Birth injuries are often devastating and heartbreaking. This is because they occur at a time when a family is most helpless. They are often unfamiliar with the hazards an improper delivery imposes. They are also unsure of what can happen when a medical professional does not follow proper medical procedures. As such, families trust doctors (and nurses) to help them through the birthing process.
Unfortunately, serious and fatal mistakes may occur during labor and delivery. When an injury occurs, parents are not always sure of whether it was preventable. These birth injuries are referred to as Obstetrical Negligence. They often result in severe and fatal injuries to the newborn. Some of these injuries include cerebral palsy and brachial palsy.
Here at Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd, our experienced medical negligence attorneys work with our own staff nurse paralegal to investigate Providence birth injury claims when suspected obstetrical malpractice resulted in injuries or wrongful death.
What Is a Birth Injury?
A birth injury refers to any type of injury suffered during labor, delivery, or in the time shortly after birth. These injuries range from minor bruises to more serious brain damage. Birth injuries can manifest in many different ways. They can cause minor injuries that heal quickly with minimal help. They can also cause serious impairments, resulting in a lifetime of disability, pain, and suffering.
At Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd, our malpractice lawyers offer compassionate and aggressive legal representation from the start. Our birth injury attorneys have successfully represented families throughout Rhode Island whose babies suffered serious birth injuries, including:
- Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy
- Birth asphyxia
- Cerebral palsy
- Erb’s palsy
- Brachial plexus injuries
- Periventricular leukomalacia
- Seizure disorders
What Is the Most Common Birth Injury?
According to The Merck Manual, the most common form of birth injury is trauma to the baby’s head and brain. The seriousness of birth-related head injuries can range from superficial bruises and scratches on the scalp to skull fractures and bleeding and cell death in or around the brain.
Serious head injuries may require emergency treatment in your child’s first moments of life, and result in lengthy hospitalization. A brain injury sustained at birth can result in a lifetime of motor and cognitive deficits.
Bone fractures are also common birth injuries. Trauma to the shoulder area may damage the brachial plexus nerves, potentially resulting in long-term or permanent weakness and dysfunction of the arm and hand.
What Are the Long-Term Effects of a Birth Injury?
The effects of a birth injury on your child will depend on the nature and severity of the trauma. Serious outcomes in the event of a birth injury may include:
- Cognitive deficits
- Mobility issues up to and including paralysis
- Motor skill impairments
- Speech and language difficulties
- Delayed development
- Vision loss
- Chronic seizures
Tragically, some birth injuries may prove fatal. If you suspect medical negligence resulted in your child’s serious injury or death, it is important to seek legal guidance promptly.
What Is Obstetrical Negligence?
During pregnancy and childbirth, women in Rhode Island deserve skilled medical care to ensure a safe and successful delivery. Medical professionals must monitor expecting mothers and their babies closely for signs of complications. This involves good prenatal care, as well as diligent monitoring throughout labor and delivery. When doctors, nurses or medical professionals fail to uphold the standard of care, they can be guilty of obstetrical negligence.
Obstetrical negligence is the basis for many different types of medical malpractice claims. Any medical professional can be guilty of obstetrical negligence, including doctors, nurses, medical professionals, and staff members.
Proving medical malpractice is more difficult than establishing liability in other types of personal injury cases, such as car accidents. To prove obstetrical negligence, your lawyer must show that the medical professional:
- Owed the patient a duty of care
- Breached that duty of care
- This breach directly resulted in injuries or losses
It is important to know that not every adverse outcome is the result of medical negligence. This is a highly specialized area of law. As such, your case requires a birth injury attorney with considerable knowledge and experience representing injured babies and their families. Our experienced injury attorneys will investigate your case closely to determine if obstetrical negligence is to blame.
Common Causes of Birth Injuries in Providence
There are many different ways obstetrical negligence can occur in Providence hospitals and clinics. However, the most common ways include:
- Administering wrong medications
- Giving wrong advice or medical treatment during pregnancy
- Failure to adequately monitor and control gestational diabetes
- Medical misdiagnosis during pregnancy or childbirth
- Errors resulting in premature birth
- Medical errors during delivery resulting in birth injuries
- Negligence during labor and delivery
- Failure to adequately monitor
- Failure to recognize the need for Cesarean section operation
Medical professionals are often overworked and understaffed. This can result in serious and fatal injuries to newborns and their mothers. When this occurs, a hospital or medical institution can be held liable for negligence as well. A hospital has a responsibility to ensure the safety of its patients as well. This includes providing adequate staffing at every moment during pregnancy, labor, and delivery.
