An injury to a baby before, during, or after birth can be an overwhelming tragedy. Countless questions emerge: How could this happen? Was it preventable? Was someone at fault?
At The Becker Law Firm, we have medical experts on staff and employ a team of physicians to better understand every aspect of a case. We know the right questions to ask to ensure that the negligence which harmed you or your child is held accountable to the full extent of the law.
Bringing a birth injury claim is a complex undertaking. Recovering damages means going up against doctors, hospitals, and high-powered defense lawyers hired by insurance carriers.
The law firm that takes your case must have the financial resources to pay for top medical experts and other associated costs in prosecuting a birth injury case. Your attorneys must also have successful trial experience because providers are reluctant to settle out of court.
Ohio birth injury attorneys at The Becker Law Firm have secured tens of millions of dollars in major verdicts and settlements. We pride ourselves on prevailing in cases that other law firms have rejected as hopeless. We are constantly educating ourselves on ways to establish fault to hold medical professionals accountable for failing to meet the accepted standard of care.
We will fight for the full justice that you and your family deserve. Contact our Cleveland birth injury lawyers at (440) 252-4399 to discuss your case.
How Do I Know If We Have A Case?
The easiest way to know if you have a case is to meet with a strong legal team. If you suspect your child’s permanent injury or death could have been prevented or was caused by medical malpractice or negligence, contact our legal team at The Becker Law Firm today.
We offer a free initial consultation, and since we accept cases on a contingency fee basis, you won’t be charged for any fees unless we win your case.
If you aren’t yet ready to talk with us directly, we have compiled a list of facts about birth injuries that may be important to know as you are deciding how to proceed in seeking justice.
Birth Injuries vs. Birth Defects
One of the first things to understand about birth injuries is that they are considerably different from birth defects. Birth defects are health complications that develop before birth.
Birth defects are congenital and have biological causes, such as genetic abnormalities or problems with the mother’s health during pregnancy. A birth defect is a health problem that stems from who the baby is, biologically speaking.
Birth injuries are health problems that are created before, during, or shortly after birth. Birth injuries aren’t the result of babies’ biology, but rather the result of something that happened to the baby during gestation, labor, delivery, or shortly after delivery.
If you are unsure if your child’s birth injury or defect was caused by a negligent doctor, a birth injury lawyer can analyze your case and help you figure out a plan of action.
Causes Of Preventable Birth Injuries
Some factors that contribute to a birth injury can be prevented by a physician or caregiver. If a physician or caregiver errs or fails to protect the safety of the patient, or the hospital fails to ensure that the conditions in which care was provided were safe, a birth injury may be the result.
Generally speaking, preventable birth injuries most often occur when caregivers and physicians fail to provide necessary prenatal care during pregnancy, make mistakes during labor or delivery, or fail to recognize and respond to complications immediately following birth.
Common mistakes or failures leading to birth injury include:
- Delayed cesarean section
- Use of excessive force / delivery trauma
- Failure to recognize and treat infections
- Unsafe medications and medication errors
- Improper delivery technique
- Failure to prevent, diagnose or treat
- Improper high-risk birth management
- Negligent postpartum care
- Unnecessary treatments or risky medical tests
- Malfunctioning medical devices
- Failure to properly monitor a patient
- Failure to take necessary precautions
- Failure to provide proper post-operative directions
- Poorly sanitized medical instruments
- Failure to supervise new staff members
- Poor record-keeping and communication
- Discharging a patient too early
We employ every strategy to convince the insurance company or a jury that the injury was preventable and that the family should be compensated fairly.
What About Factors that Can’t Be Controlled?
Sometimes, conditions that lead to the injury of a child or mother during gestation, labor, or delivery are beyond the control of a physician. Examples of this could be a very premature birth or precipitous labor. When these or similar conditions are present, injury to the child or mother may be unavoidable, and the physician or caregiver may not be at fault for the resulting injury.
Minor Birth Injuries Are Relatively Common
Birth is a traumatic experience for mothers and babies, as it takes a physical toll on their bodies. Minor injuries to both the mother and baby occur frequently, and these injuries often heal quickly and are not cause for serious alarm. These minor injuries include:
- Minor bruising on the child’s face and head due to pressure from the mother’s contractions, as well as travel through the birth canal.
