A birth injury in Los Angeles is considered a medical malpractice case. The child can suffer an injury during birth or the mother can be harmed during birth and even during pregnancy. Nothing can be more unpleasant than an unfortunate event which shadows the great joy of becoming a parent. If you are a mother and you and your child have been harmed by a medical practitioner, you should know that you can seek legal advice and help from our birth injury lawyers in Los Angeles.
|Types of birth injury to the newborn
– brachial palsy (weakness or paralysis in parts of the arm);
– caput succedaneum (localized swelling or edema);
– cephalohematoma (blood accumulation under the scalp);
– cerebral palsy (permanent disorder affecting movement and posture);
– wrongful death
Birth injuries to the mother
– pelvic floor injuries (such as muscle damage);
– perineal area injuries (tears, nerve damage, etc.);
– ruptured or prolapsed uterus;
– post-partum haemorrhage
Medical malpractice (Yes/No)
|Yes, injuries can be caused by medical malpractice
|Who files the claim
Your lawyer can file the case in court
|When to file the claim
As quickly as possible after determining the suffered injuries
|Legal elements of negligence
– professional duty of care owed to the patient;
– breach of such duty of care;
– cause in fact;
– proximate cause;
|Evidence to support the claim
Medical reports as well as from ongoing treatments related to the birth injury
– medical expenses;
– special education or treatment for a child with permanent, debilitating damages
– pain and suffering;
– emotional distress
|Settlement possibility (Yes/No)
|Court proceedings duration
|Approx. 12 to 14 months
|Statute of limitations
|6 months – 8 years
|Compensation amount (approx.)
|Depending on the severity of the injury. Cerebral palsy cases can have a settlement amount of more than 500,000 USD.
|Expected estimated time to settlement
|Approximately 6 weeks, depending on the complexity of the case
|Signs of birth injuries
– weakness or paralysis,
– bone fractures,
– abnormal breathing,
– behavioral issues,
– speech disorders, etc.
Examples of witness testimonies
– parent testimonies,
– pediatricians reports,
– opinions from medical experts, etc.
Medical malpractice lawsuit for traumatic births
– unnecessary C-sections,
– lack of consent,
– failure to inform patient about procedures, etc.
|Stages of a birth injury lawsuit
– investigating medical records,
– filing lawsuit with our medical malpractice lawyer in Los Angeles,
– examining witness testimonials,
– gathering evidence,
– settling negotiations,
– going on trial
|Examples of medical evidence
– fetal monitoring records,
– medical evaluations,
– ultrasound records,
– newborn assessments,
– surgical notes, etc.
|Lost wages compensation (YES/NO)
YES, if the parent had to miss work in order to take care of the child.
|Damages awarded to
– children (through trusts),
|Cap for non-economic damages
$350,000 as of 2023 – Note this sum can change, contact our personal injury lawyers in Los Angeles for updates.
|Cap for wrongful death cases
|Birth injury class action lawsuit (YES/NO)
|Possible liable parties
– pharmaceutical companies,
– public healthcare providers, etc.
|Differences from birth defects
Birth defects are structural or functional abnormalities that originate during fetal development.
|Preventing birth injuries
– choose a qualified healthcare provider,
– avoid unnecessary interventions,
– manage underlying conditions,
– communicate with provider, etc.
|Other personal injury cases taken by our lawyers
– car accidents,
– motorcycle accidents,
– slip and fall,
– burn injuries,
– brain injuries,
– dog bites, etc.
|Why choose our birth injury lawyers in Los Angeles
|Our team of Los Angeles personal injury attorneys specializes in birth injury cases and has extensive experience in representing affected families.
Table of Contents
Cases presented by our birth injury lawyers in Los Angeles
A birth trauma or injury usually refers to the damage brought to the newborn as a result of physical trauma or pressure during childbirth. It can also refer to long term damage which can be inflicted upon the brain or skull.
Some doctors will distinguish between birth trauma and birth injuries, the latter referring to systemic damages (for example infection factors during birth), while trauma is referred to as mechanical damage.
The doctor that assisted you during childbirth can be held responsible, if he or she quickened the delivery, prolonged the delivery or used instruments like forceps thus causing injuries to the infant.
Our birth injury lawyers in Los Angeles can assist in various types of personal injuries, including medical malpractice and birth injuries in California. You can request the help of our lawyers, if you want to file a lawsuit for a birth injury in Los Angeles.
