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Birth Injury FAQs

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Q. What type of birth injuries do your attorneys investigate?

A. We investigate all birth injury matters that have resulted in brain damage. Most of our cases involve a loss of oxygen and/or blood flow to the brain during the labor and delivery process known as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy or HIE. We also take a number of traumatic birth injury matters which occurred from an instrumented delivery, too much Pitocin, cephalopelvic disproportion or by other means. We also represent children who suffer from Erb’s palsy or a brachial plexus injury.

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Q. What’s the difference between a birth injury and a birth defect?

A. Birth defects usually occur prior to birth, while birth injuries occur during labor and delivery or shortly thereafter.

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Q. Are birth injuries preventable?

A. Birth injuries may be caused by a failure of the physician to appropriately diagnose the condition of the mother or the baby. Birth injuries may also be caused by a failure of communication between doctors and other medical staff. In these cases, birth injuries may be preventable.

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Q. My child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy—will his condition improve?

A. Cerebral palsy is a non-progressive disorder, meaning that although the injury to the brain is permanent, there will be no further degeneration of the brain.  Even though brain damage that causes cerebral palsy cannot be cured, the functional problems associated with CP can often be improved through therapy, medication or surgery.

If you believe your child acquired cerebral palsy because of medical malpractice, please contact us today at 877-262-9767.

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Q. How do I determine if my baby’s disability is due to a birth injury?

A. There are certain characteristics we look for when determining whether your child suffered a birth injury:

  • Was your baby crying when he/she was born?
  • Did he/she have to be resuscitated after birth?
  • Did your child have caput, molding, cephalohematoma and/or overriding sutures?  These are all signs of a traumatic delivery.
  • Was your child admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)?
  • Did your baby have head or body cooling?
  • Did your child suffer from seizures?
  • Was a CT scan, MRI or ultrasound performed sometime after birth?

An experienced attorney can help you discern if you have a birth injury claim, so please call us at 877-262-9767 for a free consultation.

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Q. Do I need to pay to speak with a birth injury attorney?

A. Medical malpractice cases are handled on a contingency fee basis. The fees are contingent on the outcome of the matter.  There is no out-of-pocket cost for you to pick up the phone and contact a birth injury lawyer.  You will never pay fees unless we successfully resolve your case, so there is no risk in calling.  Call us now at 877-262-9767.

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Q. I remember signing a consent form. Does that mean I have no basis for a lawsuit?

A. In general, no, signing a consent form does not inhibit you from pursuing a medical malpractice case.  However, some states have specific laws as to consent forms and therefore contacting an experienced birth injury lawyer is best first step in determining whether or not you have a potential birth injury matter.


MORE FAQ’s:

Q. Who is responsible for a birth injury?

A. We will help you determine the responsible party. Many health care professionals may be responsible for your child’s injuries. Negligent parties can include your obstetrician, family physician, midwife, nurse, anesthesiologist, paramedic, pediatrician, neonatologist, or other medical staff involved in your baby’s labor and delivery.

Q. What cases result in a lawsuit for birth injuries?

A. A birth injury lawsuit may arise when a doctor or other medical staff inadequately informed, diagnosed, or assessed conditions surrounding the mother and/or baby’s condition during the labor and delivery process. There are many other reasons for a birth injury lawsuit, including inappropriate prescription of drugs or the breakdown of medical staff communication.

Q. How do I get legal help for a birth injury?

A. The first step in getting legal help after a birth injury occurs is to contact an experienced obstetrical malpractice attorney to discuss your situation. The attorneys at G&E are extremely knowledgeable and compassionate, and would be very happy to discuss your potential case with you. To speak with our office, please call 877-262-9767. You may also fill out the contact form to find out how you can get the help you need.

Q. In a lawsuit for birth injury, how does a jury determine if a doctor’s actions fell below the standard of care?

A. Medically negligent doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff members can cause a child to suffer a birth injury. You may be able to hold a health care provider accountable for your child’s birth injury. To establish liability in your case, you must show that:

  • The healthcare provider had a legal obligation, or a duty, to treat you and your child;
  • The care provided fell below the standard of care;
  • The level of care you received caused injury; and
  • As a result, you and/or your child have incurred medical expenses in the past, present, and will in the future, experienced pain and suffering, lost the enjoyment of a normal life, and lost future earnings opportunities for your child as a result of the medical malpractice.

In ordinary personal injury cases, a person has a duty to use the level of care that a reasonable individual would use under the circumstances. In medical negligence cases, however, the standard of care is that which is generally accepted by other similarly situated professionals with comparable training and experience. Some states require that this standard be applied locally, i.e., the standard of care is that in which medical professionals that provide care in the same or similar community where the malpractice occurred. Expert testimony from doctors or medical professionals is a crucial part of establishing the standard of care in malpractice claims.

Once you establish the standard of care, we must show how the healthcare provider’s actions fell short of this standard, which would amount to a breach of the duty. We must also be able to establish through expert testimony that the negligent conduct by the health care provider caused you and your child harm. G&E’s birth injury attorneys can help you try to establish these elements in order to obtain compensation for your child to which he or she may be entitled.

Q. How common are birth injuries?

A. Babies may suffer permanent injuries during the birth process. Birth injuries are most common when a baby is being deprived of oxygen and/or blood flow to the brain as a result of trauma.  This may include, but is not limited to, too many uterine contractions, improper use of oxytocin (Pitocin), delivery by forceps or vacuum, prolonged labor, and a disparity between the size of the mother’s pelvis and the size or positioning of the baby.

Q. What kinds of situations give rise to a lawsuit for birth injuries?

A. Negligence by healthcare providers, doctors, midwives, nurses, and/or those who are responsible for your care during the labor and delivery process can lead to a birth injury lawsuit. Failure to properly monitor and interpret fetal heart monitor strips or failure to diagnose and respond to fetal distress are examples of situations that may cause a birth injury to which you may be able to file a claim are some examples.

Q. How long does it take for a case to go to trial once it has been filed?

A. This varies, depending on the state where the malpractice occurred.  The attorneys at G&E fight for a trial date once the lawsuit is filed and will request a trial date within 2 years of filing the lawsuit.

Q. What should I look for in hiring an attorney in a birth injury case?

A. In hiring a birth injury attorney, you want someone who is experienced, who will fight for you, who will be dedicated to your case, and who will be caring and sympathetic to your unique situation.  A good lawyer will help you understand your rights, be an advocate for you and your family, and provide the legal counseling you need.

Q. Why should I hire G&E?

A. G&E’s dedicated attorneys represent families and infants during extremely personal, stressful, and often painful situations of holding those accountable for a birth injury. G&E’s compassionate team of attorneys may be able to help your child obtain compensation for the long-term care he or she deserves while navigating the complexities associated with litigation.

Q. I suspect my child’s injuries are the result of medical negligence, but I’m hesitant to contact a lawyer.

A. Lawyers at G&E are here to talk you through any questions or concerns you may have about your potential claim. Your consultation is free, so call us today at 877-262-9767.

Q. Was my child’s birth defect caused by a drug, medication, or other toxin?

A. An experienced attorney can help you discern the type of claim you may have, so please call us at 877-262-9767 for a free consultation.

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