If your family has recently experienced any type of birth injury due to the negligence of a medical professional, it is vital to know your legal rights and the value of working with a birth injury lawyer in San Diego, CA, as you seek accountability and compensation for your damages. A birth injury claim is a complex form of medical malpractice case that requires the attention of a seasoned attorney.
Common Types of Birth Injuries Reported in California
It’s possible for many types of birth injuries to happen because of negligence in the delivery room or from negligent prenatal care. Some birth injury cases arise from negligent care during maternity, such as a doctor’s failure to account for a pregnant mother’s preexisting medical conditions that could interfere with her pregnancy. Some of the most commonly cited types of birth injuries in California include:
- Cerebral palsy caused by brain damage before or during childbirth. This is a complex neurological condition with no cure and can cause a host of complex symptoms for the child. They may experience a wide range of mental, physical, and developmental disabilities and require constant in-home medical care.
- Physical trauma from excessive force. It’s possible for brachial plexus injuries, shoulder dystocia, and other harm to occur whenever a delivery doctor uses too much force in extracting an infant from the birth canal.
- Injuries from surgical tools. Doctors performing childbirth procedures may only use tools like extractors and forceps when it is clearly medically necessary. If these tools are misused or used inappropriately, they can potentially inflict catastrophic harm on the infant.
- Medical complications from failure to monitor patient vital signs. Attending medical staff must properly monitor the vital signs of both the mother and the infant during childbirth. Failure to do so could cause the medical team to overlook critical developments that can lead to catastrophic harm.
- Medication and anesthesia errors. Some childbirth procedures will require the use of various medications and anesthetics. Any failure to administer these drugs correctly can have extremely harmful consequences.
- C-Section errors. Doctors handling childbirth must know the signs that indicate a C-Section is necessary, and they must also perform these procedures competently.
These are only a few examples of the most commonly reported birth injuries throughout California. If you believe a recent birth injury occurred because of any type of negligence from your medical team, it is crucial that you speak with an attorney you can trust as soon as possible.
There are certain rules that apply to medical malpractice claims in California. While these are technically personal injury claims, you cannot file a medical malpractice claim the same way you would file most other types of personal injury suits. You must obtain an expert witness statement from a medical professional who holds the same board certifications as the defendant in your claim.
This statement should explain how the defendant breached your standard of care and what they should have done differently to prevent the injury in question. Your attorney will help you calculate all of your claimable damages and file your case correctly. Most cases end in a settlement, and your attorney can negotiate on your behalf for maximum compensation. If a settlement is not an option for any reason, you will need their help to navigate litigation.
Q: What Is the Most Common Birth Injury to the Mother?
A: The most commonly reported injuries among mothers from childbirth include tearing in the vaginal and pelvic floor areas. In some cases, this tearing is unavoidable, but if it is excessive or results from the negligence of attending medical staff, it could lead to a birth injury claim. It is also possible for the mother to suffer various adverse medical conditions from failure to properly monitor her vital signs and prenatal health.
Q: How Long Do I Have to File a Birth Injury Claim in California?
A: The usual statute of limitations for medical malpractice in California is three years from the date an injury occurs, but there is a separate statute of limitations when a birth injury case involves harm to a newborn child. In these situations, parents have until the child’s eighth birthday to file their case. This extension aims to provide flexibility for a family when the effects of a birth injury aren’t immediately noticeable.
Q: What Is a Wrongful Birth Action Claim?
A: It is possible for parents in California to have grounds for a wrongful birth action under certain circumstances. Typically, these cases involve the defendant failing to address medical issues that, if the parents had known about prior to birth, would have compelled them to terminate the pregnancy. An example would be an extreme genetic defect resulting in a newborn’s failure to thrive and/or severe disability.
Q: Can I Claim Compensation for a Birth Injury in California?
A: Yes, you have the right to seek compensation for any and all economic losses you suffered because of a defendant’s actions, which may include increased medical expenses and lost income if the incident has caused you to leave work. California law also allows a plaintiff to seek pain and suffering compensation, but there is a cap on how much they can receive, even if the victim suffered permanent harm.
Q: How Much Does a Birth Injury Attorney Charge Their Client?
A: The team at Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates offers legal counsel on a contingency fee basis, meaning our client only pays a fee if and when we win their case. There is no fee if we are unable to secure compensation for the client, and when we succeed in their case, they only part with a percentage of the compensation recovered. This billing policy ensures that legal representation is accessible to those who need it most.
Qualified Birth Injury Attorneys
Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates has the experience and professional resources you need in the aftermath of a birth injury of any kind. If you believe you have grounds for a medical malpractice suit, we can help, so contact us today and schedule your free consultation with our team to learn more about the legal services we provide.