Bringing a child into the world is one of life’s greatest gifts. While parents undoubtedly know something could go wrong, you never plan for a child’s birth injury. However, when an error or mistake occurs before, during, or after delivery that causes complications and harm to an innocent newborn or the mother, life changes forever. Not only are preventable birth injuries traumatic, but they cause emotional devastation, financial unrest, and long-term challenges that are devastating to the entire family. Unfortunately, birth injuries are somewhat common and range in severity. Legal action can be taken when a baby is injured during the birthing process or before birth due to carelessness, neglect, or an intentional act by a medical professional or healthcare provider.
Any error in judgment or mistake during the birthing process can lead to a healthy woman or child suffering a life-altering injury in the blink of an eye. Medical negligence can also lead to birth injuries or even death in both cesarean deliveries and vaginal deliveries. The Los Angeles birth injury lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm understand the upheaval caused by these types of mistakes. In the United States, 7 out of every 1,000 children born will suffer a birth injury. And while accidents do happen, a significant number of these injuries are avoidable. The birth injury lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm handle all types of birth injury lawsuits throughout California and are prepared to take on your birth injury case today.
Birth Injury Lawsuits That We Handle
Birth complications can happen at many different stages of the pregnancy and birthing process. When a nurse, doctor, or other medical professional acts negligently or causes intentional harm to the mother or child, they may be held liable for their actions. Before we look at some of the most common causes of birth injuries and what you need to know about filing a birth injury lawsuit in California, here are the types of birth injury lawsuits we handle:
- Birth hypoxia – This type of common birth injury occurs when a baby does not receive enough oxygen to its brain before, during, and after the delivery process. As a result, it can lead to a brain injury that may progress into a permanent disorder, like cerebral palsy or cognitive problems.
- Brachial plexus – The brachial plexus is a complex network of nerves located in the neck responsible for moving the arms. When these nerves are damaged, stretched, torn, or compressed during delivery, it may cause weakness or an injury.
- Brain damage – There are many different causes and types of brain injury that occur with a birth injury. Most commonly, brain damage to a newborn is either caused by trauma to the infant’s brain and skull or lack of oxygen to the brain at the time of birth.
- Breech birth complication – It can be very dangerous – to both mother and child – when a baby enters the birth canal in the wrong position. Common complications include fetal distress, prolapsed umbilical cord, fetal oxygen deprivation, shoulder dystocia, nerve damage, cerebral palsy, developmental delays, seizures, and more.
- Cerebral palsy – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) reports that approximately 10,000 babies are born with cerebral palsy every year, and about 20 percent of adults with cerebral palsy suffered a brain injury during birth (as opposed to before or after). It is a permanent disorder that impacts the brain and causes motor deficiencies, including balance problems.
- Incorrect medication or dosage – Birth injuries caused by medical errors are also unfortunately common. If the doctor or nurse prescribed the wrong dose of medication during pregnancy, or if a mother is improperly administered medications during the labor process, it could cause serious damage.
- Erb’s Palsy – This is a type of obstetric brachial plexus disorder or an injury that happens as the result of damage to the nerves in the infant’s upper arm.
- Failure to perform a timely cesarean – Medical malpractice may have occurred if the doctor failed to perform a timely cesarean, resulting in fetal distress and other serious complications, including shoulder dystocia, Erb’s palsy, and brachial plexus injuries.
- Fetal death – The death of a newborn baby is a heartbreaking tragedy that is even more difficult when it could have been avoided. Unfortunately, many fetal deaths are caused by medical negligence, such as inadequate prenatal care, failure to identify and treat conditions in the mother, inability to run prenatal tests, and failure to address conditions with the baby during and after delivery.
- Klumpke palsy – This condition is another type of brachial plexus injury that affects the first thoracic nerve and eighth cervical nerve. Klumpke’s palsy is a partial paralysis of the muscles in the child’s hand and forearm.
- Shoulder dystocia – When one or more of the baby’s shoulders gets stuck in the birth canal during labor, it may lead to shoulder dystocia. A Los Angeles shoulder dystocia attorney can help you understand your rights and take legal action, primarily if serious problems occurred to both mother and child as a result.
- Vacuum extraction injury – Unfortunately, a wide range of birth injuries can occur as a result of the vacuum extractor method at birth. While it can be used safely, vacuum extraction can often lead to bleeding and wounds on the scalp of the baby, stretching of nerves in the neck (causing Erb’s palsy or a brachial plexus injury), brain hemorrhages, and cerebral palsy.
Our Los Angeles cerebral palsy lawyers understand the devastation you are experiencing and will do everything we can to ensure justice. If your newborn suffers nerve damage, a spinal cord injury, or any of the above-preventable birth injuries, or if you need a breech delivery accident lawyer, contact Wilshire Law Firm today. Injuries suffered at the time of birth can be severe, with ongoing effects for both the child and the family. Our team fully understands the challenges that you are facing, both immediately and in the longer term. We know that there are bills to be paid, insurance companies to deal with, and, most importantly, the healing process that needs to get underway.
Causes of Birth Injury
Many different factors may lead to a birth injury in California. And while not every medical error leads to medical malpractice, there are many instances where this is the case. Some of the most common causes of birth injuries include:
- Administering improper medications or wrong doses
- Delayed birth
- Oxygen deprivation
- Failing to monitor the infant’s heart rate during pregnancy accurately
- Failing to follow safe delivery procedures
- Failing to recognize an infection or significant issue with the newborn
- Improper use of child delivery tools, including vacuum extractor
- Failing to recognize the need for a cesarean section
Why do I Need a Birth Injury Lawyer?
As mentioned, not every birth injury leads to a medical malpractice lawsuit. You must be able to prove that the physician or other medical professional acted negligently, made an avoidable error in judgment, or otherwise failed to meet the standard duty of care. Our child injury lawyers have your best interests in mind and will do everything we can to help you understand your rights and take legal action.
Who Is Held Liable for Birth Trauma in Los Angeles?
Liability for birth trauma in Los Angeles depends on a host of factors, including the type of error or mistake that was made and whether it could have been avoided. For example, if the doctor or nurse misdiagnosed your child, administered the wrong medication, or failed to deliver the infant safely, he or she could be held liable for the injuries that resulted. In some cases, the hospital or medical outfit may also be accountable for the injuries. To learn more about liability and malpractice lawsuits related to negligence and a birth injury in California, please contact one of our trial lawyers today. We will work on your behalf to make sure that your child gets the treatment he or she deserves, and that your insurance company fulfills their obligation of paying for these and future medical expenses that relate to your child’s injury.
When and How Should I File a Birth Injury Lawsuit in California?
In California, the statute of limitations for filing a birth injury lawsuit will depend on who is bringing the case and whether a public hospital is involved. The filing period can range from six months to eight years, which is why it’s important to hire an experienced Los Angeles birth injury lawyer. In the event, your child was severely injured and now has permanent disabilities, you may have until they are eight years old to take action. The reason for this is that, in some cases, injuries may take longer to show up, based on the child’s development. If the error or negligent care happened in a California county or public hospital, the deadline to file a lawsuit might be as short as six months.
To learn more about your rights and what birth injury victims should expect when filing a lawsuit, schedule an appointment with Wilshire Law Firm today.
Get Help Today from Los Angeles Birth Injury Law Firm
An experienced Wilshire Law Firm birth injury attorney can discuss your particular situation and outline the options that are available to you. Our team is experienced at working with insurance companies and other parties involved in severe injury cases, which allows us to see that your needs are handled quickly and correctly.
If your child suffered a serious birth injury, contact us online or call us at (866) 762-4192 to set up a free consultation to discuss your legal options.