic birth injury affect the baby?
Any physical birth injury a baby experiences can have long-term impact, both physically and psychologically.
What are the signs and symptoms of birth injuries?
The specific symptoms and signs will depend on the injury. If your baby suffers cerebral palsy to the face or to a limb, you may notice lack of expression, muscle spasms, lack of tone, or tremors. If the baby is often lethargic or unresponsive, it could be a sign of brain injuries caused by oxygen deprivation.
Unfortunately, some symptoms, such as developmental delays, may not become apparent for months or even years after birth. If your delivery was especially difficult and you believe that your baby may have suffered a birth injury, it is important to be vigilant and consult with a physician you trust regarding any symptoms that seems more significant than ordinary health issues.
It is also important to seek legal counsel immediately if you feel your child suffered a birth injury.
In Arizona, there is a statute of limitation for medical malpractice claims. Statute of limitations are a time limit for filing a lawsuit. For parental claims, the lawsuit must be filed with the Court within two years from the date of injury, or two years from when the person knew or should have known that negligence occurred. For children, the statute of limitations does not begin to toll until their eighteenth birthday (18th ) birthday. This means your child has two years after turning eighteen to file a lawsuit to preserve their claim. Failure to comply with the applicable statute of limitation will result in the claim being barred.
How could a birth injury impact the lifetime care of a child?
Depending on the type and severity, a birth injury could greatly impact the lifetime care of a child and limit the child’s potential. Severe oxygen deprivation, for instance, could result in significant brain damage that makes it impossible for a child to eventually become a self-sufficient adult. The child may require constant care throughout their entire life, the financial costs of which can be in the millions of dollars.
Seek Help Today From A Birth Injury Attorney
Sometimes, medical care professionals fail to diagnose or properly treat conditions that arise during pregnancy, which can lead to birth injuries. When doctors fail to identify that something is going wrong, they may also be committing malpractice.
Take the first step in determining whether or not you have a medical malpractice claim related to a birth injury in Arizona. Contact one of our attorneys today for help.