Medical mistakes resulting in birth injuries can have devastating consequences. Children injured during pregnancy or childbirth can suffer from life-altering physical and mental disabilities, and parents forced to cope with the emotional trauma and financial burden of birth injuries can face unanticipated hurdles for the rest of their lives.
If your child has been diagnosed with a birth injury, it is important that you speak with a Cherry Hill birth injury lawyer about your family’s legal rights. Whether your child will be able to recover or he or she is expected to face a lifetime of consequences, your family deserves closure. You deserve to know that the medical professional who harmed your child is being held accountable, and your child deserves to have every opportunity to live as normal and fulfilling of a life as possible.
The Immediate and Long-Term Risks Associated with Birth Injuries
Birth injuries can impact children and their parents in several different ways. At Folkman Law Offices, P.C., we help our clients seek just compensation for all of the financial and non-financial costs associated with their children’s birth injuries, including:
- Physical Injury – We represent clients in cases involving maternal, fetal and neonatal injuries resulting from medical malpractice. Mothers and children can face significant and, in many cases, permanent complications due to errors during pregnancy and delivery. Neonatal malpractice can have lasting consequences as well.
- Cognitive Impairment – Hypoxia and other fetal conditions resulting from obstetrician-gynecologist (ob-gyn) malpractice can result in various forms of cognitive impairment. If your child is expected to experience developmental delays or other effects from a brain injury, our attorneys can help you seek just compensation.
- Medical and Non–Medical Expenses – Birth injuries of all types can lead to insurmountable medical and non-medical expenses for families. From treatment in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) to long-term physical or cognitive therapy, and from expensive prescription medications to modifying your home to accommodate your child’s needs, parents are entitled to recover all of the financial costs associated with their child’s birth injury.
- Work-Related Losses – Parents who are forced to forego work opportunities can recover their lost income in birth injury malpractice lawsuits, and they can recover financial compensation for their child’s loss of earning capacity as well.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life – While the physical and financial losses of birth injuries are often substantial, for many families, the most-significant losses are emotional. In addition to providing compensation for the medical and economic costs associated with birth injuries, New Jersey law also allows families to recover compensation for their loss of support, services, companionship and enjoyment of life.
Birth Injury Cases We Handle
Medical mistakes during pregnancy, labor and delivery can result in many types of birth injuries; and, for new parents, identifying the symptoms of a birth injury can be difficult. Unfortunately, ob-gyns and other medical professionals who make mistakes will not always be willing to admit their errors, and this can make it even more difficult for parents to promptly seek care for their newborn children. Parents who have any concerns should seek independent medical advice promptly; and, if you are not sure where to go for help, our Cherry Hill birth injury lawyer will be happy to provide you with a referral.
Our birth injury practice includes representing families in cases involving medical malpractice resulting in:
- Cerebral Palsy
- Erb’s Palsy
- Failure to Perform C-Section
- Forceps Delivery
- Infant Death
- Shoulder Dystocia
- Pediatric Malpractice
Practice Spotlight: Shoulder Dystocia and Erb’s Palsy
Erb’s palsy, or Erb–Duchenne palsy, is a birth injury characterized by nerve damage resulting in paralysis of the arm. While this nerve damage can have various causes, one of the most-notable causes of Erb’s palsy is shoulder dystocia.
Shoulder dystocia occurs when an infant is unable to pass below the pubic symphysis without significant manipulation of the shoulder. This manipulation, which can be avoided with appropriate medical care, can result in permanent damage to the nerves leading to Erb’s palsy. However, since Erb’s palsy can also have other causes, and since shoulder dystocia can also have other effects, parents should not rule out other potential causes or consequences when presented with evidence of either of these types of conditions.
Practice Spotlight: Cerebral Palsy Resulting from Errors During Pregnancy and Delivery
Cerebral palsy is a potentially life-threatening condition that can result from various mistakes during pregnancy and delivery. Cerebral palsy is a product of abnormal brain development and often results from an infection or inadequate oxygen supply in the mother’s womb.
Medical mistakes that can result in cerebral palsy range from failing to conduct necessary tests (and, as a result, failing to diagnose the fetus’s condition) during pregnancy to causing injuries with forceps during labor. If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, it is imperative that you determine the cause of your child’s medical condition so that you can seek compensation from the appropriate provider.
Practice Spotlight: Maternal and Fetal Injuries Due to Failure to Perform C-Section
Under ordinary circumstances, whether to deliver a baby by cesarean section (or “C-section”) is a deeply personal decision that mothers should make in close consultation with their doctors. But, when complications arise during natural childbirth, performing a C-section can become critical to protect the health of the mother and the child.
If a birth injury could have been avoided by performing a C-section and the mother was not given the opportunity to provide informed consent for an emergency procedure, then the parents can seek financial compensation for the birth injury due to medical malpractice. This is true for injuries sustained by the mother and the child.
Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQs): Seeking Financial Compensation for Birth Injuries in New Jersey
Q: How long do I have to file a medical malpractice claim for my child’s birth injury?
New Jersey, like most states, has a special statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims involving birth injuries. If your child was injured at birth, you have until his or her 13th birthday to file a claim for financial compensation.
However, for various reasons, it is generally best to file birth injury claims sooner rather than later. Since New Jersey law allows medical malpractice claims to include compensation for future losses, there is no reason to wait once you have a clear picture of the long-term implications of your child’s injury. At Folkman Law Offices, P.C., we can use our extensive experience in birth injury cases to help you calculate your losses, and we will fight aggressively to secure maximum compensation as quickly as possible.
This extended statute of limitations does not apply in cases of infant death. If you tragically lost your child as a result of a birth injury, you must file your claim within two years of your child’s death in order to preserve your family’s legal rights.
Q: How do I know if my child’s medical condition is a result of malpractice?
It is not easy to identify the cause of a birth injury, and it is even more difficult to discern whether a birth injury is a result of medical malpractice. In order to determine your family’s legal rights, you will need to work with a team of experienced medical and legal professionals. Your first step should be to obtain a diagnosis as soon as possible.
When we represent parents in birth injury cases, we rely on our attorneys’ decades of collective experience in medical malpractice litigation to identify the causes of their children’s birth injuries. We also work closely with trusted physicians who specialize in diagnosing traumatic birth injuries to validate and quantify our clients’ claims for compensation.
Q: In addition to my child’s medical expenses, can I also recover compensation for his or her other financial needs?
Yes. If your child’s birth injury is the result of a medical mistake, in addition to recovering your child’s current and future medical expenses, under New Jersey law, you can also recover compensation for his or her other financial needs. This includes expenses you incur while your child is living at home as well as your child’s own lost future earning capacity if he or she is unable to work due to his or her medical condition.
Q: What are my next steps if I believe that my child’s birth injury is a result of medical malpractice?
As we mentioned earlier, if you believe that your child has suffered a birth injury, your first step should be to seek a medical diagnosis. We know it can be difficult to trust another doctor if you suspect that your child has been harmed by a medical mistake, but seeking a diagnosis is the first step on the road to medical and financial recovery.
Next, you should speak with a Cherry Hill birth injury lawyer as soon as possible. At Folkman Law Offices, P.C., we represent families in birth injury cases in Cherry Hill and throughout New Jersey, and we will schedule your free initial consultation as soon as possible.
Q: Is it expensive to pursue a birth injury claim in New Jersey?
Yes and no. In order to prove your claim for compensation, it will be necessary to hire medical experts who can convince your doctor’s insurance company (or a jury) that your child is a victim of medical malpractice. There are legal fees and court costs involved as well. Generally speaking, the longer it takes to win your case, the more costs there will be involved.
However, you do not have to pay any of these costs out of pocket. At Folkman Law Offices, P.C., we advance all of the costs involved in pursuing our clients’ birth injury cases, and we do not charge any legal fees unless we secure a settlement or verdict. We also do not recoup our costs unless our representation is successful. If we receive a settlement offer on your behalf, we will let you know exactly how much you would take home after deducting fees and expenses so that you can make an informed decision.
Questions? We Encourage You to Give Us a Call
Coping with a birth injury is extremely difficult. We offer our sincere sympathies and we want you to know that we are here to help you in any way we can. Here is what you can expect when you choose the birth injury lawyers at Folkman Law Offices, P.C. in Cherry Hill, NJ:
- Personalized Legal Representation – Your case is deeply personal and it is likely to have profound effects in many areas of your family’s life. We will take the time to understand your personal circumstances and pursue the best outcome for your family.
- Caring and Attentive Service – As our client, we work for you. Our attorneys and staff are here for you, whether that means lending a listening ear, scheduling doctor’s appointments or dealing with the insurance companies on your behalf.
- Unwavering Commitment to Your Family – We handle birth injury cases because we are deeply passionate about seeking justice for families who are unable to effectively represent themselves. We have cultivated the knowledge and experience needed to win these difficult cases and we pursue every case with an unwavering commitment to our client.
- Unbiased Advice Focused on Your Best Interests – With our contingency-fee representation, you can feel confident knowing that you are receiving unbiased advice focused on your best interests. We do not earn a penny unless we win your case, and we are not satisfied until you have the money you need to begin moving on with your life.
- Legal Representation Without Financial Stress – Our contingency-fee representation also means that you do not have to worry about financial stress as a result of hiring a lawyer. We will advance all of the costs of pursuing your birth injury claim, and we will only recoup these costs as a portion of your settlement or verdict.
Call a Cherry Hill Birth Injury Lawyer Today for a Free Initial Consultation
If you would like more information about seeking financial compensation for your child’s birth injury, we invite you to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation at our law offices in Cherry Hill, NJ. To speak with an experienced lawyer in confidence, please call 856-354-9444 or send us a message online today.