Birth Injury - Medical Malpractice Lawyers Compensation ClaimsLEGAL HELPLINE: ☎ 855 804 7125
If you choose our lawyers to represent you in your birth injury claim, we will ensure that they provide committed and vigorous representation on your behalf. You will be dealing with experienced birth injury medical malpractice lawyers from your very first contact with us and they will take care of your compensation claim in a comprehensive, helpful, sympathetic and professional manner. They will respect your confidentiality at all times and will explain legal issues clearly and without jargon. Your calls will be answered promptly and faxes, e-mails and letters will, where possible be dealt with on the same day as they are received. You will receive a complete professional service from lawyers who specialize in claiming compensation for birth injury caused as a result of a medical malpractice. If you would like free advice without obligation from a lawyer with a track record of many years successful claims settlements then just call the helpline or complete the contact form or email our offices and a lawyer will telephone you at the first possible opportunity. Our birth injury lawyers usually deal with personal injury compensation cases on a contingency basis which means that you only pay legal fees if the case is won.
If your child has been injured you need to establish whether or not the problem was caused by medical malpractice. Our specialist birth injury medical malpractice lawyers will assist in protecting your child’s legal rights to compensation. Our medical malpractice lawyers have a track record of successful verdicts and settlements and will ensure that your child gets a fair deal. Your child deserves the best so don't settle for less. If you would like free advice then just use the helpline or complete the contact form or email our offices and an experienced birth injury lawyer will telephone to discuss your claim at no cost and with no obligation
Numerous injuries are caused as a result of medical malpractice by doctors or hospitals during delivery. Damage can occur if excessive force is applied during delivery or there is a delay in performing a necessary caesarean section delivery, or if the delivery team fails to properly anticipate the size of a baby. In cases of medical malpractice, birth injury lawyers can take legal action for a wide range of injuries including :-
- Cerebral Palsy
- Erbs Palsy
- Shoulder Dystocia
- Broken Arm
- Broken Collar Bone
- Brachial Plexus Palsy
- Obstetric Cholestasis
In addition to birth injuries caused during labour and delivery there is a class of medical problems known as neonatal conditions that occur or become obvious shortly after delivery, which may be caused or exacerbated by medical malpractice. Settlements obtained by birth injury lawyers are typically substantial for these debilitating conditions which include :-
- Hip Dysplasia
is a dislocation of the leg from the pelvis. All infants should be the subject of regular and careful examination of the hips from birth until the child is walking normally. Delay in diagnosis makes treatment more complicated and often involves repeated hospitalization, major surgery and a less than satisfactory end result.
- Neonatal Hypoglycemia
is a medical condition involving reduced levels of glucose in an infants blood stream which can cause damage to the brain. High risk babies include infants of insulin dependent mothers, infants with growth retardation, pre-term and asphyxiated infants. Doctors often do not recognize that a child is suffering from this condition and as a result do not take appropriate action to prevent brain damage.
- Kernicterus and Hyperbilirubinemia
are very rare conditions however they can cause severe brain damage resulting in cerebral palsy. The symptoms of kernicterus and hyperbilirubinemia should be recognized by physicians who should take timely and appropriate action.
Complications of labour
Our specialist birth injury lawyers operate throughout Canada dealing with injuries resulting from complications during labour and delivery most frequently occurring during an infants transit through the birth canal. Injury may occur if the birth canal is too small, if the baby is too large or if the infant is an abnormal position immediately prior to delivery. The main cause of injury to a child relates to induced or operative births as opposed to natural vaginal birth. Birth injuries may range from mild to severe and from temporary to long term, however it should be noted that statistically most birth injuries are not caused as a result of medical malpractice however representation by birth injury lawyers may be prudent if there is any suspicion of negligent practice. The most frequent injuries include :-
- Brachial Plexus Injuries
Erbs palsy and Klumpke's palsy occur when the brachial plexus, which is a network of nerves that passes from the spine, across the shoulders to the tips of the fingers, is damaged, usually by trauma during a difficult birth.
- Brain Damage
can result from oxygen deprivation and may result in seizure, cerebral palsy or mental impairment.
- Forceps Marks
are usually temporary bruising however forceps may cause permanent scarring or depressed skull fractures which may require surgical treatment.
on the face or head as a result of passing though the birth canal is usually temporary however vacuum extraction can cause severe bruising and/or scalp laceration.
- Caput Succedaneum
is a severe swelling of the scalp caused by vacuum extraction which disappears within a few days.
- Subconjunctival Hemorrhage
which is minor bleeding in the eye may be caused as a result of a traumatic birth and usually disappears within ten days.
- Facial Paralysis
often caused by the use of forceps during childbirth which may temporarily or permanently damage facial nerves which may need surgical repair.
is bleeding between a bone and its fibrous covering on the baby's head and usually resolves without intervention.
sometimes occur most often to the collar bone as a result of shoulder dystosia.
