Portland Birth Injury Lawyer
Angel Law, P.C. Working to Protect Families in Need
Medical malpractice caused by a delivering physician, an obstetrical delivery team, or any team member during childbirth is never excusable. If you are facing a case involving a birth injury, you deserve to find peace of mind and an appropriate financial recovery to help you pay for damages or losses. Contact our Portland birth injury attorney from Angel Law, P.C. today to learn what legal options may be available to you.
Why Choose Our Birth Injury Attorney?
- Millions of dollars secured for our clients
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Even if the staff is working long hours or is comprised of largely inexperienced practitioners, it is their duty to provide a safe environment for birthing mothers. When the medical staff involved in helping a mother give birth to her child acts negligently or fails to perform their duties in a way that should have been preventable, serious birth injuries can occur to both the mother and the newborn.
What Are Common Birth Injuries?
So many birth injuries are easily preventable with proper care and attention. The staff in charge of the birthing procedure is familiar with correct procedures and the warning signs of something going wrong. They have gone through medical school or specialized training. So, any devastating medical errors that do occur are likely due to some slip of the mind or carelessness.
Some common forms of birth injuries, either to the child or the mother, include:
- Cerebral palsy: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cerebral palsy is the most common form of motor disability among young children, typically resulting from a birth injury. Its typical causes are premature birth complications, oxygen deprivation during birth, and a lack of nutrients while the child is in utero. All of these issues should be identifiable by medical staff, who can take steps to correct them.
- Brain damage due to oxygen deprivation: An infant who does not receive enough oxygen shortly before, during, or after birth can suffer serious complications. Oftentimes, oxygen deprivation will most strongly affect the brain, causing sections of brain cells to die swiftly. If the medical staff fails to take quick action upon noticing the infant’s blood oxygen level is dropping to unsafe amounts, then the child could be born with permanent brain damage of varying degrees of severity.
- Brachial plexus injuries: When a child’s arm or head is pulled incorrectly and too harshly during the birthing process, it can tear the bundle of nerves running from the spinal cord to the shoulder and arm, called the brachial plexus. Even minor damage to the brachial plexus at birth can cause lifelong disability in the affected arm and hand.
- Shoulder dystocia: Another form of shoulder and arm damage during birth is shoulder dystocia, which is caused by the shoulder getting lodged in the birth canal due to pressing against the mother’s pelvis. Handled incorrectly, the situation can become life-threatening as it can cause severe internal damage to the mother. The child may suffer nerve damage in the shoulder as well.
- Unsafe or hasty C-section procedures: When performed correctly, a C-section can preserve the mother’s health and that of her child. Birthing staff should use C-sections when the mother requests it or when there are signs that the child could be in infant distress and a natural birth would take too long to perform the delivery. Although, C-sections can cause severe injury to the mother and the child when done hastily or without following all accepted safety procedures.
- Wrongful death: In a worst-case scenario, the mistakes of medical staff members can cause the death of the mother, her child, or both. Infant distress – also called respiratory distress syndrome – is one of the leading fatal birth injuries to newborns. Significant blood loss is one of the leading fatal birth injuries to new mothers.
Additional common birth injuries include placental abruption, meconium aspiration, post-partum hemorrhage, birth trauma, HELLP syndrome, and fetal distress. These injuries can happen as a result of physician error, forceps delivery, excessive force and other methods that could even implicate the facility in the injury. Consulting a hospital negligence lawyer is also an option for you and your family.
Oregon Statute of Limitations for Birth Injuries
How Long Do You Have to Sue for a Birth Injury? In the state of Oregon, mothers who were injured during childbirth or have a child who suffered an injury during their birth, often due to medical malpractice, have two years from the date of the injury or discovery to file a lawsuit.
Who Is Liable for Birth Injuries in Oregon?
