South Jersey Birth Injury Lawyers
Helping Victims of a Birth Injury Pursue Compensation
Having a child is a life-changing experience. However, when things do not go as planned during pregnancy or delivery, it can be devastating. Sometimes, complications cannot be avoided, such as when a child is born with a congenital birth defect. However, there are times when a health care provider’s negligence is the direct cause of the harm. If you suspect that you or your child may have been harmed as a result of medical malpractice, you may be entitled to compensation.
Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional (either a doctor, hospital, nurse, or other medical staff) fails to adhere to the generally accepted standard of care. Expert medical witnesses are often called upon to testify as to what constitutes the “standard of care.” The qualified South Jersey birth injury lawyers at Folkman Law Offices, P.C. have extensive experience working with leading medical experts. We also know exactly what it takes to prove that the standard has been breached and collect damages for victims of negligence.
There are three primary types of birth-related medical malpractice: injury to the mother or child, wrongful birth, and wrongful pregnancy.
Injury to the Mother or Child
When a child travels through the birth canal, it can be a very stressful experience. At times babies will experience fetal distress, which is monitored during childbirth. However, if stress is not properly identified or managed, the child can suffer irreversible injury. Another problem that can occur during the delivery is a physician’s failure to control excessive maternal hemorrhaging after delivery. If your child suffered injury, you must bring the lawsuit as the newborn’s guardian. Although we cannot restore all that you have lost, you may be entitled to general and special damages, including pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. You may also be able to sue for emotional pain and suffering you experience as a result of your baby’s injury.
A wrongful birth action is when a health care provider neglects to inform parents about impending birth defects which would have led to a decision to terminate the pregnancy. This can occur when a physician fails to perform genetic testing, or fails to detect severe impairments in the early stages of pregnancy. Damages generally include the costs to care for a child’s disorder (mental or physical), and emotional pain and suffering.
A wrongful pregnancy action is when parents tried to avoid pregnancy (through sterilization, pregnancy testing, or abortion), but the attempt failed as a result of medical negligence. Even if the child is born healthy, the parents have grounds to sue for harm caused by the unwanted pregnancy and birth.
Getting Answers: Was My Doctor Negligent?
As a parent, it can be hard to know what caused your child’s birth injury. For example, cerebral palsy can be caused by a failure to monitor or treat fetal deprivation of oxygen during labor, or, it could be an unpreventable birth defect. At Folkman Law Offices, P.C., we have extensive experience determining the cause of injury and getting answers for distressed parents.
Common Birth Injuries
Some common birth injuries include:
- Cerebral palsy (hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy). Children with cerebral palsy may not be able to walk, talk, eat, or play like normal children. It can occur when oxygen is cut off to a baby’s brain during the birthing process.
- Erb’s palsy. This condition is an injury to the brachial plexus nerves that affect control and sensation in the upper body.
- Failure to Perform C-Section. Sometimes, a cesarean section is necessary to avoid harm to the mother or baby; for example if a baby is over-sized, in breech position, or is suffering distress.
- Fetal Distress. This term refers to any sign or symptom during labor or delivery that a fetus is suffering abnormal stress.
- Hydrocephalus. When fluid accumulates in the ventricles of a baby’s brain, it can result in convulsions, medical disability, or loss of life.
- Hypoxia. Hypoxia is a loss of oxygen to a baby’s brain during delivery. Babies born prematurely suffer a higher rate of hypoxia than babies born at full term.
- Kernicterus. When jaundice is not promptly and effectively treated, bilirubin levels can build up in a newborn’s blood, resulting in brain damage known as kernicterus.
- Meningitis Meningitis can start with flu-like symptoms, and quickly turn life-threatening.
- Preeclampsia. This condition is characterized by elevated blood pressure and proteinuria after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
- Shoulder dystocia (brachial plexus injury). When a child’s shoulder becomes stuck beneath the mother’s pelvic bone, a child can suffer long term neurological, skeletal and muscular injuries.
South Jersey Birth Injury Lawyers at Folkman Law Offices, P.C. Seek Compensation for Victims of Medical Negligence
If you suspect that you or your baby has been injured by a negligent medical provider, the experienced South Jersey birth injury lawyers at Folkman Law Offices, P.C. can help. We fight tirelessly for children born with birth injuries. To schedule a consultation, call us at 856-354-9444 or contact us online. We represent clients in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and throughout South Jersey and Southeastern Pennsylvania.