Birth Injury Lawyer in Miami
Miami Birth Injury Lawyer Shares Important Information on Birth Injuries
It goes without saying that having a baby is an exciting and stressful time. It can also be a complicated time. This is why we rely on medical professionals such as our primary care physician, OB-GYN, and nursing staff to help care and deliver our newborn. While most healthcare professionals are competent and navigate the labor and delivery process for us without issue, unfortunately, our birth injury lawyer in Miami knows that far too many newborn children suffer preventable birth injuries due to medical malpractice. These damages may occur before, during, or even after the labor and delivery process. At each stage, birth injuries to a newborn could be catastrophic.
Types of Birth Injuries For Our Lawyer to Review
There are many different types of birth injuries. Most types of newborn injuries are caused by birth asphyxia or a lack of oxygen to the baby. This can result in either hypoxic damages (insufficient oxygen supply) or anoxic damages (a complete lack of oxygen). Even brief lapses in oxygen supply could result in childbirth damages that should be reviewed by a birth injury lawyer.
Some of the most common and devastating birth injuries in newborns include the following:
Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)
Many newborn injury claims handled by lawyers revolve around some form of hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. Also known as HIE, this condition causes brain damage to a baby due to a decrease in the supply of oxygenated blood. Damage from HIE could cause a myriad of other damaging conditions, including cerebral palsy, developmental delays, seizure disorders, and wrongful death. All of these conditions should be reviewed by a Miami lawyer if a child was diagnosed with any of them. HIE is caused by a decrease in oxygen supply, not a complete stop of oxygen. The most common causes of HIE include the following:
- Excessive contractions which constrict oxygen blood through the umbilical cord
- Overuse of vacuum extraction tool on the head
- Dangerous fetal heart rate fluctuations (decelerations and accelerations) which are not corrected
- Overdose of Pitocin which is used to induce labor and powerful contractions
- Umbilical cord prolapse which is when the umbilical cord leaves the birth canal before the baby and restricts oxygen flow
- Ruptures of the umbilical cord which disrupt oxygen supply
- Placenta abruptions which are when the placenta separates from the uterine wall
- Failing to clear an airway and delays in starting neonatal resuscitation
- Many other reckless or careless errors our lawyer should review that could result in a birth injury lawsuit
Anytime birth related injuries may have been caused by any decrease in oxygen, it is important to contact a Miami birth injury lawyer to protect your child’s potential claims to compensation.
Cerebral Palsy (CP)
Cerebral palsy  is one of the most devastating injuries which is irreversible, permanent, and incredibly disabling. Cerebral palsy is a condition or group of conditions that result in movement disorders or weaknesses. It is caused by lesions due to damage to the developing brain. HIE is a common cause of cerebral palsy. While cerebral palsy could be caused due to natural complications, every diagnosis of cerebral palsy should be evaluated by a birth injury lawyer. There are four types of cerebral palsy, which include the following:
- Spastic Cerebral Palsy – This is the most common type of cerebral palsy and results in hypertonia, or increased muscle tone and rigidity. Individuals with spastic CP have difficulty moving due to a restricted range of motion which usually results in an abnormal gait and reflexes
- Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy – Individuals with dyskinetic CP have involuntary and uncontrollable movements that can be slow and writhing (twisting or curling), or fast and jerky (erratic). Most people with dyskinetic CP also have fluctuating hypertonia (increased muscle tone) or hypotonia (flaccid muscle tone). This can make walking, talking, or even just laying down difficult. There are many different subtypes of dyskinetic CP, including athetoid and choreoathetoid CP. The different subtypes depend on the location of the damage in the brain
- Ataxic Cerebral Palsy – Childbirth damages causing ataxic CP will result in coordination and balance issues. This means individuals with ataxic cerebral palsy will have trouble walking or coordinating movements like running, sitting, or getting in and out of vehicles. Fine motor movements like buttoning shirts or writing are also complicated if not impossible for some individuals
- Mixed Cerebral Palsy – Since the damage to the developing brain dictates how cerebral palsy affects a person, some people may have symptoms of multiple different types of cerebral palsy. Mixed cerebral palsy means continuously shifting needs for healthcare and assistance. Victims with any form of cerebral palsy, especially mixed cerebral palsy, should ask our birth injury lawyer in Miami for assistance
It is normal for newborns to have some form of jaundice as their kidneys and liver begin to function independently for the first time. This is due to the excessive bilirubin in the blood system that is not filtered out quickly enough. Jaundice typically resolves on its own within a few hours or a few days. However, if jaundice lasts for a week or longer, it could result in a devastating condition known as Kernicterus which could cause brain damage  .
Kernicterus occurs when the excessive bilirubin reaches dangerous levels and it begins to poison the body, particularly the developing brain. This can result in irreversible brain damage to a baby. Kernicterus is preventable and the symptoms are blatantly obvious by the yellow manifestation on a child’s skin and eyes. Therefore, every time a child is diagnosed with Kernicterus a Miami lawyer needs to be consulted.
