Michigan Birth Injury Lawyer
Welcoming a baby into your family should be a time of joy. Although the risk of a medical mistake during pregnancy or delivery is rare, the results can be devastating. A preventable error can turn a wonderful event into a tragic one. Medical negligence is dangerous in any procedure, but it is especially dangerous during birth. Both mother and baby are at risk of a serious birth injury. If your child suffered birth injuries due to medical negligence, speak with a birth injury lawyer at Lipton Law.
If your child has suffered a birth injury from medical malpractice, the attorneys at Lipton Law are here to help. We can provide you with the edge you need to hold negligent medical professionals accountable for the pain your family has endured. We will do everything in our power to secure the best possible results for you and your family. Our Michigan medical malpractice lawyers are highly skilled litigators who will always have your best interests at heart. To schedule your free case review, please call our office at 248-557-1688 today.
What Is a Birth Injury?
Birth injuries are physical injuries that happen to either the mother or the baby during childbirth. Babies can experience anything from mild bruising to broken bones and permanent conditions. Mothers can experience tears, hemorrhoids, and even nerve damage. In other words, these situations have the potential to produce pain, long healing processes, and even permanent disability. Approximately 30,000 babies suffer some form of birth injury each year, whether it be from medical negligence or otherwise.
What Is a Birth Defect?
Birth defects are different from birth injuries in very significant ways. They are structural changes to the body of the baby that present during birth. However, they can be found and identified before birth, during birth, and after birth. The severity of a child’s birth defect depends on the body part affected. Some might not affect the child at all, while others can affect someone’s expected lifespan. According to the CDC, approximately 120,000 babies are born with birth defects each year. This makes them much more common than birth injuries.
Types of Birth Injuries
Birth injuries range in severity from mild bruising or tearing to life-threatening injuries. Below, we outline some of the most notable birth injury claims that we see in Michigan.
Birth Injuries to the Mother
Although many people think that a birth injury can only happen to the baby, birth injuries happen to mothers as well. If you suffered an injury from birth-related medical malpractice, we recommend speaking with a qualified birth injury attorney. Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit can put you on the path to financial recovery after your traumatic experience.
This is a very common occurrence during the birthing process. Approximately 90% of women experience some degree of vaginal tearing during birth. The perineum, or the skin between the anus and vagina, must stretch a great deal as the child is born. This can lead to mild or serious tearing. It is considered medical negligence when a doctor fails to identify and treat these tears immediately following birth. Without proper repair, mothers can suffer lasting complications from the lack of treatment.
This is a far more uncommon and serious complication, as it can be life-threatening to both the baby and the mother. Uterine rupture is a tear that opens in the wall of the uterus. If a doctor fails to identify and treat the rupture, this could lead to a number of complications or even wrongful death.
Mothers can even suffer from a nerve injury during their child’s birth. Depending on which nerves are damaged, mothers can suffer from the following issues.
- Numbness or weakness in their legs
- Feelings of pain at the back of the legs
Generally, nerve damage occurs from nerve compression or from tissue stretching during birth.
Umbilical Cord and Organ Prolapse
During birth, the umbilical cord, the uterus, and other pelvic organs could prolapse or slip into the vagina. Umbilical cord prolapse is rare, but it has the potential to be fatal. This complication can cause severe oxygen deprivation to the baby, leading to brain damage or even stillbirth. If a doctor’s failure to diagnose the problem leads to a birth injury to the mother or the baby, they might have the basis for a birth injury claim.
Birth Injuries to the Baby
Most people associate birth injury lawsuits with complications that affect the baby. This makes sense, as a child’s birth injury is more likely to negatively affect them in the future. Newborn babies are extremely vulnerable to pressure, oxygen deprivation, and many other complications. For this reason, they are also more vulnerable to birth injuries. If your baby suffered a life-changing birth injury, contact the birth injury attorneys at Lipton Law today.
This is one of the most well-known forms of birth injury. Cerebral palsy results from brain damage that occurred during birth. The injured child often suffers from the poor development of motor skills, muscle spasms, and muscle weakness. Medical professionals are expected to properly monitor both mother and baby, as well as utilize proper birthing techniques. When they fail to do this, they open themselves up to medical malpractice lawsuits. Contact our Michigan cerebral palsy attorneys to file your claim.
Erb’s palsy is a birth injury that affects nerves in the baby’s neck and arm. During particularly difficult deliveries, the baby’s neck might become stretched too far to one side, damaging the nerves. This nerve damage could temporarily or permanently paralyze the arm on the affected side. If you believe your child suffers from Erb’s palsy because of medical malpractice, you might have the basis for a birth injury lawsuit.
Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)
This is a brain injury that occurs when the child experiences limited blood flow to the brain and a lack of oxygen in the blood. Without proper blood flow to the brain, a baby’s brain cells slowly begin to die off, releasing toxic substances in the process. These toxic substances then go on to trigger a gradual chain reaction of more cell death. Over time, the complications resulting from brain injury may become more apparent.
Vacuum Extraction Complications
Difficult or prolonged deliveries can potentially threaten the health of both baby and mother. When this happens, some doctors decide to use forceps or a vacuum extractor to help. However, improper use of these instruments can lead to birth injury cases.
This is the swelling of the baby’s scalp. Generally, the scalp looks bruised and discolored from this condition. It usually occurs as a result of pressure on the baby’s scalp from the use of forceps. It can lead to complications, and it may even be a sign of other potential injuries that the newborn suffered during birth.
Mothers whose babies suffered shoulder dystocia during birth might have a valid birth injury lawsuit. The condition occurs when a newborn’s shoulders get stuck behind the pelvis bone of the mother. This prevents the baby from being able to progress through the birth canal. Some of the complications that can arise include the following.
- Cerebral palsy
- Erb’s palsy
- Loss of the use of an arm or shoulder
- Fetal distress
- Delays in development
Spinal Cord Injuries
When a doctor strains a baby’s neck during birth by pulling or twisting the baby’s neck too roughly, this can cause spinal cord injuries. They can also result from the use of forceps or vacuum extraction devices. These birth injury cases range in severity from minor bruises to a complete tear of the spinal cord. Using improper techniques during the procedure can open a medical professional up to malpractice lawsuits.
Brachial Plexus Palsy
The brachial plexus is a nerve network between the shoulders and the neck. It provides sensation to the upper limbs, as well as controls muscle functions in the chest, shoulders, arms, and hands. During a difficult or prolonged delivery, the risk of tearing, compression, or stretching of the brachial plexus increases. Improper delivery techniques and the use of delivery assistance tools by a medical professional could cause brachial plexus palsy.
How Common Are Birth Injuries?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 7 children in every 1,000 births will suffer a birth injury. In a given year, around 28,000 babies are born with a birth injury of some kind. Although a child’s birth injury diagnosis may not be the most common of medical errors, it is a highly significant one because of the high risks.
What Are the Most Common Birth Injuries?
According to a study from the National Library of Medicine, the following are some of the most common birth injuries.
- Caput succedaneum
- Skull fractures
- Facial nerve injuries
- Brachial plexus injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Skeletal injuries
- Ocular injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
Common Causes of Birth Injuries
You entrust your health, as well as your child’s, to medical professionals. When those doctors, nurses, or even hospitals breach that trust, your child could suffer injuries ranging from broken bones to serious spinal cord or brain injuries. Negligence in nursing is an unfortunate reality that can result in injury to your child. Just like every child is unique, so is every birth injury incident. However, common causes include the failure to:
- Recognize signs of distress in the fetus or the mother
- Diagnose medical conditions correctly or at all
- Perform a cesarean section when necessary
- Use proper care or tools during birth
Determining the cause of the injury is an important step to filing a medical malpractice claim, as well as establishing the fault of the medical professionals involved. Our medical malpractice lawyers understand how these cases work, and we can take the burden off your shoulders. We personally handle all aspects of your case because we want you to focus on taking care of your baby.
Risk Factors for Birth Injuries
Trained medical professionals are expected to understand and adapt to the risk factors that might make birth more complicated. The following are some important risk factors for doctors to identify in order to lower the potential for a birth injury.
- Mother’s medical conditions developed during pregnancy
- The position of the baby during delivery
- Shape and size of the baby
- Malpractice by health care professionals
Are Birth Injuries Caused by Medical Malpractice?
Not always, but it is certainly possible. For example, maybe the doctor is negligent in controlling the mother’s blood loss or monitoring the baby’s oxygen levels during delivery. Both of these actions could be considered malpractice if the baby or the mother suffered complications from it. If you or your baby suffered injuries during birth, reach out to the birth injury lawyers with our firm. We will ensure that your child’s birth injury does not happen without holding those responsible accountable for the damages. You may be entitled to financial compensation in a birth injury lawsuit.
How Long Does It Take to File a Birth Injury Claim in Michigan?
Rather than estimating how long your case could take, it is more important to understand how much time victims have to file birth injury lawsuits. In Michigan, parents of injured children have two years from the date of the injury to file a claim. However, parents can also file within 6 months of the discovery or when they should have discovered the injury if it occurs outside of the two-year window.
