When an obstetrics team is negligent in labor and delivery or during a C-section procedure, a child can suffer severe and permanent injury. These birth injuries may lead to life-long conditions and syndromes that can significantly affect the quality of life for both the child and the parents.
To pursue justice and receive compensation, you need an expert birth injury law firm in your corner. The birth injury lawyers at Dolman Law Group are litigation bulldogs with the financial resources to level the playing field and protect your rights.
Get Compensation for Your Birth Injury Damages
The shock of your child’s birth injury leads to the realization of additional medical costs and other financial challenges. These challenges are not usually temporary as the injury may require a lifetime of substantial and expensive care.
Caring for a special needs child and maintaining your career is a tricky balance. Numerous doctor’s appointments and time away for other related needs can impact your income and possibly your position. The birth injury attorneys at Dolman Law Group typically fight to recover:
- Medical expenses: both past expenses and future medical care needs such as doctors, surgeons, and therapists
- Disability costs: the cost associated with disability needs, including power chairs, home modifications, and more
- Special education: expenses relating to special education for a child with cognitive conditions
- Lost pay: the income you missed earning due to your child’s medical appointments, procedures, and needs
The outcome of your case is impossible to predict. However, with a member of our team by your side, you are not alone as we pursue compensation and justice for you and your child. We can handle aggressive insurance adjusters who are reluctant to pay you the compensation you deserve due to medical malpractice.
Our team understands state laws regarding cases of medical malpractice and birth injuries. Refer pushy insurance adjusters to us and do not speak with them alone.
Video Transcript: Birth Injury Lawyer
Hey, my name’s Stan Gipe, I’m here with Becky Dolman for another episode of David vs. Goliath Podcast. Today, we’re going to talk about what maybe some of the most saddest and sort of most significant claims that we handle, and those are your birth injury claims. Birth injury claims are just like they sound, the things that would happen to the baby during the delivery process that would result in injury. There’s a number of different things that can happen, but there’s certain injuries like cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, any kind of head damage or brain damage that could be related to a forceps or a vacuum extractors, anything that indicates your baby may have had some asphyxia or problems breathing during the delivery. Those are all sort of like your red flags. If you see that stuff popping up, it may not be malpractice, but you want to look deeper to see, because this is your baby, and this is going to be a lifelong problem.
I’m going to defer to Becky on this a little bit, but birth in and of itself is a very unique time and a unique process for everyone. It’s exciting. It’s emotional. It’s dangerous. I’ve been there, I know Becky has been there. We’ve had different experiences obviously with it, but I can tell you, it’s hard for me to think of a more emotional time in my life than when my son popped out. You’re like, holy crap. It’s the magic of life. There’s so much going on. You’re crying. People are crying. There’s all sorts of emotions, and all of us are praying. You just pray. Happy and healthy. Happy and healthy. Happy and healthy. What if they don’t come out healthy? This happens sometime, and it can be sad, and it can be a very horrible experience to go through. As a parent, no one wants to admit that their child is anything less than perfect.
Your child is your perfect baby no matter what. So, when you’re sitting there, the first thing that happens, a doctor’s going to hand you a baby. You want it to be healthy. You hope it’s a healthy baby, but sometimes it’s not. When the doctor hands you that baby, if he’s not healthy, the doctor’s never going to come up to you and say, “Hey, I messed up.” The doctor’s never going to come up to you and say, “This is my fault.” The doctor’s never going to say, “If I had done everything right, we could have delivered a normal baby. But unfortunately I didn’t.” The doctor’s just going to tell you, “Hey, there’s something wrong. There’s something unusual about the baby.” It’s going to be up to you to figure out what caused it. The doctor’s not going to tell you.
So, these are things that as a person, as a mother, as a father who’s just given birth, I wouldn’t expect you to know exactly what led to the injury. We wouldn’t expect you to be an expert in the birthing process, and quite frankly, it’s an extremely emotional tie. And talked to Becky about this, as a mother who is sitting there nursing a newborn child, what would it take for you to reach out to an attorney and inquire to say, “Hey, what is it? Is something that’s wrong with my baby possibly do to the doctor’s malpractice?” What sort of things is it you, as a mother, would see in a baby that you think would raise your suspicions?