- Temporary paralysis due to pressure damaging the baby’s facial nerves. As long as a nerve is not torn, this condition should resolve itself.
- Bleeding under the cranial bone (cephalohematoma) can cause a raised lump to appear on the baby’s head within a few hours of birth. The baby’s body will gradually reabsorb the lump, although it may take up to three months to disappear entirely.
- Broken blood vessels in the eyes of newborns (subconjunctival hemorrhage) may cause a red ring to appear around their irises. This does not damage the eyes and usually disappears within a week to a week and a half.
Birth Injuries Caused By Negligence
Many different types of birth injuries happen because the doctor saw no other way to deliver the baby. Yet, many cases are avoidable and happen due to miscommunication between the doctor and the rest of the hospital staff regarding your medical history. In these cases, as well as instances of medical malpractice, affected families may be entitled to compensation.
Serious birth injuries to fetuses and newborns may include:
- Cerebral palsy
- Brachial plexus injury (Erb's palsy)
- Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)
- Fetal sepsis
- Injury from vacuum extraction
- Injury from forceps delivery
- Folic acid disorders
- Mental retardation
- Developmental delays
- Wrongful death
If you suspect that your child's birth injury was caused by negligence, call the Ohio birth injury lawyers at The Becker Law Firm for a free consultation.
Long-Term Costs of Birth Injuries
At The Becker Law Firm, we have worked with hundreds of families whose children have been permanently disabled as a result of a birth injury. The futures they had envisioned for their children may no longer be possible, and they often face overwhelming costs for ongoing care.
Some of the long-term health care needs of birth-injured children include:
- Multiple surgeries
- Nursing care
- Ongoing medical care
- Medical equipment
- Physical, occupational, speech, vocational, and psychological therapy
- Personal care attendants
- Adaptive devices such as motorized wheelchairs, braces, and/or artificial limbs
- Accessible vans and housing modifications
- Enrollment in special-needs schools
- Special tutors
- Healthcare supplies
We understand that the impact of a birth injury is both financial and emotional. We work with life care planners to calculate the future costs of caring for a child with special needs.
We seek no less than the full damages for medical care and therapy, medications, equipment, special services, and the projected earnings of the child. Our demands also include damages for the victim’s lost quality of life, pain and suffering, and the emotional suffering of the parents.
Legal Damages Go Beyond Medical Expenses
Damages are awards of money paid as compensation for an injury or wrongful death.
Damages resulting from a birth injury are assessed with present and future costs in mind, and may include compensation for the existing and ongoing costs of the child's medical care, the loss of time and income of parents who must now care for the birth-injured child, and the loss of the income that child would have earned as an adult if they had not been injured at birth.
If a child dies from a birth injury, their family’s award will include funerary costs as well.
Families with children who are permanently disabled or die as a result of birth injuries lose more than just time and money – they lose love and companionship from their children. Parents and siblings often experience emotional suffering from the loss of these babies, or from the stress of ongoing care for those who survive. Contact our firm to find out if you have a viable claim.
Seek Justice for You & Your Family
If your baby was injured before, during, or immediately after birth and suffered a permanent disability or wrongful death as a result of errors or negligence made by caregivers, holding them accountable is more than just a right; for the sake of your child and your family, it is a necessity.
The lifetime medical costs that a family incurs from a serious birth injury can be overwhelming and must be the responsibility of the caregivers or institutions which caused them.
Holding physicians, caregivers, and medical institutions responsible for their mistakes is about more than just compensating those who have been harmed – it’s also about preventing future mistakes. Having to pay out large rewards for medical malpractice provides a huge incentive for caregivers and institutions to avoid making those same mistakes in the future.
Caregivers, medical institutions, and their insurance providers employ armies of attorneys and experts to protect themselves from these cases and to claim that they were not at fault.
As a result, you’ll need your own team of birth injury lawyers to ensure that the interests of your family aren’t just brushed aside. As your advocate, The Becker Law Firm will keep your family’s interests front and center, and won’t settle for anything less than the full justice you deserve.
You can contact us online or call us at (440) 252-4399 to speak with our birth injury attorneys in Cleveland. We help families throughout Ohio.