Birth injuries are legally defined as situations in which serious injury or death to the infant or mother has occurred due to medical mistakes, malpractice, negligence, or flawed hospital policy during the birthing process. Here are the 8 most important questions if you suspect or have received a diagnosis of birth injury.
1. What are the most common types of birth injury cases?
There are many ways in which the birthing process can cause a preventable death or serious injury at a hospital. However, if any of the following situations occurred, you should contact an attorney immediately:
- Cerebral Palsy (CP)
- Erb’s Palsy
- Brachial Plexus or Shoulder Dystocia Injury
- Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)
- Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
- Brain Damage
- Birth Trauma
- Placental Abruption
- Fetal Acidosis
- Retinopathy of Prematurity
- Perinatal Asphyxia
- Fetal Death
- Fetal Lacerations
- Caput Succedaneum
2. How do I know if the hospital or doctor was responsible for my birth injury?
If the unthinkable occurs during childbirth, it can be difficult to get answers from the hospital, especially if they suspect their own medical mistakes, malpractice, negligence, or flawed hospital policies were involved. You need a law firm that specializes in birth injury cases, like Brown & Barron, with the experience and experts (usually other doctors) to analyze whether or not your doctor and the hospital followed the accepted standard of care and gave the mother all the necessary information and advice. At Brown & Barron, we can help you report your incident, find out what happened, and get justice for your loved one.
3. How long do I have to file a lawsuit in a case of a birth injury?
The general statute of limitations in Maryland requires that the plaintiff file the lawsuit within three years from the date of the injury. However, if the individual did not know and could not have known of the injury until later, that person may have three years from the date of discovery of the malpractice — but not more than five years from the date of the incident. If malpractice is committed upon children, they have until their 21st birthday to bring a claim. There are some legal factors that determine when the clock starts ticking regarding the statute of limitations, so it is best to contact an attorney as soon as you suspect a birth injury.
4. How common are birth injuries?
It has been estimated that 6.6 of every 1,000 babies born in the United States will be injured during birth. When birth injuries do occur, they are rarely minor (about 80% are classified as moderate to severe injuries).
5. Does it matter what state the hospital is located in?
Your lawsuit must filed in the state where the hospital is located. Your loved one’s hospital must be located in the state of Maryland or Washington, D.C. for Brown & Barron to represent your case.
6. What is the difference between a “birth injury” and a “birth defect”?
A birth injury occurs during the delivery of the baby. A birth defect occurs prior to the pregnancy (e.g., a genetic issue) or during pregnancy.
7. Who can file a lawsuit in a birth injury case?
In birth injury cases, both the parents and the child can have a claim against the care provider. The parents can have a claim related to the cost of any medical expenses, economic loss, and non-economic damage (pain and suffering) due to their child's injuries. The child can also seek compensation for any expenses, economic loss, and pain and suffering he or she will incur after turning 18-years-old.
8. What if a law firm cannot take my case?
You can report issues related to physician care to the Maryland Board of Physicians (MBP). You can also find out if a complaint has been filed against your physician. You can call the MBP at 410-764-4777 or 1-800-492-6836 or by clicking here.
We Can Help with Birth Injury & Wrongful Death Claims
Our team at Brown & Barron, LLC has been advocating for the victims of medical malpractice for more than 75 years combined. It can be difficult to face the individuals whose actions changed your child’s life forever, but your family deserves justice. We are here to help you fight for compensation so your child can receive the best care possible and be supported through their life.
Call us 24/7 at (410) 698-1717 to schedule a free consultation or reach out online. We’re here to give a voice to those affected by hospital negligence.