Houston Birth Injury Lawyer
Birth Injury Lawyer Denise Bradshaw Can Help You Recover Compensation
A birth injury is one of the most tragic types of medical malpractice that can happen in Houston. Birth injury lawyer Denise Bradshaw understands that dealing with something so traumatic can wreak havoc on your family and your future. Apart from the physical injuries suffered by your newborn, your family has been left with extensive psychological trauma, and the immense financial pressure of caring for a child with disabilities or disfigurement.
Families don’t have to go it alone when birth injuries leave invisible scars. Birth injury lawyer Denise Bradshaw brings a compassionate approach to helping families affected by birth trauma.
Houston Birth Injury Lawyers Are Not All Equal
Birth injury lawyers are located all over the Houston area, and many of them handle birth injury cases all over Texas. Flashy advertisements and false promises can steer a parent in the wrong direction when searching for the best birth injury attorneys to handle a medical malpractice claim. Houston birth injury attorneys are not all equal, however.
When you have birth injury lawyer Denise Bradshaw in your corner, you get:
- A trusted birth injury lawyer guiding you on all matters of your case. Denise will help you determine who to sue for medical malpractice, what damages to pursue, and what is a good settlement in your birth injury claim. Denise maintains consistent communication to keep you updated on your medical malpractice case and support you throughout the legal process.
- A thorough investigation into all the evidence and the circumstances leading up to the child’s injury. Birth injury lawyer Denise Bradshaw will review medical records, the birthing process, and indications of medical malpractice or negligence to identify all parties who contributed to the medical malpractice.
- A birth injury lawyer who is not afraid to battle it out in court if necessary. Denise will strive to negotiate with the medical malpractice insurance company to reach a fair settlement for your child’s injury. If negotiations are not successful, however, she will bring your medical malpractice case to the courtroom to make sure that negligent medical professionals pay for the harm they have caused.
If your child suffered a preventable birth injury during labor or delivery, call birth injury lawyer Denise Bradshaw to review your case today. (409) 220-8000.
What Is a Birth Injury?
A birth injury is physical damage suffered by an infant, or his or her mother, during labor or delivery. The consequences of a birth injury can be temporary or lifelong, depending on the severity and type of the trauma. Birth injuries that happen in Houston hospitals are often caused by medical malpractice, though they can be sustained in uncontrollable circumstances as well.
Minor birth injuries are often temporary, usually requiring minimal medical treatment. However, more severe birth injuries can leave infants facing disabilities that require lifelong care and alter the trajectory of their adult life. When this happens, victims can recover long-term medical treatment costs. Other damages, such as reduced earning capacity and immediate medical treatment costs, can also be recovered through a birth injury lawsuit.
Though infants are at the highest risk of sustaining a birth injury, a mother’s body can undergo significant distress and trauma during labor and delivery. This trauma can leave permanent physical or psychological injuries.
What Is a Maternal Birth Injury?
Maternal birth injuries are those that are sustained by the mother during pregnancy, labor, or delivery. These injuries can be temporary and quickly treatable, such as tears to the perineal area, or more severe, such as nerve damage and organ prolapse. When birth injuries are more severe, mothers often face psychological trauma.
Common injuries mothers sustain during labor and delivery include:
Small tears are common and require little to no medical treatment. However, larger tears can extend into the deeper tissues of the perineal region and cause prolonged pain, incontinence, and painful intercourse. Births that progress too quickly, delivery of improperly positioned fetuses, and forceps assisted deliveries increase the chances of severe tearing.
Broken bones or cartilage
The pressure of vaginal delivery can cause the coccyx to fracture or separate the pubic symphysis. These injuries can take anywhere from 2 to 8 months to heal, often resulting in significant medical expenses.
Uterine rupture or inversion
A uterine rupture can occur when a large fetus places pressure on a pre-existing C-section scar, allowing the fetus and/or placenta to enter into the mother’s abdominal cavity. A uterine inversion occurs when the placenta attaches to the uterine wall, pulling it inside out upon its exit. These injuries can lead to severe trauma, hemorrhaging, and death to both the mother and the baby.
When tissue is stretched during labor and delivery, nerves can sustain damage. Nerve damage from childbirth can cause incontinence, numbness in the legs, an inability to move the legs, and persistent tingling or painful sensations.
Pelvic organ prolapse
When the pelvic floor muscles are weakened, organs, such as the bladder or uterus, can slip out of place. In the most severe cases, the organs can slip outside the body.
While many of the above injuries can occur through no fault of a medical professional, some maternal birth injuries are exacerbated by poor medical treatment.
When medical professionals fail to screen for high blood pressure, mothers may face preeclampsia. C-section complications, such as infections, damage to other organs, excessive bleeding, and scar tissue can be caused by surgical errors. In some cases, doctors order unnecessary c-sections that later lead to complications and birth injury claims.
Complications with episiotomies, epidural injuries during labor, or anesthesia errors can also result from medical negligence.
Types of Birth Injury Caused by Medical Malpractice
Birth injuries can range from temporary to permanent, but often leave infants in need of additional medical treatment that racks up substantial medical bills. Some of the most common birth injuries seen by birth injury attorneys are:
Fractures to the infant’s clavicle bone are especially common. These injuries are less severe unless further complications occur. In some cases, however, long-term complications result in ongoing medical expenses. As a result, birth injury claims may be filed to pay for resulting medical bills.
Brachial Plexus Injuries
Brachial plexus injuries are a type of nerve damage that impact the bundle of nerves that run from the upper neck down through the spine, shoulders, arms, and hands. This damage happens when an infant’s neck is pulled or compressed, causing the nerves to become compressed, stretched, or torn during delivery.
Intracranial hemorrhages occur beneath the skull. They can cause serious injuries to the infant. In some cases, intracranial hemorrhages may be deadly. They can be caused by asphyxiation or trauma to the infant’s head during labor and delivery.
Blood oxygen deficiencies such as perinatal asphyxia are caused by insufficient blood flow to the fetus. These injuries can clear on their own, but sometimes leave infants with permanent brain damage.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Forceps are a common cause of spinal cord injuries that happen during childbirth. Spinal cord injuries can be traumatic and can cause severe nerve damage or permanent disability. A medical malpractice lawsuit for spinal cord injuries can being large settlements for victims.
Cerebral Palsy is the result of a birth injury. Cerebral palsy is caused by fetal oxygen deprivation that occurs for several minutes during birth. Victims experience muscle stiffness or difficulty controlling their muscles. Medical malpractice cases are common when a birth injury causes cerebral palsy.
While some birth injuries occur under uncontrollable circumstances, birth trauma is often preventable when doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals follow standard precautions during pregnancy, labor, and delivery.
Common Causes of Birth Injury in Houston
An infant is at an increased risk of sustaining a birth injury if he or she has a high birth weight. Infants over 8 pounds 13 ounces are considered of high birth weight. Infants are also more likely to undergo a difficult birth if they are born breach. A baby born prematurely, particularly before 37 weeks of gestation, is more likely to sustain injuries during birth due to his or her fragility.
Birth Injuries Caused by Medical Malpractice
While the above factors are circumstantial, birth injury lawyers in Houston see many birth injuries occur as a result of medical malpractice or negligence. Some examples of medically negligent behaviors that can contribute to a child’s birth injury include:
- Improper use of forceps, extractors, or other delivery tools
- Medication or anesthesia errors
- Failure to identify or treat fetal distress
- Missed maternal diagnosis during pregnancy or labor
- C-section errors or the failure to order a c-section
- Miscalculation of fetus size
- Failure to diagnose and treat umbilical cord issues.
Recovering Compensation for Birth Injuries
Doctors and other medical staff are liable when they fail to prevent a child’s birth injury by adhering to a standard duty of care. Contributing factors to medical negligence include overworked staff, fatigued staff, understaffed hospitals, and a hospital’s failure to properly train staff or enforce policies to protect patients. When a hospital or medical caregiver fails to adhere to the expected standard of care and, subsequently, injures a patient, birth injury lawyers can help families recover compensation through a lawsuit.
How to File a Birth Injury Lawsuit in Houston
Parents of children who sustained birth trauma during labor or delivery have two years to file a birth injury lawsuit in Houston. The clock starts ticking when the injury is diagnosed or reasonably should have been diagnosed. If the child wishes to file a lawsuit for a birth injury on his or her own behalf, he or she has until two years after his or her 18th birthday.
To hold a liable party accountable for injuries sustained during birth, his or her failure to exercise a proper standard of care must have been the legal cause of the injuries. Depending on the case’s circumstances, the hospital or treating medical provider may be liable for an infant’s birth injury.
A birth injury claim is intended to return victims to the condition they would have been in if the injury had not occurred. In birth injury cases, compensation is often intended to help families cope with the cost of raising a child with special needs. This is done through financial compensation that takes medical bills, long term care, future earning capacity reduction, and the impact on the victim’s life into account.
Compensation Available in Houston Birth Injury Cases
Victims of birth injuries can recover economic and non-economic damages in Houston birth injury lawsuits. Recoverable damages include initial medical treatment costs, long term care costs, costs for medical equipment and prescriptions, lost earning capacity, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering. In cases where a hospital or provider’s actions are especially egregious, punitive damages may be pursued to punish the liable party and prevent future negligence.
Frequently Asked Questions About Birth Injury Cases in Houston
1.What is the statute of limitations for birth injury lawsuits in Texas?
The statute of limitations for birth injury lawsuits in Texas depends on whom the claimant is. If parents are filing a claim on behalf of their child, then they have two years from the date the birth injury is diagnosed or discovered (or should have been discoverable). However, if the injured child is filing the birth injury lawsuit, he or she has until his or her 20th birthday to do so.
2.How are birth injuries different from birth defects?
The primary distinction between a birth injury and a birth defect is the cause. Birth injuries are caused by trauma during labor or delivery that leads to damage to an infant’s body. Most birth injuries can be tied to medical negligence. Birth defects, however, are created through genetic or environmental factors that lead to physical or chemical defects. Prenatal exposure to Depakote, taking Zofran while pregnant, and being prescribed antidepressants linked to birth defects while pregnant are some examples of birth defects that result from medical negligence.
3.Is it worth it to hire a birth injury attorney?
A birth injury lawyer can identify the signs of medical negligence during labor and delivery. He or she can help guide victims on whether they have a case, who to hold liable for a birth injury, and what damages to pursue in a birth injury claim. A birth injury can place undue stress on a family, especially when added to the pressures of raising a newborn. A birth injury lawyer can take over the legal processes involved in a lawsuit, allowing families to focus on healing.