A Compassionate Fighter on Your Side
The delivery of a newborn should be a time of pure joy, but sometimes parents experience the trauma and heartache that comes when there is a birth injury. While nothing can compensate for the trauma of a child who has a birth defect or injury, our Florida birth injury attorneys can help ensure that you receive the resources to provide some comfort and monetary consideration for the care of your child.
With our experience and knowledge, our birth injury attorneys are uniquely qualified to evaluate and pursue birth injury claims. We work with compassion and skill on your behalf. We are Florida medical malpractice lawyers committed to protecting health and safety statewide. Because of our dedication, we have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients.
Call 1-800-741-2243 for a free consultation with skilled birth injury attorneys in Orlando, Orange County, Kissimmee, Osceola County, Polk County, Apopka, Seminole County, Palm Bay, Brevard County, Ocala and throughout Florida.
Birth Injury Causes
Approximately 27 of every 1,000 births in the United States results in a birth injury. In general, a birth injury is defined as any type of damage to an infant’s body before, during or just after birth. Birth defects can cause death or mental and physical impairment. While a birth defect may be genetic in origin, it can also occur as a result of a mother’s exposure to chemicals, disease, and environmental toxins while the baby is developing (in utero). Or, medical negligence can cause injuries to a newborn.
During labor and delivery, medical complications can result in birth injuries. Consequently, doctors and health care professionals must exercise the utmost care to avoid injury to babies during the especially vulnerable times of labor induction, Cesarean section (C-section), and mechanically assisted (forceps) births. Babies who experience severe oxygen deprivation to the brain, or head trauma, during these delicate obstetrical procedures often die or face disabilities.
Approximately 10,000 babies each year develop cerebral palsy (a condition which impacts the ability to control movement) as a result of oxygen deprivation. Oxygen shortage also causes hypoxic-ischemic cephalopathy brain damage. Other types of traumatic obstetric birth injuries include prenatal asphyxia, Erbs Palsy or Brachial Plexus Palsy, Klumpke’s Palsy, Torticollis, and Shoulder Dystocia. Additionally, fractures, spinal cord trauma, cephalohematoma and intracranial hemorrhage may be the result of preventable obstetrical damage.
Medical providers may be held liable for:
- Difficult or prolonged labor (often due to a large baby);
- Failing to detect the umbilical cord wrapped around a baby’s neck;
- Unreasonable delay in performing an emergency Cesarean section;
- Failure to test and treat conditions during pregnancy, or misdiagnosis
- Failing to recognize negative fetal signs
There are many “natural” circumstances wherein oxygen deprivation can occur during the labor and delivery process: the umbilical cord can become compressed or twisted in the birth process; the baby is too large to pass through the birth canal easily, or the baby is breach or sideways in the womb.
There are also many circumstances where brain damage or brain injuries are caused by mistakes made by doctors, hospitals or other medical professionals during the delivery process: a delay in performing a necessary C-section delivery, complication with a VBAC (vaginal birth after C-section) delivery – such as uterine rupture, use of excessive force during the delivery, or a miscalculation in the size of the baby, causing a traumatic delivery.
According to The March of Dimes, developmental defects and fetal deaths are attributable to an expectant mother’s exposure to toxic substances. Furthermore, studies have shown that women living within two miles of a landfill have an increased chance of giving birth to a baby with spina bifida, a hole in the heart, or other defects. In addition, pregnant women exposed to high levels of pollutants have almost three times the risk of delivering an infant with a cardiac problem.
Also, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are well-documented hazards to pregnant women and may inhibit a child’s intellectual ability, short and long-term memory and attention span. Another condition, microcephaly (an abnormally small head circumference), is caused by detrimental in utero factors such as pharmaceutical drugs, radiation, or a mother’s prenatal infection of rubella (German measles) or the Zika virus.
Also, heavy metals (gold, lead, mercury), cleaning solutions, paint, caffeine, radiation, and drugs and alcohol are also culprits in causing birth defects. Moreover, manufacturers who fail to inform (via labeling) pregnant women of the risk can be held responsible for the birth defects that their products cause.
Experienced Birth Injury Attorneys
If your infant has suffered a birth trauma and you suspect those injuries were caused by medical negligence, you should consult experienced Florida birth injury attorneys. In that event, the attorney should be consulted immediately after birth, even if the extent of the injuries and damages are not yet known. Appropriate discovery is essential to knowing whether there is a case. Accordingly, you need to know what likely costs will be associated with any permanent injury.