Well, the first thing I would say is if you have the smallest inkling that what’s going on with your child as a result of something that happened in delivery, my first recommendation would always be, discuss your circumstances with a attorney who understands birth defects and knows what’s going on. As Stan said, a lot’s going on during the birthing process. You can see and pay attention and understand what’s happening and not might fully be aware of a problem as it’s occurring. So, when you’re having your initial consultation with your attorney, he or she may hear things in your story that automatically raise a red flag to them, where they could say, “Okay, well that shouldn’t, probably shouldn’t have happened,” or “that could have been done a different way,” something that wouldn’t necessarily tip off the new mother or father.
So, it’s always important to make sure you get that initial consultation, even if you think there’s a slightest chance that something could go wrong. I mean, there’s a lot going on there. There’s a lot that could go wrong. There could be a failure to provide appropriate prenatal care, which starts even before the birthing process. Failure to diagnose any kind of problem or infection that might be going on with a mother prior to birth.
A lot of times when you’re looking in the delivery room, you may come out with a baby that’s got some sort of problem or disability that doesn’t appear to be related to the delivery process. Well, that’s where you start looking at the prenatal care. Did the doctors perform a proper ultrasound? This is important. Did they read the ultrasound properly? Was there something in the ultrasound that should have indicated to the doctor that they needed to start a different course of treatment earlier on? The other thing, was there a problem there? Failing to communicate a known risk to a patient is a big deal. If the doctor knows that something’s a risk, they need to tell you. You as a patient, make the informed decision of how you want to proceed forward. You as a patient, are the one that would have an option, do you want the C-section? Do you not?
Sometimes there are emergencies and that’s not always the case, but did the doctor properly explain the risks of what you were going through to you? Failure to perform specific tests. There are certain tests that have to be performed. There’s certain tests that should be performed, and the reason they’re performed is because the doctors need to look at the results and rely on them. So, did they perform all the necessary prenatal testing? Did they perform all the necessary pre-delivery testing? Did they correctly and accurately interpret the results that they got? Then the third thing, did they take the correct action based on those results? I can’t tell you how many times we’ve gone through a medical record and seen this test came back bad, but nobody told anyone. It didn’t get communicated. So, even though we did the test, even though we got the result, that next thing, that next proper course of action and treatment wasn’t taken, and this results in some of the most common things we see, and I think I mentioned is cerebral palsy.
You got brachial palsy. You got some skull injuries. You get a lot of facial paralysis sometimes from these things, a lot of fractures. There’s hypoxia, which is a lack of oxygen going to the baby’s brain. The doctor needs to be monitoring oxygen levels. The doctor needs to be monitoring the baby’s oxygen. That’s huge. The delivery process, the baby’s deprived of oxygen for a period of time. If that goes too long, it can cause brain injuries. If the delivery process is difficult, sometimes a doctor may grab forceps or a vacuum extractor. You don’t have to be a genius to see that there’s so many ways that could cause injury if they’re not properly used. Then, is there something that the doctor did that caused us to need the vacuum extract or the forceps in the first place?
You end up with brain damage. Sometimes it’s irreversible. There’s a ton of different injuries. I mean, all the way up to wrongful death. Sometimes the baby dies during delivery. So, proving these claims is difficult. You got to prove that they violated the duty of care. You need expert witnesses, and you need someone to calculate damages. All this is super expensive. So, Becky, talk a little if you could, about what goes into selecting experts and documenting the way these claims happen and the causation.
It’s important to know in these kinds of injuries and cases that they’re very expert-intensive. Meaning, that we would need to hire expert doctors, all kinds of different experts to be able to evaluate and determine what happened during the birthing process. Because of this is very expensive, you really need to pay attention to who you’re hiring to handle these matters for you. There are some firms out there that just don’t have the bandwidth to handle these types of claims, and you don’t want to get into a situation where you’re with a firm that’s not going to be able to handle this to the best of their ability, because you don’t have the best advocate for you and your child at that point.
Having a child with special needs is going to be an expensive endeavor for you as a parent. There’s a whole new set of issues that you’re going to have to deal with moving forward through life, and it’s important that you hire a law firm that, one, has the experience with dealing with these types of issues, and two, that can afford to put forth the funds to hire the experts that are going to be needed to show that your claim is worthwhile and valid.
I mean, right, and a lot of times we can end up with six figures in cost before we even get out of the gate. Another thing that kind of happens is, as people we live and learn from our human experiences. If you’ve experienced something a little bit about it. If you’ve experienced a lot, you know a lot about it. So, we’ve been through injuries. We’ve been through hurt. We’ve been through these things as humans getting up there. It’s going to be rare that you made it to giving birth as an adult without having any injury throughout your life. We can go through, and I could break my arm, and I would recommend you get an attorney for that type of claim.