Types of birth injuries in California
Our birth injury lawyers in Los Angeles have come across many birth injury cases during the last years and they have gain experience by representing parents whose children have suffered various types of injuries. The most common they have dealt with are:
- chemical birth injuries: included here are cleft lip, leukemia, under-developed limbs, deformed limbs, organs that are not fully developed;
- brain and spinal cord injuries: neonatal spinal cord injury is usually a rate complication that can occur as a result of a difficult delivery; the newborn can exhibit decreased movement, loss of reflexes, no response to painful stimulus and others;
- shoulder dystocia: when one or both of the shoulders of the newborn is stuck behind the mother’s sacrum during delivery;
- microcephaly: a condition in which the newborn’s head is much smaller than normal; this can take place because the brain was not properly developed during pregnancy; our Los Angeles birth injury attorney can provide you with details on your options in this case;
- other labor and delivery injuries: bruising or broken bones, subconjunctival hemorrhage, swelling of the scalp’s soft tissues for the baby and pelvic floor damage to the mother, among others.
Even if it is painful for a child to suffer, it is even more painful for the parents to see their kid in pain, which is why legal assistance from our birth injury attorney in Los Angelesis advisable if you are involved in such case. It should be known that many of the birth injuries in California mentioned above, even if minor, can harm the quality of life of a child, therefore compensation must be requested.
Our Los Angeles birth injury lawyer can assist you by reviewing the case, by verifying the type of birth injury sustained and who must be held accountable for the damage caused. After these elements are put together we can build a case and ask for the right compensation.
We invite you to watch this video presented by our Los Angeles birth injury lawyer:
Symptoms of birth injuries
As seen above, there are a number of conditions or injuries that can be considered birth injuries.
While some are immediately recognizable, other can develop as the child grows.
It is important to note that every personal injury case has a statute of limitations, a period within which the parent can file a claim.
You can read more about the statute of limitations and how it is applied in medical negligence cases below.
This time limit is relevant for birth injuries with a delayed onset, those that are not apparent immediately after birth but become noticeable after a few months to perhaps a year or more, during development.
The following signs of birth injuries can be present soon after birth:
- difficulty swallowing and suckling;
- excessive drooling;
- unnatural hand position (curled hand);
- low oxygen levels or low heart rate;
- muscle stiffness, muscle looseness;
- weak or no reflexes;
- facial nerve injury;
- seizures or sensitivity to light;
- fractures (can be observed immediately after birth).
Signs of birth injuries that occur between 1 and 2 years of age include:
- speech delay;
- difficulty eating, drinking, grabbing objects;
- difficulty walking/crawling;
- muscle spasms, lack of bodily movements;
- not turning his head towards the source of loud noise;
- vision problems;
- poor or no coordination;
- other issues indicating intellectual disabilities.
Birth injuries that can manifest after 2 years of age can have the following symptoms:
- inability to speak or understand sentences;
- developmental disability onset;
- difficulty walking;
- muscle stiffness/looseness;
- tremor and others.
The symptoms listed above will differ as damages to different areas of the brain result in different symptoms.
It is important to seek proper medical assistance as soon as you notice any unusual symptoms or behaviors, as well as developmental delays (the child missing important milestones).
Monitoring the healthy development of your child is important if hoping to determine that a certain birth injury cased the symptoms.
Please note that any of the symptoms above should always be discussed with a physician as this guide does not constitute expert medical advice.
You should always discuss any concerns about the development of your child with the pediatrist or another expert physician.
A doctor is the only one who will be able to diagnose a birth injury in Los Angeles resulted from brain damage sustained during birthing.
A prompt diagnosis, as soon as you notice that your child is not developing normally, will help you not only start treatment as soon as possible, but also with the timely commencement of the legal proceedings for a birth injury lawsuit.
You can reach out to our birth injury attorney in Los Angeles as soon as you have discusses with a doctor who has diagnosed the birth injury.
Negligence in birth injury cases in California
The goal in any birth injury case is to determine if the medical practitioner was negligent when performing the procedures needed during childbirth or when prescribing treatments during pregnancy.
Our Los Angeles birth injury lawyer can establish the degree of negligence when the injuries were caused by the physician, the nurses or other members of the medical staff or even by defective products or dangerous medicines.
When determining negligence, there are four important issues to discuss:
- Duty of care: the defendant was bound by a duty towards the plaintiff (the patient) in that particular circumstance;
- Breach of duty: failure to observe the aforementioned duty of care when the doctor acted in an unprofessional manner or in another way;
- Causation: the said unprofessional or negligent acts are the ones that ultimately cause the plaintiff’s injury (in this case, the baby’s injury); our birth injury in Los Angeles can give you more details about proving this;
- Damages: the injury is directly linked to the actions of the defendant; in other words, if the said actions would not have taken place, neither would have the injury.
