Birth Injury Lawyer
Birth injuries can result in brain damage, skeletal deformities, and nerve issues. Some conditions can have lifelong effects on your child.
The birth injury lawyers at the Foley Law Firm can hold negligent delivery room doctors accountable for medical malpractice.
To speak with our birth injury lawyers about what happened, contact our law offices in Scranton and Stroudsburg, PA.
Set Up a Free Consultation
The Foley Law Firm offers free consultations as well as contingency fee representation. You don't pay attorney fees unless we negotiate a settlement or win in court. Discuss your case with our birth injury attorneys today.
A birth injury refers to an impairment that a baby experiences as a result of trauma during childbirth.
Birth injuries can take different forms. Some are the result of physical trauma that caused broken bones or soft tissue injuries. Other birth injuries may be due to oxygen deprivation or asphyxia that caused brain damage in the infant.
The effects of a birth injury can be life-altering and even life-threatening.
Why Do Birth Injuries Happen?
Birth injuries are typically caused by medical malpractice on the part of the doctor or other healthcare providers in the delivery room. Mistakes by these medical professionals are often costly and tragic for families.
Birth Injuries Differ
From Birth Defects
Birth injuries and birth defects are different conditions that can affect an infant. While birth injuries occur during delivery, birth defects tend to occur as a fetus develops during pregnancy. Parents may still be able to sue medical professionals for negligence during prenatal care if their mistakes contributed to a child's birth defect.
Types of Birth Injuries
Cerebral palsy is a form of brain damage that impairs muscle control and motor function. It is not always recognizable at birth, and may not be diagnosed until a child is two or three years old. Roughly 10,000 babies develop cerebral palsy in the U.S. each year. Head trauma or oxygen deprivation can contribute to a child developing cerebral palsy.
Brachial palsy results from damage to the brachial plexus, a bundle of nerves running from the spine through the neck and armpit that is responsible for controlling the upper arms. Brachial plexus birth injuries are typically caused by forceps manipulation and other methods used to deliver babies during difficult births.
Similar to brachial palsy, Erb's palsy is caused by damage to the brachial plexus nerves around the infant's shoulder. Erb's palsy can result in paralysis to part or all of the affected arm, and the limb may not grow to its full length. Sometimes occupational therapy can improve the condition, and surgery is another possible treatment.
Brain, Skull, and Facial Injuries
Prolonged labor and forced extraction can cause skull fractures, facial deformities or nerve damage, and brain damage due to trauma or oxygen deprivation. In addition, bleeding between the baby's skull and its fibrous covering, known as cephalohematoma, can lead to complications such as jaundice and infection.
Delayed Cesarean Section
A C-section is an effective solution to a breech birth or difficult birth. Timely use can prevent a birth injury from occurring and can even be life-saving for the mother. When a C-section is not properly recommended or the doctor waits too long despite signs of fetal distress, it can affect the health of both the mother and her child.
Neonatal Birth Injuries
Premature babies and those born with medical conditions may spend an extended period of time in the hospital's neonatal care unit (NCU). A vulnerable newborn can experience injury or even death due to a doctor's misdiagnosis of their condition, receiving the wrong medication, and other preventable mistakes.
How Long Do I Have to File a Birth Injury Lawsuit? Pennsylvania's Statute of Limitations for Birth Injury Claims
In the state of Pennsylvania, there is a two-year statute of limitations to file a birth injury lawsuit. But if your child is older than two, that doesn't mean it's too late:
The two-year statute of limitations to file a birth injury claim does not go into effect until a child turns 18. That means you can file a claim for a birth injury until your child turns 20 years old.
This long period of time to file a case makes sense since the signs of some birth injuries may not become apparent for several years. That said, it's best to start the legal process as soon as possible to avoid any issues with damaged evidence or medical records and to get the compensation your child needs to cover medical bills and the cost of occupational therapy.
Ready to Help With Complex Birth Injury Cases Helping Families in Scranton and Stroudsburg, PA
"The Foley Law Firm did an amazing job with my case. Though it seemed to be a difficult case to win, I felt confident with their team throughout the process. I would recommend this law firm to anyone--they treat you like family." TJ Thomas