But even as a naive person, you’ve got a broken arm. If it heals completely, you can kind of in your mind come to a number that might be fair for that. Yeah, you can come up with something that would fairly compensate you for what you’ve been through both in the past and the future due to that broken arm. If I’m to tell you as a parent here, how much money is it going to cost to take care of the lifetime medical needs for your child with cerebral palsy? Do you have any idea? No.
No. Yeah. And that’s why it’s so important to get the proper experts and the proper help in these matters.
That’s right there, the life care plan. That’s it. This is where we hire an expert and these experts are super expensive, super skilled in the specifics of talking about a lifetime of care. There are a number of things that when you think about care, you don’t always think about. For instance, I’ve had a claim with a paralyzed lady, and you think about the medical care when she’s paralyzed, right? When you speak to these people, she goes, this lady’s biggest fear when she’s sitting there in her mind, she’s worried that her house is going to catch fire and her children are going to die trying to rescue her, because she can’t get out. These are true fears. You don’t think about this stuff if you’re not in that scenario.
Well, as a life care planner, believe it or not, if you’re a paralyzed person and you’re in a bedroom, the standard is care is to put a door on that bedroom to get out in the case of an emergency. That’s got to be built. It’s got to be cut. It’s got to be put in there. But these sort of expenses are things I would never have thought of until I saw the life care plan. You go, wait, yeah, that makes sense.
There’s a lot of accommodations that go into helping people with disabilities you may not think of. This is why it’s always important to get out there, get the experts involved. They know what it’s going to be like in the future. They know what you’re going to be dealing with,, and they can put numbers on it. These claims are often claims that go into the millions of dollars because of the catastrophic nature of the injuries. You want a super-qualified attorney. You don’t want to fly by night. You don’t want someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing, and I’m going to put it that frank, that quick.
You want an attorney that is competent to handle your birth injury claim. You want an attorney that’s going to get your child all the money they need to handle these injuries for the rest of their life, and inevitably, birth is dangerous. The birthing process is dangerous. No matter how safe you are, no matter if you do everything right, there are going to be occasional injuries. There’s going to be occasional deaths. Mothers are going to bleed out. There’s going to be stillborn babies. These things are unavoidable. It’s going to take a skilled attorney in your corner to evaluate the medical records, and make sure that what happened, if it wasn’t unavoidable, is properly compensated for both you and your child. So, remember, birth injuries aren’t about you. They’re about your child. They’re about your child, taking care of this child and providing the medical needs, educational needs, physically supportive needs to not only get them into society, but help them live as normal a life as possible.
I can tell you this. An insurance company may approach you and say, “Look, we’ve looked at it. A lifetime of nursing care is going to cost $3 million.” $3 million, a lifetime of nursing home care. You got no way to dispute that. But what you really don’t realize is, no, this wasn’t your fault. You don’t have to put your loved one in a nursing home. We deserve a lifetime of in-home care. No one needs to take my loved one away from me. This was not an accident. If you injured my loved one, and they need lifetime care, you need to pay for that care to be at my house. You need to pay for the care so that I can spend time with my loved one, not here’s how much it costs to put them in a facility. So, there’s a number of different thoughts, things and stuff like that that goes out there.
But, birth injuries are some of the most significant claims we run across. They’re some of the most difficult claims for laymen. I’d say that people getting treatment to figure out what happened, because you just, it’s a complicated process. Watch for these types of milestones. If your baby’s having difficulty with crawling or walking, if they’re having trouble turning their head when there’s a loud noise, if they’re feeling uncoordinated. If you start noticing intellectual problems, they have problems holding onto cups or eating utensils. Problems with delayed milestones, all of these things. Mutinous, deafness, blindness, tremors, shakiness, stiff muscles. Any of those things, let’s look at it. Let’s find out what the cause is. Let’s see if this is a naturally occurring thing or something that was due, I don’t want to say due.
Something that would’ve been preventable, had everything been handled appropriately during the prenatal or delivery process. So, in a nutshell, I think that’s kind of what we wanted to say about birth injuries. We’ve got a website at Dolman Law Group, which is www.dolmanlaw. D-O-L-M-A-N-L-A-W.com. Going to have a ton of in information on this. If you want to log on, you can get this done and log on and see a lot of this stuff. If you want to contact us more directly, you can always reach out to us at our tollfree number, and I’ll let Becky have that.
