If you think your child might have been injured in Maryland as a result of medical malpractice, the first step that you should take is to talk to an experienced Maryland birth injury lawyer at Pinder Plotkin. We have extensive experience in the medical malpractice field.
The birth of a new baby is supposed to be an exciting and joyful time for a family. However, unfortunately, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 7 out of every 100 birth involves some form of trauma or birth defect, which forever changes the lives of these families. If you or someone close to you has been affected by a birth trauma or a birth defect that was preventable, a Maryland birth injury and birth defects attorney might be able to help with this situation. Financial compensation might be available to help you deal with the massive medical bills and other related expenses that are associated with caring for a special needs child.
When contacting a personal injury lawyer in Maryland, one of the very first things that will be done is to determine whether the deformity or physical injury that the baby has suffered is the result of birth trauma or birth defect. Your Maryland birth injury attorney will investigate your case’s details and provide you with advice and guidance on how to proceed with your claim if you have a feasible case.
What is a Birth Defect?
It is a congenital malformation that takes place during the uterine development process, usually during the pregnancy’s first trimester.
Birth defects may be caused by the uterine being exposed to toxic substances, genetic abnormalities, or certain disease agents, including:
- Genetic syndrome: A genetic abnormality can cause birth defects. For example, down syndrome is a genetic syndrome that is caused by there being an extra 21 chromosome.
- Toxic exposure: Being inadvertently exposed to medications or chemicals during pregnancy increases the risk of birth defects. For example, semiconductor clean rooms that use glycol ethers have been linked to a higher risk of spina bifida. In Maryland, the semiconductors industry is continuing to grow.
Birth defects have also been linked with using certain medications while pregnant. The antidepressants Zoloft and Paxil may cause birth defects that affect the lungs and heart. To talk to a legal professional who can advise you on how to file your injury claim, contact a Maryland birth injury attorney today.
What is Birth Trauma?
It is a type of injury that occurs during labor and at delivery. Often birth trauma is associated with an emergency situation being responded to inappropriately by nurses, doctors, or other medical team members. In some cases, the trauma might arise due to the medical personnel not responding to fetal distress appropriately according to the indicators on the fetal heart monitor. The trauma may also be associated with using interventions such as vacuum extraction and forceps.
Some of the most common birth traumas include the following:
- Cerebral palsy: This is an umbrella term for a set of conditions that arise within the nervous system and brain, and affect muscle coordination and movement. Cerebral palsy is frequently caused by the infant’s brain receiving an insufficient amount of oxygen throughout the birth process.
- Other types of infant brain injuries: There are some infant brain injuries that might not be evident immediately after birth and manifest themselves later. Your child might cry incessantly, have breathing difficulties, or manifest uncontrolled, sporadic body movements. Most often infant brain injuries are associated with deprivation of oxygen during some part of the labor and delivery processes. There are many different factors that can cause this, including fetal distress due to prolonged labor or an umbilical cord wrapped tightly around the baby’s neck. Doctors are trained to adhere to medical best practices to minimize the risk of brain injuries in those situations. However, some physicians do not follow these standards.
- Erb’s palsy: This is an injury to the brachial plexus nerves, which connect the spinal cord with the nerves that coordinate arm movement. This injury can result in loss of sensation in the fingers, hands, and arms, and cause paralysis. Frequently, Erb’s palsy is caused by inappropriate delivery methods being used where the baby’s shoulders get lodged in the back of the pubic bone of the mother.
- Cephalohematoma: This is a bruise located under the scalp’s soft tissues. Over the long run, typically, the injury does not impair the development of the baby, and will normally heal itself. Most often Cephalohematomas are caused by using vacuum extraction or forceps improperly during the delivery process.
Related: Do I have a Birth Injury Case?
How Are Birth Injuries Treated By Maryland Law?
In Maryland, certain kinds of preventable birth defects and preventable birth injuries fall within the malpractice statutes. The legal term malpractice refers to injuries that occur when the professional standards of care are deviated from by a health care professional, either through taking inappropriate action or through negligence.
If the obstetrician left you to labor for a very long time and then rushed in to have an emergency Caesarian section at the last minute, that could be a case of medical malpractice. Or, if certain medications were prescribed to you by your doctor while you were pregnant that are known to have teratogenic side effects, this can be a case of malpractice as well.
In these situations in the state of Maryland, legal action must be commenced by the time a child has reached 11 years old. This is a much longer time period than the statute of limitations of five years for most other malpractice suits in Maryland. The 11-year rule has two exceptions. If the injured involved a foreign body being left negligently inside of a child or it involves the child’s reproductive system, the statute of limitations is extended to the 16th birthday of your child.
In the state of Maryland, medical malpractice non-economic damages are limited to $680,000.
Contact a Maryland Birth Injury Attorney for your Free Consultation
Whenever your child and you have been the victim of a preventable birth defect or injury, you need to know what all of your options are. Contact Pinder Plotkin to schedule your free consultation to learn how a Maryland birth injury attorney at our law firm can help ensure that you receive the fair and full compensation that you deserve.