A Birth Injury Lawyer Who Cares About Your Family
Expecting parents anxiously await the arrival of their bundle of joy and look forward to bringing home their new baby. Unfortunately, labor and delivery don’t always go smoothly for some parents, and the joyous occasion dampens when their newborn suffers preventable birth injuries. Most of those birth injuries result from medical malpractice. Negligence by medical professionals creates dangerous conditions for pregnant mothers or errors during labor and delivery that lead to preventable, sometimes fatal birth injuries.
If your OB-GYN, family practitioner or other medical practitioner provided substandard care during pregnancy or their negligence led to an injury during labor or delivery, Maryland law permits you to take legal action to seek compensation for damages related to your child’s birth injury. Money will never fix the damage your baby had to suffer, but it can help you secure needed treatment and reduce financial stress from taking time away from work to care for your child.
Contact the Baltimore birth injury lawyer at Spector Law Group online or call 410-671-5605 to discuss the circumstances of your child’s birth injury and learn how we can help you take the next steps to hold those who caused the harm accountable. Also, if you are an attorney who is representing someone with a viable birth injury malpractice case, we have the resources and the experience to take on the case if you cannot handle it. We are here to help; give us a call. You can also visit our birth injury FAQ page to see some answers to commonly asked questions.
Spector Law Group Birth Injury Claims Results
Our dedicated legal team has extensive experience negotiating, settling and litigating personal injury claims, including medical malpractice claims arising as a result of birth injuries. The firm’s commitment to professional excellence, case preparation and client service has allowed them to recover millions of dollars in damages from settlements and jury verdicts for their clients.
Recent successful birth injury claims include:
- $10.8 million jury verdict after a child developed cerebral palsy because the mother’s doctor did not identify the symptoms and treat a ruptured uterus during pregnancy.
- $6 million settlement for a child who developed cerebral palsy as a result of labor and delivery malpractice.
- $4.25 million settlement after a newborn suffered permanent brain damage that led to a seizure disorder after medical professionals failed to respond to signs and symptoms of dehydration.
- $3.5 million settlement for a baby who developed cerebral palsy after labor and delivery mismanagement.
The above results are examples of recent cases and do not guarantee a particular financial outcome for your birth injury case. Each claim has different facts and circumstances that add to or detract from its potential value. The skilled birth injury lawyers at Spector Law Group investigate the circumstances of each case and build the best case possible against those who caused a child’s birth injury, giving clients the best chances to receive the maximum amount of compensation for their damages.
Newborns Can Suffer A Wide Range Of Birth Injuries From Baltimore Physicians
Birth injuries are somewhat rare, with only about seven out of 1,000 newborns sustaining birth injuries each year. Sometimes, medical staff make mistakes and fail to uphold the expected standard of care during labor and delivery, putting the baby at risk for a serious birth injury.
The most common birth injuries include:
Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common childhood motor disability, and 90% of the time, it develops due to brain damage during pregnancy or the birth process. Although some children develop CP for unexplained reasons, those who develop CP during pregnancy or delivery are often victims of medical malpractice.
Brachial Plexus Palsy
Sometimes referred to as Erb’s Palsy, brachial plexus palsy refers to a childbirth injury that mostly impacts a newborn’s upper arm. The brachial plexus is the medical name for the collection of nerves that carries messages to the arms and hands from the brain. When obstetricians, family practitioners or midwives improperly deliver a baby, they can injure the brachial plexus, causing the baby to lose function of their shoulder or arm, and sometimes hand, as well.
OB physicians who improperly use an extraction vacuum to deliver a baby risk causing caput succedaneum. This condition refers to swelling on the scalp of a newborn, which typically results in some bruising and creates a ‘cone-head’ appearance. Caput succedaneum typically goes away on its own but sometimes leads to jaundice and other issues that require immediate treatment. Failure to treat these issues can lead to permanent brain damage and other long-term problems.
This common condition refers to a small pool of blood that forms into a mass under a newborn’s scalp. Cephalohematomas occur when blood vessels rupture in the scalp during delivery. These birth injuries are harmless by themselves but can trigger other complications that can seriously harm a baby. First, they typically cause small fractures in a baby’s skull. Serious fractures may not heal on their own. Undiagnosed cephalohematomas are dangerous. The pool of blood can sometimes calcify and severely deform the skull, requiring surgical intervention.
Horner’s syndrome is the name for damage that occurs to the nerves that connect an infant’s brain and eyes. Sometimes newborns suffer trauma to their face during childbirth, which causes facial nerve damage that leads to Horner’s syndrome. Treatment available for Horner’s syndrome resulting from a birth injury is limited. Sometimes Horner’s syndrome will fade on its own if the nerve heals. In other cases, the facial nerve damage is permanent.