Brachial Plexus Injuries
The brachial plexus nerves snake out from the spinal cord in your neck and extend to your shoulder, down your arm, and to your fingertips. These nerves govern motor movement, sensation, and function for the arm. While the brachial plexus nerves are tough, they can be stretched, torn, or completely pulled out of the spinal cord. This occurs when a baby’s arm or shoulder is trapped in the birth canal, also known as a form of shoulder dystocia. If a healthcare provider pulls, yanks, or applies excessive pressure on the arm or neck, the brachial plexus nerves could be permanently damaged. Since a brachial plexus nerve injury could be generally avoided with proper pre-delivery care or a c-section, every brachial plexus case should be reviewed by a lawyer.
Causes of Birth Injuries
There are two general causes of newborn injuries. The first cause is newborn injuries resulting from the direct actions of a healthcare provider. This could be the improper use of extraction tools or pulling on a child’s arm through the birth canal. The second cause is newborn injuries resulting from the inactions of a healthcare provider. Common examples of dangerous inactions include delays in diagnosing a condition like Kernicterus or failing to order a timely c-section.
Some of the most common causes of newborn injuries that should be reviewed by a lawyer include the following:
- Failing to monitor and protect the baby’s oxygen supply
- Improper use of extraction tools
- Inexperienced staff or negligent hires
- Delays in performing an emergency c-section
- Improper fetal monitoring
- Poor pre-labor screening and evaluation
- Failure to diagnose preeclampsia and eclampsia
- Mishandling a baby
- Failure to identify and timely reaction to fetal distress such as the presence of meconium
- Trauma during the birthing process, and
- Any reckless, careless, or negligent causes which result in damage to a baby that should be reviewed by a lawyer
Birth Injury Compensation Claims
It is imperative to have a lawyer represent you and your family when healthcare negligence causes damage to your newborn. Children injured by medical malpractice in Florida may suffer significant pain and suffering and may require future surgery, around the clock care (even as an adult), and may need numerous types of therapy such as speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, or vocational therapy. These damages are costly, as the CDC estimated that children with CP had healthcare costs 10 times higher than children without CP .
Therefore, families may recover compensation in a birth injury lawsuit for their child who was harmed by a negligent healthcare provider in Miami. This compensation cannot always help repair the damage done to a child, but it can help ensure that your loved one has the proper medical care, nursing assistance, and financial support to help him or her have as full of a life as possible.
Did Florida Medical Negligence Cause Newborn Injuries to a Loved One? Ask Our Miami Birth Injury Lawyer for Help
Victims and their families need to hire a lawyer that is compassionate and knowledgeable to protect the rights of their children who suffered preventable birth related injuries. Here at Schlacter Law, our Miami birth injury lawyer will fight back with hospitals, doctors, and other careless healthcare professionals who caused damages to your child. Ask for a FREE case evaluation by calling (305) 999-1111 or filling out our convenient and easy to use contact us form on our website.
- https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/cp/facts.html ↩
- https://www.webmd.com/children/what-is-kernicterus#1 ↩
- https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/cp/data.html ↩
- http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0000-0099/0095/Sections/0095.11.html ↩
- https://law.justia.com/cases/florida/supreme-court/2017/sc15-1858.html ↩
How We Handle Cases
- Your attorney will aggressively investigate your case. Schlacter Law will compile all necessary evidence needed to maximize the value of your case. Which includes but is not limited to photographs, police reports, security camera footage, witness statements, medical bills and medical records.
- You will remain in constant contact with Schlacter Law about the progression of your case.
- Your attorney will present your case to the insurance company and will attempt to resolve your case before the case goes to court for maximum compensation.
- Your attorney will make every effort possible to resolve the case as quickly as possible for the most amount of money you may be entitled to. You will be actively involved in the negotiation process with your attorney. Schlacter Law understands that this is your one opportunity to get justice for your loss.
- If settlement negotiations are unsuccessful, Schlacter Law will be fully prepared to bring your case to court to fight for the justice you deserve.
- At no cost to you, Schlacter Law will hire any experts and professionals needed to maximize your recovery and present your case in the strongest form possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do I have a file a medical malpractice claim?
Usually two years from the date of the medical malpractice. This time period is mandatory and is known as the statute of limitations period under Florida Revised Laws section 95.11  . The failure to have a lawyer in Miami help within this time period could result in your case being dismissed.
Are there any filing extensions for birth related injuries?
Yes, in certain instances a family may have until a child’s eighth birthday to file a birth injury lawsuit. Florida law has enacted Tony’s Bill which allows a family to commence a Florida medical malpractice case against a negligent healthcare provider for injuries that could not reasonably have been discovered before the child’s eighth birthday. This is known as a toll or extension to the statute of limitations period. It is always best practice to file within the two years, but sometimes it is not possible to get a Miami lawyer before that if a child’s damages are not obvious yet.
Are there are medical malpractice caps in Florida?
No, not anymore after a Florida Supreme Court decision in 2017. Previously, the Legislature enacted statutory law prohibiting non-economic damages (pain and suffering) over $500,000 against an individual doctor or $750,000 against a non-individual such as a hospital. These limits were increased for victims who were wrongfully killed or in a vegetative state to $1 million against individuals and $1.5 million against non-individuals. However, this statute was ruled unconstitutional in North Broward Hospital District v Kalitan , thus allowing Florida birth injury lawyers to obtain the compensation that victims and their families deserve.