Birth Injury Lawyer Grants Pass, OR
As a birth injury lawyer Grants Pass, OR at Andersen Morse & Linthorst may tell you, birth injuries can happen when harm is done to the baby during or immediately after delivery. There are many ways that a birth injury can occur, including because the medical personnel failed to uphold a reasonable standard of care to both patient and baby. Having a baby is an exciting time, but if something goes wrong, you may find yourself needing to know about birth injuries and the law surrounding it. Here are some basics that you need to know:
Obtaining Legal Help
If the doctor or medical staff made an error or were negligent during the delivery process, they may be held accountable through legal action. It can be difficult to prove that a birth injury occurred due to negligence because the records are voluminous and it is difficult to find doctors willing to testify against other doctors, even when the care was egregiously bad. As a result, it is generally a good idea for parents to seek guidance from an experienced Oregon birth injury lawyer if their child sustained birth injuries in Southern Oregon.
Parents can be devastated to find out that their doctor may have made a crucial error when it came to the wellbeing of their child. However, parents do not need to navigate this reality alone. Our legal team of dedicated lawyers from the firm of Andersen Morse & Linthorst may be able to help.
What are signs that the labor has turned into a medical emergency?
Labor and delivery require constant attention and vigilance, as things can change in the matter of a moment. Doctors and staff must be trained to not only be able to identify dangerous situations but know how to respond to commonly occurring problems, such as:
- Fetal distress (oxygen deprivation)
- Uterine rupture (hemorrhaging due to uterus tearing)
- Umbilical cord prolapse (the umbilical cord becomes compressed between the baby and the birth canal)
- Baby isn’t breathing after birth (neonatal resuscitation for babies that are having trouble breathing, if not done correctly the lungs can be damaged)
- Placental abruption (the placenta separates from the uterine wall prematurely, resulting in bleeding)
- Placenta previa (a placenta that is laying low in a way that covers the cervix during labor)
If an infant is harmed following one of these scenarios, it may benefit parents to speak with a birth injury lawyer in Oregon at Andersen Morse & Linthorst. Sometimes the parents need an investigation to know whether medical staff handled the situation negligently or recklessly, or if the providers were reasonable.
What is birth trauma?
Birth trauma, sometimes called a birth injury, occurs before, during, or right after birth. Birth trauma is a general term that encompasses many conditions. The most common birth trauma is cerebral palsy, which can affect 2-3 out of every 1,000 children born. Other examples of birth trauma are bone fractures, infant brain damage, hypoxia, and wrongful death.
Birth trauma can be temporary or permanent. You might be able to identify a birth trauma right away if your child is breathing slowly, has a slow heart rate, or has pale or blue skin. In other cases, you may not realize the extent of the birth trauma until you notice a learning disability or speech-language disorder years later.
What errors occur in the delivery room which increases the risk of birth trauma?
Doctors, nurses, and medical support staff may misjudge the situation, administer incorrect medication, wait too long to start a treatment, improperly monitor the fetus for distress, or something else that increases the chances of a birth trauma happening. Inadequately trained or negligent medical staff may commit a major error in the delivery room:
- Delayed delivery (staff waited too long to induce labor, as the longer they wait to deliver the baby the more likely he or she is to sustain a birth injury)
- Inadequate monitoring of fetus (heart rate, blood pressure)
- Improper use of Pitocin or other medications to aid contractions
- Poor administration of epidural (when not given correctly, it can lead to low blood pressure for both baby and mother)
When such tragedies occur, a birth trauma lawyer in Grants Pass, Oregon may be able to assist parents in recovering compensation related to the negligent care their child received. This compensation may help to offset past and future medical bills as well as other losses stemming from the harm done to the child.
What should I know about birth trauma law?
