Achieving a Better Future for Your Child with Our Assistance After A Birth Injury In Florida
Every child who confronts unjust obstacles caused by negligence deserves the brightest future feasible. This necessitates access to reasonably priced programs, treatments, procedures, and education.
Each child who endures preventable birth injuries due to negligence is entitled to high-quality care throughout their lifetime. When the birth injury arises from neglect, those at fault should be responsible for such care.
If you’re struggling with hefty medical expenses and reduced income because of a birth injury, get in touch with us today for a free case review. Although no amount of compensation can undo the injury to your child, it can grant them access to the necessary services.
Categories of Birth Injuries
When the medical team in the delivery room neglects to follow the appropriate protocols and procedures, significant birth injuries can occur. Common types of birth injuries include:
- Cerebral palsy
- Brachial palsy which includes Klumpke’s palsy and Erbs palsy
- Shoulder dystocia
- Skull injuries in infants
- Facial paralysis
- Hypoxia, Hypoxic Ischemic encephalopathy, or HIE
- Wrongful death
- Irreversible brain damage
- Subconjunctival hemorrhage
All types of birth injuries can create obstacles for your child’s growth and unnecessary expenses for your family.
A Detailed Look at Birth Injury Conditions
Birth injuries can significantly increase the cost of raising a child. Moreover, these conditions can lead to lifelong difficulties for families and a child missing crucial developmental milestones. Two of the most severe birth injuries related to obstetrician negligence are cerebral palsy (CP) and Erb’s palsy. These two conditions constitute a large portion of the birth injury lawsuits we handle.
CP is a lifelong condition caused by a permanent birth injury that affects both the child and the parent for the rest of their lives.
According to Cerebralpalsy.org, CP refers to a range of disorders that commonly impact a person’s body movement, muscle control, coordination, tone, reflex, posture, and balance. Individuals with cerebral palsy may also experience visual, learning, hearing, speech, epilepsy, and intellectual impairments. Cerebral palsy is the most frequent motor disorder in infants, affecting one to almost four babies out of every 1,000 births, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This condition affects approximately 17 million people worldwide, and unfortunately, it is frequently preventable.
In addition to natural causes related to brain development, CP may be caused by either of the following:
- Perinatal brain cell death, which occurs during the birthing process as the brain is deprived of oxygen or blood vessels rupture.
- Postnatal non-functional or inappropriate connections (synapses) between brain cells, which occur due to trauma, infections, or asphyxia that damages the brain.
These causes of CP are instances of medical errors and negligence. When medical malpractice occurs, the physician, medical staff, or hospital may be responsible for damages. A birth injury lawsuit must demonstrate that medical professionals deviated from the expected standard of care.
It is critical that when a parent learns of a medical error, they contact a top birth injury lawyer to start investigating a potential claim against a physician or medical provider.
Erb’s palsy is a condition that affects the arm and shoulder of infants, causing temporary or permanent paralysis in the shoulder and upper and lower arm, similar to how CP affects muscles and nerves, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).
The causes of Erb’s palsy range from natural causes to medical negligence, including failed cesarean sections, trauma during delivery, and improper tool usage. Risk factors for Erb’s palsy include macrosomia and shoulder dystocia, which could result from misdiagnosis and medical negligence.
Neonatal Blindness Injuries/ Terry Syndrome (Retinopathy of Prematurity)
Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), also known as Terry Syndrome, is an eye disorder that commonly affects premature infants and can cause severe vision problems or even blindness. The condition occurs when the blood vessels in the eye do not develop correctly, and it is estimated that around 15,000 cases of ROP occur annually, with 1,500 being particularly severe. Nutrient and oxygen deprivation can lead to abnormal development of blood vessels, and the effects of ROP can range from mild vision problems to total blindness.
Premature infants require continuous monitoring for ROP to detect any blood leakage in the eyes due to the fragility of their blood vessels. Such leakage can cause scarring or even detachment of the retina, leading to blindness. ROP typically affects both eyes.