If the infant or the mother dies due to a preventable birth injury or complication, plaintiffs have two years from the date of the death to file a birth injury case. Medical malpractice lawsuits have the potential to be highly complicated. For this reason, it is imperative that you speak with our birth injury attorneys as soon as possible.
When Should I Contact a Birth Injury Lawyer?
If you or your child suffered an injury during labor and you suspect doctor malpractice, we recommend speaking to a birth injury lawyer as soon as possible. A qualified birth injury attorney will know exactly how long you have to file, and they’ll help you expedite the process. We also understand all state laws regarding birth injuries. Working with personal injury lawyers who have already handled other birth injury cases is important. Don’t delay in taking legal action for the damages that medical negligence has caused you.
What Can You Recover from a Birth Injury Lawsuit in Michigan?
After experiencing such a traumatic event, you’re probably wondering how much compensation you can actually receive for your case. After all, you might now be paying for expensive medical treatment for your baby. Families affected by their child’s injury have the right to seek compensation for the following losses.
- Current and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Additional costs related to accommodation for the child’s injuries, such as physical therapy, special equipment, or home modifications
What to Look for in a Birth Injury Lawyer
While searching for the right birth injury lawyers to handle your case, there are a few traits to look for that signal a high-quality legal team. We list these traits below.
- Contingency fee basis: Many personal injury law firms operate on what is called a contingency fee basis. This basically means that you pay no upfront fees for their services. Instead, you agree to pay when and if they secure a positive outcome for you.
- Experience and a proven track record: Rather than choosing the most popular personal injury attorney in your area, it is better to seek out the top birth injury attorneys. Experience and success in birth injury cases similar to yours is a huge green flag. This is a wonderful indicator of the talent that a law firm possesses.
- Resources and connections: Birth injury lawyers work to gather evidence to support your case. One way of doing this is by seeking professional medical advice from a medical expert. At Lipton Law, we actually have a medical team of nurses on our staff to advise us on medical malpractice and nursing home abuse cases.
- Recognition by their peers: It’s also important that your birth injury lawyers have recognition from others in their field. This shows that other highly-educated and trained professionals recognize their talents and abilities in litigation.
- Free case review: Many birth injury lawyers cost nothing upfront when you schedule a consultation. At Lipton Law, we don’t accept a cent unless we secure a recovery on your behalf. This way, we refrain from adding to the financial burden you may already be facing.
How Can Our Michigan Birth Injury Lawyers Help You?
Working with an experienced birth injury lawyer from the very beginning of your case can help you in many ways. Even though you did everything right during your pregnancy and delivery, the doctor did not. You and your newborn shouldn’t have to suffer because of the negligent actions of a medical professional. When you work with the birth injury lawyers at Lipton Law, we will help you in the following ways.
- Investigating and building a strong case: During your initial consultation, we will analyze the facts and determine whether or not you have a valid claim. If so, we will then proceed with building your case.
- Filing the lawsuit in court on your behalf: Once your case is ready, we will file the lawsuit in the appropriate court. We can help you ensure that your case is not dismissed entirely.
- Gathering all relevant evidence: Evidence is the key to winning a difficult case. We will gather as much evidence as possible to support your claims of medical negligence and malpractice. Examples of this evidence include your medical records, statements from other medical professionals, and much more.
- Fighting for full and fair compensation: Your child’s injury deserves fair compensation. You and your family might be struggling to pay your bills for years to come, all because of a negligent doctor. We will advocate for full and fair compensation for your child’s disability or injury. This compensation will help ease the financial burden that your family feels because of the incident.
How Does a Birth Injury Lawyer Prove Liability?
In order to prove that you have a valid birth injury claim, we must first establish the four elements of medical malpractice.
- The doctor owed you a professional duty of care.
- They breached that duty of care.
- You or your baby suffered an injury from that breach.
- You suffered damages as a result.
The most important connection that we must show in your case is the connection between your injuries or your baby’s injuries and the doctor’s medical negligence.
File a Birth Injury Lawsuit to Secure Compensation for Your Family
A birth injury can put your family through emotional trauma, and seeking the proper medical treatment for your child can be expensive. Recovering financial compensation may not account for all the damages your family has suffered. However, it can help you pay for medical bills and support your family when you need it most.
A birth injury attorney at Lipton Law can help you bring negligent medical professionals to justice. Contact us online or call 248-557-1688 to arrange a free consultation with us at our Southfield office. If your child suffered from cerebral palsy, brachial plexus injuries, or another injury due to medical negligence, you might have a case. Contact our legal professionals in a timely manner to ensure that your claim is filed in time.