Unfortunately, every year in Los Angeles there are new incidents of doctors or nurses using the wrong procedure or ignoring signs of fetal distress. 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 protections. 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. At Simmrin Law, our attorneys will work to get you the money you need after a birth injury.
What Causes Birth Injuries?
Doctors will offer many reasons why a birth injury occurs. Some of the most common include:
- The birth did not seem imminent
- No signs of fetal distress
- Insufficient staff
The Birth Did Not Seem Imminent
Labor can go on for hours and, in some cases, last more than a day. The doctor may claim that the birth didn’t seem imminent. They may use this to excuse not performing a C-section if there is a complication or being absent from the room altogether in some cases.
No Signs of Fetal Distress
Nurses are supposed to monitor a baby for any sign of distress, which can include a dropping heartbeat, and notify the doctor. However, nurses may not monitor closely or may not report symptoms in time.
While the signs of fetal distress are sometimes obvious, in other situations, they can be quite subtle. That is why the final stages of pregnancy require careful monitoring. A failure to notice these signs in time can lead to severe complications.
Sometimes the doctor will claim there was not enough staff on hand or the hospital didn’t provide backup. However, hospitals are supposed to have obstetric wards adequately staffed at all times. If the doctor’s claim is true, though, then any potential lawsuit you pursue may be aimed at the hospital itself rather than the doctor.
All these excuses have one thing in common: they cover up the mistakes that doctors and nurses make. Unfortunately, those mistakes are what most often cause birth injuries and even deaths.
For a free legal consultation with a birth injury lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (310) 896-2723
Who Is Liable for a Birth Injury?
Most birth injuries are not unavoidable accidents. Under the law, if someone could have prevented the injury but failed to do so because they were inattentive, that person is “negligent.” Negligence can range from innocent but costly carelessness to an institutional pattern of taking chances with patients’ lives.
In some cases, 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
It’s important to note that 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 or medical malpractice 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.
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How Much Money Can I Recover in a Birth Injury Claim in Los Angeles?
If you or your child were injured during childbirth, you are entitled to money to cover both 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. That’s why these damages often comprise the largest part of a compensation package.
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 smaller claims often result in six-figure payouts.
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How Much Does a Birth Injury Lawyer Charge?
If you are in need of a birth injury lawyer in Los Angeles, one of your biggest questions is probably about how much you will have to pay for legal representation. The good news is that birth injury lawyers, like all other reputable personal injury lawyers, generally work on a contingency fee basis.
A contingency fee means that unless your lawyer is able to get you compensation, they will not collect a fee from you. This payment structure makes it so that hiring an attorney in these cases is risk-free. You will never pay any money out of pocket.
If you do win compensation, your lawyer will receive a previously agreed-upon percentage of the payout. In general, those who hire an attorney end up with significantly more money even after paying their attorney than those who attempt to represent themselves.
Having a lawyer work on a contingency fee basis also gives clients the peace of mind of knowing that their attorney will do everything within their power to ensure a favorable outcome. There is no worry about your lawyer taking your money and not putting in the necessary effort to win.
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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
- “Cerebral hypoxia,” a brain injury caused by lack of oxygen, which is often preventable if fetal distress had been noticed earlier
- Cerebral palsy, often with significant lifelong effects
- Paralysis or spinal cord injury
- Delay in performing a C-section
- Vaginal birth after a delayed C-section, which can cause the mother’s ruptured uterus, brain damage to the baby, or even death
- Bowel infections, bleeding in the brain, or issues with the lungs
Cerebral palsy is among the most common birth injuries and can result in anything from permanent muscle problems in the child to quadriplegia and life spent hooked to a ventilator.
Talk to a Birth Injury Lawyer in Los Angeles for Free
A birth injury and its effects are one of the most traumatic experiences a family can face. Let the team at the Simmrin Law Group be your ally. We will aim to get you the most money possible, and we never charge you or your family anything unless we win you money.
Give us a call or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation today. One of our Los Angeles birth injury lawyers will review your case and advise you of all your legal options.
Call or text (310) 896-2723 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form