Birth injuries can be caused by a number of individuals, including the delivering physician OB/GYN, nurse, midwife, or anesthesiologist. Any individual responsible for substandard care during the prenatal, labor, or delivery period can be liable for birth injuries. In some cases, a hospital bears partial responsibility for a birth injury because of its lack of adequate training or failure to provide adequate facilities.
We will help you seek a financial recovery to pay for:
- Long-term therapy
- Nursing care
- Medical bills related to the birth
- Emotional trauma
The key to recovering a fair amount of damages is making certain all the correct liable parties are named in your claim or lawsuit. Using our keen familiarity with birth injury claims, we can narrow in on the parties responsible, be it an individual medical practitioner or the medical institution that allowed them to practice in their facilities.
Benefits of Hiring a Birth Injury Lawyer
Considering the lasting effects birth injuries can have on a child, hiring a lawyer if your child has endured an injury at birth is essential. Birth injury lawyers can assist with filing legal claims and help recover compensatory damages — such as costs for medical bills or special treatments. An attorney may also provide guidance on navigating the complex healthcare system and its related policies. Working with an experienced birth injury lawyer can be beneficial to your family during this challenging time.
Legal Guidance from a Successful Birth Injury Lawyer
We understand how difficult it is to consider litigation when you have suffered possibly the greatest hardship in your life. At Angel Law, P.C., our birth injury lawyer in Portland can help you find an amicable solution without pushing you out of your comfort zone.
If you have questions about injuries related to the birth of your child or to that of a family member, please do not hesitate to contact our firm. We represent clients from all over the state and we can promptly travel to meet with you in your home to discuss your potential legal matter.
Your initial consultation is free; call (503) 862-8666 to get started!
Frequently Asked Questions About Birth Injuries
Our team has extensive experience working with victims of birth injuries. Below we have answered some of the most common questions we receive. For more information, please do not hesitate to give us a call.
What’s the difference between a birth injury and a birth defect?
Birth injuries are considered physician injuries or disabilities caused by some sort of avoidable mistake that happened before, during, or after birth. On the other hand, a birth defect is considered a health condition that develops during pregnancy and is not due to any identifiable medical mistake. The terms are used interchangeably in some medical contexts, though, which can cause some confusion during a lawsuit.
Who receives the money after a successful lawsuit for a birth injury?
Technically, the plaintiff in a birth injury lawsuit is the child who has been injured. Given that a child cannot represent themselves, though, the lawsuit is brought forth by the parents or legal guardian. As such, any awards secured through the lawsuit are given to the parents or guardians, not to the child. In some cases, a settlement or award will be placed into a trust fund that belongs to the child and cannot be accessed until the child turns 18. Costs associated with medical costs are generally provided upfront to the parents, though.
How common are birth injuries?
The rate of birth injuries in the United States can vary depending on the dataset used and the type of birth injury in question. Some estimations state that 1 in 500 births involve a birth injury, but others put the rate much higher, at about 1 in 100.
How much time do I have to file a birth injury claim in Oregon?
The statute of limitations on birth injury claims in Oregon is two years, which is the same for personal injury claims. The two years begin on the date of the injury or when the injury becomes readily apparent or is diagnosed by a medical professional. This distinction is important because an infant might not show signs of a birth injury until months or years later. For example, if your child has cerebral palsy but you had no reason to suspect something was wrong until they were two and missing important developmental stages, then the statute of limitations could last until they are four.
How much will it cost me to hire a birth injury lawyer?
Hiring a birth injury attorney from our firm is always affordable because we offer free initial consultations and contingency fee agreements. You don’t have to pay any legal fees unless we win your case. If we do win your case, then we are paid by using a percentage of your award or settlement, which means you cannot be charged more than you can afford.
What is “informed consent” in birth injury claims?
Informed consent is a medical concept that describes a situation in which a patient has had the opportunity to be thoroughly informed about a medical procedure’s purpose, risks, and alternatives before it is performed. In a birth injury claim, informed consent could become an issue if a doctor made decisions during delivery or labor without first notifying the mother, and assuming there was time to inform her.
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