Birth Injury Malpractice
Many parents of children born with disabilities often feel overwhelmed when first learning of their child’s condition. During this time, parents are faced with myriad emotions and many difficult decisions. Given the emotional upheaval experienced during this time, it is hard to think beyond what is clearly the most important issue for your family: your child’s health and getting the services needed to minimize or prevent further impairment and to accomplish full realization of potential.
There is, however, another issue that some parents of children born with disabilities need to explore. That issue is determining whether their child’s disability was caused by errors by their physicians or other health care providers. Duffy & Duffy has handled many cases involving preventable birth injuries. If you would like more information, please see below and contact our offices.
HOW DO I KNOW IF THERE WAS MALPRACTICE?
Given our culture, we are often loath to consider whether a medical professional caused us harm. The sad reality is that although medical malpractice occurs every day, only a limited number of those affected by that malpractice ever do anything about it. There are a number of reasons why people may fail to act, including feelings of guilt associated with getting a doctor in trouble or feelings of friendship developed with a physician. Still others are too nervous or frightened to become involved in the civil justice system.
Whatever the reasons, two things remain clear: 1) acts of malpractice unfortunately do occur both before, during and after birth and cause neurological injuries resulting in a variety of disabilities including cerebral palsy; and, 2) it is okay to do something about it. In fact, bringing birth-related malpractice issues to light provides a benefit for other families — only when a negligent doctor is held accountable can others be warned of the actions of such negligent doctors and the proper standards of care which should be applied to all patients.
How do you know if medical malpractice occurred during your pregnancy and/or delivery and resulted in your child’s birth injury? The following are some examples of areas where physicians can make diagnosis/treatment errors — and which may indicate medical malpractice:
- Failing to properly monitor a woman’s condition during pregnancy;
- Failing to perform and/or order specialized tests during pregnancy;
- Reading or analyzing test results incorrectly;
- Failing to refer a woman with high-risk pregnancy symptoms to an obstetrician specializing in high-risk pregnancies;
- Failing to diagnose and/or treat premature rupture of the membranes (bag of
- Improper use of the labor-inducing drug Pitocin;
- Failing to note and respond to changes in the fetus’ condition during labor or
- Allowing too much time to elapse between the rupture of membranes and delivery;
- Failing to diagnose and/or treat infection;
- Failing to take appropriate steps to prevent or delay premature delivery;
- Failing to perform a c-section when fetal distress occurs;
- Improper/excessive use of vacuum extraction or forceps during delivery
- Failing to prevent and/or respond to umbilical cord entrapment
- Failing to timely diagnose and/or treat placenta previa or placental abruption;
- Failing to stop premature labor with labor-arresting drugs;
- Performing a traumatic delivery;
- Failing to act upon signs of oxygen deprivation in the fetus;
- Failing to properly resuscitate a newborn.
If you experienced any of these situations or any similar situation either before, during or after the birth of your child, you may have been the victim of malpractice. No list of possibilities can cover every scenario, thus the most important consideration is whether you suspect your care may not have been handled appropriately. A qualified, experienced malpractice attorney can help you make that determination, and advise you on a course of action.
BUT HOW DO I KNOW IF MY CHILD’S CONDITION WAS THE RESULT OF MEDICAL MALPRACTICE?
There are a number of factors surrounding the birth of your child that may indicate that birth injuries — and medical malpractice — occurred. Birth injuries can be caused by oxygen deprivation, infection or direct trauma to the infant during the birth process.
There are, of course, certain things one should be aware of in deciding whether or not to suspect malpractice. If your child was floppy at birth with a bluish skin tone, or if he/she had trouble breathing and needed resuscitation upon birth, there is a possibility that medical errors contributed to a birth injury. Other signs that a birth injury may have occurred include an infant having trouble sucking after birth and the onset of tremors or seizures soon after birth. In addition, if your child was born with meconium in the amniotic fluid of his/her body at the time of delivery, there may have been medical errors that impacted upon the health of your baby.
Some of the conditions that result from injuries sustained before, during or right after birth include:
- Cerebral Palsy
- Mental Retardation
- Erb’s Palsy
- Cognitive Impairment
- Motor Impairment
- Developmental Delay
If your child has suffered trauma due to physician’s negligence during labor and delivery, you need to consult with an experienced birth injury attorney concerning instituting a birth injury lawsuit on behalf of your child. Placing your trust in Duffy & Duffy over other birth injury law firms to handle your medical malpractice litigation is the first in assuring that your case is going to be handled by highly qualified and caring professionals who will work hard to maximize the amount of damages for their clients.
Our birth injury lawyers specialize in a variety of birth injury litigation, including but not limited to cases of Erb’s Palsy, Hypoxia and Cerebral Palsy. They are experienced in thoroughly reviewing all the hospital and medical records of the infant and the mother to see if the obstetrician in charge of the child’s birth was negligent during his delivery. They will review fetal monitoring strips and other tests in the records for any signs of distress that may not have been timely responded to causing serious injury to the newborn. Call our office today at (516) 394-4200 to see if how we can help your family.
Unlike some other birth injury law firms, we take every case with an understanding that it may need to be tried in court. Other firms have hopes of a quick settlement, but struggle with the insurance company for a defendant who refuses to settle the matter without a trial. Not having the necessary experience, these firms forward birth injury cases to trial attorneys elsewhere and your case gets shuffled from one lawyer to another.
We understand the complexity of a birth injury lawsuit, and are not afraid of tough juries and deep pocket insurance companies that will hire lawyers to defend their policies. At Duffy & Duffy, we know the tactics defendant’s counsel may use to try to defeat a case, such as stating that the injuries sustained by the infant were caused by means other than medical malpractice by their client. We work with highly qualified experts in the field of birth injury litigation, who review our cases and if needed, testify on behalf of our clients.
Our firm believes in building relationships with our clients based on mutual trust and respect. Unlike some other big birth injury law firms, we are here to answer your questions and welcome your input. Our birth injury lawyers put long hours in every case to ensure a satisfactory recovery for our clients and since some cases may last up to several years, building professional attorney/client relationships are vital to our continued success. Your birth injury lawsuit is handled by an experienced attorney(s) dedicated to his clients, who is helped by a wonderful staff of paralegals, secretaries, process servers and other clerks, all eager to assist you.
Therefore, when you compare us to other birth injury law firms you will see that our expertise and professionalism know no equal. Call our firm today at (516) 394-4200 to see if we can be of service to you.