Areas of Practice

Maryland Birth Injury Lawyer

When an infant suffers an injury at birth because of healthcare provider’s negligence, the newborn’s parents may be able to file a claim to obtain compensation for their child’s pain and suffering.

At The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl, our Maryland birth injury lawyers understand the physical and emotional struggle that parents suffer when their child is injured during the delivery process. An injured newborn may require extensive medical treatment following his or her birth and, in some cases, for the rest of the child’s life. Our birth injury attorneys in Maryland will work tirelessly to hold the negligent healthcare provider or medical facility liable for your child’s birth injury. Our nationally-recognized Maryland personal injury attorneys have a strong record of successfully representing victims of negligence, and have won millions in verdicts and settlements for our clients.

Our firm’s founding partner Peter T. Nicholl is a member of the American Association for Justice and has received an AV© Rating from Martindale Hubbell, a rating reserved for attorneys with the highest professional and ethical standards. All of our services are provided at no upfront cost and there will be no fees or costs unless we recover compensation for your claim. There is no risk in scheduling a free, no obligation consultation to find out if you have a case.

Complete a Free Case Evaluation form to get started.

Why You Need a Skilled Maryland Birth Injury Lawyer

If you suspect your child suffered an injury during child birth, a healthcare provider may be at fault. However, birth injury lawsuits can be complex. Birth injuries can be caused by several factors, most of which are rare and difficult to identify.

For this reason, you should immediately contact knowledgeable birth injury lawyer in Maryland to find out if your child’s injury resulted from medical negligence. By consulting with an attorney, you can establish a case that helps you obtain justice and compensation for your child’s injury. A skilled attorney will:

Identify the At-Fault Party

Determining which party is at fault for your child’s birth injury can be challenging. Often, parents interact with several healthcare providers before their child has been born. Each one has a duty to identify any possible health risks the infant might suffer in the womb, or be susceptible to once he or she is born.

Additionally, doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers must act with the highest degree of care throughout the pregnancy and birthing process to avoid causing the infant harm. In some cases, the hospital may be at fault for having faulty equipment, failing to manage your child’s birth appropriately, or hiring a doctor or staff member who was not qualified to treat you or your infant.

Our skilled childbirth attorneys in Maryland will examine your child’s medical records, diagnostic tests, your electric fetal monitor strips, or birthing tools and techniques used by the delivery team to determine the stage in which your child’s injury occurred. Your attorney will then use his or her findings to help you file a claim against the party liable for your child’s injury.

Help You Build a Case

Once your Maryland birth injury lawyer has helped you identify the at-fault party, he or she will work to build a case that supports your claim. This will require evidence that proves four elements exist in your claim:

  1. The healthcare provider had a duty to care for your child.
  2. The healthcare provider breached this duty and failed to uphold the medical community’s standards.
  3. Your child suffered an injury because the healthcare provider breached his or her duty.
  4. Your child suffered damages as a result of the healthcare provider’s negligence.

To build your case, your Maryland birth injury attorney will use your child’s medical records, testimony by witnesses, and use the opinion of expert medical witnesses to show the at-fault party’s negligence resulted in your child’s injury.

Handle Insurance Companies for You

Many parents of infants injured during childbirth are unprepared to handle the burden of filing a birth injury lawsuit against the at-fault healthcare provider, which may affect the outcome of their case.

Unfortunately, insurance companies depend on most people being unfamiliar with Maryland’s personal injury and medical malpractice laws. For this reason, it is in your best interest to contact a skilled birth injury lawyer in Maryland who knows how to handle your claim and represent your interests when dealing with the at-fault party’s insurance company.

Our Maryland birth injury lawyers are sharp negotiators who have decades of experience representing claims filed by injury victims and their families. We understand how to work with insurers and use our knowledge and experience to reach fair outcomes for our clients that reflects their best interests.

If your child suffered a birth injury, do not wait to contact our birth injury attorneys in Maryland for a free, no obligation consultation. We will help you determine if you have a case that entitles you to justice and compensation.

Call 410-244-7005 to schedule a free consultation.

Compensation for a Birth Injury Claim

A birth injury often results in a child suffering a serious, long-term or permanent medical condition that leads to mounting medical expenses and causes the victim’s family to suffer emotionally.

