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Common Birth Injuries

Baltimore Lawyers Representing Families Harmed by Birth Injuries

The birth of a child is typically a joyous event. Unfortunately, the elation a family experiences due to the birth of their child may be diminished by preventable injuries that occur during gestation and delivery and ultimately cause permanent physical, financial, and emotional losses. While some birth injuries are unavoidable, most common birth injuries are the result of negligence or delayed action by healthcare providers, and doctors who recklessly harm their patients may be liable for medical malpractice. If your child was injured at birth due to the carelessness of a physician, it is smart to speak to an attorney about your possible claims at your earliest convenience. The skilled Baltimore birth injury attorneys of Arfaa Law Group appreciate the devastating impact avoidable birth injuries can have on families, and if we represent you, we will fight to assist you in protecting your interests.

Common Birth Injuries

Oversights that typically lead to birth injuries include the failure to properly assess a patient's medical history or monitor the fetus, delays in diagnosing fetal complications, inducing labor, or performing cesarean sections, and the use of improper delivery techniques. While such actions can cause a variety of birth injuries, some are more common than others.

For example, cerebral palsy and brain injuries often result from medical errors during prenatal care, labor, and delivery. Cerebral palsy can manifest in various forms, including spastic, athetoid, ataxic, or mixed types. Erb's palsy, also known as brachial plexus palsy, is a birth injury that occurs when spinal cord nerve roots are stretched or ruptured during delivery. This often happens in cases of shoulder dystocia, where the baby's shoulder becomes trapped against the mother's pubic bone. In addition to cerebral palsy and Erb's palsy, medical errors during birth can lead to other common birth injuries, including acidosis, BIND, cephalohematoma, fractures, and chorioamnionitis.

Recovering Damages for Common Birth Injuries

Most birth injuries are caused by the carelessness of the healthcare providers involved in the care of the mother and child during the pregnancy and delivery. As such, in most medical malpractice lawsuits arising out of birth injuries, the plaintiffs will seek damages from the defendants under a theory of negligence.

In Maryland birth injury cases, negligence is made up of four parts, and the plaintiff must prove each one in order to demonstrate they should be awarded damages. The first part is a duty the defendant owes the plaintiff. In the treatment setting, the duty a healthcare provider owes a patient is to provide care that meets or exceeds the relevant standard of care. This is the care that a competent professional working in the same specialty would offer when faced with a situation similar to the plaintiff’s. The second part of negligence is a deviation from the standard of care that constitutes a breach of the defendant’s duty. In most cases, the plaintiff will need to hire a doctor to testify as a medical expert and explain to the judge or jury the defendant's obligations under the standard of care and the ways in which the defendant failed to uphold the standard.

The final two parts of negligence, causation, and damages, are linked. In other words, the plaintiff must show that the defendant’s breach of the standard of care caused the plaintiff to suffer injuries, which in turn caused the plaintiff to suffer measurable harm. This means that the plaintiff has to show that if not for the defendant’s actions or omissions, the birth injury would not have occurred, and the infant and its family would not have sustained the damages caused by the injury.

Talk to a Dedicated Baltimore Birth Injury Attorney

Medical errors and oversights are often the root cause of common birth injuries, and providers who fail to provide their patients with competent care should be held accountable for any harm that ensues. If your child was hurt at birth, you have the right to seek damages, and you should talk to an attorney about your possible claims. The dedicated Baltimore birth injury lawyers of Arfaa Law Group can inform you of your rights and assist you in seeking the best legal outcome possible. We regularly represent families in birth injury cases in Baltimore, where we have an office. You can contact us through our form online or at (410) 889-1850 to arrange a meeting.