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- Birth Paralysis
- Delivery by Forceps or Vacuum Extraction
- Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)
- Neonatal Hypoxia
- Retinopathy Prematurity
- Brachial Plexus Palsy
- Developmental Delays from Birth Malpractice
- Infant Resuscitation Errors
- Neonatal Therapeutic Hypothermia
- Shoulder Dystocia
- Brain Damage/Head Trauma
- Erb’s Palsy
- Infant Wrongful Death
- NICU Malpractice
- Subgaleal Hemorrhage
- C Section Cases
- Facial Paralysis
- IUGR/Intrauterine Growth Restriction
- Nuchal Cord Malpractice
- Torticollis (Wry Neck)
- Fetal Acidosis
- OB-GYN Malpractice
- Uterine Rupture
- Cephalopelvic Disproportion
- Fetal Distress
- Klumpke’s Palsy
- Periventricular Leukomalacia
- Cerebral Palsy
- Fetal Monitoring Malpractice
- Placental Abruption
- Clavicle Fracture
- Group B Streptococcus
- Meconium Aspiration Syndrome
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HAS YOUR CHILD SUFFERED A BIRTH INJURY?
Mental or physical birth injuries are horrible injuries that can affect a child for the rest of their life. Yet, birth injuries are often entirely preventable and occur due to medical negligence or doctor or other professionals’ mistakes. When a birth injury occurs in these circumstances, parents deserve compensation for the potential lifelong treatment and medical care their child needs.
GET THE BIRTH INJURY COMPENSATION YOU DESERVE
If you or a loved one suffered because of a birth injury anywhere in Pennsylvania, we’re here to help you in your time of need. Gilman & Bedigian medical malpractice and birth injury lawyers represent victims in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania. Learn more about our services and how we can help you obtain the compensation you deserve in your child’s birth injury lawsuit today.
THE TOP BIRTH INJURY LAWYERS IN PENNSYLVANIA
Looking for top-rated birth injury lawyers serving Philadelphia and Pennsylvania? Gilman and Bedigian are the local experts at birth injury lawsuits. We have an experienced birth injury attorney ready to help you today.
In 2012, birth injury lawyer H. Briggs Bedigian served as the lead attorney on two record-setting medical malpractice cases, with settlements of $55 million and $21 million, respectively. Very few attorneys nationwide win settlements in excess of $2 million, let alone more than $50 million. Our experienced medical malpractice law firm has achieved these record settlements on a number of occasions.
PROVING MEDICAL MALPRACTICE IS CHALLENGING
Establishing medical negligence in a child’s birth injury lawsuit is hard. Often it takes years of work and a law firm with sufficient economic standing to afford experts to testify on your behalf. The birth injury attorney you select must also have a robust network of experts to tap into to ensure your birth injury claims will hold up in court.
FIGHTING MEDICAL MALPRACTICE INSURANCE COMPANIES
The medical malpractice insurance companies we go up against have unlimited financial resources to defend themselves against your birth injury claim. Often they attempt to put the law firm working for you in financial anguish so that they drop the medical negligence case.
Smaller law firms and solo birth injury lawyers just can’t afford to stand up to that kind of pressure. However, Gilman and Bedigian birth injury lawyers will advance all the costs required for your Pennsylvania birth injury case.
Why? We only take on cases we believe in and want you and your family to have peace of mind during this tumultuous time. Plus, you won’t pay anything unless we win a settlement for you. That’s right: zero upfront costs for our clients.
When these medical malpractice insurance companies see that Philadelphia birth injury attorneys Gilman and Bedigian represent you, they get scared. They know we mean business because of our multi-million dollar settlements. They will often write a check out for a lot more money than they usually would because they know what could happen if they go to court.
Smaller and less experienced medical negligence firms will be unable to fight as hard as a birth injury attorney from Gilman and Bedigian, Pennsylvania’s experienced birth injury attorneys.
If we say we can help you, we mean it!
YOUR PENNSYLVANIA BIRTH INJURY CASE
Each year, 28,000 children are born with birth injuries, which equates to 7 out of every 1,000 births. Essentially, that’s three birth injuries per hour. This level of birth injury is just too high – we believe many of these injuries are preventable.
Birth injuries can occur in utero, while the fetus is still inside the mother, or during delivery. In-utero birth injuries may occur: if a doctor does not detect a birth defect, prescribes harmful medicine to the mother, or fails to take the proper steps to prevent a medical catastrophe.
Delivery injuries can occur if doctors or medical professionals do not deliver the baby properly or fail to take the steps necessary to prevent problems from occurring. For example, a mother might have needed a C-section, and a doctor tried to do a vaginal birth or improperly used forceps.
Some birth injuries may only be temporary and resolve themselves, while others permanently damage a baby for the rest of its life.
At Gilman and Bedigian birth injury lawyers, we work hard to help families recover from the trauma of a birth injury and get on the path to healing, no matter the type or severity of birth injury that occurred. An experienced birth injury lawyer can help access your medical records and assist you in beginning your healing journey now.
