Birth Injury Attorneys in Michigan
Legal Representation for Mothers & Infant Victims of Medical Negligence
Every parent hopes that his or her child is born healthy and free of injury. It is all the more devastating, therefore, when a child is injured or killed during labor or delivery as a result of medical negligence. Unfortunately, birth injuries, though relatively rare, can and do occur. Often, infant injuries and deaths occur due to the negligence of a hospital, delivery room doctor, nurse, midwife, or another medical professional. In certain circumstances, the mother may also suffer serious injuries or be killed during the labor or delivery process.
At Grewal Law PLLC, we represent mothers and infant children who are injured as a result of negligence. We also represent the surviving family members of individuals who are killed due to medical malpractice. Our personal injury attorneys in Michigan have more than 100 years of collective experience and we have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients.
Common Types of Birth Injuries & How They Occur
There are several injuries that can occur during birth that may result in physical impairment or brain damage. Each injury may be attributed to a different cause, such as strained or torn nerves, trauma to the head, or lack of oxygen.
Some of the most common types of birth injuries that occur in infants include:
- Shoulder dystocia
- Erb’s palsy
- Brachial plexus injuries
- Cerebral palsy
- Facial paralysis
- Broken bones/fractures
- Caput succedaneum
- Subconjunctival hemorrhage
- Spinal cord injuries
Furthermore, the mother may suffer any of the following injuries during labor or delivery:
- Cesarean section (C-section) errors
- Uterine rupture
- Prolapsed uterus
- Complications resulting from failure to perform an emergency C-section
While signs of a disorder such as Erb’s palsy or cerebral palsy may be evident immediately after delivery, some brain injuries may not be identified for years. Sometimes, an injury may not be realized until the child is in school and learning disabilities or other characteristics relating to brain damage become apparent.
Serious injury can occur if there is a lack of oxygen to the child’s brain during delivery. There is a high risk of birth injury when there is difficult, prolonged labor; improper use of medication by the pregnant mother; or a large fetus or a breech birth. An unreasonable delay in performing an emergency cesarean section can also increase the risk of injury.
Medical Negligence and Birth Injuries
Not all birth injuries stem from medical malpractice. However, there are many ways that a physician or OB-GYN can fail to consider the safety of a baby during the delivery process – or the safety of the mother giving birth. Because doctors are legally held to the “standard of care,” they can be held accountable through the civil justice system when they do not take reasonable measures to ensure your health and wellbeing. When medical professionals fall short of this care standard, it may be considered medical negligence.
Some of the most common ways negligence and wrongdoing can contribute to a birth injury:
- Improper use of forceps, vacuums, and other birthing tools
- Failing to monitor infant vital signs
- Delayed or prolonged labor
- Failure to perform a necessary C-section
- Failing to screen for preeclampsia and other maternal health conditions
- Performing a C-section without consent or justification
- Incorrect application or dosage of anesthesia
- Failing to account for maternal high risk factors
- Poor positioning of the baby through the birth canal
- Lack of maternal after-care to prevent complications
Birth Injury FAQs: What You Need to Know
How common are birth injuries?
Although Michigan mothers have access to some of the most advanced medical technologies and procedures in the world, the sad truth is that birth injuries continue to be a problem for our hospitals, clinics, and midwifery programs around the country. According to some estimates, between 6 and 8 children out of every 1,000 are born with some type of birth injury, or well over 25,000 babies each year in the United States. Mothers also face high risks of birth-related injuries: In fact, the United States has a higher rate of maternal mortality during childbirth than any other developed country.
What is the difference between a birth injury and a birth defect?
Where a birth defect typically involves harm done to the fetus or infant before birth, the term “birth injury” is reserved for harm done during or after the birthing process. Although birth defects can also be preventable, they are far more likely to be caused by genetics, infection, or accidental exposure to a toxic substance. Birth injuries, on the other hand, are almost always considered to be preventable medical mistakes.
How can I tell if my baby has a birth injury?
It depends on the nature of the birth injury in question. If you notice strange bruising, or if your child is unusually limp or stiff in certain areas, it’s possible that these may be signs of a birth injury. Although the most severe symptoms may appear shortly after childbirth, developmental disorders and other birth injuries may not become obvious until much later in life. When you are not sure, it’s important to seek out a second medical opinion first.
Contact Grewal Law PLLC Today
If you, your child, or your family member suffered severe, life-altering injuries after a difficult pregnancy, labor, or delivery, you may be entitled to take legal action. A birth injury lawsuit seeks compensation for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, emotional distress, reduced life quality, and other damages incurred as a result of the accident.
Grewal Law PLLC can assist you with all aspects of your birth injury claim. We understand just how difficult it can be to move forward after a devastating accident. Because of this, our Michigan birth injury lawyers offer compassionate and personalized legal guidance for our clients. We are prepared to serve as your dedicated advocate throughout the legal process.