HOUSTON BIRTH INJURY ATTORNEY
Texas Birth Injury Lawyer
Most births and deliveries go very smoothly, and the designated medical professionals handle them appropriately. Unfortunately, birth injuries are more common than most people think. A birth injury, however, is not the same as a birth defect. It’s important to understand what exactly a birth injury is, as well as how you can receive compensation. Speak with a Houston birth injury attorney to determine if your claim is legitimate, and determine your potential recoverable damages.
At Reich & Binstock, our highest priority is to achieve justice for our clients. Fair compensation is the first step for many people in finding peace after their injuries. That’s why we pair our clients accordingly with a Texas birth injury lawyer who is best suited for their particular situation. Medical malpractice and negligence is obviously a very serious offense. We want to hold medical care professionals accountable, because it’s your future on the line. To schedule a free consultation or to learn more about our firm, please call our office at 713-622-7271 today.
What Is a Birth Injury?
As shown above, birth injuries and birth defects are not the same things. Many people confuse the two terms, but they have very important differences.
- A birth injury results from an action or lack of action during labor and delivery. In many cases, these injuries lead to some form of litigation.
- A birth defect results from some problem during the baby’s development in the womb. Generally, they result from genetics, environmental issues, or behavior. Examples of birth defects include missing limbs, a malformed heart, or even Down syndrome. Defects rarely lead to litigation.
During the birth procedure, many newborns have minor injuries. The majority of these injuries are self-healing and do not require treatment. In other situations, early and correct treatment can aid in the management of birth injuries, therefore it’s critical to seek medical assistance from a doctor as soon as you suspect an injury.
Some birth injuries are incurable, and the child may be disabled for the rest of his or her life. Consider pursuing legal action if you feel your child experienced a birth injury as a result of medical negligence. You may be entitled to financial compensation to cover the costs of your child’s care.
What Are Common Birth Injuries?
There are several forms of birth injuries that range in severity, impact specific bodily regions, and result in permanent disability or impairment. A serious birth injury can leave a person psychologically or physically disabled for the rest of their lives, whereas minor injuries can heal over time with or without care.
When a child has a significant head injury during birth, it might result in brain damage. Neurological and physical problems can result from brain damage.
- Asphyxia (lack of oxygen)
- Brain bleeding
- Blunt force, vacuum extraction, or head pulling injuries
- Umbilical cord choking
- Undiagnosed brain infections
Brain damage during delivery is the most common cause of cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy impairs a person’s muscular control and can cause speech and developmental impairments, depending on the severity of the disorder. According to the CDC, approximately 85-90% of those with cerebral palsy developed that condition during or even before childbirth due to damage to the brain. Below, we list the brain injuries that lead to cerebral palsy.
- Brain bleeding
- Infection and fever
- Stroke or heart attack
- Lack of oxygen to the brain
- Medical malpractice
Erb’s palsy (brachial plexus palsy) is a form of birth injury in which a child’s hand, arm, or shoulder is paralyzed. Damage to the brachial plexus nerves during delivery causes this condition. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) states that 1 out of every 1000 babies are born with Erb’s palsy. The nerve damage associated with the condition occurs due to the following.
- Excessive pulling on the head or neck of the child during tough deliveries
- Pulling on the feet of the baby in a feet-first delivery
- The head, shoulders, or neck of the child is stuck under the pelvic bone or in the birth canal during the delivery process
Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)
This condition occurs when there is a lack of oxygen and blood flow to the child during the birth process. The following factors can lead to the development of HIE.
- Unusually long labors
- A fetus in the wrong position
- Abruption or bleeding of the placenta
- Prolapse of the umbilical cord
Intrauterine Fetal Demise (Stillbirth)
This is when the fetus dies before birth. The March of Dimes states that stillbirth occurs in 1 out of every 160 pregnancies in the US. Below, we list the risk factors for stillbirth.
- Pregnancies involving twins, triplets, or more
- Genetic reasons
- Obesity, diabetes, or high blood pressure in the mother
- Umbilical cord prolapse
Other Birth Injuries
- Newborn jaundice
- Shoulder dystocia
- Newborn cephalohematoma
- Spinal cord injuries
- Vacuum extraction complications
What Are Causes of Birth Injuries?
Birth injuries can be caused by a variety of reasons, including fetal or maternal health concerns, as well as external situations such medical malpractice or carelessness. Because pinpointing the exact cause of a birth injury can be challenging, some families never learn what caused their child’s damage.
Fetal Risk Factors
- Hypoxia or blood flow loss (ischemia)
- A feet-first delivery
Maternal Risk Factors
- An abnormal shape of the pelvis
Medical malpractice by health-care providers during delivery is one cause of birth injuries. Doctors can be irresponsible in their care during childbirth in a variety of ways, resulting in harm to the infant.
Medical personnel are educated on how to observe the delivery process and identify any hazards to the mother or infant. However, some medical personnel fail to provide the high level of care that is required of them.
