Birth Injury Lawyer in San Antonio, TX
An injury to a newborn baby is a type of trauma unlike any other. The joy parents experience during birth is trumped by sadness, fear, and panic about what the future holds for their new baby. If you believe your newborn suffered injuries because of the negligence of the OB-GYN, nurse, or other medical staff, you may have grounds to contact a San Antonio birth injury lawyer.
Although our birth injury lawyers cannot undo the harm caused to you, your baby, or your family, we can help you obtain damages to help pay for the necessary medical, educational, and other important expenses needed for your child in the years to come. At Janicek Law, our birth injury attorneys can help you take the legal action you need to get compensation for your child’s injury. Call us today at 210-366-4949 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced birth injury lawyer at Janicek Law.
What is a Birth Injury?
A birth injury is any injury that happens during gestation, labor, delivery, or shortly after birth. These injuries can sometimes cause minor injuries and leave your baby in the NICU for a few extra days. In some cases, birth injuries can cause life-threatening complications or lead to permanent damage to your newborn. This damage can cause physical disabilities, seizures, neurological impairment, and developmental delays. Medical care providers are supposed to provide a standard duty of care to prevent these injuries and closely monitor both mom and baby to treat any issues that come up. When medical providers fail to follow this standard of care, both mom and baby can be left with permanent damage.
Common Types of Birth Injuries
Birth injury is an umbrella term that encompasses every type of injury that happens before, during, or shortly after birth. Many of these injuries are preventable and/or treatable. Unfortunately, negligence or carelessness can lead to severe injuries. Some of the most common forms of birth injuries we see at Janicek Law include cerebral palsy, brachial plexus injuries, and bone fractures.
1 in 323 children has some form of cerebral palsy. This type of birth injury is caused by a brain injury during childbirth. Cerebral palsy can cause cognitive and physical disabilities for life. Many children have issues meeting appropriate milestones. Children with cerebral palsy often need extensive medical care and many will never have the ability to live alone and care for themselves.
Brachial Plexus Injury
The brachial plexus is a bundle of nerves that control movement and sensation throughout the neck, shoulders, arms, and hands. These nerves are located in the neck and shoulder. Even minor brachial plexus injuries can result in loss of sensation and movement in the hands and fingers. During birth, these nerves can be stretched, compressed, or torn, resulting in a condition known as brachial plexus palsy. Depending on the location of the injury, different parts of the body can be affected. Erb’s palsy is the most common form of brachial plexus injury. This condition often means the upper nerves are damaged, resulting in a loss of function in the shoulder and bicep. Shoulder dystocia is a common cause of brachial plexus injuries. This happens when the baby’s head makes it through the birth canal, but the shoulder gets stuck under the mother’s pelvic bone.
The most common bone fractures in newborns are skull fractures and broken clavicles. Shoulder dystocia can cause the shoulder to get stuck behind the mother’s pelvic bone during childbirth. Doctors and nurses may use excessive force to get the baby free, resulting in a severe birth injury. Medical providers may also use forceps or vacuums to free the baby from the birth canal, and this can also result in bone fractures.
Other forms of birth injuries we see at Janicek Law include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Meconium aspiration
- Uterine rupture
- Perinatal stroke
- Epidural injuries
- Wrongful death
No matter the nature of your child’s injury, you can trust a birth injury lawyer at Janicek Law to provide unmatched representation for your birth injury claim.
Causes of Birth Injuries
Medical professionals have extensive training when it comes to labor and delivery. Unfortunately, distraction, carelessness, and improper training can also result in preventable birth injuries. While some maternal behaviors can result in an increased risk of birth injuries, the fault usually lies with medical professionals. The cause of many birth injuries is not always immediately apparent. During labor and delivery, you’ll often have a whole team of doctors, nurses, and other medical staff working on your delivery. With all these moving parts, it’s not uncommon for critical information to be left out of your health record. This is why you need to work with a law firm that has the experience and knowledge necessary to prove your medical malpractice claim.
How Medical Malpractice Can Cause Birth Injuries
Giving birth is an extremely vulnerable time for both mom and baby. Negligent medical care and medical errors can easily cause serious injuries. We’ve listed some of the most common medical errors that contribute to birth injuries below.