When an infant’s birth injury resulted from medical negligence, the family may be entitled to compensation for their pain and suffering. This can include compensation for both monetary damages and intangible losses.

During your free consultation, our Maryland birth injury lawyers will review your claim to determine if you may be entitled to compensation for:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Occupational therapy
  • Counseling
  • In-home care
  • Special vehicles or equipment
  • Home modifications
  • Assistive medical equipment
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Decreased quality of life

Maryland’s Limit on Medical Negligence Claims

In Maryland, the amount of non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, you can pursue in a medical negligence claim is limited to $800,000. However, this amount is set to increase by $15,000 each year, according to Md. Cts. & Jud Proc. § 3-2A-09.

Furthermore, there is currently no limit to the amount of economic damages you can pursue through a medical negligence claim. This includes compensation for medical expenses or additional healthcare costs that your child may need to treat his or her injury or provide him or her with a comfortable life.

Complete a Free Case Evaluation form today.

Statute of Limitations for Birth Injury Claims

Under Maryland law, preventable birth injuries fall under the category of medical malpractice statutes. This means you must file your birth injury claim within a legal timeframe called the “statute of limitations.” The statute of limitations requires any claim for birth injury must be filed before your child’s 21st birthday.

However, you should not wait to pursue justice and compensation from the negligent healthcare provider who injured your child. Contact our Maryland birth injury attorneys as soon as possible to find out if you have a case.

Common Causes of Birth Injuries

A birth injury or defect can have a severely adverse effect on a child’s appearance, development and behavior.

In some cases, a birth injury can result in a physical abnormality, such as a cleft lip or neurological defects. Likewise, a birth injury may cause internal defects like a heart condition, where symptoms may not appear for several months or years after birth.

Some common causes of birth injuries caused by medical negligence include:

Improper Vacuum Use

Vacuums are used during childbirth when the mother is having difficulty delivering the infant from the birth canal. In such cases, the attending healthcare provider will use a vacuum to latch onto the child’s shoulder or skull and guide him or her through the birth canal. When the vacuum is improperly used, it can result in severe injuries to both the infant and the mother.

Delay in Ordering a Caesarian Section

An emergency C-section can be ordered if the child is suffering from fetal distress. This may occur when the child’s heart rate has dropped or is suffering from other problems during the delivery.

However, the medical team in charge of delivering the infant is responsible for monitoring the child and his or her mother. If the delivery team fails to recognize a situation in which the mother needs an emergency C-section, they can be held liable for any birth injury suffered by the infant.

Neglecting to Perform Specialized Tests

Healthcare providers must carefully monitor the mother throughout her pregnancy. Neglecting to perform specialized tests to detect issues with the pregnancy may endanger the infant and result in birth injuries and complications.

Delayed Delivery

Any complications that occur during delivery must be immediately addressed and corrected. If a healthcare provider or delivery team fail to resolve birthing complications, it may result in further injury or illness. Common complications during delivery include:

  • Macrosomia
  • Cephalopelvic disproportion
  • Breech
  • Maternal illness

Oxygen Deprivation

One of the more common causes of birth injuries is oxygen deprivation. When an infant’s brain is deprived of oxygen, it can cause brain tissue to die. This is known as Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE).

If an infant is suffering from HIE and is not delivered quickly, he or she can suffer from permanent brain damage. Additionally, oxygen deprivation can be caused by several health conditions that affect the womb. These conditions must be quickly diagnosed and treated immediately to ensure the safety of the mother and child. If a healthcare provider fails to uphold this standard, he or she can be held liable for any injury that occurs.

Forced Delivery

A difficult delivery can place a significant amount of stress on a mother and may require more effort than she is physically capable of. To correct the issue, doctors often use medical equipment like forceps, vacuums, or forced pressure to help aid the delivery.

However, forcing a delivery often increases the risk of injury to the infant, including brachial plexus injuries and Erb’s palsy. This may result in the infant suffering immobility, weakness or paralyses.

Head Trauma During Delivery

When a child suffers trauma to the head and brain during delivery, he or she is at risk of suffering damage to the brain and nervous system. Often, infants who suffer injuries to the brain or head are at risk of suffering debilitating conditions like cerebral palsy and long-term delays in physical and cognitive development.

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Types of Birth Injuries

Each year, approximately 28,000 newborn infants suffer childbirth injuries in the U.S. because of a healthcare provider’s negligence.