Medical malpractice cases are a type of personal injury for which the duty of care under law is clear. These can also include birth injuries, based on their cause.
The doctor’s primary role is to provide the patient with good medical case, also relevant under the Hippocratic Oath.
The breach of duty needs to be shown in order to have a strong personal injury case. This means that the role of the Los Angeles birth injury attorney from our team who is handling your case will be to prove that the defendant was able to prevent this unfortunate injury, provided that he or she would have acted differently.
The causation in this case is also proven by the medical records issued right after birth and any other subsequent documents showing the inflicted injury.
It is also useful to note that California has a comparative negligence system, meaning that the defendant can claim that the plaintiff was also at fault for the injury. If this is the case, then the compensation claimed by the plaintiff will be reduced by the percentage of fault, if he or she is also found guilty for the injury.
Compensations for birth injuries
The types of compensations for birth injury cases include payments for the medical expenses needed for therapy, surgery or the long-term care of the affected baby and/or mother.
It is important to calculate these costs as accurately as possible, even if some of them will need to be adjusted as you or your child actually undergo the therapy.
Your treating physician or another appointed physician (other than the one who is accused or negligence) will make another evaluation to determine the severity of the injuries.
While your baby receives proper treatment for the birth injuries our birth injury lawyers in Los Angeles will periodically check with you to determine the value of the treatment. This will help us estimate the settlement amount.
It is essential to include all present and future costs in order to make sure that you receive proper compensation.
What’s more, an expert examination is required for more complicated cases, such as those involving infant brain damage which, unfortunately, can have lifelong effects on your child as he or she develops.
One of these cases in cerebral palsy, caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain and, sadly, one of the common types of birth injuries.
Many of the specific treatments for birth injury-related problems can be expensive and families can struggle to cover the costs.
This is why it is advisable to discuss your case with a lawyer, who will be able to talk to you about your options, including the possibility of financing these expenses with the help of the compensation received as a result of filing a birth injury lawsuit.
When calculating the personal injury compensation claim for a birth injury in Los Angeles one can take into account the economic and non-economic damages.
The goal is to receive a fair amount, one that will cover the costs of the ongoing medical treatment for your child who suffered a birth injury.
The economic damages are based on the value of the medical damages, the procedures needed immediately after birth or as a result of the ongoing effects of the birth injury.
Because of the nature of the injury, it is uncommon for birth injuries to also include property damages. In some cases, they could include lost wages (those of the parent who was forced to renounce income to take care of the child, as a result of the injuries), however, this may not always be the case.
Discussing the formula for the personal injury case is always done with the help of a personal injury lawyer who has previously analyzed your case.
With the help of our birth injury lawyers in Los Angeles, you will be able to bring your case to court and obtain a rightful compensation.
The statute of limitation in a birth injury case
Even if the law has set a 3-year limit for birth injury cases in California, you should know that the soonest you file a petition with the court the better. In case the injury implies a foreign object left into a child during a surgery, the limitation statute is 3 years from the discovery of that object.
The statute of limitation also depends on who files for a lawsuit and whether a public or a private hospital is involved. In the case of public hospitals, the mother has 6 months to file a lawsuit against the institution.
No matter the case or the type of hospital involved, it should be noted that requesting legal aid from our Los Angeles birth injury attorney as soon as possible can make a difference in winning the case.
According to data provided by the CDC, birth defects occur in every 33 babies or in approximately 3% of all babies born in the United States each year. Our birth injury lawyers in Los Angeles, also present the following data:
- 20% of all infant deaths are caused by birth defects;
- Spina bifida is one of the most common spine defect, with 1 in every 2,758 births;
- Cleft palate occurs in 1 in every 1,687 births;
- Heart defects, such as the atrioventricular septal defect affects approximately 2,118 babies (1 in every 1,859 births).
As a parent, you will always want to ensure the safety and wellbeing of your child, the second he or she enters this world.
Discussing any suspected birth injury or defects with your physician is normal. However, if you feel that you and your newborn baby have been treated unfairly or exposed to irregular treatment, we can help you claim compensations.
Contact our birth injury attorney in Los Angeles if you want to know more about birth injury cases.
We can also help you in other personal injury cases because we have different teams of lawyers: