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Clearwater Birth Injury Attorneys

Clearwater Birth Injury Law Firm

Protecting the rights of individuals and families affected by birth injuries in Clearwater Florida

While the process of giving birth can be physically taxing on both mother and infant alike, advances in modern medicine have made the process much less risky than in was in the past. Unfortunately, the same techniques designed to assist in the birthing process also have the potential to cause serious injury when they are administered incorrectly. In addition, when medical professionals fail to diagnose issues in newborns, there can be lifelong consequences. While some medical complications are unavoidable, those caused by negligence or incompetence are inexcusable and victims should be compensated for their harms and losses. Because medical negligence is sometimes hard to spot, anyone who has been affected by a birth injury should be sure to discuss their case with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible after the injury is recognized. The Clearwater birth injury lawyers of the Dolman Law Group, are dedicated to helping birth injury victims recover, and have the skill and experience necessary to bring your case to the best resolution possible.

Causes of Birth Injury

Birth injuries can be caused by a number of medical errors. Importantly, not every error in judgment gives rise to a medical malpractice lawsuit. In order to successfully bring a claim, a plaintiff must be able to establish that physician’s or medical professional’s conduct fell below the applicable standard of care, which in Florida is “level of care, skill and treatment which is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similar healthcare providers under similar circumstances.” Some examples of the kinds of medical errors that could lead to birth injuries include:

  • Not recognizing an infection during the gestation period
  • Administering defective drugs or improper doses
  • Botching a surgery or procedure
  • Failing to properly monitor the heart rate during pregnancy
  • Failing to follow proper delivery procedures
  • Failing to recognize a major issue with newborn, such as problems with umbilical or jaundice
  • Improper use of delivery tools, such as vacuum extractor or forceps
  • Failing to recognize the need for a cesarean section.
  • Botching a cesarean section.

Establishing medical negligence can be a legally complicated issue, so it is extremely important that victims talk to an experienced attorney as soon as possible after an injury occurs.

Types of Birth Injury

Many birth injuries are caused by hypoxia, or a lack of oxygen to a newborn’s brain. This can have a variety of causes, and is capable of causing serious complications including cognitive issues, cerebral palsy, organ damage, and issues with motor control. In addition to injuries caused by a lack of oxygen to a newborn’s brain, the following are also birth injuries that commonly occur due to the negligence of medical professionals:

  • Broken bones
  • Erb’s palsy
  • Brachial plexus injury
  • Brain injuries
  • Neurological injuries
  • Caput succedaneum
  • Spinal injuries

Conditions Caused by Birth Injury

common Florida birth injuries

When an obstetrics team is negligent or careless in performing a delivery or c-section, birth injuries can lead to life long conditions and syndromes that can greatly affect the quality of life for the child and parent, as well as, significantly increase the cost of raising a child. Some of the most damaging birth injuries related to obstetrician negligence are Cerebral palsy and Erb’s palsy.

Cerebral Palsy

According to, Cerebral plasy (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 either during pregnancy, delivery, or shortly after birth. Cerebral palsy may affect a child’s body movement, muscle control, muscle coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture and balance. People who have cerebral palsy may also have visual, learning, hearing, speech, epilepsy and intellectual impairments [1].

Cerebral palsy is a permanent life-long condition that will affect both child and parent for the rest of their lives.

Cerebral palsy cases are the most common motor disorder in infants, occurring in 1.5 to 4 babies out of every 1,000; 17 million people worldwide live with this condition [2]. This condition, unfortunately, is often preventable.

In addition to natural causes relating to the development of the brain, CP may be caused by:

  • Perinatal brain cell death, which occurs during the birthing process as the brain is starved of oxygen or blood vessels rupture; or,
  • Postnatal non-functional or inappropriate connections (synapses) between brain cells, which occurs due to trauma, infections, and/or asphyxia that damage the brain [3].

These causes of CP are examples of medical mistakes and negligence. When these unfortunate events occur, the physician, medical staff, and/or hospital may be liable for damages.

Erb’s Palsy

According to the the National Center for Biotechnology Information, Erb’s palsy affects in infant’s arm and shoulder in a similar fashion to how other muscles are affected with paralysis and nerve damage by CP. In Erb’s palsy, 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. The condition may be a result of a failed cesarean section, trauma during delivery, or improper use of tools. Risk factors for Erb’s palsy also include macrosomia and shoulder dystocia, which could involve negligence due to misdiagnosis.

Negligence involving Forceps and Vacuum Extractors

In some scenarios, assistance is needed to help with the delivery of an infant. In these cases, the obstetrician may use a vacuum device or forceps to help extract the child.  The use of these devices can increase the chances of an infant sustaining an injury during birth, especially if there is carelessness or negligence involved.

Forceps and vacuum extractors particularly increase the risk of:

  • Skull fractures
  • Skull malformations
  • Brain damage
  • Fetal stroke or seizures

Legal Compensation for Birth Injury

When your child is injured due to a preventable birth injury, you are entitled to legal compensation. This is not a matter of just collecting money due to an unfortunate circumstance. It’s a matter of both holding the healthcare facility and doctors accountable for the negligence or inaction, and about the need to relieve stress from your family due to financial strains. Birth injuries will create increased costs for the healthcare, as well as, future costs of raising a child with a birth defect.

The law clearly allows for compensation for a reason; use it as it was intended, to help rebuild your life. An experienced birth injury attorney can help you with your case. We will help you to understand where the negligence occurred, what can be done about it, gather the evidence to build a strong case, and hold those responsible accountable.

Contact a Clearwater Birth Injury Attorney for a Free Consultation

While no amount of financial compensation can change the fact that a birth injury occurred, it can certainly help you and your family deal with your medical expenses and get some peace of mind. Our Florida birth injury lawyers are dedicated to helping people affected by medical negligence recover for their losses. To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call the Dolman Law Group today at (727) 451-6900. If you would prefer to reach us via email, please fill out our online contact form available on the right side of this page.