If you suspect that your child has suffered a birth injury, it is important to speak with an experienced Florida birth injury attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer can investigate your situation and guide you on the best course of action for your case, including the possibility of pursuing a retinopathy prematurity lawsuit. Consulting with a retinopathy prematurity attorney is crucial to ensure that your legal rights are protected.
Head and Brain Damage from Forceps and Vacuum Extractors
Assistance may be required to deliver a baby in certain situations, and vacuum extractors or forceps may be used by an obstetrician to help with the extraction. However, if carelessness or negligence is involved, the use of these devices can increase the risk of an infant sustaining an injury during birth.
Some of the potential risks associated with forceps and vacuum extractors include cranial injury and skull fractures, skull malformations, brain damage, fetal stroke, or seizures. A significant proportion of the birth injury cases that we deal with involve the negligent use of these devices. It is strongly advised to avoid using forceps when the baby’s head has not passed the midpoint of the birth canal or when the baby’s shoulders and arms are leading through the canal.
There is also an increased likelihood of injury to the newborn when the baby is too large to fit through the pelvis.
Birth Asphyxia Injuries
Birth asphyxia is a common type of medical malpractice injury that newborns can suffer from. It happens when there is a reduced flow of oxygen or oxygen is completely cut off during childbirth. Medical professionals, including doctors and assisting personnel, are expected to be vigilant of potential causes of birth asphyxia due to its high frequency and severe consequences. This includes closely monitoring the baby’s vitals for signs of oxygen deprivation, correctly administering anesthesia, and properly using instruments during delivery.
Birth asphyxia, also known as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), can occur before, during, or after childbirth. Brain damage caused by oxygen deprivation can be much more severe in newborns than in adults and can happen within a few minutes of asphyxiation. Such brain damage can lead to lifelong disabilities.
There are many potential causes of birth asphyxia, such as premature birth, airway blockages or defects, hypoxemia, premature placental abruption, umbilical cord issues, infections, meconium aspiration syndrome, high or low blood pressure in the mother, fetal anemia, and delay in leaving the birth canal.
Causes of Birth Injuries
Understanding how a birth-related injury occurs is crucial when pursuing a civil case. To seek compensation for damages, a birth injury attorney must prove negligence on the part of the doctor or medical facility. The following are some of the situations that may lead to litigation:
Improper Use of Delivery Room Techniques
Doctors and nurses who work in delivery rooms have a duty to care for and treat their patients correctly. When they fail to follow proper protocols, problems can arise during the birthing process. For example, the doctor may injure the baby by depriving them of oxygen. This could result in a birth injury that affects the child for their entire life.
Improper Monitoring of Fetal Heart Rates
During the birthing process, healthcare providers should continuously monitor the fetus’s heart rate using special equipment. This monitoring is essential to detect changes in the baby’s normal heart rate. If a healthcare provider detects a change early enough, they can take necessary steps to prevent any problems. However, if the child’s heart rate is not brought under control promptly, a birth injury or defect could result.
Delayed C-Sections or Improperly Performed Medical Procedures
Doctors and nurses working in delivery rooms are responsible for knowing when it is safest to deliver the baby via C-section. Delaying a C-section for too long can deprive the fetus of oxygen, leading to brain damage. Additionally, healthcare providers must perform safe C-sections using the proper techniques and tools. Improper performance could injure the baby, leading to long-term consequences.
Insufficient Oxygen to the Baby’s Brain
Healthcare providers have a duty to perform birthing procedures correctly and in the proper order. Delaying necessary processes such as removing the child from the birth canal can deprive the child’s brain of oxygen, resulting in brain injuries and impairments.
Improper Use of Delivery Room Tools and Equipment
During delivery, doctors and nurses may use tools like clamps, forceps, and other instruments. Improper use of these tools could result in injury or wound to the child, leading to various physical or mental complications.
Incorrect Delivery Room Medication
Doctors and anesthesiologists must provide medication to the mother during delivery. Administering the incorrect medication type or dosage to the mother can harm both the mother and the child.
Inadequate Monitoring of Patients in the Delivery Room
It is the responsibility of delivery room healthcare providers, including doctors and nurses, to monitor their patients closely and ensure they receive timely medical care and medication. Neglecting to monitor patients adequately can result in birth injuries during delivery.
