Over $200 Million In Verdicts & Settlements On Behalf Of Our Clients
Baltimore Birth Injury Lawyers
Representing Families Throughout Maryland
As a parent, the birth of your child is one of the most joyous occasions of your life. When a child is born with a birth injury, your world can be turned upside down in an instant. Birth injuries can occur at any point before, during, or immediately after the delivery of your child. When your child’s injuries are the result of negligence or wrongdoing, you deserve compensation.
Birth injuries can affect a child’s development and may impact their ability to live a normal life. A physician’s failure to adequately monitor for fetal distress or an obstetrician’s improper use of forceps can do irreparable harm.
If your child was born with a birth injury, contact our Baltimore birth injury lawyers to discuss your options. You may be able to bring a claim for damages against the hospital, doctor, nurses, or any other medical professionals that caused injury to your infant. Call our office at (410) 807-8598 or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation.
What Is a Birth Injury?
A birth injury, also referred to as birth trauma, refers to any physical harm done to a child, before, during, or after delivery. It is important to note that birth injuries are not the same as a birth defect, which is a congenital disability or disorder present at the time the baby is born. Birth injuries can occur as a natural result of the birthing process, but they can also be caused by negligence or medical malpractice.
When your baby is injured because of a medical professional’s mistake or misdiagnosis, they must be held accountable. You have the right to file a claim for damages on behalf of your child. Birth injuries can be devastating, resulting in lifelong complications. While we know that no amount of money can ever make your family whole again, our attorneys will fight hard to get you the recovery you need to care for your child and compensate you for your losses.
Experienced Advocates for Your Family
At Schlachman, Belsky, Weiner & Davey, P.A., our Baltimore birth injury attorneys have recovered millions on behalf of families just like you that have suffered unimaginable harm. When a child is severely injured, you need honest, compassionate representation.
We have the experience you need to get the results you deserve. For over 40 years, we have been helping injury victims in Baltimore and throughout Maryland recover against negligent parties. We will always put your interests first and are committed to providing you the highest level of customer care.
Types of Birth Injuries
There are a number of different kinds of birth injuries that can occur during the labor and delivery process.
Some of the most common types of birth injuries include:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability in childhood. Cerebral palsy can affect a person’s ability to walk and move. It may also cause seizures, vision, hearing, and speech problems, or result in intellectual disabilities.
As described by the Mayo Clinic, prolonged labor, high birth weight, or breech presentation can cause an infant’s shoulders to get stuck in the birth canal. When too much force is used to deliver the baby in these situations, damage can be done to the nerves responsible for sending signals from your spinal cord to your upper extremities resulting in a brachial plexus injury.
One of the most common forms of brachial plexus injuries is Erb’s palsy. Erb’s palsy can present in several ways but is typically characterized by weakness and limited motion in the arm. Force during delivery can cause damage to the nerves, which may result in weakness, numbness, or complete paralysis in the arm.
Despite known risks, forceps are still used during difficult deliveries. The use of forceps is a form of assisted vaginal delivery typically done when pushing has begun, but labor has stalled and is not progressing.
The improper use of forceps can cause your baby to have:
- Nerve damage
- Skull fractures
- Bleeding in and around the brain
- Damage to the eyes
- Facial bruising
- Brachial plexus injury
Because of the risk of injury to the baby, forcep-assisted births are becoming less routine. A forcep error can result in lifelong harm.
Another form of assisted vaginal delivery is when a baby is delivered with the help of a vacuum device. Vacuum extractions are now more common than forceps-assisted deliveries. While they are generally considered safer than delivering a baby with the use of forceps, vacuum deliveries can pose a risk of injury to your baby.
Risks to the baby in a vacuum-assisted delivery:
- Head injury
- Hematomas and hemorrhages
- Damage to the scalp
- Eye injury
- Nerve palsies
If your child suffered an injury during a vacuum-assisted delivery, you might be entitled to compensation to cover current and future medical care.
Spina bifida is a neural tube defect that causes a malformation in the spine and spinal cord of a developing fetus. The causes of spina bifida are unknown, but it is believed to be the result of genetic and environmental risk factors.
Spina bifida can generally be diagnosed prior to birth through a blood test, ultrasound (sonogram), and amniocentesis. If a practitioner fails to diagnose spina bifida or fails to perform critical operations shortly after birth, they could face liability.
Hydrocephalus is a buildup of fluid in the brain and can be fatal if left untreated. While the cause of hydrocephalus is not always known, it may be the result of conditions like spina bifida or maternal infections such as rubella.
In infants, hydrocephalus can be present at birth (congenital) or can develop after birth (acquired). Congenital hydrocephalus can be detected via ultrasound and may require surgery shortly after birth. Head traumas and injuries that occur during the labor and delivery process may cause acquired hydrocephalus.
Failure to Detect Prolapsed Umbilical Cord
During a standard delivery, the fetus presents before the umbilical cord. Umbilical cord prolapse occurs when the umbilical cord comes out before the baby. Umbilical cord prolapse is an obstetric emergency and can cause severe injury or death if not detected.
