New Jersey Birth Injury Lawyers
You can trust the experienced lawyers at Shebell & Shebell with your most sensitive case. Some of the most challenging cases lawyers face involve what should be the most enjoyable moment in a parents’ life. The injury to or death of a newborn has a profound impact on the baby, parents, families, and the community at large. Our goal is to help relieve families from some of the emotional and financial burdens of their child’s care. Cases involving obstetrical negligence may be complex, and the outcome can have a lifelong impact on your family. Knowing this, we strive to maximize the child’s possibility at obtaining full and complete compensation.
Birth injury is simply defined as a trauma suffered by a newborn during childbirth. Birth injuries can occur before, during, or after delivery. If you believe that your child’s birth injury was caused by the malpractice of a treatment provider, you should contact one of our experienced medical negligence lawyers to investigate your legal rights.
Causes of Birth Injury?
Birth injuries can occur in many ways. In some instances, such as when a child is presenting in a breech (head up) or transverse (body lying sideways) position, it is not medically advisable to deliver the baby through the birth canal. Similarly, physicians are trained to estimate a child’s size and weight prior to delivery. If a child is large, typically over ten pounds, or an expectant mother’s pelvic region is very small, then it may be safer for a woman to have a cesarean section (C-section) procedure to deliver the baby. If treatment providers do not recognize the need for a medically necessary C-section, the child can be severely injured. Oxygen to the child’s brain may be cut off, or the use of instruments such as forceps or a vacuum extractor may result in brain injury and other injuries to the child.
Also, during labor, the child’s health must be constantly monitored. Problems can arise if the monitor is not properly attached to the baby, does not work properly, or if the doctor or nursing staff fails to recognize signs of fetal distress.
Birth injury may occur long before the actual day of delivery. If a mother is prescribed an improper dosage of medication, or a medication that pregnant women should not take, her unborn child faces serious risks. Similarly, if a doctor fails to diagnose pregnancy conditions during pregnancy, such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, or maternal infections like toxoplasmosis, the baby can suffer injury. And finally, certain genetic defects can be diagnosed and repaired in utero. If a physician fails to diagnose and treat these conditions, this may constitute medical negligence.
Other common causes of birth injury include:
- Excessive use of the labor-inducing drug Pitocin
- Failure to treat jaundice
- Epidural or other medication errors
- Twisted or damaged umbilical cord
- Complications with a vaginal birth after a C-section
- Uterine rupture
Hospital nursing staff and doctors are sometimes overwhelmed and rushed while in the delivery room, perhaps due to staffing issues, leading to a relaxation or breakdown of safety protocol. The end result is often serious injury to your baby, which could have been prevented. The lawyers at Shebell & Shebell fight hard for the child and families burdened with physical, emotional, and economic injuries caused by medical neglect.
Common Birth Injuries
As a result of obstetric malpractice, babies may suffer:
- Hypoxic brain injuries (lack of oxygen)
- Cerebral palsy
- Brachial plexus palsy or injury
- Facial paralysis
- Erb’s palsy
- Shoulder dystocia
- Perinatal asphyxia
- Meconium aspiration syndrome
For many of these injuries, there is no fix or cure. A child suffering from cerebral palsy will have permanent impairment of motor functions and can also suffer from cognitive impairment, seizures, learning disabilities, blindness and deafness. Children who suffer from cerebral palsy or hypoxic brain damage will require medical care and adaptive devices for the rest of their lives.
In addition to helping families obtain money damages and compensation for preventable medical errors, our lawyers also have experience in bringing wrongful death lawsuits on behalf of parents whose children died during childbirth as a result of malpractice. Although no amount of compensation can restore what you have lost, a successful lawsuit can send a message to the medical community that they must abide by a standard of care that our community expects.
At times, a birth injury may not be immediately identifiable. If a child was deprived of oxygen during childbirth, signs of a problem may only become evident as the child continues to grow, for example, delayed fine and gross motor development and vision and hearing problems. If you see any of these symptoms in your child, you should seek medical advice as soon as possible.
Contact an Experienced Birth Injury Lawyer Today
The lawyers at Shebell & Shebell can help you seek answers and get justice. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 866-957-5237 or contact us online.