Birth trauma lawyers specialize in helping parents receive compensation for any injuries caused to their child by medical negligence. An Oregon birth trauma lawyer in Southern Oregon can help you determine if your baby’s injuries were caused by medical neglect, in which case they would be able to represent you, and will gather evidence and witnesses to support your case. Your lawyer will most likely propose a settlement pre-litigation to the insurance companies involved, but if the settlement is not accepted by both parties, your case will be filed as a lawsuit. It may take a while for your case to be settled or go to trial.
What if I think my doctor or a staff member made a mistake?
If you believe your baby has been injured due to poor medical care, call an experienced lawyer to talk about what happened. Your baby may have had visible wounds, in which the doctor emphasized as being normal. Unfortunately, this may have only been a way for the doctor to elude responsibility and keep parents calm. In some cases, the impacts of a birth injury may not be noticed until months or years later. Talking with a legal professional may be the best way to figure out if you have a case for a claim against staff or the medical facility.
Do I really need a lawyer?
Birth trauma can cause permanent damage and result in the need for therapy or special education for your child. If the birth injury is caused by medical neglect, you will want to find a lawyer to represent you so you can receive fair compensation. It is impossible to receive any compensation without a lawyer assisting you through the process, as the lawyer is experienced and knowledgeable about the process. You can rely on our team at Andersen Morse & Linthorst, as we have successfully recovered millions of dollars for children who suffer birth trauma.
How much compensation may my child receive?
The amount of compensation you receive will vary depending on the injuries and what happened. Types of damages that can be claimed include money for medical expenses, therapy, lost wages, emotional pain, special education, and punitive damages. This compensation can be invaluable as you raise your child because you will need to provide from him or her in ways you were not originally anticipating. What exactly your child will receive will depend on the outcome of your case. There is no way to know what you will receive before you begin litigation, but it’s certain that you will not get anything if you do not seek out a birth injury lawyer to take your case.
Get Our Help For Your Child’s Birth Injuries
Giving birth to your child can be something you and your partner plan down to the last detail. When an injury disrupts those plans, it can be disorienting. Was there anything the doctors or medical professionals could have done to prevent the birth injury? Was it a result of negligence? Will my baby be okay? There are many questions that are likely running through your head, but you should not have to worry about filing a lawsuit on your own if you are going through this. Instead, speak with our southern Oregon birth injury lawyers from Andersen Morse & Linthorst. Families have trusted us for many years with taking care of their children’s legal claims after birth trauma, and we will be here to support your family and give you the legal help you need. Contact us to set up your first consultation.
Important Information For Filing a Birth Trauma Lawsuit
When you decide that you want to file a birth trauma lawsuit, one of the first things you should do is get a copy of the labor and delivery records. We remind all of our clients that you have every right to view your healthcare information as this is a right protected by HIPAA. You can contact the hospital where you gave birth and request a copy of your record and your child’s records. The facility and doctors should work with you to get this done in a reasonable format and amount of time.
Determining the Standard of Care
When it comes to filing a birth trauma lawsuit, the evidence must show that the medical professionals did not meet the standard of care when responsible for you and your child, thus also showing that they were negligent in the way they treated you and your child. The standard of care is simply what a prudent and reasonable medical provider would have done. Thus, if your doctor, nurse, or hospital failed to perform as a reasonably prudent medical professional would have, they violated the standard of care, and were negligent.
Common Birth Injuries
There are many types of birth trauma that can happen to babies immediately before being born and during the birthing process. Some of the most common are:
- Cerebral Palsy. A movement disorder that happens as a result of brain damage.
- Erb’s Palsy. Nerve damage that can result in paralysis.
- Hydrocephalus. Excess fluid in the brain resulting from a lack of oxygen to the brain.
It’s important to consider what you can do in the event of a birth injury and knowing the process and the potential outcome will help you feel prepared for anything during this new time in your life. If your newborn suffered from a birth injury, please do not wait a second longer to contact a birth injury lawyer in southern Oregon at Andersen Morse & Linthorst right away for a free consultation. We have offices in Medford, Grants Pass, and Klamath Falls to better serve you. We can also meet you at your home, or do a video conference call to talk about what happened.