Where Can I Find an Experienced Birth Injury Attorney?
Welcoming a baby into the world should be one of the happiest days in a person’s life, but what happens when those feelings of joy are tainted by a life-altering birth injury?
Unfortunately, birth injuries are some of the most common examples of medical negligence. In fact, out of every 1,000 infants born in the United States, 6-8 of them will be affected by a birth injury. Birth injuries can range from life-changing to less severe, depending on what kind of damage was inflicted on the child at birth.
Here, we’ll go over common birth injuries and what you need to know about finding a birth injury lawyer to help your family get compensation for them.
Common Birth Injuries
One of the most common types of birth injuries, placental abruption occurs when the placenta separates from the uterus before childbirth, causing the infant to lose oxygen. While it can be difficult to recognize the signs of placental abruption, it is important that you take action if you suspect that you or a loved one has fallen victim of this birth injury.
Cerebral Palsy is another common birth injury that affects approximately 8,000 babies in the U.S. each year. Cerebral Palsy is a disorder that affects motor skills, muscle tone, and movement and typically occurs before, during, or after birth. Some common symptoms of cerebral palsy include involuntary motions, poor muscle tone, and abnormal reflex responses.
Hypoxic Brain Damage
Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy, or HIE, occurs when an infant’s brain does not receive enough blood flow or oxygen during pregnancy, which can lead to damage to one or more parts of the brain. HIE can be mild, moderate, or severe depending on how long the baby’s brain was deprived of blood flow or oxygen. Symptoms of HIE include abnormal movements, poor muscle tone, and a weak cry.
A Cesarean section, or C-section, is sometimes necessary in order to safely deliver a child. However, a C-section can quickly turn dangerous if the procedure is performed carelessly, isn’t performed within the proper amount of time, or if the baby is injured during the birthing process.
Medical negligence can be blamed for most birth injuries, as the doctor or other healthcare professional acted in a way that was irresponsible, thus causing an injury to take place. Medical negligence and medical malpractice are often used synonymously, but they aren’t necessarily the same thing. Medical negligence refers to a medical professional’s act or omission that deviates from the standard of care, whereas medical malpractice occurs when a hospital or healthcare professional causes injury to a patient, whether it be through negligence or omission. To fully understand medical negligence, it is important to know what constitutes negligence.
Examples of Medical Negligence
Some of the most common causes of medical negligence involve strokes and heart attacks. Whether during a routine exam or a trip to the emergency room, it is imperative that doctors listen to their patients’ symptoms and identify any signs that a patient may be at risk for a stroke or heart attack. Failing to diagnose or run the proper tests can lead to permanent damage or even death, making these some of the most dangerous cases of medical negligence.
Emergency Room Negligence
While visiting the emergency room is rarely a pleasant occasion, the experience can quickly become dangerous if inadequately-staffed. There are a number of other things that could let to emergency room negligence as well, from a failure to listen to a patient’s concerns to simply the chaotic nature of the hospital. Overcrowded emergency rooms can also lead to a case of negligence, as wait times to see a doctor can be longer.
If you suspect that you or a loved one was a victim of a birth injury caused by medical negligence, there are several things you should do.
First, find out if you definitely have a birth injury claim and if your case can still be evaluated. In the state of Pennsylvania, you have until your child’s 20th birthday to take legal action for their birth injuries. However, it is better to act sooner rather than later, as you have a better chance of proving your case.
Once you have assessed your case, you should contact your child’s pediatrician to go over your claim. You would be ill-advised to contact anyone from the hospital that may have been associated with your child’s birth injury, as you may end up compromising your chance to file a claim.
Choosing a Birth Injury Attorney
When it comes to finding an attorney to take on your birth injury case, it can be difficult to know if you’re making the best decision for you and your family. At Latona Law, our team of experienced medical negligence lawyers will work with you every step of the way, so you can rest assured that your case is in good hands. We have over 25 years of experience in helping the injured in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area, and our team has helped recover more than $40 million for the medically injured in Luzerne, Lackawanna, and the surrounding counties.
If you feel you might have a case for a birth injury, don’t wait- contact Latona Law today to schedule a free consultation.