- Failure to monitor fetal distress
- Improper use of forceps or vacuum during delivery
- Excessive force during delivery
- Failure to perform C-section
- Failure to diagnose an infection
- Improper administration of medication
- Failure to detect and treat oxygen deprivation
- Failure to recognize and treat fetus in breech position
Long-Term Effects of Birth Injuries
Many parents may not even realize their child has suffered a birth injury until months or even years later. Realizing your baby may not meet the same milestones as other children can come as a shock to many parents, especially if they weren’t aware of any birth injuries. Some of the long-term effects of birth injuries include:
- Learning disabilities
- Delayed milestones
- Poor motor control
- Cognitive impairment
- Physical disabilities
- Speech disorders
Many children have to have special accommodations or medical equipment to do the same things their peers do. If you have any reason to believe your child suffered a birth injury, contact the birth injury attorneys at Janicek Law as soon as possible.
Do I Have a Birth Injury Lawsuit?
If your child’s injury was caused by a negligent care provider, you have legal options available. Working with a trusted and reputable law firm can help ease this process. For a successful birth injury lawsuit, you and your legal team must be able to prove different elements of medical malpractice or medical negligence.
At Janicek Law, our board-certified legal team has helped injured victims in and around the San Antonio area for more than 25 years. We can help you file a birth injury lawsuit against the responsible party so you and your family have the resources to heal.
How the Birth Injury Attorneys at Janicek Law Can Help
Birth injuries can cause life-long disabilities, extensive complications, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical care. Medical debt can quickly bankrupt a family and cause an overwhelming amount of stress. A medical malpractice claim may not reverse what happened to your child, but it can provide the resources you need to make your child’s life more comfortable. The attorneys at Janicek Law can help provide the skill and knowledge necessary for a successful medical malpractice claim. Even if you are unsure your baby’s injury was due to the negligence of the hospital staff, contact us to set up an appointment to talk about your situation. Our experienced team of lawyers can discuss the law and offer advice on potential legal options available.
Proving Elements of Medical Negligence
Medical negligence is a bit more involved than regular personal injury lawsuits. For a successful medical malpractice lawsuit, you and your legal team must be able to prove that your medical care provider was negligent in some way and that their negligence caused an injury. Proving medical negligence involves establishing a duty of care, a breach of duty, causation, and damages. You and your legal team must be able to prove that your medical provider breached a standard of care and that this breach of duty resulted in an injury. This is usually done with the help of expert witnesses. At Janicek Law, our medical malpractice attorneys are supported by medical professionals that can help answer any complicated medical questions.
Liable Parties in Medical Malpractice Case
Birth injury lawsuits may not always find the obstetrician responsible for the injury, even though they are the ones typically responsible for a safe birth. Your child’s birth injury could have been caused by a negligent nurse or a careless intern. At Janicek Law, we dive into your medical records and perform a thorough investigation into the exact cause of birth injuries. In some birth injury claims, the cause is a complicated mixture of distraction, understaffing, and improperly trained medical practitioners. In birth injury cases like this, it can be difficult to prove that the mistake of one party contributed to a severe injury. With the attorneys at Janicek Law by your side, you can trust that our team will get to the bottom of it.
Texas Statute of Limitations
Under Texas law, parents of children with birth injuries have a limited amount of time to file a medical malpractice lawsuit for compensation. The medical malpractice statute of limitations is only two years, but there are some exceptions to this rule.
If the victim is under 12 years old at the time of the incident, parents have until the child’s 14th birthday to pursue compensation for the damages. While it’s often incredibly difficult to determine the true extent of damage from a birth injury in a young child, waiting years before filing a claim for compensation can often cause harm to your case. Evidence can degrade as time passes, eyewitnesses can forget, and hospital files can be lost or destroyed. Working with an experienced birth injury attorney at Janicek Law can ensure that you and your family can focus on healing while we focus on meeting the appropriate legal deadlines.
Determining Compensation for Birth Injuries
Compensation in a birth injury claim can be complicated. Giving birth is already an expensive medical bill, but even minor complications can increase these expenses. Determining the true cost of a birth injury can be extremely difficult. At Janicek Law, our attorneys have extensive experience in personal injury law and the types of compensation available to injured victims. At Janicek Law, we can help you pursue compensation for:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Special adaptive equipment for your child
- Special education accommodations
- In-home nursing care
- Lost wages, if parents have to miss work or stay at home permanently to care for their child
- Permanent disability
- Loss of enjoyment in life
- Emotional distress
- And more
How Much Do Birth Injury Lawyers Cost?
One of your first questions may be obvious: how much does a birth injury lawyer cost? At Janicek Law, we work on a contingency fee basis, which means we don’t get paid until you do. We don’t charge for your initial consultation, so you can explore your legal options with our firm with no financial risk. If we don’t recover compensation in your case, you won’t be responsible for attorney fees.