Pennsylvania Birth Injury Lawyer
When a child’s birth injury leads to permanent disability, families face not only emotional devastation, but the overwhelming medical and therapeutic expenses required just to provide their child with a future.
The birth injury attorneys at Wapner Newman know how tough times are for families in this situation. We’ve helped several families in Pennsylvania get the payment they need to cope with their child’s needs.
While not all birth injuries are the result of medical malpractice, preventable errors during pregnancy and delivery happen more often than many people realize. If a newborn child has been injured because of a medical professional’s mistake or negligence, there is no reason the child should be denied the financial help and medical resources they deserve.
We want to help you hold negligent healthcare providers accountable for the harm they’ve caused your child. You deserve compensation that gives you the opportunity to offer your child a normal life. Contact us to schedule a free consultation with our birth injury attorneys.
Types of Birth Injuries
The Pennsylvania birth injury lawyers at Wapner Newman have handled many types of birth injury claims. There are countless types of birth injuries, each presenting its own set of challenges for children and their families.
Here are a few examples of injuries suffered during birth:
- Cerebral palsy
- Erb’s palsy
- Shoulder dystocia
- Brachial plexus injury
- Hypoxia (oxygen deprivation)
- Spastic quadriplegia
- Cephalohematoma (bleeding in skull)
- Brain damage
- Fractured bones (skull, collarbone, etc.)
- Perinatal stroke
- Facial nerve palsy
- Spina Bifida.
Many times, grieving parents are simply told that there was a “complication” during their child’s birth. While this is sometimes true, doctors can also use this as an excuse to hide behind their mistakes. If your doctor is unable or reluctant to answer certain questions about your child’s birth injury, we can investigate the circumstances of the birth to determine whether medical negligence occurred.
Your family deserves to know the truth, and a Pennsylvania birth injury lawyer at Wapner Newman will not stop until you get the answers and compensation you deserve.
When Birth Injury is Caused by Negligence in Pennsylvania
The natural contortions and contractions involved in childbirth can be hard on an infant, making birth injury an unfortunate possibility. However, many factors that contribute to birth injuries can and should be avoided by an attentive physician.
Some examples of negligence that often lead to birth injury include:
- Oxygen deprivation during labor and delivery
- Prescription drugs (such as SSRIs) taken by the mother before or during pregnancy
- Failure to use proper delivery techniques
- Failure to perform a C-section in a timely manner
- Improper use of delivery instruments (such as forceps and vacuum)
- Failure to monitor a mother or child
- Medication errors
- Untreated child injuries.
If you believe your child’s birth injury was the result of medical malpractice or medical negligence in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, please contact Wapner Newman today to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced Pennsylvania birth injury lawyer. Our medical malpractice attorneys in Pennsylvania can help you uncover the truth about how and why your child’s birth injury occurred.
The Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys at Wapner Newman serve birth injury victims throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, with offices in Philadelphia, West Conshohocken, Allentown, and Marlton.
Damages in Birth Injury Cases
When you see the word “damages,” you should think about the costs you and your child are facing. Damages include many different costs, including…
- Medical expenses
- Ongoing care
- Costs associated with assisted living
- Loss of future income or ability to work
- Shortened life expectancy
The damages in birth injury lawsuits aren’t just limited to immediate costs. They can include the costs a child might face throughout their entire life. In addition to financial considerations, damages might also be “non-economic,” which means suffering, pain and diminished quality of life.
Responsibilities of Doctors and Nurses
Healthcare providers have a responsibility to treat patients with the standard of care expected in their profession. “Standard of care” is a term used to describe that basic level of acceptable treatment a patient should expect from their provider.
Doctors have a responsibility to recognize signs of danger before, during or after the birth of a child. They should assess the condition of the mother and the child and act in accordance with the best practices of obstetrics – the branch of medicine dealing with pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period.
Essentially, the “standard of care” implies that a doctor or nurse should do their best to ensure the health of a mother and child. If they fail to do so and the newborn is injured, they can be accountable for the costs facing the family.
Birth Injuries vs. Birth Defects
It’s important to know the difference between a birth defect and a birth injury. A birth defect is an illness or condition that develops during pregnancy, while a birth injury is a preventable injury suffered before, during or after birth. Birth injuries often stem from a healthcare provider’s carelessness or negligent care.
This distinction matters, because birth defects are not sufficient grounds for a legal claim, whereas birth injuries warrant an investigation to determine whether the healthcare provider’s actions failed to meet the medical field’s standard of care.
How We Approach Birth Injury Cases
Birth injury cases are unique, and not every firm has the same approach. At Wapner Newman, we believe in extensive research and case-building to deliver results for our clients. This includes:
Researching Your Child’s Condition – Our birth injury attorneys have a deep understanding of several types of birth injuries, but we also know that every case is different. We make sure your child’s condition is properly diagnosed, so we can begin to look for its causes.