TYPES OF BIRTH INJURY CLAIMS
We represent clients who are dealing with many different birth injuries, including:
- Birth paralysis
- Cerebral palsy
- Erb’s palsy
- Facial paralysis
- Clavicle fracture
- Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)
- Placental abruption
- Neonatal hypoxia
- Fetal acidosis
- Shoulder dystocia
These are just a few of the many birth injury lawsuits we are equipped to handle.
Some of the common complications that can result in A birth injurY CLAIM are:
- Uterine rupture
- Gestational diabetes
- Breech position
- Placenta previa
- Cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD), where the baby’s head won’t fit through the mother’s pubic bone or is stuck
- Posterior position
- Anemia in the mother or child
- Multiple births
- Slow labor
- Nuchal cord (where the umbilical cord is wrapped around the baby’s head)
- Other umbilical cord problems
FETAL DISTRESS & MEDICAL MALPRACTICE IN PENNSYLVANIA
Whether you need a Philadelphia birth injury lawyer or a birth injury lawyer in another area of Pennsylvania, we have you covered. If fetal distress is to blame for your birth injury, then we will work hard to prove that your doctor didn’t do enough for you and your baby to prevent complications from happening.
Fetal distress rarely occurs if a woman has had an otherwise healthy pregnancy. However, any history of issues like anemia, hypertension, pre-eclampsia, stillbirth, diabetes, post-term pregnancy, or obesity should signal to the doctor that fetal distress is more likely.
Signs of fetal distress include the following:
- Decreased movement of the baby
- Decreased fetal heart rate
- Unusual amounts of amniotic fluid
- Smaller than average baby weight
- Difficult or prolonged labor
- Decreased oxygen levels in the fetus
A doctor can possibly reduce fetal distress by:
- Ensuring the mother stays hydrated
- Changing the mother’s position
- Delaying or inducing labor
- Alleviating pressure on the umbilical cord
- Monitor the oxygen levels of the baby and the mother
Your doctor might utilize continuous electrical fetal monitoring (EFM) and sensors over your abdomen to monitor your baby’s heartbeats and your contractions. Or they could also take a small blood sample from your baby or place a fetal scalp electrode into your baby’s scalp to monitor how they tolerate labor.
C-SECTION MEDICAL MALPRACTICE IN PENNSYLVANIA
Like all surgeries, C-sections come with some risks. Significant complications are rare with Cesarean sections, though, so considering that a baby could be born with brain damage through a vaginal birth, the choice to perform a C-section is obvious.
Although any patient can request a C-section, it is ultimately up to the mother to make that decision. Currently, C-section rates in the U.S. are 31.7% of all deliveries.
A mother may need a C-section in the following circumstances:
- The baby displayed fetal distress
- She had a prior C-section or other previous surgery that could interfere with birth
- The baby is breeched
- There is more than one child in the womb
C-sections are harder to recover from than vaginal births. A vaginal birth takes two to four weeks to recover from, while a C-section can take up to six weeks to recover.
Babies who were born from C-sections are more vulnerable to issues such as:
- Problems breastfeeding
- Delays in breastfeeding
- Respiratory problems
C-sections can result in errors that severely harm a mother or child, causing birth injuries.
BIRTH EXTRACTION DEVICE MALPRACTICE IN PENNSYLVANIA
If a doctor incorrectly used birth extraction devices like forceps or a vacuum extraction tool during the delivery.
Doctors will utilize these devices if the labor has been prolonged and challenging, and vaginal birth doesn’t seem like a possibility at that point. A baby could also show signs of distress, and a doctor will determine that it’s best to speed up the birthing process and get the baby out as soon as possible.
Forceps look like tongs, cradle a baby’s head, and help pull out the baby during delivery. If a doctor uses too much force, the forceps can injure the baby’s head or strain its arms or neck, resulting in a birth injury.
A vacuum extractor tool involves placing a small cup on the baby’s head. The device is attached to a pump that creates a vacuum suction and gently helps pull the baby out. However, using these tools can cause a bruise on the baby’s head that will heal without medical intervention. Again, using too much force could cause a birth injury to the head, arms, or neck.
If these delivery tools are used improperly, it can cause issues for the baby like:
- Scalp wounds
- Hemorrhaging or excessive bleeding
The mother might experience the following:
- Vaginal tears
- Bladder or urethra injuries
An expert Pennsylvania birth injury attorney from Gilman and Bedigian could help determine whether or not a birth extraction device was used with too much force and ended up causing damage to the baby, mother, or both.
Here are some of the more common birth injuries in Pennsylvania and throughout the United States.
Cerebral palsy, or CP, is a group of disorders that impact a person’s ability to move, uphold their posture, and affect balance. CP is the most common motor disability in childhood involving around 1 in 345 children. The disorder is more common in boys than girls, and most CP develops due to brain damage before or during birth. CP is thought to occur because of a lack of oxygen before, during, or after the birthing process – sometimes, CP is preventable; other times, it is not.