Who Is Responsible for Birth Injuries?
In birth injury cases where negligence is a factor, one or more parties may be liable for your child’s injuries. The circumstances may vary, but the liable parties in your case may include:
- Your OB or OB/GYN for negligent prenatal care and/or labor and delivery errors
- The surgeon, if your baby was delivered via C-section or required surgery after birth
- The anesthesiologist who induced labor or was involved in the C-section and other procedures
- Your baby’s pediatrician, if he or she failed to perform tests that could have detected a dangerous condition in the first weeks or months of life
- The hospital where the baby was born due to negligence by its doctors, nurses, medical assistants, surgical technicians, and other staff involved in your care and/or your baby’s care
What Compensation Is Available in a Birth Injury Claim?
One of the most devastating elements of any birth injury case is the impact it has not only on a young child but the entire family. The child may suffer lifelong physical and mental challenges, and parents suffer not just emotionally but financially.
The lifetime costs of caring for and treating a disabled child are enormous. If your child’s disability is the result of medical negligence that occurred at birth, you should not have to bear these costs alone.
Depending on the damages you and your family have sustained, compensation may be available in your birth injury claim for:
- Past and ongoing medical costs, including prescription medications, surgery, therapies and rehabilitation, and more
- The cost of in-home care for your child
- Assistive devices, such as crutches or a wheelchair
- Modifications to your home and vehicle
- Your child’s pain and suffering
Thinking about the extent of costs in a birth injury claim is overwhelming. It is important to contact an experienced birth injury lawyer who can evaluate the damages in your case and advise you how much you may be able to recover.
How Do I Prove Negligence in a Birth Injury Claim?
Birth injury claims are extremely difficult to prove without experienced legal counsel and expert support. Our birth injury lawyers will take multiple steps on your behalf to prove negligence on the part of the healthcare provider and pursue fair compensation in your case:
- Investigating the birth injury: The medicine underlying birth injuries is complex. Our attorneys will thoroughly review your medical records and retain experts for assistance in determining how errors on the part of one or more healthcare providers resulted in your baby’s injury.
- Gathering evidence of negligence: To recover compensation for a birth injury, you must be able to show that the injury is the result of negligence on the part of practitioners involved in the delivery and care of your baby. Consulting medical experts can review the evidence collected by our team and identify any lapses in the standard of care.
- Calculating damages: Given the potential lifetime costs of a birth injury, accurately accounting for your losses is essential for pursuing the compensation you deserve. Attorneys at Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd meticulously calculate all of your current and future economic damages and non-economic losses and explore all legal options for recovery.
After diligently collecting and thoroughly reviewing the evidence in your case, our attorneys can file a claim against the negligent party or parties.
If a fair settlement cannot be reached, it is crucial to work with an experienced trial attorney who can take your case to court. The lawyers at Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd have extensive experience handling all aspects of birth injury claims, from settlement negotiations to preparing cases for trial and presenting them in court.
Do You Need a Lawyer for Help with a Birth Negligence Claim?
When medical malpractice occurs, families can often receive a substantial amount of compensation. We know that no amount of money could ever undo the harm your child suffered. However, this compensation can help you care for your child and his or her future needs and disabilities.
An experienced lawyer can give you legal advice and help you during this difficult time. Your lawyer will need to investigate the events that led to your child’s injury. Through meticulous investigation, your lawyer can determine if a medical professional’s negligence is to blame.
At Mandell, Boisclair and Mandell, Ltd, our Providence birth injury lawyers have the experience and resources needed to tackle complex birth injury cases. We know how to prove obstetrical negligence and fight large hospitals and insurance companies. Our law firm believes in holding negligent physicians and institutions accountable for their mistakes. A birth injury lawyer at our law firm will fight aggressively for you and your family during this time.
Contact Our Providence, Rhode Island Birth Injury Attorneys Today
If your baby suffered an injury, we can help you determine if medical negligence was to blame. If a doctor or medical professional caused your child’s injury, you need a compassionate law firm on your side to fight for you. Birth injuries can be catastrophic and may result in a lifetime of pain and suffering for your child.
At Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd, our Providence, RI birth injury attorneys represent injured babies and their families after a devastating birth injury. Call us today at (401) 273-8330 or fill out our confidential contact form for a free consultation and review of your case. Someone at our law office will be there to answer your questions. We are here to help.
The attorneys at Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd have successfully represented individuals and loved ones in various injury cases. From auto accidents and nursing home injuries to truck accidents and medical malpractice, we are ready to help you during this difficult time. Call us today!