Dangers of a prolapsed umbilical cord:
- Loss of oxygen
- Brain damage
- Carbon dioxide accumulation
- Decreased blood flow
- Fetal hypoxia
An obstetrician or other health care provider should monitor the baby throughout the delivery to detect signs of fetal stress or changes to the infant’s heart rate.
Failure to Order a Caesarian Section
Many birth injuries can be prevented by timely ordering a Caesarian Section (c-section). Prolonged labor puts stress on the fetus, increasing the risk for trauma. Ordering a c-section at the first signs of fetal distress can reduce the potential harm to the unborn child.
Timely ordering a c-section can help prevent:
- Oxygen deprivation
- Injury due to a prolapsed umbilical cord
- Assisted-delivery errors (forceps and vacuum-extraction related injuries)
- Brachial plexus injuries, including Erb’s palsy
- Brain damage
A doctor who fails to order a medically necessary c-section can be held liable for resulting injuries. Adequate monitoring and proper care can ensure a healthy delivery. When there is a deviation from these standards of care causing injury or death, the responsible party must be held accountable.
During a prolonged or difficult labor, a baby’s brain can be deprived of oxygen resulting in debilitating, lifelong injuries.
The use of too much force during labor and delivery can result in a fracture or broken bone. Some of the most common fractures include a baby’s skull, face, or shoulders.
Bleeding in and around the brain can be caused by several different things, including premature birth and undiagnosed bleeding disorders.
Inadequate Prenatal Care
Too often, inadequate prenatal care causes injury to a child. When a mother is under the supervision of a physician during her pregnancy, the doctor should be checking for risk factors for premature delivery, low birth weight, and underlying disorders.
These are just a few of the unspeakable injuries caused by negligence or inadequate training that can affect your infant’s health and well-being. Contact our office to discuss your case with experienced birth injury lawyers in Baltimore.
Common Causes of Birth Injuries
Depending on the situation, there may be more than one factor that contributed to your child’s birth injury.
Common causes of birth injuries include:
- Breech presentation
- Improper use of force during delivery
- Premature birth
- Failure to monitor for fetal distress
- Poor prenatal care
- Low birthweight
- Large babies
- Prolonged, difficult labor
- Failure to order a cesarean delivery (C-section)
Many birth injuries can be prevented. Medical malpractice is inexcusable, particularly during the labor and delivery of a newborn. As a parent, you want to protect your child from harm. You have the right to expect doctors, nurses, and hospitals to give you and your baby the highest quality of medical care. When medical professionals fall short of their duty, they must be held liable. Contact our Baltimore birth injury attorneys today for a free consultation.
What Is the Difference Between Birth Defects & Birth Injuries?
While the terms are often used interchangeably, birth injuries and birth defects refer to two different medical issues. The underlying cause of a birth defect is not medical malpractice but rather, some sort of genetic disorder. As described by the March of Dimes, some of the most common medical conditions present at birth include heart defects, cleft lip, and spina bifida. According to the CDC, around “one in every 33 babies is born with a birth defect.”
Birth injuries, on the other hand, are medical conditions that are not caused by genetics. Birth injuries involve trauma that occurs before, during, or immediately after birth. This kind of trauma can be caused by the normal birthing process, but may also result from negligence or medical malpractice.
When your child suffers an injury because of a medical professional’s negligence, you deserve compensation. Our Baltimore birth injury attorneys have years of experience helping families get through one of the most challenging times in their life. Our goal is to get you the most extensive recovery allowed by law so that you can move forward and care for your child without financial hardship. You should never have to pay for someone else’s mistake or wrongdoing.
Filing a Birth Injury Lawsuit
Determining liability in a birth injury claim is not always straightforward. Medical malpractice cases can require complex litigation. In order to secure the maximum compensation available in your case, it is best to contact our office as soon as possible after the injury occurs.
If your baby has a birth injury, make sure to continue medical treatment and keep a record of anything that was said before, during, or after labor that may have contributed to the condition.
You only have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit based on personal injury or medical malpractice in Maryland. Failure to file your claim within the statute of limitations can result in a bar of your recovery. The statute of limitations varies depending on when the harm was discovered among other factors. It is important to discuss your case with a qualified attorney to ensure that you preserve your rights.
At Schlachman, Belsky, Weiner, & Davey, P.A., we understand how painful it can be to learn that your child has a birth injury. This is why we provide every client with the dedicated, personalized attention they deserve. We are experienced trial attorneys that believe in giving injury victims and their families a voice.
Contact Our Office to Discuss Your Birth Injury Case
If you believe your child suffered a birth injury during labor and delivery, contact our office for a free consultation. Our Baltimore birth injury lawyers can help determine the best course of action for you and your family. We know that it can be overwhelming and frustrating, trying to determine who caused the harm to your baby.
Our firm works with a network of medical specialists that can assist in determining who is liable for your damages. Whether your baby suffers from cerebral palsy, a brachial plexus injury, or received a facial fracture during labor and delivery, our attorneys can help.
Call (410) 807-8598 or fill out our online form to speak directly with a knowledgeable attorney. We have the resources and experience you need to get the justice you deserve. We have recovered over $200 million in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients. In many cases, individual settlements have been in excess of $1,000,000. Call today for your free consultation.