Common types of birth injuries include:

Brachial Plexus Injury

A brachial plexus injury, also called neonatal brachial plexus (NBPP), is a paralysis of the arm that occurs when the upper group of the arm’s main nerves are damaged or severed.

NBPP can occur during childbirth when the infant’s neck is pulled toward the side as the shoulders pass through the birth canal. Additionally, an infant can suffer a brachial plexus injury when a healthcare provider stretches his or her shoulders during a head-first delivery. Furthermore, NBPP can also occur when a healthcare provider places pressure on the infant’s raised arms during a feet-first (breech) delivery.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder caused by a non-progressive injury or malformation that occurs when the child’s brain is under development.

Although cerebral palsy is known to cause physical disabilities, it also result in severe cognitive impairment in the infant’s brain. Children who suffer from cerebral palsy often exhibit a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Lack of muscle coordination
  • Stiff or tight muscles or exaggerated reflexes
  • Weakness in one arm or leg
  • Walking on toes, a crouched or “scissored” gait
  • Shaking
  • Random involuntary movements
  • Delays in reaching motor skill milestones
  • Difficulty with precise movements

Cerebral palsy occurs when the brain develops abnormally or when the damage occurs to the part of the brain that controls movement. Although the majority of children who suffer from cerebral palsy are born with the condition, some develop the condition during or shortly after birth. This often occurs due to:

  • Oxygen deprivation
  • Trauma during labor
  • Infant prematurity
  • Medical negligence
  • Improper use of medical equipment
  • Failing to diagnose and treat jaundice

Spina Bifida

This is a congenital condition where the tissue that develops into the brain and spinal cord does not properly seal before birth.

The most common type of spina bifida appears as malformations near the lower back. Although the affected area can be surgically closed after birth, the child will not recover function to the injured area of the spinal cord.

There are many different degrees of spina bifida based on the location of the damage or the level of the spinal lesion. Typically, the higher the lesion is on the spine, the more physical problems the child will suffer. Some common symptoms of spina bifida are:

  • Weakness or paralysis in the legs
  • Bladder and bowel problems
  • Abnormal eye movement
  • Scoliosis
  • Club foot
  • Hip injuries
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Difficulty solving problems, planning or organizing

Often, spina bifida can be detected by ultrasound or testing a mother’s blood through an AFP screening, and by examining the fluid surrounding the fetus. However, if a doctor failed to notice or properly inform the infant’s parents the child suffers spina bifida, the he or she can be held liable for a wrongful birth lawsuit.

Facial Paralysis

This can occurs during the delivery when an infant’s face may have too much pressure on it. This can result in nerve damage and is often caused by negligent use of forceps or a vacuum extraction to pull the infant out of the birth canal.

Symptoms of facial paralysis in newborn infants can include being unable to close the eye on the affected side of the face, or lack of movement on the affected side of the infant’s face. Although most cases of facial paralysis clear up within a few weeks, serious cases may lead to total permanent paralysis on the affected side of the face.

Healthcare providers have an obligation to avoid causing patients and newborn infants harm by providing safe and competent medical services. If you believe your child suffered a birth injury because of a healthcare provider’s negligence, do not hesitate to contact our birth injury attorneys in Maryland to find out if you have a case.

Call 410-244-7005 to schedule a free consultation.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Birth Injury Attorney in Maryland

A child’s birth is meant to be a time of celebration and happiness. However, when a healthcare provider negligently handles the delivery of a newborn, it can result in a devastating injury to the infant.

If you believe your child’s birth injury or defect resulted from another’s negligence, do not hesitate to contact The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl’s Maryland birth injury lawyers for professional legal guidance.

We will provide you with a free, no obligation consultation to review your claim and determine if you are entitled to compensation for your child’s pain and suffering. If we find that you have a lawsuit against the at-fault party, we will aggressively pursue your case to help your obtain the justice your family deserves. All of our services are provided on a contingency fee basis, which means you will not have any fees or costs unless we make a recovery for you. There is no risk in contacting us to discuss obtaining justice for your child’s injury.

Call 410-244-7005 for a free consultation with a Maryland birth injury lawyer.

Contact our personal injury lawyers for a free consultation if you have been injured by another’s negligence. You may be entitled to compensation.