Very little in life compares to the joy and excitement of welcoming a new little person to 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 the birth.
Sometimes a child is born with an impairment that no one could have prevented; but others are victims of medical error or incompetence and must start life with a strike against them for no other reason than a hospital, doctor, nurse, or other health care professional was careless or negligent in providing care to the mother or child.
When is a Birth Injury Medical Malpractice?
Sometimes a doctor and the entire birth team do everything right, and yet the baby is born with some type of health problem or disability.
It is important to understand that not every birth injury is the result of medical malpractice. Malpractice is defined by the medical standards in the region. It is necessary to determine whether the doctor or other healthcare professional delivered a standard of care consistent with that which would be provided by any reasonably competent professional practicing medicine in the field of obstetrics in Maryland. If not, medical malpractice may be involved.
An experienced birth injury lawyer will have relationships with respected medical professionals who can be called upon to help answer this question.
If your child was born with an injury and you suspect that it may have been caused by a medical error, you should consult with a personal injury attorney who has experience with medical malpractice and birth injury cases and the resources to investigate them.
In the Baltimore area, a top choice of personal injury attorney is G. Randolph Rice, a local lawyer who understands the complexities of a Maryland malpractice cause of action and has access to top medical professionals who will review the records and identify where in the birth process the standard of care may have deviated from the norm.
Prenatal and Delivery Room Errors that Could Injure a Newborn
These are some errors that sometimes cause birth injuries and may be construed as a breach of the expected standard of obstetrical care:
- Failing to identify a herpes infection or other sexually transmitted disease before going forward with a vaginal delivery
- Failing to monitor the laboring mother and her soon-to-be-born baby
- Allowing labor to continue too long after the membranes have ruptured
- Failing to identify a compressed or entangled umbilical cord, breech presentation, or disproportion between the size of the mother’s pelvis and the baby’s head
- Improper vaginal delivery of baby with shoulder dystocia
- Failing to perform a timely C-section to deliver a distressed baby
- Failing to give a distressed baby oxygen
- Errors in performing a forceps delivery or vacuum extraction
- Failing to diagnose and treat jaundice promptly
Birth Injuries that May Occur Before, During, and After Delivery
These are some types of birth injuries that occur too commonly:
- Cerebral palsy (a permanent neurological movement disorder)
- Erb’s palsy (brachial plexus palsy) causing arm weakness or paralysis
- Infant Bell’s palsy causing paralysis of the face
- Other types of nerve damage
- Brain damage from untreated jaundice (kernicterus)
- Cephalohematoma (collection of blood beneath the skull)
- Bone Fractures and dislocations
- Bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections
- Blindness and severe visual impairment (SVI) from lack of oxygen or infection
The Legal Process After Your Baby is Injured
The first step in getting help for your child is to schedule a free case consultation at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice. It is extremely helpful to bring in your baby’s medical records if you are able to get them. (If you are having trouble, we can help with that.)
We will take a preliminary look at the available information to determine if there might be an indication of malpractice. We will later confirm with a medical expert. If it appears that you have a valid case, we will let you know that, and you will be invited to retain our firm to represent you.
We will call upon experts to do a thorough analysis of the records and render a professional opinion as to where the manner of the birth appears to have deviated from what the profession would have expected—the professional standard of care— and determine what parties were involved in the error. We will attempt to interview any witnesses to the event, along with others who have treated the child since the injury occurred.
We will determine the potential consequences to the child and the projected future costs of medical treatment, therapy, and related expenses, as well as determining the suffering and limitations the child will likely endure because of the disability, and then make 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; but we will not accept less than you and your child deserve. If the insurer does not make an appropriate offer, we are always prepared to take the case to trial.
Our Baltimore Birth Injury Lawyers Can Help Ensure a Better Life for Your Child
Giving your child the best life possible in the face of his or her disability is always our main goal. That’s why it is so important to have an experienced birth injury lawyer like Randolph Rice advocating for you.
The settlement or verdict you receive can make an enormous difference in the care and quality of life that you are able to provide for your injured child.
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, so as not to risk losing your right to a recovery award.
Contact the Law Offices of Randolph Rice today for justice and a better life for your child. (410) 694-7291