Birth Injuries in Maryland and Washington, D.C.
According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, more than one out of every 200 births involves a birth injury. Some of these injuries are minor, some are serious, some are permanent, and some are even fatal. Although most birth injury claims are considered medical malpractice claims, not all of them are. Even the negligence of a midwife can justify a personal injury claim.
The personal injury lawyers at Henderson Law are available to handle birth injury claims throughout Maryland and the DC area.
Strictly speaking, prenatal injuries are not “birth injuries,” because they occur before the mother goes into labor. In many cases, they can be classified as “birth defects” rather than birth injuries. Nevertheless, for obvious reasons, they are often classified together with birth injuries. These injuries can take the form of:
- Injuries to the mother while she was pregnant (not necessarily inflicted by a medical practitioner)
- Injuries caused by defective prescription drugs or by inappropriate choice of drugs by the doctor
- Smoking or recreational drug use by the mother while she was pregnant (which often provides the defendant with a basis for avoiding liability)
Injuries That Occur During Delivery
Birth injuries that occur during delivery are almost always caused by a medical practitioner or a midwife. Such injuries are often caused by:
- Misuse of drugs during labor
- Improper use of forceps
- Failing to intervene when the umbilical cord is wrapped around the infant’s neck
- Failing to promptly recognize signs of fetal distress
- Failing to deliver by Cesarean section when circumstances call for it
- A multitude of other causes
Postnatal injuries are injuries that occur after birth, typically as a result of inadequate follow-up care. Such injuries include failure to properly treat undiagnosed respiratory or blood problems, improper intubation, failure to treat poorly developed lungs, or failure to treat elevated bilirubin levels.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do you prove a birth injury claim based on medical malpractice?
The most common way is to make use of expert witnesses who will testify in your favor. These witnesses are medical professionals who are paid to provide their expert opinions on, for example, what a reasonable doctor would have done under similar circumstances. Although they are paid to provide their objective opinions, each side will pick medical experts whose testimony will likely favor their own interests.
What are some examples of common birth injuries?
Birth injuries come in many different varieties. The following are some of the most common:
- Cerebral palsy
- Brachial palsy
- Meconium aspiration syndrome
- Brain damage
- Broken bones
- Caput succedaneum
- Facial paralysis
If your infant suffers any of the foregoing, or even an injury not listed above, and your doctor tells you that it was not caused by a birth injury, get a second opinion – the doctor may just be trying to protect herself from a malpractice claim.
The injury caused lifelong disability, but it was caused by my family doctor who is an old friend of mine. I don’t want to drive him into bankruptcy. How can I avoid that and still receive compensation?
It is unlikely that your claim will drive your friend into bankruptcy. Doctors carry liberal amounts of malpractice insurance, and this insurance will almost certainly cover your claim without you having to reach into your friend’s personal assets. The worst likely scenario is that his insurance premiums will rise.
Who can file a lawsuit on behalf of an infant?
A parent or court-appointed guardian must file the lawsuit on behalf of the infant, since an infant cannot file a lawsuit in her own name.
Contact Us Today
Henderson Law, is a small firm with the expertise to handle large, complex cases. Unlike the mega-firms where clients are little more than case numbers, we provide a hands-on approach where you will have direct interaction with your lawyer.
If your child has suffered a birth injury contact us online or call (410) 721-1979 so that we can discuss your options. We serve clients throughout Maryland (including Baltimore and Annapolis) and Washington D.C.
Henderson Law is accepting new cases in the District of Columbia and Maryland. Henderson Law is willing to take new clients across the State of Maryland, including, but not limited to, new cases arising in the following cities: Annapolis, Crofton, Bowie, Upper Marlboro, Crownsville, Davidsonville, Edgewater, Millersville, Odenton, Severna Park, and Pasadena. Please call Henderson Law for an initial consultation.