Investigating the Causes – A successful birth injury case shows a clear line between the newborn’s injury and the negligence that caused it. If a healthcare provider was careless or made mistakes that caused the child harm, our investigators will find it and hold those responsible accountable for the costs of their negligence.
Calculating the Damages You Should Seek – When a child suffers a serious injury during birth, the consequences can follow them throughout their life. Our birth injury attorneys want to ensure that the compensation you receive reflects that costs you and your family will face. We factor in medical expenses, ongoing care, assisted living costs, lost income, non-economic damages and several other costs.
Demanding Compensation for Those Damages – Once we know the extent of the damages in your case, we then demand compensation from the healthcare provider and their insurance company. We have a reputation for getting results for our clients, so hospitals and insurance companies know we mean business. We will work aggressively on your behalf to let these parties know they owe you payment.
Building the Case – Our team is constantly preparing documents, creating presentations, preparing for depositions, consulting experts in the field and looking for the subtle details that can make our client’s case as strong as possible. These steps are vital to get maximum compensation in a birth injury lawsuit. We prepare every case to go to trial because we know that’s what it takes to get results. Even if the other side settles, they know that we are willing to take our case all the way.
Negotiating – In many cases, healthcare providers and their insurance companies will want to settle the birth injury case before it goes to trial. Because we devote so many resources toward building your case, we negotiate from a position of strength. If the defendants want to settle the matter to avoid a trial, they must be willing to offer payment that you find acceptable.
Presenting the Case – In negotiations or in trial, we present the evidence we’ve gathered to demonstrate how your child’s injury happened, why the provider was at fault and how much you should be awarded.
What Sets Us Apart
The Pennsylvania birth injury attorneys at Wapner Newman are seasoned litigators. They’ve been through high-profile cases and won major victories for clients. Not only has our firm been part of some of the largest settlements in Pennsylvania, we have also made sure that our client’s needs come first. We are not your average big-name firm.
We understand that a strong relationship with every single client is essential. When parents are coping with the challenges of a child’s injury, they need a firm that can provide updates on their case, return their calls and answer their questions.
Fighting for Your Family’s Future
Birth injuries are tragic events for families. They impact several lives in unthinkable ways. The immediate and lifetime costs of these injuries can take a great physical, emotional and financial toll on children and their parents. When an injury was caused by negligent medical care, families should expect compensation for the costs they encounter.
When clients come to us with birth injury cases, we know that they are trusting us to help them deal with one of life’s greatest challenges. We take that role seriously, and we devote our full resources to get families the payment they need.
No amount of money will heal a child’s injury, but a successful birth injury claim can lighten the burden a family carries and offer financial security. For many families, these claims also represent accountability and justice for the harm their child has suffered.
Our job as representatives of a family is to ensure they have the tools they need for a stable and secure future. If you and your loved ones are considering taking legal action against a negligent healthcare provider, you need a firm that you can trust.
Our Track Record in Pennsylvania Birth Injury Cases
Wapner Newman’s birth injury attorney Marc Brecher won a $7 million settlement for a child who was born with brain damage due to a lack of oxygen during labor. Brecher argued that the attending obstetrician failed to recognize the fetal heart rate monitor tracing strips that showed the baby was in fetal distress during the last two-and-a-half hours of labor. Brecher obtained experts in the fields of maternal fetal medicine, neonatology, placental pathology, pediatric neurology, pediatric neuroradiology and obstetrical nursing to support his theories of liability.
Brecher won a $5 million settlement for a child who suffered intraventricular and subarachnoid hemorrhage due to the improper use of forceps during delivery. The attending doctor used forceps on the baby’s head without properly locking them. Another doctor witnessed the misuse of forceps and repeatedly advised the attending obstetrician to stop. The doctor, however, continued to use the instrument improperly, which caused the baby to suffer irreversible brain damage. A portion of the settlement was used to purchase a structured settlement annuity, which will pay this child more than $16 million over the course of his lifetime.
Brecher won a $5 million settlement for a child who suffered birth asphyxia due to delayed recognition of fetal distress. When the child’s mother arrived at the hospital in labor, the child had unusual fetal heart rate monitor tracings. Despite these clear warning signs, the obstetricians monitoring the labor permitted the mother to labor for another eight hours before the baby was delivered by an emergency C-section. The baby was born severely asphyxiated, suffering seizures and massive brain damage. The child is now a spastic quadriplegic being cared for at home by his parents. Brecher’s experts argued that the baby should have been delivered within a half-hour after his mother arrived at the hospital and that the brain damage occurred during the following seven-and-a-half hours before the baby was finally delivered.
These are just a few examples of the work we’ve done for our clients. If you’d like to learn more about our approach to birth injury cases or find out whether we’re the right fit for your case, we encourage you to schedule a free consultation with our team.
Contact the Pennsylvania birth injury attorneys at Wapner Newman to learn more about your legal options.