California Birth Injury Attorneys
Representation for families in Los Angeles and throughout the state
The birth of a child should be an exhilarating experience for a family. When an act of medical negligence causes your child harm, it does more than strip away that excitement. It can financially and emotionally devastate a family. If your family has been affected by a medical mistake such as this, Heimberg Barr LLP is here to help. The Los Angeles birth injury attorneys have secured millions of dollars in recovery for families throughout California, including:
- $17 million for a family whose child developed permanent brain damage when a doctor failed to respond to signs of fetal distress. Largest verdict in the history of California at that time
- $10.55 million for a family whose triplets were unnecessarily delivered at 25 weeks, leading to the loss of one child and permanent brain damage in the surviving children
- $7.1 million for a family whose twins sustained brain damage after being delivered unnecessarily early, at 30 weeks
- $5.075 million for a family whose baby was born with brain damage because of negligent care during labor and delayed delivery via C-Section.
Contact the firm to learn more.
Birth injuries occur in the womb or during the labor and delivery process. If the cause of the baby’s condition or health complication was congenital (developing before the baby is born), then it is considered a birth defect. Conditions like Down syndrome, cleft palate, and neural tube defects are all birth defects.
Even with some defects, however, much harm can be avoided with proper treatment (e.g., congenital inability to metabolize chemicals). Also where there is a failure to inform and give parents opportunity to make decisions regarding the continuation of the pregnancy, there may be a “wrongful birth” case.
Issues of liability
Birth injuries may be the result of delivery trauma or medical mistake, often during labor and the period surrounding delivery. An undiagnosed infection, failure to recognize oxygen deprivation, or traumatic injuries from unnecessary force during delivery are all examples of birth injuries.
Common causes of birth injuries
Some common causes or results of birth injuries are:
- Improper monitoring
- Improper medication and treatment
- Trauma during delivery
- Failure to detect fetal distress
- Oxygen deprivation probably caused by problems that are occurring with blood supply to the baby through the placenta or umbilical cord
- The baby being allowed to remain in the birth canal too long
- Failure to recognize and treat numerous problems anytime during pregnancy and particularly in the final weeks and especially during the labor and delivery period, e.g. IUGR
- A delay in ordering a Caesarian section
- Poor use of vacuum extractors or forceps
- Placental abruption (where the placenta separates from the wall of the womb causing the mother severe bleeding)
- Preeclampsia which if left untreated, can lead to stroke and seizures in mother and similar injury to baby
Birth injuries may be caused by an avoidable medical error of a doctor, midwife, nurse, anesthesiologist, clinic, hospital or HMO, in which case you may have a claim against one or more of them.
If you or your child sustained injuries during childbirth, you may have a claim for medical malpractice.
Why California families might need to file birth injury claims
Children who suffered birth injuries may face many medical problems, including brain damage, cerebral palsy, spastic quadriplegia, seizure disorders, other severe developmental disabilities or neurologic problems. Some children may never be able to care for themselves and along with their families, will know a lifetime of emotional and physical challenges, encounter huge medical bills for therapy, surgeries, medications, nursing and 24/7 attendant care, and special education services. The cost to provide their children with long-term security and significant quality of life can be staggering.
The initial shock of having a child with a birth injury will give way to the day-to-day complications and challenges that you face. You may need help caring for a child with severe disabilities, which means less time to devote to your other children. It could mean that you or your partner may need to quit your job to care for your child. Your insurance may not be enough to cover the costs of medication and care, and many families find themselves burning through their savings as a result.
While no amount of money can make up for what is lost, it can help take care of the child’s needs and ensure he or she is taken care of in the days to come, particularly after the parents are no longer able to care for them.
Time is of the essence when it comes to your claim
Though the firm understands that this is an excruciatingly difficult time for you, please be aware that it is critical that an investigation into the facts of the case be undertaken as soon as possible if you are considering filing a lawsuit. This is necessary to preserve evidence and to avoid losing your right to bring a lawsuit.
There are strict time limits you must meet to file a lawsuit. These time limits are complex and strictly enforced by the courts. It is in your best interest to speak to a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.