It is an unfortunate situation, but every year, countless birth injuries occur and leave parents looking for answers. Many of the families who experience this difficult situation are completely unaware what rights they may have and what they can do to take legal action. Birth injury claims are often complex and you need a skilled legal advocate to help you.
At The Law Office of Snyder & Snyder, P.A., our Baltimore birth injury attorneys want you to be prepared if your baby sustained an injury as a result of negligence at birth. We know the ins and outs of birth injury claims throughout Maryland. You can count on us to put our best foot forward on your behalf and guide you towards the resolution you desire.
What Causes Birth Injuries?
Birth injuries often result because of some form of physical harm to the baby either before, during, or after delivery. There are several causes of birth injuries and it is important to understand what they are. Knowing what may have caused your baby’s condition can help you file a successful claim to seek compensation for the damages sustained.
Causes of birth injuries include, but are not limited to:
- Failure to monitor fetal distress. It is a doctor’s responsibility to monitor both the mother and baby during the pregnancy and delivery. In some situations, an emergency cesarean section may be necessary if the baby is distressed. If this is not monitored and the delivery is prolonged, the baby can sustain long-term damage.
- Excessive use of forceps or vacuums. There are times when the mother has trouble delivering the baby. This is when doctors must make a decision on how they can aid in the process. Sometimes, this means using tools such as forceps or vacuums to help. If used improperly, however, the baby can suffer injuries to the limbs, shoulders, brain, head, or neck.
- Hypoxia. There are some situations in which the baby may not receive the oxygen he or she needs. This is most often the result of the umbilical cord wrapping around the baby’s neck and cutting off the oxygen supply. Unfortunately, when a baby doesn’t receive enough oxygen to the brain, they can suffer serious brain damage and cerebral palsy.
Who Is Considered Liable?
Knowing what kind of injury your baby sustained and what caused the injury can help you determine who is liable. In many cases, the doctor who helped during the pregnancy and delivery may be held accountable. This may happen if the doctor acts negligently. In some cases, though, there may be other people that can be held responsible such as nurses or other staff members.
There are times when the doctor who was hired may not have had the proper licensing or qualifications to perform the delivery. If this is the case, the hospital may be liable for any injuries that may have been sustained by the mother or the baby.
How Can I File a Claim?
Before you can file a claim for a birth injury in Maryland, you must take the proper steps to strengthen your case. This includes the following:
- Hire a lawyer
- Gather evidence of the injury
- Obtain medical records
By hiring a lawyer, you can receive help to build your case. A lawyer can help you search for any history of negligence by the doctor who performed your delivery. They can also help you link the injury to the negligence. A successful claim requires you to show that the doctor breached the duty of care owed to you, the breach resulted in an injury, and the damages were caused by that injury. These are important steps you must take to move forward effectively.
Birth Injury & Birth Defect
These two terms are often used interchangeably, but they are not one and the same. Birth injuries result from physical actions or harm such as those listed above. Birth defects often develop during the pregnancy and can be attributed to multiple causes. One of these causes is genetic makeup of the baby. Another cause may be certain medications that may have been prescribed to the mother, especially SSRIs. It is easy to mix the two terms up, but knowing which applies to your case is important and can guide you in the right direction when it comes to filing a claim.
What You Need to Know
Any kind of birth injury is devastating, but when it’s a preventable action that causes the damage, it’s even more heartbreaking. Your doctor should be held accountable if they cause a birth injury and you may be able to seek compensation. If you can successfully file a birth injury claim, you may be cover the related expenses such as hospital costs, future treatment, any changes that may be made to the home or vehicle, and more.
At Snyder & Snyder, we are well aware what kind of impact a birth injury can have on a baby and his or her family. Birth injuries may result in lifelong impacts or even result in death. In 2013, infant mortality in Maryland reached 6.6 out of every 1,000 live births. These are serious situations and you deserve justice. Allow our firm to advocate on your behalf. Call us today to discuss a potential birth injury claim in Maryland.