Childbirth injuries that can lead to CP include:
- Not diagnosing the mother with conditions or infections that could hurt her baby
- Not performing a C-section in time
- Not monitoring the oxygen supply levels to the baby
- Not correcting oxygen supply problems
- Not diagnosing a prolapsed umbilical cord
The improper use of birth extraction devices can also cause damage and bleeding in the birth, resulting in a lack of oxygen and CP. Unfortunately, CP is not always noticeable at first, and a baby must undergo further tests to diagnose it.
CP symptoms will affect a baby throughout their life. They may need to walk with crutches, undergo physical therapy, take muscle relaxants and sedatives, and undergo surgery.
Also known as brachial plexus palsy, Erb’s palsy happens when there are damaged nerves in a baby’s upper arm. Up to two in every 1,000 children are born with this condition.
It could occur because a doctor improperly delivered a baby and unnaturally pulled or stretched the baby, and it could cause a damaged nerve or circulation development, numbness, paralysis, or decreased movement in a baby’s arm. At birth, if a baby is not moving their arms, it could be a sign of Erb’s palsy.
Erb’s palsy could happen because:
- The baby was breeched or in a difficult birthing position
- The mother’s labor was long or challenging
- The baby was large before being born
- Forceps or a vacuum extractor tool were not used correctly
Erb’s palsy could go away naturally, and a baby could start to feel their arm again after just a few days. If the case is more severe, a baby could need surgery within three to six months to treat the nerve damage. Most of Erb’s palsy cases – 70% to 80% — can be corrected within 12 months. However, 20% or so of babies may experience lifelong problems.
Hypoxia is a lack of oxygen to the brain; two to four out of every 1,000 babies born will suffer from it. Many babies can recover from hypoxia if they get their normal oxygen levels back quickly enough. However, 25% of babies will have longer-lasting or permanent neurological issues.
Several factors can cause hypoxia, including:
- Umbilical cord prolapse
- Excessive contractions
- Fetal distress
- Premature birth
- Eclampsia and preeclampsia
- Placental abruption or other issues with the placenta
- Shoulder dystocia
- Inappropriate use of labor stimulation drugs such as Pitocin or Oxytocin
- Negligent interpretation of the child’s heart rate or fetal monitoring strips
- Failure to monitor the baby’s oxygen levels
Hypoxia can cause many different medical conditions:
- Cerebral palsy
- Vision issues
- Motor skill problems
- Developmental delays
The severity of the injuries will depend on how long the brain was on dangerously low levels of oxygen. Anoxia could occur if the baby’s brain is completely cut off from oxygen.
It is critical for doctors to monitor oxygen levels continuously and to take suitable measures to correct any issues straight away. If they or their staff fails to do so, it could result in devastating effects on your baby and your family that may have been entirely preventable.
Shoulder dystocia happens when a baby’s shoulders are caught on the mother’s pubic bone during delivery. It occurs in about 1 in every 200 births, and 20% of babies who experience shoulder dystocia will become injured.
Risk factors for shoulder dystocia include:
- Obesity in the mother
- Previous birthing issues related to shoulder dystocia
- Gestational diabetes
- Diabetes in the mother
- Birthing multiple babies
- Long or difficult labor
Shoulder dystocia can lead to:
- Erb’s palsy or other nerve injuries
- Bone fractures
- A brain injury
Often, shoulder dystocia is preventable if doctors take the correct course of action to fix any issues.
DAMAGES & CLAIMS FOR PENNSYLVANIA CHILDBIRTH INJURIES
The United States is the most expensive country to give birth in. It costs an average of $9,617 for an uncomplicated vaginal delivery and $15,799 for an uncomplicated C-section birth. Inflation and the rising cost of living continue to push these numbers higher.
Some complications, like severe neurological injuries, can affect your child for the rest of their life, resulting in millions of dollars in doctors’ bills. Birth injuries that affect the mother can also put a severe dent in your bank account, especially if you are uninsured or underinsured.
One of the most sought-after damages is the cost that parents incurred for incomplete medical care. Parents can also request damages for physical or mental harm and the costs for future procedures for the mother or child. For instance, if they need to pay for an occupational therapist or invest in medical equipment to install in their home, they can seek damages to cover these expenses.
To have a decent chance at winning compensation, parents need to do the following:
- Demonstrate that they had a doctor/patient relationship with the doctor or hospital.
- Show that the doctor did not uphold the normal “standard of care” or acted in a way that another doctor of their stature would not have acted.
- Because of this, a birth injury occurred, and the mother or child suffered.
SPEAK TO AN EXPERIENCED BIRTH INJURY LAWYER TODAY
For assistance with your Pennsylvania birth injury claim, reach out to Gilman & Bedigian today. Call us at (215) 561-4999 or contact us here 24/7 for a free consultation with one of our experienced birth injury attorneys.
We’re experts at birth injury cases and look forward to helping you achieve the best outcome in your medical negligence or birth injury lawsuit.