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480.991.7677

Scottsdale  •  Phoenix

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Phoenix Birth Injury Attorney

Birth injuries happen when a member of a labor or delivery team fails to provide care according to accepted industry standards, resulting in injury or death to mother or child. Birth injuries can have lifelong consequences, such as the permanent condition, cerebral palsy. At Knapp & Roberts, we don’t believe any family should have to suffer because of the medical negligence of someone else. We give a voice to victims of malpractice-related birth injuries in Phoenix.

Birth injury law is a highly specialized field that requires experienced, knowledgeable injury attorneys. It’s important to talk to a qualified Phoenix birth injury lawyer as soon as you learn of a birth injury diagnosis. This can be an extremely harrowing time for parents, but help is available. The team of birth injury attorneys at Knapp & Roberts can walk you through your rights and the steps toward financial compensation for your medical costs, pain and suffering, and mental anguish. We’re the aggressive team of attorneys your family needs for a birth injury claim in Arizona.

A birth injury attorney can serve as your gateway to maximum compensation for a traumatic birth injury. The highly experienced team at Knapp & Roberts has secured multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements for clients, and will fight hard to protect the rights of you and your child. In the face of medical malpractice that affects the world’s most vulnerable population, count on our Phoenix birth injury attorneys. Call (480) 991-7677 or request a free consultation online.

Common Causes of Birth Injuries in Phoenix

Birth injuries don’t always stem from negligence. Labor and delivery are prone to complications, with no two mothers having the same experience. Yet all medical care providers involved in the birth should be prepared to handle foreseeable issues with the health and safety of mother and child in mind. A birth injury can result in a malpractice lawsuit when the care provider fails to fulfill his or her duties, resulting in mistakes and preventable injuries. Common causes of negligence-related birth injuries are as follows:

  • Doctor errors. Negligent physicians and obstetricians are those who fail to uphold the standards required of medical professionals. Doctor errors can take the form of incompetence, failure to prepare for a procedure, failure to monitor the mother and fetal vital signs, failure to order an emergency cesarean section, and misuse of birth-assisting tools. Doctor errors can result in birth injuries such as broken bones in the infant, or lack of oxygen to the brain from failure to monitor oxygen intake.
  • Delivery errors. Mistakes, negligence, and carelessness during the delivery of a child can come from doctors, nurses, and any other professional on the scene. There are a number of examples of delivery errors, from pulling the baby’s arm and causing shoulder dystocia to causing brain injuries from failing to monitor vital signs. Delivery errors can have long-lasting ramifications for the infant.
  • Forceps or vacuum trauma. If a physician needs to use birth-assisting tools during delivery to aid the baby through the birth canal, he or she must do so with the utmost care. These tools can help with difficult labors or unusual birth positions, but they can also cause serious injuries. Improper use of forceps can fracture the skull and cause other types of birth trauma. Vacuum extraction could cause bleeding in the skull or brain damage from strong suction. It also increases the risk of shoulders sticking in the birth canal, and injuries such as broken collarbones.

Physician errors don’t only pose risks to babies – mothers can also suffer injuries such as tears, hemorrhaging, and psychological trauma. After any type of birth injury, your first move should be to consult with an attorney. A personal injury lawyer can help you determine whether or not one or more parties were negligent during labor and delivery, contributing to you or your child’s injuries. The team at Knapp & Roberts can review your case for free in Phoenix to discuss any legal opportunities.

Types of Phoenix Birth Injuries

In many cases, the type of birth injury can point to the type of negligence that might have occurred to cause the injury. For example, injuries to the brachial plexus (a bundle of nerves in the shoulder) often arise from doctors using improper techniques such as yanking on the baby’s arm while trying to deliver an infant lodged behind the mother’s pelvic bone. A wide range of injuries can occur during and after delivery, but some are more common than others, such as:

  • Cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common muscle disorder in children. CP affects around two children every 1,000 live births. Children with CP can have varying levels of disability, affecting motor function and cognitive ability. While the majority of CP cases do not stem from medical malpractice, birth trauma is a possible cause. If a doctor recently diagnosed your child with CP, speak with one of our attorneys about the possibility of medical malpractice.
  • Brachial plexus. This type of injury affects a network of nerves located in the shoulder that controls movement and sensation in the arm, hand, and fingers. Damage to the brachial plexus can occur when a doctor forcibly pulls or stretches the arm during delivery. Brachial plexus injuries can lead to loss of function in the affected arm and hand, but most heal on their own over time. More severe injuries may require surgery to restore function.
  • Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). HIE is a type of brain damage that stems from lack of oxygen to an infant’s brain. Lack of oxygen to the brain is a serious condition that can cause permanent brain damage or death. HIE can sometimes lead to cerebral palsy or other disorders in infants. HIE can occur during preeclampsia, low maternal blood pressure, umbilical cord problems, prolonged labor, unusual fetal position, infections, premature delivery, or infant brain trauma. Cooling therapy can reverse the effects of HIE in some cases, but in others, the damage might be permanent.
  • Preeclampsia is a complication of pregnancy that involves high blood pressure in the mother. High blood pressure can damage the mother’s liver and kidneys, typically around the 20th week of pregnancy. If left undiagnosed and untreated, preeclampsia can cause premature birth, placental abruption, lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain, organ damage, and eclampsia. Preeclampsia can be fatal if a doctor fails to notice its signs and symptoms in time to treat the mother for this condition.
  • Perinatal hypoxia. Perinatal hypoxia is an infant oxygen deficiency before or after birth. Birth complications can cause a baby to stop breathing after birth, leading to oxygen deprivation in the brain. Perinatal hypoxia can occur from traumatic brain injuries during delivery, birth asphyxia (e.g., the umbilical cord wrapping around the infant’s neck and cutting off oxygen), inadequate fetal monitoring, and maternal anemia. Perinatal hypoxia can cause permanent brain damage and related disorders, such as CP.

It’s imperative for doctors to monitor mother and child during pregnancy, birth, and delivery for signs of issues or complications. Almost all birth injuries are preventable with proper care, skill, and emergency preparedness. It is when physicians are inexperienced, incompetent, or careless that infants and mothers suffer serious to fatal injuries. If you suspect someone made an error that caused your child’s birth injuries, call (480) 991-7677 to speak with someone at Knapp & Roberts.

Wrongful Birth as Part of  Your Birth Injury Lawsuit

“Wrongful birth” refers to a physician allowing a baby to come to term when the parents would have chosen elective abortion had they had all the facts about the infant. It is a doctor’s job to screen for infant abnormalities or genetic disorders early enough in pregnancy to allow the mother to elect for abortion if desired. A doctor failing to screen for abnormalities or wrongly deciphering test results can lead to wrongful birth lawsuits, in which parents allege that the doctor failed to properly warn of the risk of giving birth to a child with abnormalities.

In a wrongful birth lawsuit, the claimant states that the defendant negligently prevented her from making an informed decision about whether or not to terminate the pregnancy. The claimant might allege that, in an act of medical malpractice, a doctor did not give the parents the information they needed about abnormalities in a child that would have changed their decision to carry the baby to term. A claimant can seek recovery for the costs relating to raising a child with a disorder, as well as emotional distress and physical pain the mother suffered in giving birth to a child with abnormalities.

What Is A Wrongful Pregnancy?

A wrongful pregnancy lawsuit is one in which parents claim that improperly completed or failed sterilization resulted in a pregnancy that would not have happened had the procedure worked as intended. It is a man and woman’s choice to undergo sterilization procedures such as vasectomies and tubal ligation if he or she does not wish to have children. If someone who underwent a sterilization procedure later becomes pregnant or impregnates someone, he or she might be able to sue for wrongful pregnancy.

A parent can bring a civil claim against a doctor, hospital, pharmaceutical company, or medical provider that failed to protect the parent from conceiving after a sterilization procedure. In a successful wrongful pregnancy lawsuit, the claimant might receive compensation for medical expenses relating to sterilization, pregnancy, and delivery; pain and suffering for wrongful pregnancy; and lost wages from the mother having to take a leave of absence. To find out if you could have grounds to bring a wrongful pregnancy claim, talk to our Phoenix, Arizona birth injury attorneys.

Compensation for Birth Injuries

A successful birth injury lawsuit in Arizona could result in payment for your past and future medical expenses, the cost of medical care for your child, the price of lifelong disabilities such as CP, medications and treatments, occupational or physical therapies, live-in care or home accommodations, special needs/education costs, and non-economic damages such as physical pain and emotional suffering. There are currently no caps, or limits, on the number of damages a claimant can receive in a personal injury or medical malpractice lawsuit.

 

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The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.