Sure. You can always reach us via phone at (833) 552-7274. We’re available 24/7 at, 24 hours a day to handle any questions you may have.
Yeah, we can visit you in the hospital. You don’t have to wait till you get home. You may sit here, say I’m two or three years after I’ve had the birth, and you’re just starting to notice these things. Whenever it is, you notice a problem, that is the time to reach out. Whenever it is you think there may be a problem, that’s the time to reach out. Whenever it is, you feel like a Dr. may not be being honest with you, or your BS flag goes off, when he’s speaking to you about the cause or what’s going with your child, that’s the time to reach out, because you can never be too proactive. You could never be too safe, and you can never do too much for your injured child. Thanks for another, listening on another edition of the David and Goliath podcast. If you’re ever involved with a birth injury situation, we hope you choose us. We hope you use our resources. But no matter what, makes sure you reach out to an attorney, because it’s going to be in your best interest.
Hire a Birth Injury Attorney
Your birth injury lawyers will fight for fair compensation from start to finish. Among the many steps we take representing birth injury clients are:
- We investigate: Our experienced attorneys know what information is needed to ensure a valid claim when investigating civil cases.
- We consult with the best: We have access to top medical experts who can assist us with your specific case.
- We demand a fair settlement: Your lawyer knows how to handle reluctant insurance companies strategically.
- We take the case to trial: We will go to trial if an insurance company is unwilling to pay what you deserve.
- We manage the final details: The collection and disbursement of funds is part of the legal services we provide.
We seek to provide you with care and comfort throughout the legal process. Your experience was traumatic and stressful. The birth injury your child suffered demands accountability.
Let us handle your case so that you can better focus on the comfort and well-being of your child. Contact Dolman Law Group for a free consultation today.
A Closer Look at the Conditions Caused by Birth Injuries
Birth injuries significantly increase the cost of raising a child. Two of the most damaging birth injuries related to obstetrician negligence are cerebral palsy (CP) and Erb’s palsy. In fact, these two conditions make up a large portion of the birth injury lawsuits we are presently handling.
CP is a permanent birth injury and life-long condition that will affect both the child and the parent for the rest of their lives.
According to Cerebralpalsy.org, CP refers to a series of disorders generally affecting a person’s ability to move. This is caused by damage to an infant’s developing brain during pregnancy or delivery or shortly after birth.
Cerebral palsy may affect a child’s body movement, muscle control, coordination, tone, reflex, posture, and balance. Individuals with cerebral palsy may also have visual, learning, hearing, speech, epilepsy, and intellectual impairments.
Cerebral palsy cases are the most common motor disorder in infants, occurring in one to nearly four babies out of every 1,000 births, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). About 17 million people worldwide live with this condition. This condition, unfortunately, is often preventable.
In addition to natural causes relating 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 starved 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 examples of medical mistakes and negligence. When medical malpractice occurs, the physician, medical staff, or hospital may be liable for damages. A birth injury lawsuit must illustrate medical professionals deviated from the expected standard of care.
It is essential that upon learning of a medical error, the parent must contact a top birth injury lawyer to begin investigating a potential claim against a physician or medical provider.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), Erb’s palsy affects an infant’s arm and shoulder similarly to how other muscles and nerves are affected by CP. Temporary or permanent paralysis affects an infant patient’s voluntary movement in the shoulder and upper and lower arm.
The causes of Erb’s palsy vary from natural causes to medical negligence. For example, the condition may result from a failed cesarean section, trauma during delivery, or improper tool usage.
Erb’s palsy risk factors also include macrosomia and shoulder dystocia, which could involve negligence due to misdiagnosis.
Head and Brain Damage from Forceps and Vacuum Extractors
In some scenarios, assistance is needed to help with the delivery of an infant. The obstetrician may use a vacuum device or forceps to help extract the child in these cases. However, these devices can increase the chances of an infant sustaining an injury during birth, especially if carelessness or negligence is involved.
Forceps and vacuum extractors increase the risk of:
- Cranial injury and skull fractures
- Skull malformations
- Brain damage
- Fetal stroke or seizures
A large percentage of the birth injury cases we deal with involve the negligent use of vacuum extractors and forceps. The use of forceps is strongly discouraged when the baby’s head has not moved past the midpoint of the birth canal or if the baby’s shoulders and arms are leading the way through the canal.
There is also an increased risk of injury to the newborn when the baby is too large to fit through the pelvis.
Birth Asphyxia Injuries
One of the most common medical malpractice injuries newborns suffer is birth asphyxia. These injuries occur when a child has oxygen flow reduced or cut off during birth.
Doctors and other assisting medical professionals delivering a child are expected to look out for issues that can cause birth asphyxia because of their pervasiveness and the severe consequences they can have. This means:
- Close monitoring of a child’s vitals for signs of oxygen deprivation
- Proper application of anesthesia dosage
- Proper use of instruments
Birth asphyxia, or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), as it is more formally known, can occur during or after childbirth. When a child is deprived of oxygen, the damage that the brain can suffer is much more severe than if the same happened to an adult. Brain damage can occur within four minutes of asphyxiation and lead to lifelong disability.
Some of the causes of birth asphyxia include:
- Premature birth
- Blockage or defect in the child’s airway
- Placental abruption occurring too soon
- Umbilical cord problems
- Meconium aspiration syndrome
- High blood pressure or low blood pressure in the mother
- Fetal anemia
- Delay coming out of the birth canal
Causes of Birth Injury
In most cases, birth injuries in Florida occur because of:
Improper Use of Delivery Room Techniques
Healthcare providers, including doctors and nurses who work in a delivery room, have a duty to care for and treat their patients properly. When these providers fail to follow the proper delivery room protocols, problems can occur during the birthing process.
The doctor may deprive your baby of oxygen or otherwise injure your baby. Your child may consequently suffer a birth injury that will affect them for a lifetime.
Improper Monitoring of Fetal Heart Rates
Healthcare providers should closely and continuously monitor the fetus’s heart rate using special equipment during the birthing process. The primary purpose of such careful monitoring during labor and delivery is to detect changes in what should be the baby’s normal heart rate.
If a healthcare provider detects the change early enough, they should undertake the necessary steps to avoid 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
Delivery room doctors and nurses are responsible for knowing when it is safest to deliver the baby via C-section. If the delivery happens too early or too late, various problems can occur. For example, when doctors delay a C-section for too long, it can deprive the fetus of oxygen, leading to brain damage.
Moreover, healthcare providers who work in delivery rooms are responsible for performing safe C-sections, using the proper techniques and tools for a successful procedure. When providers do not perform C-sections properly, they could injure the baby, which might lead to long-term consequences. We handled a delayed C-section birth injury lawsuit filed in 2019 that was recently resolved in a confidential seven-figure settlement in July 2022.
Insufficient Oxygen to the Baby’s Brain
Healthcare providers have a duty to perform C-sections and other birthing procedures correctly and in the proper order. If doctors delay the necessary process for too long, such as when the child is left for too long in the birth canal, it can seriously deprive the child’s brain of oxygen.
If oxygen deprivation persists for too long, they could suffer mental impairments or disabilities because of birth asphyxia.
Improper Use of Forceps or Other Delivery Room Tools and Equipment
Delivery room doctors and nurses must often use tools to assist the birth. Those tools include clamps, forceps, and other instruments. If a provider fails to carefully and properly use these instruments, the child could suffer an injury or wound during delivery. This could lead to various physical or mental complications going forward.
Incorrect Delivery Room Drugs Provided to the Baby’s Mother
Medical doctors and anesthesiologists must regularly provide medication like pain relievers to the mother in the delivery room. However, when a doctor or nurse administers the incorrect medication type or dosage to a mother who is delivering a baby, harm could not just result to the mother but also to the child.
Insufficient Monitoring of Delivery Room Patients
Delivery room doctors and nurses are responsible for monitoring their patients and ensuring that they promptly receive the proper medical care and medication. Failing to follow through and consistently monitor patients can lead to birth injuries when it comes time for the mother to deliver.
Failure to Follow Correct Delivery Room Rules and Procedures
Delivery room rules and procedures regarding the presence of others, wearing masks, and undertaking the proper techniques and methods, are in place to keep patients safe and streamline the delivery process. When delivery room staff do not abide by appropriate protocol, delays may lead to the child suffering one or more birth injuries.
Other Negligent Acts That Can Cause Birth Injury
- Failure to perform a proper ultrasound
- Failing to communicate known risks to a patient
- Improperly reading an ultrasound
- Failure to perform specific tests
- Failing to properly interpret the results of such tests.