A specialist birth injury lawyer will consider all of the circumstances of the birth after detailed perusal of the medical records and in particular will be looking for evidence of medical errors which may support a malpractice action. There are well established risk factors and a failure to recognize them and act appropriately may lead to a finding of negligence. Factors which predispose a child to this type of injury include:
- failure to estimate the baby's weight before delivery
- failure to perform a caesarean section
- failure to diagnose and treat maternal diabetes
- failure to inform of the risks in vaginal delivery of a large baby
- failure to follow established methods to manage shoulder dystocia
- applying unnecessary and excessive force during the delivery
- failure to respond to maternal bleeding
- failure to respond to fetal distress
- failing to observe or respond to umbilical cord entrapment
- misuse of forceps or a vacuum extractor during delivery
Birth Injury Lawyers - Medical Malpractice
The medical profession which includes doctors, nurses and hospital technicians usually provides a caring service with a high standard of excellence for their patients however there are occasions when things go wrong. If your child has been injured as a result of a failure by the medical profession then you may be entitled to financial compensation for medical malpractice. Most families simply don't have the resources to cover all the expenses and provide for the child victim over his or her lifetime. That’s where we come in to help your child receive the compensation they deserve. Our service is completely free and our birth injury lawyers will deal with your case using a contingency fee arrangement. If your child doesn't succeed in receiving a settlement then your lawyer won't get paid.
Birth Injury Overview
Medical complications during labour and delivery can cause a wide variety of problems for a newborn baby. Birth injury is most often associated with induced or operative delivery rather than spontaneous delivery. The main causes which may result in legal action being taken by birth injury lawyers are oxygen deprivation and mechanical trauma, which can occur when the baby assumes an unusual position at the time of birth or when the baby is too large to pass through the birth canal easily.
Birth injuries are, for the most part, uncommon. A birth injury results from any kind of damage to a baby as a result of the birth process, particularly when the baby is passing through the birth canal. Minor injuries are common and include a cephalhaematoma, which is a collection of blood occurring at the top of the infant head from things like vacuum extraction. A child can also break the scapula when the shoulders fail to pass through the birth canal properly. Nerves can be damaged in the brachial plexus from pulling too much on the neck of the baby when the baby is stuck in the birth canal. Most complications are minor but some are permanent and serious.
Birth injuries happen more likely when the birth canal is too small or if the baby is too big. Some predisposing factors include diabetes in the mother or gestational diabetes in the mother. If the infant is in an abnormal position inside the birth canal, the infant can't pass through as easily and there can be a birth canal. There are ways of checking foetal size and the size of the pelvis so that such birth injuries are less common than they used to be.
Many birth injuries occur in the area of the head. It is the presenting part of the infant so that it is most likely to get stuck and traumatized during the delivery. Even in a normal and uncomplicated delivery can result in swelling and bruising of the foetal head that usually passes in a few days. When the infant head becomes even more stuck, a cephalhaematoma can appear. This is when the fibrous part of the skull separates from the underlying part of the skull and a blood clot forms in the middle. It forms an obvious lump in the skull area that takes many weeks to dissolve and become normal again. A skull fracture can happen in rare cases of cephalopelvic disproportion but this heals on its own without intervention and doesn't usually yield any brain damage.
On the other hand, bleeding into the brain is a serious complication. You can get a brain haemorrhage inside the brain from forceps delivery or a head that does not fit. The skull will look deformed or be bulging in the open areas of the brain. This happens commonly in preterm births fairly commonly, even if they are born by caesarean section. The haemorrhage can resolve on its own or can cause permanent brain damage. It is caused by low O2 levels and can result in irritability and poor feeding.
Brain haemorrhages can occur in many forms include subdural haemorrhages, subarachnoid haemorrhages and intraventricular haemorrhage. When the haemorrhage is within the brain, it generally occurs spontaneously and is the kind most often seen in premature infants. Technically, it is not a birth injury but happens because of the fragile veins and arteries seen in preterm infants. Supportive measures are used in all kinds of brain injuries but surgery is commonly used to treat subdural haemorrhages.
There can be a facial nerve injury when an infant's face pushes too much on the pelvic bone and injures the nerve. Forceps injuries can damage the facial nerve as well. It is usually on one side of the face and looks like facial paralysis on the side of the face. If all goes as planned, such an injury resolves by the age of three months.
Brachial plexus palsy happens when there is too much tugging on the infant neck at the time of delivery. The infant has partial or total arm paralysis from stretched nerves in the brachial plexus. The treatment of this kind of injury is immobilization of the arm for several months. Then the nerve recovers itself and movement begins to happen. You can also have the nerves reattached by a neurosurgeon. The nerve that supplies the diaphragm can get injured, which results in the paralysis of the diaphragm and difficulty breathing.
Perinatal asphyxia can be a birth injury if the cord fails to supply oxygen to the infant during delivery. The heart beat goes down and brain damage can occur. It can be obvious at birth or can show up years later. An infection of the uterus, genetic defect, drug exposure, umbilical cord clot or compression, or anything that causes placental insufficiency can cause brain damage in the infant from perinatal insufficiency.LEGAL HELPLINE: ☎ 855 804 7125
The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here