Injuries that occur during labor and delivery can lead to serious medical complications for both the mother and her child. Some births are more difficult than others, and attending medical professionals have a legal duty to use good judgment and adhere to the appropriate standard of care for a patient’s condition. In some childbirth procedures, a doctor may attempt to use forceps to assist in guiding an infant out of their mother’s birth canal. Unfortunately, these devices work similarly to tongs and can cause severe internal injuries to the mother and catastrophic injuries to the baby’s head, neck, and face.
If you have experienced a forceps-related birth injury in your family, you need compassionate legal help. Connect with an experienced San Diego birth injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options. Forceps birth injuries can cause a host of long-term medical complications for a child. If an attending medical professional did not meet your loved ones’ appropriate standard of care, a medical malpractice claim can hold them accountable for the damage they cause.
Why Choose Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates?
When your child has sustained a forceps-related birth injury due to a medical professional’s negligence, it is understandable to feel a mix of anger, confusion, and uncertainty for the future. As your San Diego birth injury lawyer, Kenneth Sigelman, J.D., M.D. provides a unique perspective and unmatched level of experience to every client our firm represents. Attorney Sigelman holds a medical degree and practical experience as a physician in addition to more than 20 years of experience handling complex civil litigation.
You can expect compassionate and responsive legal counsel from Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates. We believe in client-focused legal representation and exploring every option for maximizing client recovery in every case we handle. We can help you better understand your legal options and prepare for the legal proceedings to come with more confidence.
Why Do I Need an Attorney?
Any type of birth injury has the potential to cause lifelong medical complications that will require consistent, expensive treatment. The negligent use of forceps significantly increases the risk of birth injuries, including:
- Traumatic brain injuries and skull fractures. Too much pressure with the forceps on a baby’s skull can cause permanent brain damage.
- Eye trauma. If the physician used forceps at the wrong angle and gripped the infant’s eye, this may cause severe eye trauma and may result in permanent blindness and/or damage to the child’s ocular nerve.
- Facial trauma. Gripping too tightly with forceps could cause lacerations and other trauma to the child’s face, potentially resulting in permanent disfigurement.
- Nerve damage. There are countless nerve endings just below a baby’s skin around their head, shoulders, neck, and face. Negligent use of forceps can irreparably damage these nerve endings, causing unpredictable long-term effects.
- Facial palsy. When nerve damage occurs in a baby’s face, they may suffer from facial palsy that makes it impossible for them to properly control their face muscles, which may cause additional complications over time.
- Internal bleeding in the head. Negligent use of forceps can sometimes cause crushing injuries to a baby’s skill resulting in internal bleeding inside the baby’s brain. This can lead to severe lifelong medical complications or even death.
These are just a few examples of the extreme consequences a forceps-related birth injury can have. The right attorney handling your medical malpractice claim can make a significant difference in the quality of your recovery. As your San Diego birth injury attorney, you can expect Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates to provide detailed and responsive legal counsel through every phase of your forceps birth injury claim.
Potential Damages and Recovery in Your Claim
When a child and/or their mother sustained severe injuries from improper use of forceps, they may file a medical malpractice claim to recover the resulting damages. Medical negligence during childbirth procedures can lead to additional medical expenses for the victim, long-term medical complications for the victim, and immeasurable psychological and emotional distress for the family.
While the California Code of Civil Procedure limits the amount of noneconomic recovery a plaintiff can expect from a successful medical malpractice claim to no more than $250,000, some awards can encompass more. A forceps birth injury can lead to significant financial recovery for medical expenses, lost income, lost earning potential, and many other long-term damages.
If the forceps-related birth injury your family experienced resulted in additional medical expenses, both immediate and future, you may claim all of these additional medical costs as compensatory damages in a medical malpractice claim. If the child injured by negligent use of forceps develops a permanent disability that will require constant in-home care from a parent, that parent may need to stop working to handle this responsibility. Plaintiffs can claim lost income in these situations. It is also possible to argue for compensation for the injured child’s future disability, diminished quality of life, and inability to live independently.
Succeeding With Your Medical Malpractice Claim
It’s important to reach out to a reliable and experienced San Diego birth injury attorney as soon as possible after your child has suffered a birth injury from improper use of forceps. When you choose Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates as your San Diego birth injury attorneys, you have compassion and experience by your side. Your legal representatives will help you gather the evidence and documentation you will require to build a solid medical malpractice case against the medical professional responsible for your damages. California state law imposes a three-year time limit for filing medical malpractice claims on behalf of a child under six full years old. Alternatively, parents have until the child’s eighth birthday to take legal action, whichever is longer, to file their claim.
The sooner you start building your medical malpractice claim, the stronger your chances are of securing the recovery your family needs. Birth injuries caused by negligent use of forceps can place significant burdens on families that last for many years, sometimes a child’s entire life. If you are ready to discuss your legal options with a compassionate and responsive San Diego birth injury lawyer, contact Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates today to schedule your free case review with our team.