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Nothing is worse than losing your baby or learning that your child will suffer serious, lifelong disabilities as a result of a preventable birth injury. Knowing that the medical professionals in charge could have—and should have—stopped this from happening can make the healing process even more difficult.
At Luxenberg Garbett Kelly & George, we understand that no amount of financial recovery can “compensate” your family for the loss of a child or the loss of what you hoped and expected your child’s life to be. However, we also believe that you deserve justice, and negligent medical providers should be held accountable for the immense devastation they cause.
Our New Castle birth injury lawyers represent children, parents, and families throughout Western Pennsylvania, providing personal attention and dedicated representation every step of the way. We believe in developing genuine, meaningful relationships with our clients; our team will take the time to truly get to know you, listen to your story, and share how we can help.
We invite you to reach out to our firm today to discuss your child’s injuries and learn how our attorneys can fight for your family. Call (724) 576-8855 for a free consultation.
What Is A Birth Injury?
“Birth injuries” refers to injuries sustained by an infant (or, in some cases, the mother) immediately before, during, or after childbirth. In contrast to birth defects, which typically occur as a result of genetic and/or environmental factors while the infant is still developing in the womb, birth injuries are generally the result of external factors. Most often, birth injuries are preventable; they typically result from the negligent, careless, or wrongful conduct of medical professionals.
In short, birth injuries are the result of medical malpractice. If a doctor, nurse, obstetrician, hospital, or another healthcare provider failed to uphold the standard of accepted care, meaning they didn’t act in the same way another qualified provider would have in the same or similar circumstances, leading to your child’s injury or death, you likely have a case.
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Examples of Birth Injuries
Some of the most common types of birth injuries include:
- Brain Injuries: Infant brain injuries can occur during pregnancy or immediately before, during, or after childbirth. Common causes of infant brain injury include oxygen deprivation, often as a result of prolonged labor or abnormal/breech presentation, as well as physical damage to the head or skull.
- Broken Bones: Sometimes, delivery doctors, midwives, and other medical providers apply too much pressure or excessive force when attempting to remove an infant during a vaginal birth, leading to broken bones/fractures. Some of the most common birth injury fractures include broken collarbones, arms, legs, and skulls.
- Brachial Plexus Injuries: Brachial plexus injuries affect the brachial plexus nerves, which are responsible for shoulder, arm, and hand movement and sensation. During delivery, medical professionals may excessively twist or pull the infant’s head or neck, leading to torn or stretched nerves.
- Cerebral Palsy: Cerebral palsy is a motor disability comprised of a group of disorders that affect posture, balance, and coordination. It is the most common motor disability in children and is caused by abnormal brain development and/or damage to a child’s developing brain, including oxygen deprivation before, during, or after birth.
- Erb’s Palsy: Erb’s palsy is a condition caused by a brachial plexus injury in which a person experiences weakness and loss of movement (paralysis) in the affected shoulder, arm, and/or hand. Erb’s palsy can occur as a result of nerve avulsion or rupture, as well as neuroma (scar tissue) and neurapraxia (nerve stretching without tearing).
- Facial Paralysis: Facial paralysis is commonly associated with births in which assistive devices, such as forceps, are required. When medical providers misuse forceps or otherwise cause damage to an infant’s facial nerves, the infant may experience temporary paralysis of one side of the face, often visible as “drooping” or loss of movement in the affected side.
- Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy: Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) refers to brain damage that occurs when oxygen supply to the brain is reduced or cut off for an extended period of time. HIE has numerous possible effects, ranging from mild to severe and including cognitive impairment, developmental problems, epilepsy, and cerebral palsy.
- Oxygen Deprivation: Oxygen deprivation is one of the most common types of birth injuries. There are two main types of oxygen deprivation: anoxia, which refers to a complete lack of oxygen to the body’s organs and tissues, and hypoxia, which refers to limited or partially cut-off oxygen flow despite sufficient blood flow.
At Luxenberg Garbett Kelly & George, we represent children who have suffered all types of birth injuries, as well as mothers who have been injured due to the negligence of medical providers and the surviving loved ones of those wrongfully killed. If you, your child, or your loved one was harmed by a preventable medical error, reach out to our team right away to learn how we can help.
What Are the Common Causes of Birth Injuries?
In most cases, birth injuries can be attributed to medical negligence and/or error.
Specifically, some of the most common causes of birth injuries include:
- Improper or lack of communication
- Improper or inadequate aftercare or follow-up care
- Medication errors, including spinal epidural errors
- Failure to monitor the mother or infant’s vital signs
- Failure to notice and/or respond to signs of fetal distress
- Prolonged labor/failure to order a timely cesarean section (C-section)
- Misuse of forceps, vacuum extractors, and other assistive birth devices
- Delayed treatment of maternal complications, such as preeclampsia
- Excessive force or pressure applied to the infant during delivery
- Failure to diagnose or treat an infant’s apparent health condition
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of maternal infections
If you believe that your medical provider failed to uphold the standard of care, get in touch with our New Castle birth injury lawyers as soon as possible. We can review the details of your case and determine whether you may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Providing Compassionate, Client-Focused Legal Representation
At Luxenberg Garbett Kelly & George, we understand just how difficult this time is for you and your family. Our attorneys truly care about helping you secure the justice you deserve and the monetary resources you need to ensure your child gets the best possible medical care. We want to help you enable your child to live a full and meaningful life.
Attorney Charles Garbett and Attorney Lawrence Kelly of LGKG are Board-Certified Civil Trial Specialists by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, meaning they have achieved a higher level of legal expertise and distinction. Additionally, several of our team members have earned the prestigious AV® Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®, as well as inclusion in the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers® list multiple years in a row. We have earned a reputation as aggressive advocates for our clients, and insurance companies know that we actually try cases—and have the resources to win.
Our experience includes representing a mother diagnosed with preterm labor who was not given drugs to delay delivery, nor were drugs administered to help the premature infant’s lungs develop. Both are accepted standard procedures. The baby suffered a brain injury from hypoxia (lack of oxygen) and ultimately died. After a five-day trial, the jury returned a six-figure verdict against the doctor and hospital for obstetric malpractice. This is just one example of the many birth injury cases we have successfully handled in our decades in practice.
We consult with experts in sonography (ultrasound), natural delivery and cesarean section, premature birth, and other specialties to determine the specific breach of medical standards that led to the birth injury or death. We also hire economists who can project the likely future earnings of a baby who died or is permanently disabled.
Most of all, we strive to be a reliable source of guidance and counsel for our clients. We know that you have questions; our goal is to provide the answers you need to make empowered decisions about your case and your child’s future.
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