The most devastating experience a family can face is an injury to their newborn child during birth. A birth injury can cause severe behavioral, language, learning, or physical developmental delays or disabilities, which can last for a lifetime. Approximately 28,000 children are harmed by birth injuries each year in the United States. That accounts for 1 in every 9,714 births, or 76 per day.
In most cases, a birth injury isn’t immediately recognized and is diagnosed after the child fails to meet developmental milestones, like sitting up or verbalization. If your baby has suffered an injury in childbirth, which has caused serious health complications or developmental problems, the birth injury lawyers at the Moore Law Firm are here to help you hold all at-fault parties accountable.
Get in touch with the Moore Law Firm for a free consultation on birth injury and medical malpractice lawsuits.
Handling your birth injury case
Birth injury can occur during labor, delivery, or after birth. These injuries can range from minor problems like bruising or lacerations to severe injuries that could prove fatal like a spinal cord injury. In some cases, the mother may even suffer injuries during birth. At the Moore Law Firm, we have been representing victims of birth injuries in Tucson, Arizona for a long time. Our birth injury attorneys have helped numerous families, who have experienced serious injuries get compensation for medical care, physical, and occupational therapy or for assistive devices, and for the pain and suffering of the child and the family.
Common birth injuries include:
Cerebral palsy (CP)
Cerebral palsy refers to a neurological disorder that affects a child’s movement, motor skills, and muscle tone. It can be caused by lack of oxygen to the brain or head trauma suffered by the baby during delivery. Cerebral palsy is one of the most common childhood motor disabilities. “Acquired CP” is caused by brain damage that occurs more than 28 days after birth and is caused by a head injury or an infection like meningitis. In some cases, children may regain or strengthen their motor control abilities with therapy. However, in general, children with cerebral palsy will always suffer limitations and difficulties.
Children and adults with cerebral palsy often can’t walk or care for themselves. In some cases, they suffer from vision or hearing deficits, intellectual deficiencies or epilepsy. CP cases range from moderate to severe and can result in a lifetime of medical costs for the patient and their family. There are over 10,000 babies who develop cerebral palsy each year. Over 764,000 children and adults in the United States manifest one or more symptoms of cerebral palsy.
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Brachial plexus injuries (Klumpke’s palsy, Erb’s palsy)
The Brachial plexus is a network of nerves located in the neck that connect to nerves in the hands, arms, and shoulders. When excessive pressure is placed on an infant’s neck or head during delivery, the brachial plexus can be damaged. A brachial plexus injury may cause loss of sensation, strength, and muscle control, and paralysis in the arms/hands, shoulders, and neck.
Erb’s palsy is damage to the upper nerves, while Klumpke’s palsy is damage to the lower nerves. Children with brachial plexus injuries tend to recover, but they require physical therapy or surgery to transfer or graft nerves and muscle to overcome paralysis. About 0.2 out of 2 children suffer from brachial plexus injuries out of every 1,000 births.
Excessive pressure on the baby during a difficult birth can lead to a shoulder, neck, or head injury that causes the neck muscles to contract and draw the head backward, forward, or to the side. This disorder is called cervical dystonia.
Cervical dystonia is treated with physical therapy and medication. Multiple surgeries may be required to address severed muscles or nerves. Advances in deep brain stimulation (DBS) may also be helpful to treat dystonia. With DBS, an electrode is surgically implanted in the brain to interrupt nerve signals. There are over 90,000 people in the United States, who suffer from spasmodic torticollis.
Breech deliveries can lead to fractures, including shoulder dystocia. Shoulder dystocia occurs when the shoulder gets stuck during delivery. It may also occur to infants with excessive birth weights. The collarbone is the most commonly fractured bone, but legs and arms may also suffer fractures.
Cranial nerve injury
When the head is compressed during delivery, either by the use of forceps or when the head passes by the sacrum, multiple nerves may be damaged and result in temporary or permanent disfiguration and paralysis.
Spinal cord injury
Excessive rotation or traction during delivery may damage a baby’s spinal cord. A severe spinal cord injury can result in quick neonatal death or stillbirth. Babies who survive may have low strength and muscle tone. Babies may also develop spasticity later, which is similar cerebral palsy
At the Moore Law Firm, our experienced birth injury lawyer will fight for your case. We will ensure that you and your loved ones get the compensation you deserve.
Medical Malpractice Evaluation
It can be extremely difficult for parents to decide by themselves if a doctor or health care professional failed to follow the recognized standard of care, which led to a preventable birth injury. It takes a comprehensive review of the medical records conducted by medical professionals working with an attorney to determine if medical malpractice led to the birth injury.
Birth injuries caused by negligent medical errors include not following accepted medical procedures, treatment delays, and not recognizing and addressing complications quickly, like ordering a Caesarean (C-section). Most of these errors are due to lack of obstetric experience or training, or even poor supervision, for which the birthing center or hospital may be held liable.
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Damages Available in Birth Injury Lawsuits
At the Moore Law Firm, our experienced birth injury lawyers have handled a lot of cases where the child has suffered permanent neurological or developmental problems. Conditions like spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy and other conditions place a great deal of emotional stress and financial burden on the family since they require life-long care. Taking care of a special-needs child often requires one parent to stay at home, while the resulting medical bills can also become a source of burden and emotional anguish.
The CDC revealed that birth defects, including birth injuries, tend to cost nearly $3 billion annually in medical expenses. When calculating the cost of medical care and other therapies, the care for a child with a birth injury such as cerebral palsy can easily jump to millions of dollars.
Our birth injury attorneys in Tucson, Arizona can help you acquire compensation for the following types of economic and non-economic damages in birth injury cases:
Medical transportation (specialized medical vans)
Pain and suffering
Past and future assistive care expenses (nursing and/or home care)
Past and future medical expenses
Therapies (physical therapy, counseling, speech therapy)
At the Moore Law Firm, we understand the impact a birth injury can have on the child and family, which is why our birth injury lawyers aim to recover the maximum compensation for every family through settlement or trial.