The birth of a child should be a joyous event in the life of a parent. While going through pregnancy, parents trust that the obstetrician and birthing facility which they have chosen will provide quality medical care. When they fail to do so, and birth injuries occur, they may be held accountable through a medical malpractice claim.
At The Jeffcoat Firm, we know how birth injuries can have a devastating impact on your family – now and in the years to come. We will provide the compassionate, professional legal representation that you need. We will look you in the eye and give you honest, frank advice, and we will be genuinely concerned about both your case and your family’s well-being. For help in getting through this difficult time and to get answers to your important legal questions, contact us today for a free consultation.
What Causes Birth Injuries?
For expecting parents, it is natural to worry or feel concerned about how your child is developing and whether the child will be born healthy. Unfortunately, a number of issues can occur during pregnancy and childbirth. These issues can negatively affect your child’s health and future.
The National Institutes of Health reports that a mother’s weight, age and overall health can increase the risk for birth injury or trauma. The infant’s gestational age and the type of delivery can also have an impact. However, doctors have an obligation to anticipate these issues and take necessary precautions to reduce potential risks. Sadly, birth injuries are commonly caused by medical providers who fail to do the following:
- Monitor the progress of both mother and baby during pregnancy
- Communicate issues and concerns with the parents in a proper and timely manner
- Carefully monitor progress during labor and delivery
- Immediately take action at the first signs of fetal distress
- When necessary, elect to perform a cesarean section (C-section) in a safe and timely manner
- Properly (and only when necessary) use birth-assisting tools such as vacuum extraction and forceps
- Provide proper levels of anesthesia to the mother (while being mindful that it could have a serious impact on the child).
If you believe that doctors, nurses, birthing attendants or other staff failed to take the appropriate action to protect you and your child, The Jeffcoat Firm will provide legal guidance you can trust. Our South Carolina birth injury lawyers can advise you on how to hold negligent medical providers responsible for your child’s injuries, and we will help you to pursue the compensation you will need to provide for the child in the years to come.
What Are Common Types of Birth Injuries?
Birth injuries are far less common than they were decades ago. Still, your baby can suffer serious harm when medical providers fail to provide the proper care during pregnancy, labor and delivery. According to Merck Manuals, the most common types of birth injuries include:
- Brachial plexus injury – Injuries to the infant’s arm or shoulder that commonly result from rough movements and strain during difficult deliveries such as shoulder dystocia
- Caput succedaneum – Swelling of the scalp that occurs when a doctor allows prolonged pushing
- Cephalohematoma – An accumulation of blood under the scalp, also from prolonged pushing or improper use of birth-assisting tools
- Cerebral palsy – A brain disorder caused by a lack of proper monitoring or oxygen during delivery, which can result in physical and cognitive disabilities
- Intracranial or subarachnoid hemorrhage – Bleeding in the brain caused by injuries suffered during delivery
- Facial paralysis – Defects involving the nerves in the face that can occur during forceps deliveries
- Fractures – Broken bones, which can happen during difficult deliveries due to rough handling by the doctor or the use of birth assisting tools
- Perinatal asphyxia – A lack of oxygen and blood flow to the brain during labor and delivery which can cause permanent disabilities
- Spinal cord injuries – Serious injuries that can result in paralysis due to rough handling or blunt force trauma during labor and delivery.
How Do You Prove Your Birth Injury Case?
Obstetricians, nurses and hospital staff are all required to provide a standard of care for patients. When they fail to meet this standard, they can be held liable in a medical malpractice claim. According to Medscape, roughly half of all birth injuries could have been avoided had medical professionals taken the necessary precautions to reduce the risks.
At The Jeffcoat Firm, we take the following actions to hold medical providers accountable for negligent actions that result in birth injuries:
- Conduct our own thorough investigation into your case, including gathering medical records, witness statements and other evidence
- Consult with neonatal professionals to uncover exactly how and why a birth injury occurred and who can be held responsible
- Negotiate with insurers for the doctor or hospital on your behalf in an effort to obtain a fair settlement
- File the appropriate documents and, if necessary, take your case to trial if the insurance company disputes the claim or fails to offer a reasonable amount.
Our Columbia birth injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay nothing unless we are successful in getting you compensation. During our first consultation, we will discuss our contingency fees and determine the percentage fee that applies in your case. That percent will be deducted from the total settlement amount along with related expenses, with the remainder being disbursed to you once all bills are paid.
Our Columbia Birth Injury Attorneys Are Here for You
At The Jeffcoat Firm, we provide the compassionate client service and trusted legal guidance that you need during this difficult time. While you focus on taking care of your family, we will focus on pursuing the compensation you need to cover your medical expenses and the other costs you are likely to incur in the years to come as a result of your child’s birth injuries.
Contact us today for a free consultation. Our attorneys and staff are available to answer your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you cannot travel to meet with us at our offices in Columbia or Lexington, we are available for home and hospital appointments, including on evenings and weekends.