One of the happiest moments in a person’s life is the arrival of a newborn. Unfortunately, certain pregnancies can be challenging, and newborns might negligently experience trauma during delivery.
Birth injury cases pose a great challenge, not only due to the immense emotional trauma involved but also because establishing the cause of an infant’s birth injuries can be a daunting task. Luckily, a seasoned birth trauma lawyer can assist you in obtaining the compensation that you and your child rightfully deserve. Birth injuries can happen at any stage before, during, or after childbirth, and it is the responsibility of the OB-GYN doctors to closely monitor the mother and child for any complications during pregnancy and prepare for any potential difficulties during delivery.
For a free case review with our Baltimore birth trauma attorneys, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 today.
What Injuries Are Considered Birth Trauma in Maryland?
It is possible for a medical professional to cause several different types of birth trauma, many of which can result in long-term or permanent injuries that require ongoing treatment. The pain and suffering caused by birth trauma injuries can be particularly severe when it happens to a child. Our Laurel, MD birth trauma attorneys are ready to assist you in seeking compensation if your child has experienced any of the following types of birth trauma. The following are just a few of the most common types of birth trauma that can be suffered in Maryland:
Healthcare professionals in Maryland can be responsible for causing a common birth injury known as cerebral palsy. There are various negligent ways that cerebral palsy can occur, including a lack of oxygen during delivery and an untreated infection in either the child or mother. Unfortunately, children who develop cerebral palsy will have permanent disabilities, which are characterized by involuntary movements, floppy or rigid limbs, and exaggerated reflexes. The medical providers who negligently cause cerebral palsy in a child can be held liable for the resulting damages.
When a baby is deprived of oxygen for a prolonged period, it leads to a condition called asphyxia. Delayed delivery is one of the leading causes of this condition. As a result of this, the baby can suffer severe injuries. The lack of oxygen can cause permanent brain damage, leading to physical and mental disabilities that can last a lifetime. It is important for parents and children affected by this condition to receive compensation for the harm caused.
Brachial Plexus Injury
A brachial plexus injury, also known as Erb’s palsy, is a type of birth injury that can occur due to medical malpractice. The brachial plexus nerves are located along a person’s arm and other areas of the body. During delivery, if excessive force is applied to a baby’s head, neck, or shoulders, the brachial plexus nerves connected to the spinal cord can be damaged. This can cause paralysis, loss of sensation in the baby’s hands, arms, and shoulders, and other limitations in their motor functions. In severe cases, brachial plexus injuries can lead to permanent disabilities.
During childbirth, broken bones are among the most common types of birth trauma. These fractures usually occur in difficult pregnancies, such as breech births or when the baby is facing feet-first in the birth canal. OB-GYN doctors often use forceps and vacuum tools to assist in delivery, but improper use of these tools can easily result in fractures. While a broken bone might be a serious injury for an adult, it can be life-threatening for a newborn and might lead to long-term physical impairments.
Delivery rooms are designed to be hygienic environments both before and during childbirth to prevent infections that could harm both the mother and baby. To ensure this, medical professionals are required to sterilize the area thoroughly before performing a delivery. Despite all precautions taken, infections can still occur. It is the responsibility of healthcare providers to continuously monitor the mother and baby for potential infections so that they can be addressed promptly. Failure to plan or inspect for infections can result in liability for the doctor responsible for the birth trauma caused.
Spinal Cord Damage
Spinal cord damage during birth can also be caused by doctors and nurses making negligent mistakes. Inadequate response to complications during pregnancy or failure to account for the baby’s positioning during delivery can result in spinal cord damage.
What Damages Can Be Claimed for Birth Trauma in Maryland?
If you or your child have been injured or suffered losses due to someone else’s negligence, you have the right to seek damages. Birth trauma can lead to long-term medical conditions that require expensive treatment, and the doctor responsible for your child’s injuries should be held accountable. Apart from receiving compensation for past medical expenses, you might also be eligible to claim for expected future medical costs.
Birth trauma cases often result in significant medical expenses, which cover immediate costs such as hospital bills, surgeries, and medication. For example, if a child requires surgery, the cost of the operation, anesthesiology, and post-operative care would fall under this category. Long-term medical expenses are also included, such as ongoing physical therapy, occupational therapy, or any potential future surgeries the child might need due to their condition.
Compensation for lost wages is a vital element when it comes to damages. It is also important to consider the potential earning capacity of a newborn early on, as the law takes into account the long-term effects of their injuries. If a permanent disability caused by birth trauma impairs the child’s ability to work as an adult, they might be granted compensation for lost wages.
This compensation includes expected income loss from careers that the child is unable to pursue due to significant physical impairment caused by the injury. Additionally, if the mother is unable to return to work due to the child’s birth trauma, she might also claim lost wages. Furthermore, if the mother needs to take time off or request special accommodations from her employer to care for her child’s needs, claiming lost wages might be necessary.
Families with children who have experienced birth trauma often face extra expenses related to their specialized care. These expenses might include hiring caregivers, modifying their homes to accommodate the child’s needs, and accessing special education services. In cases where the child has lost hand function due to an injury, expenses for installing handrails or customizing the vehicle for one-handed driving might also be necessary. Furthermore, expenses related to therapies or special education services that can assist the child in adapting to their disability might also be recoverable.
When a child and their family experience the challenges of birth trauma, they often endure both physical and emotional pain. The child might suffer from physical discomfort, and both the child and their family might experience anxiety, depression, and a decreased ability to enjoy life. These are known as non-economic damages or pain and suffering, which are taken into account when determining compensation. For example, if the child or mother continues to experience pain due to their condition or develops anxiety because of their physical limitations, these factors might impact the amount granted for non-economic damages.
Our Maryland Birth Trauma Attorneys Can Help
Contact Rice, Murtha & Psoras today at (410) 694-7291 to speak with our Parkville birth trauma lawyers and receive your free case assessment.