If you believe that one or more of these circumstances injured your child, an experienced birth injury attorney at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, might assist with your case.
We can investigate and evaluate the circumstances to determine if a medical expert would support that a birth injury occurred. If so, we could file a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit against the health care provider or providers who took part in the delivery process, seeking the monetary compensation and damages you deserve.
Although no amount of monetary damages can truly compensate a person for an injury at birth, these damages can help provide for the child’s well-being and future care.
Types of Birth Injuries
When delivery room doctors and hospital staff fail to follow the proper delivery room protocols and procedures, serious birth injuries can result. Common birth injuries include:
- Cerebral palsy
- Brachial palsy
- Caput succedaneum
- Injuries to the infant’s skull
- Facial paralysis
- Hypoxia, or a lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain
- Wrongful death
- Irreversible brain damage
- Subconjunctival hemorrhage
All types of birth injuries can create obstacles for your child’s development and unnecessary costs for your family.
Proving a Birth Injury Claim
Birth injury cases can be an uphill battle in some instances. Therefore, if you are pursuing such a claim, get a knowledgeable and experienced birth injury attorney on your side to help you every step of the way.
In a birth injury claim, the person filing the lawsuit—otherwise known as the plaintiff—has the legal burden of proof. The defendant, who is usually the delivery room doctor or another healthcare provider who performed or assisted with the birth, does not have to prove anything in the case. Instead, the legal burden of proof rests entirely with the plaintiff.
Violating the Duty of Care
To meet the necessary burden of proof, your legal team must prove that the delivery room healthcare providers (the doctors and nurses who took part in or assisted with the child’s birth) breached, or violated, the duty of care that the doctor owed to the mother and her child. Further, the child must have suffered birth injuries that are permanent.
We need to identify violations of the duty of care on a case-by-case basis, but it typically means acting unreasonably under the circumstances.
To prove that medical malpractice or negligence happened, we will generally require expert testimony. An independent healthcare provider must review all the necessary documentation and determine that malpractice occurred to a reasonable degree of medical certainty.
At a birth injury trial, the plaintiff will need to put on evidence in the form of doctor testimony to prove their case successfully. In addition to demonstrating a standard of care breach, the medical testimony must support that this violation resulted in the birth injury from which the child suffers.
As part of a childbirth injury claim or lawsuit, the plaintiff might recover various forms of damages. For example, if the family incurred medical costs to correct or lessen the problems associated with the injury, they could recover compensation for those costs.
Further, if the child who suffered the injury needs lifetime medical care, compensation may be available. It is vital we attempt to recover every last dollar for future medical expenses. Finally, the plaintiff might pursue and recover compensation for pain and suffering and similar related damages.
Our birth injury lawyers can help you retain medical experts for your birth injury case and assemble all the necessary documentation in order to maximize financial compensation. In addition, if the defendant’s malpractice insurance carrier offers to settle the birth injury case, we can negotiate with the insurance company and pursue a fair settlement offer on your behalf.
In many cases, settlement negotiations can be lengthy since insurance companies only want to pay out as little money as possible for a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit—even a serious one.
As seasoned trial lawyers, we can help you decide whether you should accept a particular settlement offer or reject it. If you turn down the insurance company’s top offer, we’ll litigate your case in court, represent you in mediation, or arbitrate your claim before a neutral, third-party arbitrator.
No matter the path you take, we will help you pursue the compensation you and your child deserve.
Statute of Limitations in Birth Injury Cases
When children sustain birth injuries because of negligent hospitals or delivery room staff, parents have a limited time to file a claim or lawsuit for medical malpractice. Each state has a different statute of limitations, so it is crucial to contact a law firm with experience in your state.
In Florida, for example, parents must file claims against the negligent health care provider within two years of the date on which the parents 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.
Finally, for children born after July 1, 1996, “Tony’s Law” allows parents in Florida to file a claim for medical malpractice until a child’s eighth birthday. However, this extension to the filing deadline may not apply in cases where the child’s parent or legal guardians knew that the birth injury likely happened due to malpractice.
As you can see, the complexities surrounding statutes of limitations in birth injury cases require a law firm with experience handling these specific types of cases.
Due to these stringent time constraints, you should retain legal counsel as soon as possible if you are considering a birth injury medical malpractice lawsuit. A competent birth injury lawyer can meet all filing deadlines and retain and designate the proper experts.
