How can a birth injury lawyer help victims of birth injuries to secure necessary compensation for damages?
Washington District of Columbia Birth injury Lawyers.
Birth injuries in Washington are the concern of every expectant parent and unfortunately a reality to many, when something goes wrong during, or shortly after birth. There are many common types of birth injuries and some may be temporary, resolving quickly with low-to-no residual damage. Other birth injuries are permanent and can last a lifetime, negatively affecting many aspects of a child’s life, and impacting family finances that are necessary for specialized care and around the clock treatment. Birth injury may not present itself until a child is in their formative years and symptoms begin to appear.
Washington Birth Injury Malpractice Attorneys.
Birth injury malpractice can create a lifetime of serious complications that render individuals and families with heavy physical, emotional, and financial burdens. When an injury can be tracked back to the care of professional nurses, or doctors who make mistakes before, during and after the delivery of an infant, it is imperative to speak to a birth injury malpractice attorney who can have experts review the records, and exam the child to ascertain the extent of the physical damages and any residual effects an injury may have caused.
Even though a birth injury may leave a child with a permanent disability, and parents with sustained physical, emotional, and financial stressors, a birth injury lawsuit may be necessary to assist with this burden. When medical negligence can be proven in accordance with state standards of medical care, compensation may be available to cover compensatory damages that include economic damages for:
- Past and future medical expenses,
- Healthcare costs including occupational therapy, behavior counseling, specialized education, in-home healthcare, modified vehicles, and housing situations,
- Lost wages for time away from work to care for child,
And non-economic damages for:
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional pain and anxiety,
- Loss of companionship,
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
In some cases punitive damages are awarded when a defendant’s actions are found to be intentional, and harmful, punitive damages may be awarded to punish them as a means to deter future similar acts. Certain states have capitations on the highest dollar amount that can be awarded.
Legal questions For WashingtonBirth Injury Lawyers.
State laws mandate the way victims can approach legal action against birth injuries, and over what period of time they have to institute the action against health care providers and their insurers. Families of an injured child should familiarize themselves with the particulars involved in legal action. They need to find a Washington birth injury lawyer who can facilitate the answers to questions that include:
- How long do birth injury victims have to file a legal action?
- What are the state capitations on damages for birth injury lawsuits?
- What is the legal precedence relevant to the particular birth injury claimed in the legal action?
- What are court rulings and expert board opinions as to awards?
District of Columbia Birth Injury Negligence Lawyers.
Birth injuries are severe injuries that happen during the labor and delivery of a child, or perhaps at some point in the prenatal care provided by a medical professional that manifests in injury at birth such as:
- Gestational diabetes – Elevated levels of glucose during pregnancy, could cause large birth weight, hypoglycemia, and stillbirth of the baby.
- Cervical cerclage – A cervical stitch to support a weak cervix and allow a mother to carry to term.
- Group B Strep – Bacteria present in the genital tract that can cause serious illness in newborns called Group B Strep disease.
- Preeclampsia – High blood pressure that can cause damage to organs, and health risks to both mother and child.
- Problems with placenta – Placenta supplies nutrients to the fetus, and transfers oxygen and blood between the mother and child. Placental problems can cause severe birth injuries, or death of the child. One of the most common issues is placental abruption.
Finding a Washington District of Columbia birth injury law firm will help you get compensation you deserve. Contact a Washington birth injury attorney near me by visiting USAttorneys.com or call 1-800-672-3103 to speak to a District of Columbia birth injury attorney today.
Elements of Washington birth injury negligence.
Building a case for a birth injury will be contingent on the type of birth injury and resultant damages, and how they will impact the future of the child and their caretakers. Birth injury negligence is predicated on four elements including:
- Duty – When a doctor and a patient establish a professional relationship, the doctor has a responsibility to provide a duty of care relevant to current medical practice standards in each medical field.
- Breach of duty – Doctors take the Hippocratic Oath that obliges them to provide the best treatment possible to patients. If they do not fulfill that duty they are in breach of that relationship.
- Birth Injury – Injury, or causation of actual harm caused to a patient by a health care provider, including actual cause and proximate cause. The harm must be directly related to the doctor’s failed duty of care with resultant injury.
- Damages – Consist of the monetary compensation for the harm caused by a doctor’s negligence. In order for a birth injury malpractice case to stand up in court, the injury or harm caused must be able to be remedied by money.
When building a winning strategy for a birth injury malpractice case, all the elements of negligence must be proven. It is also important for medical experts to review medical records and provide independent examination of the child that was injured at birth.
Expert birth injury medical testimony.
- Independent medical testimony outlines what adequate care at the level of the acceptable medical standards of care for a certain health care problem looks like. Delivery of this dialogue is best undertaken in lay terms of the general public that makes up a jury.
- Expert medical witnesses must be licensed to practice medicine in the state and adequately qualified in the same specialty as the medical professional being sued.
- States have their own specific set of guidelines to govern the choice of medical experts, sharing the basic assumption that a medical witness carry the same professional qualifications as the defendant. In a suit against a nurse, nurses are usually required to testify on the appropriate standard of care. Cases against obstetricians will normally involve independent obstetrician witnesses.
- Some states require a medical health care panel made up of a specific number of experts in the field of medicine that includes the type of birth injury stated in the claim against a health care provider.
