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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 Phoenix 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.

Early Signs of Birth Injuries

Early Signs of Birth Injuries

Every parent wishes for a happy, healthy life for their child. Coming to the realization that your formerly healthy baby suffered an injury during the birthing process can be devastating. Early signs of birth injuries include:

  • floppiness or stiffness
  • Arched back
  • Difficulty sucking, swallowing, and feeding
  • Inconsolable crying, or high-pitched crying
  • Hands clutched into claw-like shapes
  • Excessive drooling
  • Grunting instead of crying
  • Low heart rate
  • Low oxygen levels
  • Seizures
  • Light sensitivity

An infant that requires breathing assistance after birth is more likely to suffer from a birth injury. Some birth injuries remain undetected until a child misses early milestones such as rolling over, supporting their head, sitting unsupported, crawling, walking, and speaking. When a child fails to meet these expected milestones at the expected times, it may be a sign they’ve suffered a birth injury.

What to Do If You Suspect Your Child Has Suffered a Birth Injury in Phoenix

As soon as you begin to suspect that your child has suffered a birth injury, it’s important to take fast action. First, seek the appropriate medical evaluations for your child and begin the recommended medical care. Then, ask for all of your child’s medical records from the hospital or birthing center, plus any previous evaluations from a pediatrician. Begin a journal detailing your recollection of the birthing experience and recording all medical appointments, findings, and treatment recommendations. Finally, contact a birth injury attorney in Phoenix to begin your birth injury claim for compensation.

If your child suffered an injury with life-long implications, you shouldn’t go it alone. A skilled attorney can maximize your chances of a successful claim for damages. While financial compensation won’t undo your child’s injury, it can open doors to the best medical treatment available so your child has an improved chance of leading the best possible life.

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.

Wrongful Birth as Part of  Your Birth Injury LawsuitIt’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” 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.

The Consequences of Birth Injuries

Birth injuries not only rob parents of a portion of their joy after a child’s birth, but these injuries also rob the child and the family of living the life they’d otherwise have enjoyed. Birth injuries have life-long consequences ranging from mild impacts to catastrophic effects on the child and family life. Parents and birth-injured children face serious ongoing consequences including:

  • The need for life-long medical treatment
  • Special education
  • Expensive and painful physical and occupational therapies
  • Special medical equipment
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder in mothers
  • Isolation from family and friends
  • At-home help
  • Lifetime special needs costs that impact the family’s ability to afford vacations, adequate housing, and other effects on quality of life
  • Assisted living facilities in adulthood

Today’s lifetime costs for a child with cerebral palsy are estimated at well over one million dollars. Other birth injuries may have similar financial consequences. In many cases, one parent must put aside their goals for career advancement in order to stay home to care for the birth-injured child.

Siblings of birth-injured children also suffer consequences, including the changes in lifestyle that are associated with having a sibling with special needs and the high likelihood that a sibling who requires special care may receive the majority of the parent’s attention. In some cases, children face bullying or ostracization from peers when they have siblings with differences or disabilities.

Most importantly, the consequences of a birth injury directly impact the injured child with a wide range of physical and emotional consequences that alter the life they otherwise would have known.

Long-Term Birth Injury Complications

Long-Term Birth Injury Complications

Children who suffer birth injuries may face lifelong consequences from complications associated with the injury. Catastrophic injuries can cause disability or impairment with life-altering effects. Some examples of complications from birth injuries include the following:

  • Cerebral palsy with lifelong disability with impacts on movement, speech, and the ability to perform routine daily tasks independently. It also increases the chance of coexisting medical problems and reduced lifespan
  • Developmental delays often result from infants who are deprived of oxygen during the labor and delivery process. Children with developmental delays may not reach milestones on average with their peers and may require special education and other services, sometimes requiring living assistance even into adulthood
  • Head injuries and hematomas that occur during birth can cause bleeding between the baby’s brain and skull, causing brain damage, worsened jaundice, and other conditions with long-term impacts
  • Cerebral Ischemia from unchecked infections during pregnancy, labor, and delivery may lead to this condition and impacts range from the underdevelopment of certain brain functions to muscle weakness and incontinence
  • Shoulder Dystocia impacts the nerves in the shoulder and arm and could lead to Erb’s palsy with total or partial paralysis of the arm and hand. Sometimes the condition resolves, but some children remain unable to fully use the affected limb

Children with birth injuries also suffer lifelong consequences to their emotional well-being, including anxiety and depression.

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 trial 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.

How to Prove Birth Injury Liability in Arizona

Proving a child’s symptoms or diagnosed medical condition arose from a birth injury requires navigating a specialized area of liability law that combines medical experience and legal knowledge. Proving liability in this type of legal claim takes intensive investigation to identify the liable party, whether it’s a doctor, a provider from the medical team, or a hospital or birthing center. If the doctor in charge of the labor and delivery of a birth-injured baby is an independent contractor with privileges at the facility, they may be personally liable. If the doctor is a direct employee of the hospital or birthing center, the facility itself is liable.

Liability for medical malpractice claims requires evidence-backed demonstration showing the following:

  • That a provider/patient relationship occurred at the time of the injury
  • That the provider owed a special duty of care to the mother and child to provide treatment at the accepted level of medical care or the treatment that another reasonable medical professional would provide under the same circumstances
  • That the provider breached this duty by an act of negligence
  • That the negligent breach directly caused the injury
  • That the injury victim and their family suffered significant damages due to the injury

Once your attorney can clearly demonstrate liability they can make a compelling case for compensation from the provider’s medical malpractice insurance.

What is the Process of a Birth Injury Claim?

If you’re ready to speak to an attorney about making a birth injury claim, you’re ready to take the first step. During a free consultation, the legal team at Knapp & Roberts will carefully review the circumstances of your case to see if you have grounds for a claim. Once you’ve hired an attorney from Knapp & Roberts, you can expect the following process:

  • An intensive investigation into all aspects of your child’s birth and medical records
  • Diligent documentation of the evidence in your case
  • Consultations with medical experts and gathering expert testimony
  • Identification of the liable party
  • Evidence of negligence on the part of the liable party and a carefully calculated sum of your family’s damages sent in a demand package to the provider’s medical malpractice insurance company with a compelling demand letter
  • Aggressive negotiations with the insurance company to obtain the largest possible settlement
  • Timely filing a lawsuit within the two-year statute of limitations if necessary to secure your compensation if we cannot achieve an ample settlement
  • Strong advocation for your compensation in court to maximize your chances of a positive jury verdict and large award for your damages

The attorneys at Knapp & Roberts have a deep compassion for birth-injured children and their families. Our goal is to ensure that families have what they need for the best possible life going forward.

Why Choose Us for Your Phoenix Birth Injury Attorneys?

The attorneys at Knapp & Roberts believe in making a difference. We are ready to be your family’s voice for justice and have a strong commitment to righting wrongs done to children to the best extent possible. Our team of Phoenix personal injury lawyer knows how to tell your story in the best way to make it clear exactly how the birth injury occurred and the direct consequences to your child and family. We deliver personalized attention to each unique case and the family behind the legal case. Let us navigate this complex area of injury law to win the settlement your family deserves. When someone else’s negligence or medical mistake negatively impacts your life, they must be held accountable. 

Reach out to our Phoenix law office today so we can begin a personalized strategy for your child’s unique birth injury case.

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we care, and we can help. Contact us 480-991-7677 or fill out the form below

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.