Noncompliance with Delivery Room Guidelines and Procedures
Delivery room guidelines and procedures, such as rules for the presence of individuals, mask-wearing, and proper techniques, are in place to ensure patient safety and facilitate a smooth delivery process. When delivery room staff fail to follow appropriate protocols, delays can occur, leading to one or more birth injuries for the child.
Florida Birth Defect and Injury Lawyer
A lawyer who specializes in birth defects handles cases related to structural changes present at birth that can affect any part of the body. However, certain types of birth defects may result from medical malpractice or negligence during birth, such as:
- Congenital heart defects
- Down syndrome
- Neural tube defects
- Cleft palate
In some cases, a physician may fail to diagnose a birth defect in the unborn fetus that could have been treated. This can result in a more serious medical issue at birth, which may also fall under the purview of a birth defect lawyer.
Liability for Birth Injuries: Who is Responsible?
While complications can occur during childbirth, many errors can be prevented. If your doctor’s careless mistake has caused lifelong damage to your child, seek assistance from the medical malpractice attorneys at Distasio Law Firm.
Your lawyer can assess your medical records, photographs, and statements from witnesses to identify all parties who may be liable for the injury.
Other Negligent Acts That May Result in Birth Injuries
- Failure to conduct proper ultrasound examinations
- Failure to communicate known risks to the patient
- Misinterpretation of ultrasound images
- Failure to perform specific tests
- Misinterpretation of test results
If you believe that one or more of these factors have caused your child’s injury, a skilled birth injury attorney at Distasio Law Firm can help with your case. We will investigate the situation and assess if a medical expert would support the occurrence of a birth injury. If so, we can file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the healthcare provider(s) involved in the delivery process, seeking the compensation and damages that you deserve.
While no amount of financial compensation can fully make up for an injury at birth, it can help provide for your child’s care and well-being in the future.
Proving a Birth Injury Claim
Proving a birth injury claim can be challenging, which is why it is crucial to have an experienced birth injury attorney by your side. In these cases, the plaintiff, or the person filing the lawsuit, has the legal burden of proof. This means that they must demonstrate that the healthcare professionals involved in the birth did not fulfill the duty of care owed to the mother and the baby, resulting in long-term harm to the infant.
To prove a birth injury case, your legal team will need to present expert testimony from doctors. This testimony should demonstrate that there was a breach of the standard of care and that this breach led to the child’s injury.
If you have a birth injury case, you may be eligible for various forms of damages, such as compensation for medical costs and future medical expenses. In addition, you may be able to recover compensation for pain and suffering.
Our birth injury lawyers can assist you in assembling all the necessary documentation for your case, including medical records and expert witness reports. We can also negotiate with the defendant’s malpractice insurance carrier and pursue a fair settlement offer on your behalf.
While settlement negotiations can be lengthy, we can help you determine whether to accept or reject a settlement offer. If necessary, we can represent you in mediation, arbitration, or litigation to pursue the compensation you and your child deserve.
At the Distasio Law Firm, we understand the complexities of birth injury cases and are committed to helping families obtain the justice they deserve.
Understanding the Statute of Limitations in Birth Injury Cases
When a child suffers a birth injury due to the negligence of medical professionals, the parents have a limited time to file a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit. Each state has its own statute of limitations, so it is crucial to work with a law firm experienced in handling birth injury cases in your state.
For instance, in Florida, parents must file a claim against the negligent healthcare provider within two years from the date they should have reasonably discovered the birth injury. Under most circumstances, Florida law prohibits claims filed more than four years after the child suffered the birth injury.
There is an exception to the statute of limitations in Florida known as “Tony’s Law,” which allows parents to file a medical malpractice claim until their child’s eighth birthday if they were born after July 1, 1996. However, this extension may not apply if the child’s parent or legal guardians knew that the birth injury was likely due to malpractice.
Given these strict time limits, it is vital to consult with an experienced birth injury attorney as soon as possible if you are considering a medical malpractice lawsuit. A competent lawyer can ensure that all filing deadlines are met and the right experts are retained and designated to handle your case.
