Akron Birth Injury Attorney

As an expectant mother, you put your trust in the hands of the medical professionals involved in your pregnancy, labor, and delivery. However, sometimes those responsible for safely delivering your baby fail to provide the necessary level of care, which can result in serious injuries to both you and your newborn.

At Slater & Zurz, we understand the tremendous emotional, physical, and financial burden you and your family face following a devastating birth injury. Our sole priority is to work diligently on your behalf to hold the negligent party accountable for their actions and get you the compensation your family deserves. While some law firms charge by the hour, we handle all of our birth injury cases on a contingency fee basis. This means we don’t get paid unless we recover damages on your behalf. If we obtain compensation in your case, we are paid a percentage of the recovery.

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Birth Injuries

A birth injury is any type of injury a newborn suffers before, during, or soon after their birth. Many birth injuries are minor and don’t require any treatment to heal. Though some birth injuries are more severe and can result in temporary or permanent disability or even death. Common birth injuries include:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Birth asphyxia
  • Klumpke’s palsy
  • Erb’s palsy
  • Infection
  • Kernicterus
  • Brain hemorrhage
  • Shoulder dystocia
  • Broken bones
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Fractured skull
  • Brain damage
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Motor, vision, and hearing impairments

Medical Negligence is the Leading Cause of Birth Injuries

Healthcare professionals must closely monitor the mother and baby before, during, and after labor and delivery. When complications arise, it is the responsibility of the medical team to act appropriately in a timely manner to avoid injury. Failure to follow the proper level of care is considered medical negligence. Examples of medical negligence include:

  • Failure to monitor the fetus for signs of distress before, during, and after delivery
  • Failure to perform a timely Cesarean section
  • Failure to quickly respond to a fetus in distress
  • Improper use of birthing tools, such as forceps or a vacuum extractor
  • Failure to provide sufficient oxygen to the fetus
  • Improper administration of medication, such as Pitocin
  • Failure to care for the newborn after delivery
  • Failure to effectively treat excessive bilirubin in a baby (jaundice)
  • Failure to diagnose medical conditions of the mother
  • The use of defective medical equipment
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Birth Injuries Caused by the Improper Use of a Birthing Tool

During a difficult labor, a doctor may choose to use birthing tools to assist in the delivery. Two common instruments used are:

Forceps – A metal instrument used to guide the infant’s head through the birth canal during each contraction.

Vacuum extractor – A large vacuum with suction cups attached at the end. The suction cups are placed on the baby’s head. The doctor uses suction to adjust the infant’s position in the womb.

Without proper training or care, these tools can lead to a variety of birth injuries, such as:

  • Brain damage
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Fetal strokes
  • Seizures
  • Epilepsy
  • Skull fractures
  • Subdural hemorrhages
  • Cephalohematoma
  • Retinal hemorrhages
  • Tears or lacerations to the mother’s uterus
  • Bladder and urethra injuries to the mother

Getting Maximum Compensation for a Birth Injury

A birth injury can drastically impact a child’s life. They may need ongoing care, such as surgery, medication, therapy, and assistive care. If your child’s injuries were a result of negligence on the part of a medical professional, you have the right to seek fair compensation for your family’s losses. Your recovery may include:

  • The costs for past, present, and future medical care
  • Expenses related to rehabilitation, such as physical therapy
  • Disability care, such as home and vehicle modifications, mobility equipment, nursing assistance, and life support
  • Lost wages
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Loss of enjoyment
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma
  • Mental anguish

To learn more about birth injury compensation, consult with one of our experienced birth injury attorneys in Akron by calling 888.534.4850.

FAQs

What are the most common birth injuries to mothers?

When we hear the term “birth injury,” most of us think of an injured baby. That is often not the case. Mothers face many different types of injuries during labor and delivery, such as:

  • Vaginal tears
  • Hemorrhaging
  • Nerve damage
  • Broken bones
  • A prolapsed or ruptured uterus
  • Post-natal depression
  • Post-natal traumatic stress disorder

Some injuries are highly treatable, while others may require surgery and ongoing treatment. If you were injured while giving birth, you may choose to pursue an Akron birth injury claim to recover compensation for your losses.

What is birth asphyxia?

During the birth process or shortly after being born, a baby is at risk of being deprived of the oxygen needed for their brain and other organs. The damage caused by oxygen deprivation can lead to life-long disability and even death. Common causes of birth asphyxia include:

  • Prolapsed or pinched umbilical cord
  • Contractions that are too strong or frequent (often caused by the improper administration of Pitocin)
  • Infection in the mother or baby
  • Blockage in the airway
  • Fetal anemia
  • Premature birth

In most cases, birth asphyxia can be recognized just before or during delivery by carefully monitoring the baby’s vital signs. If the baby is in distress, the doctor will likely perform an emergency C-section.

What is medical malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional provides substandard care to a patient. In other words, they fail to provide appropriate treatment, don’t take appropriate action, or provide care that is below the proper standard of care. Their action or inaction causes harm, injury, or death to the patient. A birth injury is one of the most common types of medical malpractice lawsuits.

Can an epidural cause a birth injury?

An epidural is a standard pain management method used during labor and delivery. In fact, over 70% of women in the U.S. receive an epidural to help with the pain and discomfort of delivering a baby. An epidural is a way to deliver anesthesia to block the pain to the lower part of the mother’s body. It involves injecting the anesthetic into the epidural space of the spine. Improper administration of an epidural can cause injury to both the mother and baby.

Epidural injuries to the mother:

  • Seizures
  • Low blood pressure
  • Headaches
  • Nerve damage
  • Back pain
  • Infection
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Spinal membrane damage

Epidural injuries to the baby:

  • Oxygen deprivation
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Brain damage
  • Coma

What is Erb’s Palsy?

Erb’s palsy, also known as brachial plexus palsy, develops when the baby’s neck is stretched too far to one side during the birth process, causing temporary, sometimes permanent, nerve damage.

The brachial plexus is a group of nerves that provide movement and feeling to the arms. When these nerves are damaged, it can delay the development in the arms or result in paralysis. Erb’s palsy is a common birth injury caused by excessive pulling and stretching of the newborn’s head and shoulders. This generally occurs during a difficult delivery where the baby is “stuck” in the birth canal.

Most cases of Erb’s palsy can resolve on their own within a few months to a year. In more severe cases, the child may require surgery and ongoing therapy to regain some movement and sensation in the affected arm.

Speak with a Birth Injury Attorney in Akron

If you or your baby was injured during the birth process, we strongly encourage you to speak with an Akron birth injury lawyer right away. During your free consultation, we will discuss the circumstances surrounding the birth injury, explain the birth injury claims process, and answer any questions you may have. We will also provide knowledgeable and honest feedback about your potential claim.

If you choose to proceed with a birth injury claim, we will perform an extensive investigation into the birth injury, what caused the injury, and who is responsible for it. Our skilled legal team will compile evidence, including testimony from our team of medical and financial experts, and build a strong case on your behalf. We will aggressively pursue justice and the maximum compensation for your family’s losses. Get started today by calling Slater & Zurz at 888.534.4850 today.

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