Seattle Birth Injury Attorneys
Birth Injuries Caused by Medical Malpractice
Preventable medical errors and acts of negligence should never occur, but they are particularly horrifying when the victims are unborn children and infants. Sadly, thousands of babies are affected by medical malpractice in the United States, leading to devastating birth injuries, lifelong complications, and even death.
If your child was harmed after a difficult pregnancy, labor, or delivery, and you believe a medical practitioner or institution is to blame, turn to Emery Reddy Serious Injury Department. For years, our Seattle birth injury attorneys have fought for the rights of injured children and their parents, seeking to hold negligent medical providers accountable. We focus on cases involving catastrophic birth injuries, leading to severe injuries, life-altering disabilities, and significant physical or cognitive limitations, as well as those involving wrongful death to both infants and birth mothers.
To learn more, including how our team can help you with your birth injury case, call (206) 202-2562 or contact us online for a free consultation today.
What Is a Birth Injury?
A birth injury is defined as a bodily injury or impairment to a bodily function, system, or structure as a result of an adverse event before or during birth. Birth injuries can be caused by a wide variety of adverse events, including medical malpractice and negligence.
When obstetricians, doctors, nurses, midwives, and other healthcare providers fail to uphold the standard of acceptable care—meaning they fail to act in the same way that another qualified provider would act in the same or similar circumstances—they can cause severe or even deadly birth injuries. These injuries can affect both infants and mothers, and medical providers can be held accountable.
At Emery Reddy Serious Injury Department, we are dedicated to seeking justice on behalf of children, parents, and families who have suffered immense harm as a result of a trusted medical provider’s negligence or misconduct. Our attorneys have represented thousands of clients and have secured more than $200 million in compensation on their behalf, including many million- and multimillion-dollar results. We strive to maximize each client’s recovery so that they can begin the healing process and move forward with their lives.
What Are the Most Common Birth Injuries?
Some of the most common serious birth injuries include:
- Brachial Plexus Injuries: Injuries to the brachial plexus nerves, which are responsible for movement in the shoulder, arm, and hand, can lead to various complications and disabilities, including Erb’s palsy and shoulder dystocia. Infants may experience loss of movement, sensation, and range of motion in the affected area, as well as pronounced muscle weakness and other problems.
- Cephalohematoma: Cephalohematoma is a condition in which blood pools between the skull and the scalp, typically appearing as a raised lump on the child’s head. Although most cephalohematomas are not serious and heal on their own after several months, this condition can lead to serious and even life-threatening complications, such as jaundice. Large cephalohematomas are generally at a higher risk of developing into more serious issues.
- Cerebral Palsy: Cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability in children, and it is frequently caused by oxygen deprivation and other forms of brain damage at birth. Technically a group of disorders, cerebral palsy impacts the affected individual’s muscle tone, posture, balance, and movement. Most people with cerebral palsy will require lifelong care, and there is no known cure for the condition.
- Forceps and Vacuum Extractor Injuries: Although the use of forceps, vacuum extractors, and other assistive birthing devices is rarer now than it once was, such devices may still be used to aid in removing an infant from the birth canal. When doctors and other healthcare providers misuse these devices, they may cause serious injuries to both infants and mothers. Some forceps and vacuum extractor injuries include facial paralysis, blindness, and lacerations.
- Fractures: Bone fractures are relatively common birth injuries and may result from excessive force during labor and/or delivery. Sometimes, doctors and other medical providers apply too much pressure on infants, which can lead to serious fractures. Serious birth injury fractures include fractured clavicles (collarbones), femurs (thigh bone), and skulls. Depending on the type of fracture, immediate medical attention is almost always required.
- Umbilical Cord Prolapse: Umbilical cord prolapse is a condition in which the umbilical cord enters the cervical opening before the infant. As the infant enters the birth canal, it may press the umbilical cord against the mother’s pelvis or the walls of the birth canal, cutting off the infant’s oxygen supply. Without immediate medical intervention, the infant is at risk of birth asphyxia, which can be deadly.
- Uterine Rupture: If the uterine wall or lining ruptures, or tears, during birth, an opening may form in the uterus wall. This can result in amniotic fluid—and even the infant—exiting the womb. Uterine rupture is a very serious condition for both the mother and the baby; in a very short time, the infant may suffer severe oxygen loss, leading to permanent and irreversible brain damage or death.
How Medical Negligence Leads to Birth Injuries
When your child has suffered a birth injury, it can be difficult to tell whether a negligent medical provider was at fault. At Emery Reddy Serious Injury Department, our Seattle birth injury attorneys have extensive experience investigating these types of claims; we know how to evaluate available evidence to determine if a healthcare provider or another party acted negligently or made a preventable error, leading to your child’s injury or death.
Some examples of how medical negligence can lead to birth injuries include:
- Poor communication between healthcare providers/departments
- Failure to diagnose and/or treat maternal infections during pregnancy
- Failure to diagnose and/or treat preeclampsia
- Failure to order a timely cesarean section (C-section)
- Improper monitoring of the mother or infant during labor/delivery
- Failure to recognize or adequately respond to signs of fetal distress
- Failure to control excessive blood loss (hemorrhaging) after delivery
- Prescribing unsafe or defective medications to pregnant mothers
- Failure to order an emergency C-section at all
- Excessive use of force when delivering an infant
- Misuse of forceps, vacuum extractors, or other assistive birth devices
- Pulling on or twisting an infant’s head, neck, shoulder, or arm during delivery
- Failure to recognize or adequately respond to infants with breech presentation
- Misdiagnosis of a severe birth injury as another less-severe condition
- Poor or missing aftercare for either the infant or the mother
If you believe that your doctor, hospital, or another medical provider failed to provide an acceptable standard of care, leading to your or your child’s serious birth injury, reach out to our team at Emery Reddy Serious Injury Department today. We can review the details of your situation and provide the information you need to make informed decisions for yourself, your child, and your family.
Schedule a Complimentary Consultation with Our Birth Injury Lawyers
We know just how devastating it is to realize that your child’s injuries could have—and should have—been prevented. At Emery Reddy Serious Injury Department, we seek to hold negligent medical providers accountable for the immense harm they cause. Our attorneys are prepared to fight for the maximum compensation you are owed for your or your child’s medical bills, future care costs, pain and suffering, and related damages.
There are no upfront or out-of-pocket expenses when you hire our firm. Instead, we only collect legal fees if/when we recover a settlement or verdict for you. Reach out today to set up your complimentary consultation and case evaluation.
Call (206) 202-2562 or contact us online to speak to our Seattle birth injury lawyers about your case.