For questions about birth injuries in Orlando, Orange County, Kissimmee, Osceola County, Apopka, Seminole County, Polk County, Apopka, Palm Bay, Brevard County, Ocala and throughout Florida, review our Birth Injury FAQs below.
We are on Your Side
With their aggressive litigation skills, Martinez Manglardi birth injury attorneys won significant jury verdicts and recoveries for our clients against numerous large corporations and insurance companies. If your child has suffered a birth defect, a mild or traumatic birth injury, or if you have lost an infant due to medical error or negligence, please contact our Florida birth injury attorneys via our online contact form, or call us toll-free at 1-800-741-2243. We serve clients throughout Florida.
1. What are the most common types of birth injury?
- Cerebral Palsy
- Shoulder dystocia
- Erb’s palsy / brachial plexus injuries
- Brain injury caused by improper use of vacuum extractors
- Untreated jaundice
2. Is there statute of limitations for birth injury cases?
Generally, you must file a claim within a certain amount of time of the injury. These time limits, called statutes of limitations, vary from state to state. You must file your case file within the statute of limitations.
3. What are the most common instances of medical negligence in a birth injury case?
The most common examples of medical negligence are improper responses by the doctor or anyone on the medical team. These responses are usually related to unforeseen circumstances, such as a larger baby than expected, an unexpected shift in baby’s position, and other unexpected complications, which may include:
- Bleeding, distress, or lack of oxygen experienced by mother or infant
- Umbilical cord entrapment or compression
- Delay in decision to do cesarean section
- Use/misuse of vacuum extractor and forceps
- Delay in recognizing or treating Infections
4. What should I do if I suspect medical negligence caused my child’s birth injury?
As soon as you suspect that negligence may be the cause of the birth injury in your baby, you should contact an experienced birth injury attorney. It is necessary to gather facts and evidence early. There is a statute of limitations for filing medical malpractice claims, so do not delay. Contact our birth injury lawyers today.
Other Important Birth Injury Questions
How do I know if my doctor’s negligence caused my child’s birth injury?
There are several tools that birth injury attorneys use to prove that an injury was caused by doctor negligence or carelessness. An experienced birth injury attorney will closely observe and investigate every aspect of your pregnancy and childbirth. Also, he or she will carefully study the medical records, including neonatal records, the fetal heart monitor and strip. Your attorney will also review newborn records as well as labor and delivery records. Furthermore, copies of imaging studies, including ultrasounds, CT scans, or MRIs of the head should be carefully studied. Any deviation from the standard of care is a good indication that negligence has occurred.
Doctors diagnosed my child with a birth injury called Cerebral Palsy. What is and what causes cerebral palsy?
Cerebral Palsy is a group of disorders that affect the child’s ability to control his or her own movement. By definition, cerebral palsy results from injury to the cerebrum (involved with higher mental faculties, sensations, and voluntary muscle activities). Injury to the brain before, during, or after birth can cause cerebral palsy.
What are other types of birth injury?
Other types of birth injuries include:
- Fractures – fractures of the clavicle or collarbone
- Intracranial hemorrhage – bleeding in the baby’s head
- Spinal cord trauma
- Cephalohematoma – bleeding beneath the scalp, which can lead to jaundice
- Cranial nerve trauma
- Swelling, bleeding, bruising, or discoloration of the scalp
- Depressed skull fractures
- Bruising / forceps marks
- Facial paralysis
- Temporary body paralysis
- Group B strep infections
- Spasticity – a condition in which certain muscles continuously contract
- Soft tissue injuries
- Skin irritation
What is the difference between a birth defect and a birth injury?
Birth injuries generally happen when something goes wrong during delivery. Birth defects usually involve harm that happened during or before the pregnancy.
Should you Talk with a Birth Injury Lawyer?
Yes. Contacting birth injury attorneys does not necessarily mean you are suing anyone. However, it is a good idea to do this if you feel you have a case. Our birth injury lawyers will be able to assess your case in the first meeting and advise you of your rights and options. Our medical malpractice lawyers are also experts in:
Call 1-800-741-2243 for a free consultation.