Possible Effects of a Birth Injury on Your Child’s Life
Birth injuries can leave a significant impact on a child’s life. In some instances, these impacts can last well into adulthood and the remainder of the child’s life.
Sometimes, the effects of a birth injury are recognizable right away. However, the symptoms may take months or even years to become evident at other times. Therefore, during a child’s early development, parents should be on the lookout for any symptoms of potential birth injuries that may become apparent.
Not all symptoms are evidence of a birth injury. However, some may indicate that an injury or other damage occurred before, during, or after labor and delivery. Symptoms of a birth injury that typically become evident soon after a child’s birth include the following:
- Skull fractures
- Muscle looseness or stiffness
- Trouble swallowing, eating, or drinking
- Extreme sensitivity to light
- Low oxygen levels
- Low heart rate or blood pressure
- Excessive drooling
If you notice any abnormalities in your child soon after birth, seek medical attention as quickly as possible. The sooner you seek the necessary medical attention, the better the chances that doctors can address the issue and provide your child the special care they require.
Other potential birth injury symptoms may arise when a child is between one and two years of age. Typically, these symptoms become noticeable when a child skips various developmental or physical milestones in their life. Signs of potential birth injuries during this time include the following:
- Difficulty with crawling or walking
- Inability to turn the head when there is a loud noise
- Difficulty with coordination
- Severe intellectual problems, such as the inability to remember things
- Inability to move various parts of the body
- Difficulty with holding onto cups or eating utensils
- Difficulty with eating or drinking
- Inability to walk, stand, crawl, or sit without the help of an adult
Although many birth injury symptoms are evident during the first two years of a child’s life, other symptoms do not appear until the child gets to elementary school or beyond. Many of these symptoms may even last for the remainder of the child’s life. Some of these potential symptoms of birth injuries include the following:
- Muteness and deafness
- Total or partial blindness
- Shakiness or tremors
- Stiff muscles, otherwise known as hypertonia
- Inability to drink, eat, or get dressed without the help of someone else
- Various forms of child/adult autism or autism spectrum disorder that led to autism lawsuits
- Jerky reflexes can lead to difficulty developing motor skills
- Delayed language development that precludes the child from comprehending or speaking in complete sentences
Neonatal Blindness Injuries (Retinopathy of Prematurity)
Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) also known as Terry Disease, is an eye disease that causes significant vision loss and is most common among premature infants. In fact, retinopathy of prematurity generally impacts newborns born before 31 weeks. In cases of ROB, the blood vessels within the baby’s eye have not grown properly. The retina is the inner layer of the eye and serves to capture light and turn it into a visual image.
A failure to detect and treat ROP can result in significant permanent vision loss or even blindness. Approximately 15,000 cases of ROP happen every ear with nearly 1500 considered severe. A lack of nutrients and oxygen cause the blood vessels to develop improperly. The severity of ROP ranges from small vision disruptions to blindness.
Premature infants must be continually monitored for ROP to ensure the eyes are not leaking blood. The eyes of premature infants can leak blood to the vessels being so fragile. This can result in scarring or even retinal detachment and potentially blindness. ROP typically impacts both eyes.
If you or your doctor suspect that your child has a birth injury, speak with a knowledgeable birth injury attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer can investigate your circumstances and help you decide on the best course of action for your case.
If the healthcare provider suspects that a birth injury might have occurred, speak with a knowledgeable birth injury attorney as soon as possible.
We will help you investigate a potential retinopathy prematurity lawsuit. Your lawyer can investigate your circumstances and help you decide on the best course of action for your case. It is vital to consult with a retinopathy of prematurity attorney to ensure your rights are protected
Liability and Birth Injuries: Who Pays?
How a birth-related injury occurs is essential for filing a civil case. A birthing injury attorney must prove negligence to pursue compensation for your damages. A doctor or medical facility may face litigation if one of the following occurs:
- Forceps caused harm to the baby during the birthing process
- The improper vacuum used to remove the baby
- Delayed action in conducting a cesarean birth
- Any actions that delayed oxygen to the baby causing fetal demise or other injuries
Negligence can also occur before birth, such as:
- Failure to conduct standard tests and specialized tests if needed
- Failure to carefully monitor the baby’s position or status
- Failure to diagnose and treat pregnancy conditions such as infections
These are a few examples of possible negligence. Your lawyer can review your medical records and pictures and speak with others who witnessed the birth. This information can provide them with the knowledge needed to identify all liable parties.
