Every mother who gives birth in Los Angeles places her trust in the doctors and nurses attending her. This team is supposed to watch carefully for any sign of fetal distress, perform the right procedure at the right time, and be responsible with the use of tools like forceps and vacuums—as well as C-sections. Unfortunately, every year there are new incidents of doctors or nurses using the wrong procedure or ignoring signs of fetal distress altogether. This results in injuries to the baby, injuries to the mother, or lifelong disabilities. It can even cost a child’s life.
If you have suffered from a birth injury or mistake during delivery, you have legal protection you can turn to. The law recognizes that you face not only a difficult emotional time, but financial strain as well. You may have a right to recover all of the costs of the birth injury and any long-term care—as well as money for the personal toll it has taken on you. We recommend that you talk to a Los Angeles birth injury lawyer.
The Simmrin Law Group can help. Our attorneys have stood by mothers and families as they dealt with the traumatic after-effects of a birth injury—and we know how to win cases. We will listen to you, take your side, and put together hard evidence to show exactly what happened. In many cases, we can help a family recover over $1 million in losses and damages—and you owe us nothing if we don’t win you money. Let us give you a free consultation. Fill out the form to the right or call us at 310-997-4688 and get your free consultation today.
What causes birth injuries?
Doctors will offer many reasons why a birth injury occurs. Some of the most common include:
- Birth didn’t seem imminent. Labor can go on for hours—sometimes more than a day. The doctor may claim that birth didn’t seem imminent, and so they were not in the room for the birth at all.
- No signs of fetal distress. Nurses are supposed to monitor the baby for any sign of distress, which can include a dropping heartbeat, and notify the doctor. But nurses may not monitor closely or may not report signs in time, leading to severe complications.
- Lack of staff. Sometimes the doctor will claim there was not enough staff on hand or the hospital didn’t provide backup. But hospitals are supposed to have obstetric wards adequately staffed at all times.
All of these excuses have one thing in common: they cover up the mistakes that doctors and nurses make, and those mistakes are what cause birth injuries and even deaths.
What are the most common birth injuries in Los Angeles?
This list can be traumatic for many mothers, and you may consider skipping this section. The most common birth injuries we see are:
- Improper use of forceps or suction (vacuums), which can cause brain injuries or shoulder injuries to the child, or injury to the mother.
- Delay diagnosing detail distress
- “Brain hypoxia,” a brain injury caused by lack of oxygen—often preventible if fetal distress had been noticed earlier
- Cerebral palsy, often with significant lifelong effects
- Paralysis or spinal cord injury
- Delay in performing a Cesarean section (C-section)
- Vaginal birth after a delayed C-section, which can cause a ruptured uterus, brain damage or even death
- Bowel infections, bleeding in the brain, or issues with the lungs
Cerebral palsy is among the most common, and can result in anything from permanent muscle problems in the child to quadriplegia and a life spent hooked to a ventilator.
Who is liable for a birth injury?
Most injuries are not accidents. Under the law, if someone could have prevented the injury but failed to do so because they were being inattentive, that person is “negligent.” This can range from innocent but costly carelessness, to an institutional pattern of taking chances with patients’ lives. In some case it may also indicate incompetence on the part of a staff person. Regardless, whoever was negligent is liable.
The most common liable parties in birth injury cases include:
- Doctors who misused suction or forceps, delayed the C-section, or made other mistakes
- Obstetric nurses who did not monitor properly for fetal distress or misused tools
- Hospitals if they did not properly staff the obstetric ward, or did not provide adequate screening and training of staff
Important: Birth injury cases are complex, and hospitals have the resources to cover up the details of what happened. It can be very hard to prove liability on your own. A birth injury lawyer’s main job is to launch an independent investigation of what happened, legally request internal documents, and put together the evidence to prove your case.
How much money can I recover in a birth injury claim in Los Angeles?
You are entitled to money for two kinds of damages: special damages and general damages.
- Special damages are the actual financial costs of what happened. This may include the costs of emergency treatment during the birth, long-term care for the infant and the mother, and a lifetime of treatment for a child with a permanent disability. It can also include lost work time and other tangible costs.
- General damages refer to the personal cost of a tragic birth injury. Your family will face pain, emotional anguish, or even the loss of a child or a beloved mother and partner. There is no way for money to make up for these losses, but your settlement is supposed to offset their financial impact. Our goal is to make sure you and your family are financially stable long-term as you deal with the aftermath of the birth injury.
In birth injury claims, the special damages can be very high on their own, and the general damages can cause that amount to be multiplied by two, three or even more. The result is that many birth injury claims pay the family multi-million dollar settlements. Even the smaller claims are often six figures.
Talk to a Los Angeles Birth Injury Lawyer for Free
A birth injury and its effects are one of the most traumatic experiences a family can face. Let us be your ally. Our mission is to give you a pain-free experience and handle the legal claim for you—and get you the most money possible. We never charge you or your family anything unless we win you money.
Let us give you your FREE consultation and answer your questions. Fill out the form to the right or call us at 310-997-4688 and get your free consultation today.