Avoidable broken bones, facial fractures and skull fractures are among the most common injuries that occur during childbirth. Broken collarbones are especially common and often occur during a breech delivery. Doctors who choose to deliver a breech baby sometimes have other choices to avoid injury, including a C-section or turning the baby in utero before delivery.
Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal cord injury during childbirth is potentially one of the most devastating injuries a newborn can suffer. The spinal cord carries messages from the brain down the spinal column to the rest of the baby’s nervous system. An injury interrupts those messages and causes loss of body function. Newborns who suffer spinal cord injuries due to negligent physicians risk lifelong paralysis. Depending on the exact location of the injury, a newborn could be paralyzed from the neck or waist down.
Medical Negligence And Errors Lead To Birth Injuries
Unfortunately, many birth injuries happen because of medical negligence or errors. A family practitioner or obstetrician is typically liable for damages when birth injuries occur, but nurses and other medical professionals can also share liability. A wide range of negligent acts that fall under the umbrella of medical malpractice can lead to severe birth injuries.
- Improper use of birthing tools, including extraction vacuums and forceps
- Failure to identify symptoms of or diagnose fetal distress during pregnancy and labor
- Failure to provide treatment to a fetus in distress during pregnancy and labor
- Failure to perform a necessary cesarean section
- Failure to monitor the newborn’s oxygen intake
- Improper administration of an epidural
- Cutting the cord too soon after childbirth, starving the newborn of oxygen
The Maryland Board of Physicians is the state’s licensing authority for medical professionals. They investigate reports of malpractice, including those involving birth injuries. Your attorney will advise you on the right path and walk you through the malpractice claims process, but you can get a head start by filing a claim with the Maryland Board of Physicians if you suspect your baby has suffered a birth injury resulting from a mistake by a negligent medical practitioner.
Statute Of Limitations For Baltimore Birth Injury Cases
All states, including Maryland, have laws about how much time someone has to file a civil lawsuit, including medical malpractice claims. These time limits, or statutes of limitations, make it critical for those who suffer injuries to take legal action as soon as possible.
For most claims, you must file within five years of your date of injury or within three years of when you discovered the injury, whichever is shorter. Sometimes parents, or at least the mother as well as the baby, have legal claims against a facility or doctor for malpractice. Adults must adhere to the time limit above but the law makes an exception for minors. Those who suffer birth injuries have until three years after their eighteenth birthday to bring a lawsuit or until they turn 21.
Seeking Compensation For Damages After A Birth Injury
If your newborn sustained a birth injury resulting from medical negligence, you could receive compensation for damages related to the birth injury. Medical malpractice cases are complex because they typically include multiple parties and plaintiffs must follow procedural requirements that are not present in other personal injury cases. For example, you need to have an expert review your case and certify that you have a viable malpractice claim before you can file a lawsuit.
If you reach a settlement agreement or a court rules in your favor, you could receive compensation for the following damages:
- Medical treatment costs, including long-term hospital stays, surgery, diagnostic scans and tests, prescriptions, doctor’s visits and physical therapy
- Estimated future medical expenses when the birth injury causes permanent damage that leads to a long-term disability or condition
- Lost earning capacity for a child who cannot seek gainful employment in the future as a result of their birth injury
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life
Maryland caps the amount of money your child can receive for pain and suffering and other noneconomic damages. In 2009, the state set the cap to increase to $15,000 each year. The limit in 2020 is $830,000, in 2021, $845,000 and in 2022, $860,000 and so on.
Fatal Birth Injuries
If you have tragically lost your infant or child as a result of a fatal birth injury or complications from a birth injury, you also have the right to take legal action if the death was a result of medical negligence. Parents have the right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit and survival action against the hospital, doctor, or other medical professional responsible for the wrongful act or omission that led to their child’s death. Maryland’s statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is three years from the date of death.
Parents can receive compensation for economic losses up until the time of death as well as compensation for funeral services and burial costs. Additionally, wrongful death claims sometimes provide compensation for the emotional distress and loss of companionship that comes from losing a child. Your Baltimore birth injury lawyer can answer any questions you have about a wrongful death claim and advise you on the best path forward during this difficult time.
Get The Justice You Deserve After A Baltimore Hospital Or Doctor Injured Your Baby
We understand the challenges you face in the wake of a birth injury, and we are here to help. Please see our FAQ page to learn more. We also take cases from other firms that do not have the resources or experience to pursue complex medical malpractice cases. We are committed to helping parents get the justice they deserve after their baby suffered injuries because of a negligent medical facility or practitioner. Not only do we want to help our clients recover damages, but we also want to help protect future families from falling victim to similar circumstances.
Contact Spector Law Group online or call 410-671-5605 for a free consultation to discuss the details of your birth injury claim. If you have a viable claim and choose us to represent you, we take new clients on a contingency fee basis. This means you do not pay attorney’s fees unless we help you secure compensation for damages related to your child’s injuries in the form of a settlement or jury award. From our Baltimore office, we represent people in Maryland and Washington, D.C.