Birth injuries can have a significant impact on a child’s life
Birth injuries can have a significant impact on a child’s life, and some effects may be immediate, while others may not appear until later on. It’s crucial for parents to be vigilant and monitor their child’s development for any signs of a birth injury, such as those that may become noticeable soon after birth. While not always indicative of a birth injury, certain symptoms should be taken into account, including skull fractures, muscle issues, trouble eating, light sensitivity, and more. If parents notice any abnormalities, seeking medical attention as soon as possible can increase the likelihood of addressing the issue and providing the necessary care.
Other potential birth injury symptoms may not become apparent until the child is between one and two years old, such as difficulty with crawling or walking, coordination issues, intellectual problems, and more. Some symptoms may even develop later on, lasting into adulthood, such as muteness, deafness, blindness, tremors, delayed language development, and more. Birth injury symptoms can be complex and varied, and it’s important for parents to seek legal and medical assistance to address these issues and ensure their child’s quality of life.
Possible Compensation for Your Child’s Birth Injury Damages
The aftermath of a birth injury can be financially challenging, as it often incurs lifelong medical costs and other related expenses. Balancing the care of a special needs child with work obligations can also impact income and career progression. Dolman Law Group’s birth injury attorneys fight to recover various types of compensation, such as:
- Medical expenses: both past and future medical care needs such as doctors, surgeons, and therapists.
- Disability costs: the expenses associated with disability needs, including power chairs, home modifications, and more.
- Special education: costs relating to special education for a child with cognitive conditions.
- Lost income: the income lost due to the child’s medical appointments, procedures, and needs.
The outcome of each case is unique, and our team cannot guarantee a specific result. However, we work diligently to pursue justice and compensation for you and your child. Our experienced attorneys can handle insurance adjusters who may be hesitant to provide the compensation you deserve due to medical malpractice. We understand state laws regarding medical malpractice and birth injuries and can assist you with all legal matters. If you are contacted by an insurance adjuster, refer them to us, and do not speak with them alone.
Committed to you and your case
At our law firm, we are committed to advocating for your birth injury case from beginning to end. Our approach involves the following steps:
- Thorough investigation: Our team of skilled lawyers knows what information is necessary to build a strong case when handling civil suits.
- Expert consultation: We have access to top medical professionals who can offer valuable insights and guidance tailored to your specific case.
- Demand for fair compensation: Our experienced lawyers are skilled in handling insurance companies and will fight for a just settlement on your behalf.
- Trial representation: If necessary, we will take your case to trial to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
- Final details management: We will oversee the collection and disbursement of funds as part of our legal services.
- Throughout the legal process, we prioritize your care and comfort. We understand that your experience has been traumatic and stressful. Your child’s birth injury demands accountability, and we are here to help.
Leave the legal aspects of your case to us so that you can focus on the well-being and comfort of your child.
Taking Action Now for Your Baby’s Birth Injury
Birth injuries may not be immediately apparent, and any potential lawsuit requires prompt action. If you suspect that your child’s injury was caused by negligent medical care, contact our office right away. We understand that many are concerned about the cost of hiring a birth injury lawyer, but at Distasio Law Firm, we work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you won’t have to pay anything unless we secure a settlement or verdict for you.
Our team is knowledgeable about the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits, and we can help you document your concerns as evidence of when symptoms first appeared. Many birth injury cases are resolved out of court, but if a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiation, we are prepared to take your case to trial.
It’s important not to delay in filing a lawsuit as there are time limitations. An experienced birth injury lawyer can determine whether your case meets the deadline imposed by the statute of limitations. With us by your side, you are not alone. We have a compassionate staff who are here to help you through the process. From our front office staff to our legal team, we treat all our clients with the respect and care they deserve.
Contact our Birth Injury Attorney Today for a Free Consultation and Case Evaluation
If your child suffered a birth injury that could have been prevented due to medical negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. The skilled birth injury lawyers at Distasio Law Firm are prepared to advocate for your rights in court if needed.
Contact us today or visit our website to schedule a free initial consultation and case evaluation with one of our birth injury attorneys at Distasio Law Firm.