Birth Injury Attorneys in Florida
The birth of a child should among the happiest moments in most peoples’ lives; however, complications may occur due to negligence or errors made prior to and during birth. Birth injuries are physical injuries that happen to newborn babies and take place during pregnancy, labor, delivery, or shortly after birth. Many of these injuries are preventable and caused by improper or negligent medical care. If you suspect your child or the mother of the child suffered from a medical malpractice birth injury, a birth injury lawyer may be able to help.
The attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP’s Florida office have decades of successful experience representing individuals who are victims of birth injury medical malpractice. The team at Parker Waichman understands that every case is different and provides individualized, compassionate, and confidential service to every client.
Every state has laws governing birth injury medical malpractice. A birth injury lawyer is able to help determine if your child suffered a preventable birth injury. To have a valid claim, the injury must have been the direct result of a negligent medical professional’s actions or omissions. In Florida, the medical team assigned to a birth must monitor the health of the fetus, create and execute a plan, and manage all complications that may arise. If a member of the OB/GYN team does not follow the accepted standard of medical care and an injury results, the health care professionals may be found negligent and liable for any resulting damages.
If your family has been victimized by birth injury medical malpractice due to negligence or inappropriate care by a health care provider or facility and you live in Florida, please contact Parker Waichman. There are specific time limits imposed in Florida and Parker Waichman will be able to evaluate your case and discuss potential compensation recovery for current and future medical bills, pain, and suffering.
Types of Birth Injuries
Some of the conditions and injuries resulting from birth injuries include:
- Bone damage, fractures
- Brain injury due to oxygen deprivation, blood flow issues
- Brain swelling, hemorrhaging
- Cerebral Palsy
- Drug-related injuries
- Erb’s Palsy (Brachial Plexus Palsy, Klumpke’s Palsy)
- Facial paralysis
- Hypoxia (brain damage due to lack of oxygen, often due to umbilical cord compression or strangulation)
- Internal bleeding
- Nerve damage
- Poor reflexes after delivery
- Shoulder dystocia
- Soft tissue damage
- Skull fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Umbilical cord strangulation, injuries
Some future issues that may be associated with a birth injury may include:
- Failure of a child to reach developmental milestones on time, such as crawling, standing up, or walking
- Lack of muscle or neurological coordination
- Learning challenges or disabilities
Medical Negligence That May Lead to Birth Injuries
Improper forceps use occurs when the baby is in fetal distress or the mother is having difficulty delivering her child. The physician may use forceps to assist in the process; however, when used improperly, trauma to the baby’s head may occur, including brain injury.
Vacuum use occurs when a baby is unable to exit the birth canal and the device is suctioned to a baby’s shoulder or skull to guide the child through the birth canal. During the vacuum extraction birth, the vacuum extractors may cause any of an array of serious injuries to both the mother and the newborn.
Emergency Caesarian Sections are typically ordered if the baby is suffering from fetal distress. If the delivery team neglects to recognize fetal distress and delays ordering a C-section, they may be liable for any resulting injuries.
Hypoxia occurs when the child’s brain does not receive sufficient oxygen. During childbirth, a tangled umbilical cord, infection, or damage to the placenta may cause hypoxia. Medical practitioners are trained to detect hypoxia in advance and to take steps to eliminate risks of further harm. Should the doctor neglect to notice the hypoxic event, he or she may be liable for any resulting damages.
The following may also indicate negligence on the part of the physician or delivery team:
- Improperly using the labor inducing drug, Pitocin
- Failing to communicate problems to doctors
- Failing to diagnose or treat birthing complications such as infection, placenta abruption or previa, umbilical cord entrapment, or premature rupture of the membranes
- Failing to perform specialized tests during pregnancy
- Failing to perform sufficient pre-natal testing
- Failing to recognize and address changes in the fetus’ condition
- Failing to refer high-risk patients to specialized physicians
Cerebral Palsy is just one example of a very serious birth injury that is often due to medical malpractice. Although there are a variety of causes associated with Cerebral Palsy, the disorder often occurs before, during, or after delivery. Cerebral Palsy as a result of a birth injury occurs when the baby does not receive sufficient oxygen to his or her brain. Cerebral Palsy is a largely preventable birth injury and, in some cases, is caused by the negligence of an attending physician or the birthing team.
When a mother is in labor, the attending physicians must ensure that the baby receives the necessary level of oxygen before, during, and after the birth. Should a doctor make a negligent decision or neglect to correct a dangerous issue in a timely fashion, the infant may be placed in unnecessary risk for developing Cerebral Palsy.
Examples of the types of negligence that may lead to Cerebral Palsy birth injuries include:
- Delaying an emergency Caesarian Section
- Failing to act when the infant is in distress, including if the umbilical cord is wrapped around the baby’s neck
- Failing to appropriately read the fetal monitoring strip
- Failing to recognize the need for a Caesarian Section
- Misusing medical tools, including forceps and vacuums
According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the cost of care for a person with Cerebral Palsy over the course of his or her lifetime totals $1,000,000. This amount only considers financial costs and does not take into account physical and emotional burdens that typically accompany this type of a birth injury.
If your child was born with Cerebral Palsy or another birth injury, you may be entitled to compensation for current and future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, among other damages.
Filing a Medical Malpractice Birth Injury Lawsuit in Florida
If your child or the mother of your child is the victim of a birth injury medical malpractice and is interested in filing a lawsuit in Florida, please contact the personal injury attorneys at Parker Waichman today. For more information call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
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