Forceps or vacuum extractors were used too forcefully, the mother was not appropriately medicated, and significant medical problems in the mother or baby were not diagnosed, all of which can lead to a birth injury in the kid. All of these risks may be avoided if doctors follow correct protocols to protect the mother’s and baby’s safety during the delivery process.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of a Birth Injury?
Birth injury symptoms may vary, improve, or worsen with time, depending on your child’s health and diagnosis. Different types of symptoms exist for birth injuries, which we list below.
- Not meeting certain developmental milestones
- Stiff or floppy muscles
- An inability to move a certain part of the body
- Numbness in an affected limb
- Trouble learning or understanding certain concepts
- Communication issues
- Poor sequencing or organizational skills
- Short attention span
- Abnormal level of sleepiness
- Sharp or loud crying
When Is a Healthcare Professional Liable for a Birth Injury?
Using a multi-step procedure, determine if legal responsibility exists by applying medical malpractice law to the facts of the case. Work with your Houston birth injury attorney throughout the case to fight for just compensation.
First, we must determine what the appropriate standard of medical care was for your specific situation. In other words, we compare the actions of your doctor to a similarly-trained physician in a similar setting. Then, we most likely invite a knowledgeable medical expert to testify about the appropriate standard of care for that situation.
Second, we measure the actions of your physician against the established standard of care. The medical expert looks at what the physician actually did, then explains what should have been done. They base this on the information and facts that the physician had available at the time of delivery.
Thirdly, we decide whether or not your physician’s deviation from the established standard of care caused harm to you or your child. Was the mistake of the doctor the reason why your child suffered a birth injury? If the injury would have occurred regardless of the actions of the doctor, there is no legal recourse.
Lastly, we identify and calculate the injuries and damages you suffered as a result of the medical malpractice. In order to have the best chance of getting just compensation, we recommend speaking with a qualified medical malpractice attorney.
How Long Do I Have to File a Birth Injury Claim?
The clock usually starts ticking as soon as carelessness or misconduct is performed. While some injuries are immediately apparent, others might take years to appear. It’s possible that you won’t know your child has a birth injury until they’re in school. The statute of limitations for birth injuries varies by state. Some states provide a longer time frame, while others provide a shorter time frame. The differences are attributable to a variety of factors.
Importantly, your birth injury attorney will inform you of your state’s statute of limitations. In Texas, the statute of limitations is two years from either the date of the injury or the discovery of the injury. Because of the limited timeframe, it is extremely important to file your lawsuit sooner rather than later. Consult with a Houston birth injury attorney with Reich & Binstock about your case.
Can I Sue for a Birth Injury in Texas?
Absolutely, but there are certain things to keep in mind. The legislation in this area is quite complicated, at least in Texas. Both parents and minors can bring a birth injury claim in Texas, but the statutes of limitations for each are different. However, be cautious since failing to file on time will preclude you from filing a case in the future. If you feel your child has sustained an injury, it is critical that you contact a Houston birth injury attorney as soon as possible.
Children have until their twentieth birthday to submit a claim, but the longer they wait, the more difficult it will be to recoup. Furthermore, the Texas Supreme Court recently decided that if a parent waits too long to bring a lawsuit on behalf of their kid, the child’s right to do so may be forfeited. There are no exceptions to the rule that parents have two years from the date of the accident to submit a claim for themselves. Parents have two years from the date of the kid’s death to file a wrongful death lawsuit for a child who died during birth.
Do I Need a Houston Birth Injury Attorney?
It’s a horrible shock when your child is wounded at birth, and it’s tough to deal with. Our Houston birth injury attorneys realize that you are worried about how the damage will influence your child’s life and the lives of the rest of your family. If the damage is serious, your kid may face lifelong medical and therapy costs, as well as the requirement for special education. You may need to make costly house and car modifications to accommodate a wheelchair and other adapted equipment. To deal with the consequences of the terrible injury, it may be important to continue therapy.
An experienced Houston birth injury attorney will handle evidence collecting, interviews, and investigations, negotiate with insurance companies and their attorneys, file legal forms and paperwork, present in court, and, if required, take your case to trial. We can begin working on your birth injury claim right away to obtain you and your family the greatest potential result. You may focus on your child’s rehabilitation and your family’s emotional needs by letting us handle the legal problems.
Contact a Texas Birth Injury Lawyer at Reich & Binstock
A qualified Houston birth injury attorney with Reich & Binstock can help unburden you during your time of need. We understand exactly what you’re going through, and our number one goal is to help those who need it. The last thing you probably want to deal with after you or your child suffered a birth injury is a lawsuit. However, we also know that the potential benefits of compensation for that birth injury is just too important to ignore. Allow us to handle your case with the care and dedication you and your family deserves. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation at 713-622-7271.
There is a never a fee unless we recover on your behalf.