Was your Baby in the NICU?
Find Out Why
Every year, shortly after delivery, thousands of children are admitted to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) because there is a serious medical problem with the child. Most of the time no one tells the family what really happened, particularly if the problem is a birth injury which could have been prevented.
If your child was admitted to an NICU when he or she was born, or if you have a baby who has a birth injury like brain damage, seizures, cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy or a brachial plexus injury, we can help you find out why.
Contact our birth injury lawyers at Cullan & Cullan immediately so we can conduct a forensic investigation.
Forensic Investigation into a Birth Injury
A forensic investigation of a birth injury is a scientific inquiry that looks at the facts of what happened before, during and immediately after your child’s birth, in order to determine the most probable cause for your child’s injuries. We’re qualified to do this because we have lawyers who are also doctors and we have conducted hundreds of such investigations in the past 30 years.
We know how to read fetal heart monitor strips, ultrasounds, CT Scans, MRI’s, EMG’s etc. We know how to analyze both paper and electronic medical records. We know the rules your doctor and nurses and other health care providers must follow to safely deliver your baby. We know what medical records should exist and can help you find out if records have been altered or de-stroyed. We have helped numerous children with birth injuries. Our major offices are in Kansas City, Missouri, Kansas City, Kansas, and Phoenix, Arizona. We work on cases nationwide.
Some Medical Malpractice Causes of Brain Injuries
Doctors, nurses, mid-wives, and other health care providers have a legal duty to monitor your pregnancy and delivery, and take appropriate steps to protect the health of you and your baby. The “appropriate steps” are what’s called the “standard of care,” the rules about what should and should not to be done in order to ensure that your baby is delivered safely. Doctors and nurses have a duty to be knowledgeable, attentive and must recognize known potential birth complications to prevent injury.
Sometimes a baby can be injured even when the appropriate steps were taken. But when your child’s injuries happen because of negligence, that’s medical malpractice, and the doctor, nurse, hospital or other health care provider should be held accountable along with their insurance companies.
You are required to have auto insurance, home owners insurance and business insurance. You want your insurance company to pay for the harm you caused if you made a terrible mistake and hurt someone. Likewise, under the law when a hospital, doctor or nurse violates the rules of medicine, their insurance companies should pay for your child’s medical bills, lost future wages, disfigurement and pain and suffering and other damages.
Some Medical Malpractice Causes of Birth Injuries
Here are some examples of the types of medical negligence that can lead to your child having cerebral palsy, brain injury, brachial plexus injuries or other significant birth injuries:
- Failing to recognize the baby was in fetal distress
- Failing to act when a fetal heart monitor warns the baby is in distress
- Failing to order a timely emergency cesarean section
- Improper use of forceps
- Improper use of vacuum extractors
- Improper use of Pitocin
- Improper use of magnesium
- Failing to act when the mother has preeclampsia or high blood pressure
- Failing to act when the mother has low blood pressure
- Failing to act when the mother has toxemia
- Failing to act when there is a dangerous infection
- Failing to properly manage prolonged labor
- Failing to properly manage a breech delivery
- Failing to recognize an arrest of fetal descent
- Failing to monitor mother is at or beyond 40 weeks
- Failing to recognize the baby was unusually large in the circumstances
- Failing to recognize the mother’s pelvis was too small for a safe delivery
- Failing to recognize and manage shoulder dystocia
- Failing to manage gestational diabetes
- Failing to prevent HSV encephalitis
- Failing to manage bleeding during pregnancy such as placenta previa, placenta abruption
- Failing to manage high risk pregnancy involving twins, triplets
Common Types of Birth Injuries
- Cerebral Palsy – Brain Injury
- Bleeding in the brain
- Brain swelling – caput
- Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)
- Perinatal Asphyxia
- Fractured Skull
- Facial Paralysis
- Bruising from vacuum extractor, forceps
- Cone Head
- Blindness, deafness
- Brachial Plexus Injury
- Shoulder Dystocia
- Erb’s Palsy
- Klumpsky’s Palsy
- Horner’s Syndrome
- Fractured Collar bone, clavicle
- Limp arm or hand
- Diaphragmatic paralysis
You Do Have a Deadline
The law sets absolute deadlines, called statute of limitations for filing notice of claims and/or lawsuits for medical malpractice in birth injury cases. The penalty for missing these deadlines is you lose your right to sue – forever.
It is extremely important that you contact an attorney for assistance in determining what the statute of limitation(s) is in your case or cases. The deadlines vary a great deal from case to case and from state to state. They are also different for your child’s injury claim and your parental claim. In some states, the statute of limitations is different for medical malpractice that causes injury versus medical malpractice that causes a wrongful death. Additionally, if a governmental entity was involved there can be special rules or deadlines for suing them.
Some of these deadlines can be very short. How to calculate when the deadline clock started ticking can sometimes be tricky in medical malpractice and wrongful death cases. Do not rely upon advice from a friend who had an injury case, nor the internet, nor on an attorney who does not personally handle medical malpractice cases for advice regarding the statute of limitations.
The point of all this deadline information? Don’t wait. The first time you have a feeling that your child’s injury or your injury was caused by medical malpractice, take action. Get in touch with a lawyer, and find out not only your rights, or your child’s rights, but your deadline for doing something about it.
Contact a Lawyer Early to Help You Preserve Evidence
Another important reason to contact an attorney early to investigate birth injury or medical mal-practice cases is to preserve the evidence in your case before it is lost, altered or destroyed. In some cases an early investigation can be vital to being able to prove and win your case. In some cases there are medical tests that can be done when the baby is a newborn that would help determine what happened. In wrongful death cases, it may be necessary to have an autopsy performed in order to prove that medical negligence caused the death. In those cases, if an autopsy is not done you may lose your case even if the wrongful death was caused by medical malpractice.
What Resources are Available to Help My Child?
If you believe your child has suffered a birth injury due to medical negligence, it is important to discuss your situation with an experienced birth injury lawyer. At Cullan & Cullan, our legal team can help you determine what the best course of action is for you and your child and provide you with the information and resources you need to cope during this difficult time. For more information, contact us at (816) 861-7600.