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Birth Injuries

Omaha Birth Injury Lawyers

Representing Injured Infants & Mothers in Nebraska

The inexpressible sadness and burden that befalls families with infants tragically deformed by birth trauma, or lost due to such trauma during birthing are complex medical malpractice cases.

In and of themselves, pregnancies naturally create risk to both mother and infant; however, it is the responsibility of the medical professionals involved in a pregnancy and delivery to ensure that you are kept safe during these processes. When obstetricians do not live up to the high standards expected of them, serious medical conditions can result for both mother and child.

We have successfully handled cases dealing with hypoxia, anoxia, delayed cesarean section, improper medication including, but not limited to Pitocin, midwife errors, failure to diagnose transverse lie, improper attempts at vaginal delivery of premature infants, and maternal hemorrhage.

Problems During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, it is not uncommon for women to experience medical conditions to which they would not otherwise be prone. Health issues such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia are commonly developed among women who are pregnant. As treatable conditions, it is extremely important that these types of health issues are carefully monitored by the obstetrician overseeing a woman's pregnancy. When a woman suffers from hypertension or abnormal blood sugar levels, especially while pregnant, it is critical that her health be closely monitored and treated by an experienced physician. Untreated, these conditions can quickly escalate into more serious problems, including seizures, cardio-respiratory dysfunction or even cardio-arrest.

Obstetricians are licensed medical professionals who are expected to be able to quickly identify any conditions that could result in adverse effects for a pregnant woman. Failure to diagnose these symptoms - or failure to take the appropriate action for treatment - is an example of negligence at its worst. Under no circumstances will a doctor's inattention or professional failures be tolerated by our legal team, particularly if they led to the injury or death of an impregnated woman or her unborn child. Potentially dangerous conditions such as diabetes and hypertension need to be acutely observed by medical professionals, and when they are not, the injuries that result may call for a claim of medical malpractice.

Common Examples of Birth Injury Malpractice

Medical malpractice specifically relating to birth injuries is caused when a doctor or healthcare provider fails to exercise a reasonable level of care. These physicians have a duty to care for their patients, and when they act in a careless or negligent manner, both the mother and her child can sustain serious injuries during the process of delivery.

Brachial Plexus Injury

This results from excessive stretching of nerves in the baby's neck during delivery. It is caused when the one delivering the baby uses excessive force or tools to pull the baby out. Injury sometimes can be treated easily, but surgery may be required.

Erroneous Premature Birth

The last few weeks of pregnancy are critical to the baby's health. During this time, many important organs, including the brain and lungs, complete development. Delivering a baby prematurely can cause newborns to suffer serious health problems, such as brain damage or death.

Failure to Note Mother's Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia is common in pregnant women. It can be managed by a health care provider. Failure to note preeclampsia can lead to bleeding problems, premature separate of the placenta from the uterus, rupture of the liver, stroke, or death.

Birth Injuries Leading to Cerebral Palsy & Erb's Palsy

Cerebral palsy and Erb's palsy are two of the most common birth injuries sustained by infants who are subjected to medical negligence or error. Very often, these conditions are the result of physicians whose professional actions have failed to live up to the standards expected of them. When this is the case, it is often necessary to pursue a case in court. The scientific and technical language of medical law, especially as it pertains to birth injuries, often requires testimony from experts in the field, as well as legal professionals with experience handling these types of cases.

Injury to a baby's brain while in the womb, or during delivery, can affect the child's brain functioning, as well as his / her body movements. Similar results can arise when the flow of oxygen to a baby's brain is cut off during delivery. The condition that results is referred to as cerebral palsy. Parents of children who are suffering from this type of birth injury can take a case to trial if it can be proven that the condition was caused by the treating physician's failure to recognize a baby's lack of oxygen and take appropriate action.

Some common types of malpractice that lead to cerebral palsy include:

  • Umbilical cord that prolapsed but was not noticed by the obstetrician
  • Lack of proper fetal heart rate monitoring
  • Making a mistake while using a delivery instrument such as forceps
  • Delay in performing a necessary cesarean section
  • Infections in the mother that were not detected and treated during her pregnancy

Erb's palsy, also referred to as brachial palsy, affects approximately 2 out of every 1,000 newborns. As a condition that affects the brachia plexus (a group of nerves that travel along the spinal cord), Erb's palsy develops most often when pressure is put on the head / neck / shoulders of an infant during birth. Lawsuits for Erb's palsy are most effective when they prove that complications were the result of an obstetrician's failure to recognize that a caesarean section was necessary based on the size of the baby. Failure to adequately deliver a baby in a situation involving shoulder dystocia, as well as applying too much pressure on the baby's head / neck / shoulders during delivery are also common causes of Erb's palsy.

Maternal Hemorrhage

The most common cause of preventable maternal deaths during delivery is maternal hemorrhaging. Although obstetricians and other healthcare providers are equipped with the necessary tools and diagnostic processes to detect and stop fatal hemorrhaging, the event still occurs.

Elements to Prove Cause of Birth Injury

Birth injury medical malpractice cases have many of the same elements as other personal injury cases:

  • Breach of Duty - Medical providers have a standard of care that they have a duty to follow. While the exact nature of that standard will vary by jurisdiction, generally a physician will be held to the standard of exercising care that is similar to other competent healthcare practitioners in the same industry given similar conditions.
  • Causation - If the healthcare provider's breach of their duty of care causes the injury, they will be responsible for that injury.
  • Damages – Once a healthcare provider breaches their duty of care, they are responsible for the damages their breach of duty caused.

In medical malpractice cases, expert witnesses are used to prove the required standard of care, as well as the negligent health care provider's failure to meet that standard.

Receiving Damages for Birth Injury Cases

In states throughout the U.S., cases of birth injury that are successfully settled tend to issue the awarded settlement amount to the child, not the parents. Children who have suffered harm from a birth injury that could have been avoided are usually compensated in the form of a trust. This accounts for their young age and possible inability to responsibly handle the money on their own.

The complexity of birth injury cases requires that victims retain experienced legal help to address the issue. A thorough evaluation of the case needs to be made before legal action is taken, and at Domina Law Group, we are prepared to meet with you free of charge to complete this assessment. There are deadlines for filing birth injury claims and lawsuits, so the sooner you act the better.

Birth Injury Trauma Cases

These are examples where our Nebraska birth injury attorneys were selected to provide help:

  • Father, a pharmacist, and mother, a commercial pilot, sued for the cerebral palsy resulting from birth injury to their daughter. The baby was in an undiagnosed transverse lie position, did not engage in the birth canal, suffered cardiac depression and was injured through hypoxia or lack of oxygen to the brain.
  • Accountant father and clerical PA mother sought help for shoulder dystocia injury where measurements of mother's diminutive size were not taken to match the dimensions of the known large fetus.
  • Mother, who presented changing mole during pregnancy and had it removed during postpartum hospitalization, hired us before her death. The mole turned out to be malignant melanoma, an injury unrelated to birth but discovered as a result of pregnancy and after birthing. Mother knew she was going to die and needed to provide for her child.

Birth trauma cases are complicated, costly, and life-shattering. We approach these cases with candor, respect, open-mindedness, and a commitment to learn what went wrong and advocate forcefully for you and your family.

Contact us today for the birth injury representation you deserve with our Nebraska attorneys.


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