Very little in life compares to the joy and excitement of welcoming a new baby into the world. But for some families, joy turns to heartbreak when their long-awaited child is born with a disability caused by an injury that occurred during their birth.
Sometimes a child is born with an impairment that no one could have prevented, but other times, the child is a victim of medical malpractice and must start life with an injury that could have been avoided if the doctor, nurse, or other health care professional was not careless or negligent in providing care to the mother or child. If you or a loved one had a child that suffered suspected birth injuries in Maryland, call the Baltimore birth injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice today for a free legal consultation on your case. Our number is (410) 694-7291.
Medical Malpractice Lawsuits for Birth Injuries in Maryland
Sometimes a doctor and their team do everything right, and yet the baby is born with some type of health problem or disability. In these cases, the injury might not be the result of medical malpractice. Sometimes injuries and complications happen in medicine, but if there is something that the doctor did wrong or should have done better, it may be considered malpractice.
What constitutes medical malpractice is defined by the medical standards in the local community. It is necessary to determine whether the doctor or other healthcare professional delivered a standard of care consistent with that which any reasonably competent doctor in Maryland with similar training and experience would have used in the same situation. If they did anything that fell below that standard and caused your child’s injuries, medical malpractice may be involved.
During a lawsuit for these kinds of injuries, your lawyer can call on a medical expert to testify as to what that standard is and what mistakes your doctor committed. This expert witness can testify based on their knowledge and experience, and the jury is supposed to take their testimony as fact. Generally, the defendant will also call a medical expert to testify that the injury was not negligent, and the jury will often decide the case based on this battle of the experts. Our attorneys have experience choosing the right medical expert to testify in our cases to build a strong case to get compensation for birth injuries.
In the Baltimore area, contact Randolph Rice for representation on your case. Randolph Rice is a local Baltimore lawyer who understands the complexities of a birth injury lawsuit and has access to top medical professionals who will review your case and identify how your doctor let you and your child down by providing negligent care.
Common Errors and Mistakes that Cause Birth Injuries
Babies are vulnerable and can face serious injuries in many ways that an adult or even a child would not. In many cases, the injuries may not be obvious, and it may seem that the resulting injuries or effects simply happened without anyone being at fault. However, in many of the following scenarios, the doctor and their medical team are directly responsible for the childbirth injuries:
- Failing to identify a herpes infection or other sexually transmitted disease that could transfer to the baby before going forward with a vaginal delivery
- Failing to properly monitor the mother and baby during labor
- Allowing labor to continue for too long or inducing labor too quickly
- Failing to identify a compressed or entangled umbilical cord, breech presentation, or situation where the baby is too large for vaginal delivery
- Improper vaginal delivery of a baby with shoulder dystocia
- Failing to perform a timely C-section to deliver a distressed baby
- Failing to put a baby on oxygen when necessary
- Choosing to perform an unnecessary forceps delivery
- Errors in performing a forceps delivery or vacuum extraction
- Failing to diagnose and treat jaundice in the infant
- Failing to diagnose and treat excessive bleeding in the mother
- Dropping or mishandling the newborn
If your doctor or their medical team committed any of these errors without proper justification, their medical care may have fallen below the standard of care. When this happens, you may be entitled to compensation for any harms that you and your baby suffered because of the negligent care, including serious injuries and health effects.
Common Types of Birth Injuries and Congenital Health Problems
Many injuries and health complications common in newborns are caused by medical malpractice. Sometimes these complications occur even with perfect, by-the-book care, but many of these injuries could be the result of serious negligence during the delivery. Talk to an attorney if your child presents with symptoms of any of the following after they were born:
- Cerebral palsy (a permanent neurological movement disorder)
- Erb’s palsy (brachial plexus palsy) causing arm and neck weakness or paralysis
- Infant Bell’s palsy causing facial paralysis
- Other types of nerve damage
- Brain damage from untreated jaundice (kernicterus)
- Cephalohematoma (collection of blood beneath the skull)
- Broken bones and joint dislocations
- Bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections
- Blindness and severe visual impairment (SVI) from lack of oxygen or infection
- Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (brain injuries from lack of oxygen)
- Strangulation from a nuchal cord (umbilical cord wrapped around the neck)
- Cracked or crushed skull, or other skull deformations
- Traumatic brain injuries
In many cases, these injuries are only caused by negligence in the delivery room. Your attorney can help you examine your case and determine whether you have a birth injury case.
Suing for Birth Injuries in Baltimore, MD
The first step in getting help for your child is scheduling a free case consultation with an attorney. At the Law Offices of Randolph Rice, we can go over your case and help you determine whom to sue and what your claim might be worth. It is extremely helpful to bring in your baby’s medical records if you are able to get them. If you are having trouble obtaining records, we can help.
We will take a preliminary look at the available information to determine if there might be proof of malpractice or medical mistakes. We will later confer with a medical expert to confirm what mistakes were made. If it appears that you have a case, we will let you know, and we can discuss how your claim will progress from there.
We will call upon experts to do a thorough analysis of the records and render a professional opinion as to how the doctor’s care was negligent and determine what parties were involved in the errors. We will attempt to interview any witnesses to the event along with others who have treated the child since the injury occurred. Their testimony provides excellent evidence of how the injuries occurred and what went wrong
We will determine the potential consequences your child and your family faced. This often includes looking at the projected future costs of medical treatment, therapy, and related expenses, as well as determining the suffering and limitations the child will endure because of their birth injuries. We can also project how these damages will affect their future wages when they grow up and what damages they may deserve for physical pain and mental/emotional suffering. We will put these damages into a demand for compensation from the doctor or hospital’s medical malpractice insurance company.
We will make every effort to settle the case out of court quickly, but we will not accept less than you and your child deserve. Many settlement offers from doctors and their medical malpractice insurance are too low to cover your needs. If we need to, we will file your claim in court and fight your case at trial to get you the maximum compensation you deserve to help pay for current and future care needs for your child.
It is vital not to go into a case like this alone. Doctors and their medical malpractice insurance companies may try to tell you that you do not have a case, or they may tell you that your claim is worth far less than it is. Never accept any money for your claim without speaking to an experienced birth injury attorney first.
Our Baltimore Birth Injury Lawyers Can Help Fight for a Better Life for Your Child
Giving your child the best life possible in the face of their disability is always our main goal. That’s why it is so important to have an experienced Baltimore birth injury lawyer like Randolph Rice advocating for you. Contact the Law Offices of Randolph Rice today for help seeking justice and a better life for your child. Our phone number is (410) 694-7291. There are statutory time limits on filing birth injury medical malpractice claims in Maryland, so for the best outcome, you should start the process right away to avoid the risk of losing your claim.