Some complications can arise during the birthing process; however, errors are generally preventable. If your doctor made a careless mistake that forever altered your baby’s life, get help from the medical negligence attorneys at Dolman Law Group.
Pursuing a Brighter Future for Your Child With Our Help
Children who face unfair challenges due to negligence deserve the best future possible. This means access to affordable programs, treatments, procedures, and education.
Caring for a special needs child is challenging yet rewarding. The new demands of caring for a child with a birth-related brain injury or who develop CP can cause you to stress over daily routines. However, to observe your child learning a new skill or developing in ways you never thought possible, the joy is unending.
Any child who suffers a birth injury due to negligence is worthy of quality care throughout their lifetime. When the birth injury results from neglect, those responsible should pay for such care.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation if you face high medical costs and reduced income due to a birth injury. While no amount of compensation can ever correct the damage to your child, it can provide access to the services they require.
Taking Action Now for Your Baby’s Birth Injury
Any potential birth injury lawsuit requires quick action. Your child may not exhibit the full effects of their injury for years. Contact our office as soon as you suspect something is wrong due to negligent medical care.
A lawyer from our team understands the statute of limitations for pursuing a civil lawsuit. Documentation of your concerns can serve as a record of when signs and symptoms of issues first appeared.
Many cases involving serious injuries sustained by a baby settle out-of-court. If your lawyer cannot secure a fair settlement through negotiation, they will proceed to trial. Do not wait until it is too late to file a lawsuit.
Your lawyer can determine if your case meets the deadline imposed by the statute of limitations. You are not alone with us by your side. Our staff is caring and here to help you. From our front office staff to our legal team, we treat all our clients with the respect they deserve.
Birth Defect Lawyer
Birth defects are structural changes present at birth that can impact any part of the body. However, there are several types of birth defects that can be attributable to birth-related medical malpractice or medical negligence. These include:
- Congenital heart defects
- Down syndrome
- Neural tube defects
- Cleft Palate
Although rare, occasionally a physician will fail to diagnose a birth defect to the unborn fetus that could have been treated but turns out to be a much more serious medical issue at birth due to such failure.
Dolman Law Group Can Help You File a Comprehensive Claim
Contact us if your child suffered an injury during the birthing process, especially if you suspect negligence. We stand ready to help you fight for the compensation your child needs to achieve the best life possible.
Birth Injury Lawyers at Dolman Law Group
Dolman Law Group is a nationally recognized injury law firm with experience litigating preventable birth injury cases. Our birth injury lawyers have a combined 130+ years of experience handling catastrophic injury and birth injury claims throughout Florida and throughout the nation with local counsel (licensed attorneys in the applicable jurisdiction).
We have recovered over $250 million in financial compensation for victims of negligence throughout Florida and the United States. Birth injury cases require significant financial resources due to costs associated with retaining experts.
Matthew Dolman is the managing partner of our firm, which has handled over 11,000 serious injury claims and 3200 lawsuits. Matthew is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual claims in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively.
In addition, his colleagues have selected him as a Florida Super Lawyer and part of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Matthew understands that every birth injury case is unique and has secured financial resources via an extensive credit line to retain the best medical experts for illustrating harms and losses sustained by our clients.
He has handled cases in the field of birth injury throughout Florida, representing many who have sustained severe injuries. Matt has handled a wide array of birth injury claims.
Stanley Gipe is a Florida Bar Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer. This certification deems Stan an expert in the discipline of trying civil jury trials.
He has handled more than 2,000 serious injury and medical malpractice lawsuits. Stan has litigated cases as lead counsel in the following Florida Counties; Hillsborough, Pinellas, Sarasota, Manatee, Pasco, Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Orange County. Stan is both a trial attorney and a birth injury lawyer.
He has vast experience litigating even the most complicated cases and holding medical professionals accountable for their negligence.
Julia Dolman has also been voted by her colleagues to be recognized by Super Lawyers as a “rising star.” She has worked on several birth injury cases with our firm and understands the vast complexity of birth injury claims.
Contact a Birth Injury Attorney Today for a Free Initial Consultation and Case Evaluation
If your child sustained a preventable birth injury due to the negligence exhibited by a delivery room doctor or another medical professional, you might be eligible for monetary compensation.
The experienced birth injury attorneys at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, are ready and willing to litigate your case and represent your interests in court, if necessary.
Call us today or contact us online for a free consultation or case evaluation with a birth injury attorney at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA.
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