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Important Georgia Birth Injury FAQ’s

Although most babies in the United States are delivered with little to no birth injuries, there are approximately 28,000 birth injuries reported every year.  If a medical professional is negligent or makes a mistake during pregnancy, labor, or delivery it could result in the serious injury or even death of a baby.  There are few injuries that can be as emotionally or financially devastating to a family as a birth injury.  Birth injuries can create lifelong medical issues that may permanently affect a child and can generate medical bills that can quickly and easily reach into the millions.  If a medical professional neglects their duties they can be held responsible for their mistakes by medical malpractice laws.  Birth injuries are some of the most complex and expensive cases to litigate and that’s why it important to have an established, compassionate, and knowledgeable law firm representing the interests of you and your injured child.  To help educate families affected by medical malpractice here are some of the most commonly asked questions about Georgia birth injuries:

 

What is a birth injury?

A birth injury is a type of medical malpractice in which medical neglect occurs during pregnancy, labor, or immediately after a baby’s delivery.  This type of injury can occur either because the medical professional makes a mistake or fails to provide a “medical standard of care” to what a similarly situated medical professional would have done.

 

What is the “Medical Standard of Care”?

To ensure medical professionals do their job as safely and professionally as possible they are held accountable by the guideline known as the “Medical Standard of Care”.  The “Medical Standard of Care” is defined by the level and type of care that a reasonably competent and skilled health care professional, with a similar background and in the same medical community, would have provided under the circumstances that led to the alleged malpractice.  In most medical malpractice lawsuits it is a qualified expert medical witness that will testify as to what the appropriate “Medical Standard of Care” was under the circumstance and how the doctor deviated from this standard causing the related injury.  Many states have even passed laws requiring a medical malpractice plaintiff to retain an expert medical witness who has experience in the same, or at least similar, medical field as the defendant.

 

What constitutes negligence during pregnancy, labor, or delivery?

Medical professionals must closely monitor both the mother and the baby during the pregnancy and around the time of labor and delivery. When pregnancy, labor, or delivery complications arise, it is the responsibility of the physicians and medical team to act quickly and appropriately to minimize the risks to the mother and baby.  Failure to follow the “Medical Standard of Care” is negligence.

 

What are common types of birth injuries?

Common problems that occur when a doctor deviates from the “Medical Standard of Care” are:

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Erb’s or Klumpke’s Paralysis from Brachial Plexus Injuries
  • Broken or Fractured Bones
  • Perinatal and Neonatal Asphyxia or ( HIE ) Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy ( Lack of oxygen during birth )
  • Temporary or Permanent Paralysis
  • Nerve Damage
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries ( TBI )
  • Hydrocephalus ( Excess fluid in the brain caused by trauma)
  • Caput Succedaneum ( Severe swelling and/or bruising of a baby’s head)
  • Intracranial Hemorrhages ( Brain bleeds )
  • Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • Forceps Lacerations and Bruising
  • Death

Some of these birth injuries can be repaired while others may have permanent and debilitating consequences.

 

What are common causes of birth injuries?

Birth injuries can occur from a wide variety of factors but some of the common causes of birth injuries resulting from medical negligence are:

  • Failure to notice changes in the baby or mother’s condition
  • Failure to diagnose and/or stop preterm birth
  • Failure or delay bringing in a specialist
  • Failure to recognize and address problems with the umbilical cord
  • Failure to identify and adequately respond to fetal distress/non-reassuring fetal heart rate
  • Failure to diagnose or properly treat excessive bilirubin in a baby
  • Failure to diagnose and advise on maternal medical conditions
  • Medication errors
  • Untreated maternal infections
  • Failure to diagnose or treat a labor complication
  • Failure to identify and plan for complicated or high-risk deliveries
  • Failure or delay in ordering a C-section after Cervical Dystocia
  • Failure to properly administer anesthesia
  • Incorrect use of forceps or vacuum extractors during delivery

 

What is the Statute of Limitations on a Birth Injury Case?

Georgia allows two years from the time of the injury to file a birth injury lawsuit.  If the injury is not discovered in the first two years it may be extended up to five years but this is the maximum.

 

Does signing a release or informed consent form prevent me from pursuing a claim for compensation?

While informed consent forms are meant to protect you and your healthcare professional they do not always prevent litigation.  If the consent form was poorly worded failing to properly describe or identify the risks and complications suffered during a birth injury then you may still be able to pursue a medical malpractice claim.

 

What should I do if I am contacted by a medical insurer with questions or a settlement offer?

Never speak with any insurance company until you have consulted with an experienced medical malpractice attorney first.  The insurance companies will use anything you tell them in a case against you, their goal is to either deny your claim or to pay out less in damages than then you deserve.

 

Do I need an attorney to file a birth injury case?

Birth injury cases usually involve the failure of a medical professional to appropriately evaluate a medical situation or handle a complication that may occur during pregnancy or birth.

 

The Atlanta medical malpractice attorneys at Kaufman Law, P.C. are not afraid to take legal action against medical professionals who have caused serious injuries to a baby.  We do everything in our power to secure the maximum compensation our clients need and deserve to pay for injury-related costs, such as future medical care, specialty schooling, rehabilitation therapy, and extensive medical bills.  During our 40 years as a firm, we are proud to have secured millions of dollars in compensation for our clients through verdicts and settlements.  As soon as you enlist our high-quality services, we will begin conducting an extensive investigation into your case to determine what exactly occurred, who can be held responsible, and how much your case may be worth.  Unfortunately, medical professionals will almost never admit fault or offer to pay responsible damages.  Therefore, it is extremely crucial if your baby has been injured at the hands of a doctor, pharmacist, nurse, surgeon, obstetrician, or any other healthcare professional, to turn to the Atlanta birth injury lawyers at Kaufman Law, P.C. for the help you need to pursue compensation for your losses.

Important Georgia Birth Injury FAQ'S
Important Georgia Birth Injury FAQ'S
Although most babies in the United States are delivered with little to no birth injuries, there are approximately 28,000 birth injuries reported every year.  If a medical professional is negligent or makes a mistake during pregnancy, labor, or delivery it could result in the serious injury or even death of a baby.  There are few injuries that can be as emotionally or financially devastating to a family as a birth injury.  Birth injuries can create lifelong medical issues that may permanently affect a child and can generate medical bills that can quickly and easily reach into the millions.  If a medical professional neglects their duties they can be held responsible for their mistakes by medical malpractice laws.  Birth injuries are some of the most complex and expensive cases to litigate and that’s why it important to have an established, compassionate, and knowledgeable law firm representing the interests of you and your injured child.  To help educate families affected by medical malpractice here are some of the most commonly asked questions about Georgia birth injuries:
Kaufman Law, P.C. - Atlanta Accident Attorney