Finding a Washington birth injury lawyer is important to get the help you need and the compensation you and your child deserve contact a District of Columbia birth injury lawyer today at USAttorneys.com or by calling 1-800-672-3103.
- There are some District of Columbia birth injury laws that make it difficult for families and injured patients to file birth injury malpractice lawsuits, including birth injury cases.
- A notice of intent is required in some states before a formal legal action can be initiated against a health care provider, giving a named defendant an opportunity to respond to the victim’s allegations surrounding the injury and breach in duty of care.
- Sometimes pre-trial screening panels are utilized in an attempt to settle out of court and free up valuable court time for cases that cannot be settled between parties.
- There has been an increase across the states of pre-trial malpractice screening panels made up of expert attorneys, medical professionals, and former judges. They review birth injury malpractice cases before they are filed, then form and offer an opinion on the facts at issue, saving hours of time in trial.
- Some states allow birth injury malpractice screening panel findings as evidence at trial.
Finding a District of Columbia birth injury attorney is crucial to getting the help you need and the compensation you deserve.
Types of birth injuries.
Bell’s Palsy – Bell’s palsy is a common name given to temporary forms of facial paralysis, in which the facial nerve loses the ability to transmit electrical signals from the brain to the face. At least 90% of facial nerve paralysis cases resolve spontaneously over a matter of months. Unfortunately, cranial nerve injuries are often the result of birth injury malpractice, especially when birth-assistive devices, including forceps, are used during delivery.
Cerebral Palsy – Cerebral palsy comes in different forms to describe neuromuscular disorders equally, but each cerebral palsy disorder is caused by brain damage, or the abnormal development of brain tissue, and each case is marked by some motor impairment and can impact the way a person moves. They may include:
- Spastic cerebral palsy
- Dyskinetic cerebral palsy
- Ataxic cerebral palsy
All types of cerebral palsy have neuromuscular disorder as a primary problem, but associated symptoms can include difficulty speaking, breathing, or maintaining control of one’s bladder and bowels. The totality of these conditions requires intensive healthcare personnel to care for the needs of the brain injured child.
Secondary learning disabilities including intellectual impairment, sensory disabilities and associative conditions may require specialized teachers and therapists. Unlike other neurological disorders, cerebral palsy conditions are not progressive, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. That means the brain damage, or malformation, causing a child’s symptoms does not get worse over time, but a child’s symptoms can change, getting more or less pronounced as they age.
Shoulder dystocia – Shoulder dystocia is a rare birth injury that occurs when one, or both shoulders of an infant become stuck in the mother’s pelvis during delivery. While the majority of injuries caused by shoulder dystocia will heal within 6 to 12 months with no long-term complications, there is a risk for permanent disability, or even death in the most severe cases.
Cephalohematoma – Cephalohematoma is usually a minor complication of delivery where blood collects underneath the periosteum, not underneath the skull bones. There is little risk, if any, that this form of hemorrhage could come to affect brain tissue.
Hydrocephalus – The medical condition that researchers call hydrocephalus is often known as “water on the brain” but they really have too much cerebrospinal fluid in their brains. Some babies are born with “congenital” forms of hydrocephalus. Other children develop the condition due to possible physical trauma at the time of birth.
Jaundice and kernicterus – Kernicterus is an extreme form of jaundice, the common newborn condition that turns a baby yellow. While jaundice usually goes away on its own, kernicterus can cause permanent brain damage, along with severe neurological disorders. Jaundice may be a complication of mismanaged pediatric care and are the result of medical negligence.
Wrongful death – Washington birth injury attorneys can answer victim’s questions when doctors fail to uphold their professional standards, and tragic mistakes are made leading to personal harm. Not every child’s death is the result of a birth injury, but some fatal injuries and medical conditions are caused and/or exacerbated by incompetent obstetricians, nurses, and midwives.
Traumatic brain damage – Traumatic birth injuries are most common in difficult and long labors. Uterine contractions can force a child’s head to strike at the mother’s pelvis repeatedly. With the infant’s skull still developing, brain damage is a frequent result.
Skull fracture birth injuries – Skull fractures are most common during difficult deliveries, especially after an extended (or very long) labor. Long deliveries increase the risk for a skull fracture because the infant’s head is put under extreme stress and forceful contractions for extended periods of time.
Preeclampsia – Doctors define preeclampsia as high blood pressure in pregnant women who have never experienced high blood pressure before. The condition constricts blood vessels, which means less blood is able to reach a mother’s internal organs. That can lead to organ failure in very severe cases, but it also decreases the amount of blood that is able to reach the fetus.
Premature delivery – In some cases traumatic accidents can come to impact the course of a mother’s pregnancy. The major risk after a car accident, or fall is premature birth.
Birth asphyxia – Birth, or perinatal, asphyxia happens when an infant’s brain and organs fail to receive sufficient amounts of oxygen around birth, according to the doctors at Johns Hopkins University. Oxygen deprivation can be fatal, or lead to permanent muscular and cognitive impairments.
Find a Washington Birth Injury Lawyer.
There are many forms of birth injuries that are not listed above, and it is a prudent decision to hire a Washington birth injury attorney who can assist in building a strong case against a professional health care provider that causes a birth injury due to acts of medical negligence. A Washington birth injury lawyer will be able to represent victims in court, objectively speak for them against an insurance company’s legal team and take steps toward a fair monetary award.