What Is A Baltimore Birth Injury Lawyer, And What Do They Do?
A Baltimore birth injury lawyer is an attorney based in Baltimore, Maryland, who represents clients whose infants have suffered injuries during childbirth due to negligence, malpractice, or other wrongful acts.
Baltimore birth injury lawyers are experienced in both medical malpractice law and the issues related to birth injuries. They can:
- Advise you on your rights and possible legal remedies.
- Gather evidence, consult with medical experts, and build a strong case to prove negligence or malpractice.
- Represent you in negotiations, settlements, or at trial.
- Seek compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages.
What Are Common Mistakes And Errors Leading To Birth Injuries?
Some common mistakes and errors that can lead to birth injuries include:
- Delayed C-section: If a doctor delays performing a cesarean section when it’s necessary, the baby may suffer from a lack of oxygen or other complications
- Improper Use of Forceps or Vacuum Extractors: If used incorrectly, these tools can cause serious injuries to the baby, such as bruises, fractures, or brain injuries.
- Failure to Monitor Fetal Distress: If a medical professional fails to properly monitor the baby’s vital signs, they may miss signs of fetal distress.
- Administering Incorrect Medication or Dosage: Giving the wrong medication or wrong dosage to the mother during labor can injure both the mother and the baby.
- Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose a Condition in the Baby or Mother: This can lead to inappropriate treatment or lack of necessary medical interventions.
- Improper Handling or Care Post-delivery: This can include not properly caring for the umbilical cord or not quickly addressing any immediate medical needs of the newborn.
How Common Are Birth Injuries In Baltimore, MD?
This is difficult to judge. In the United States, it’s estimated that birth injuries occur in roughly 6-8 out of every 1,000 live births, but not all of these are due to medical malpractice. Some birth injuries are unavoidable and can happen even with the best medical care.
The Maryland Vital Statistics Infant Mortality Report 2020 provides data on live births, infant mortality, fetal mortality, and birth defects in Maryland. According to this report, the leading causes of neonatal mortality in 2020 were low birth weight (27%), maternal complications of pregnancy (17%), and congenital abnormalities (14%). The leading causes of postneonatal mortality were Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (35%), congenital abnormalities (14%), and respiratory system disorders (8%). Birth injuries were not listed among the leading causes of infant death.
What Are Common Birth Injuries?
There are many different types of birth injuries. Some that Snyder Law Group focus on are as follows:
What Are The Signs Of Medical Negligence During Childbirth?
Childbirth is a potentially dangerous medical event requiring the highest level of care from healthcare professionals. However, sometimes mistakes happen. Signs of medical negligence during childbirth can include:
- Delayed C-section: Waiting too long to perform a cesarean section when necessary, leading to complications such as fetal macrosomia
- Improper Use of Instruments: Incorrectly using tools like forceps or vacuum extractors that result in injuries.
- Failure to Monitor: Not tracking the baby’s or mother’s vital signs, missing signs of fetal distress.
- Administering Incorrect Medication: Giving wrong medications or dosages during labor.
- Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose: Not identifying or incorrectly identifying a condition in the baby or mother.
- Post-delivery Negligence: Not providing proper care after birth, leading to complications or harm.
How Long Do I Have To File A Birth Injury Case In Maryland?
Generally, there are two main types of claims that can arise from a birth injury: medical malpractice and wrongful death.
For medical malpractice claims, Maryland law states that you must file your lawsuit within three years of discovering the injury or within five years of the date the injury occurred, whichever is shorter. However, there is an exception for minors who are injured as a result of medical negligence, such as infants who suffer a birth injury. In those cases, the minor has up to three years after turning 18 to file a lawsuit. This means that a child who was injured at birth could potentially have until their 21st birthday to pursue a claim.
For wrongful death claims, Maryland law states that you must file your lawsuit within three years of the date of death of the victim. This applies regardless of the age of the victim or the date of discovery of the injury.
What Compensation Can I Expect In A Birth Injury Lawsuit In Maryland?
Compensation in birth injury cases can include:
- Medical expenses (past and future)
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of earning potential
- Cost of therapy and rehabilitation
- Emotional distress
- Lifelong care costs, if the child needs it
Can I Afford To Hire A Birth Injury Lawyer In Baltimore?
Most birth injury lawyers in Baltimore and throughout Maryland operate on a contingency fee basis. This means you don’t pay any attorney’s fees upfront. Instead, the lawyer takes a percentage of any settlement or award you receive. If you don’t win the case, you typically owe nothing in attorney’s fees.
What Role Do Medical Experts Play in A Birth Injury Case?
Medical experts help establish the standard of care that should have been provided, whether there was a breach of this standard, and how this breach harmed the child or mother. These experts, often experienced obstetricians, neonatologists, or other medical professionals, can provide testimony about the specifics of the medical procedures, decisions made by the healthcare providers, and the likely outcomes of those decisions. Their insights help the court or jury in determining negligence.
Can I Still Pursue A Birth Injury Case In Baltimore If It’s Been Several Years?
Yes. In Maryland, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims, which includes birth injuries, is generally five years from the date of the injury or three years from the date the injury was discovered, whichever is earlier. There are special provisions for minors: a child has until their 21st birthday to file a claim for an injury that occurred at or before their birth. However, the specific circumstances of each case can impact these general rules, so it’s best to consult with a legal professional to understand your rights and the potential for pursuing a claim.
How Do I Find The Right Birth Injury Lawyer In Baltimore, Maryland?
Finding the right birth injury lawyer in Baltimore, Maryland, involves research, recommendations, and consultations. Start by asking for referrals from friends, family, or other people you trust. You can also look into online directories, reviews, and bar association listings for Baltimore or Maryland to find attorneys in this field.
Once you’ve found a few potential lawyers, schedule consultations with them, during these meetings, you can evaluate their experience in birth injury cases and their track record of success.
What Can I Expect During The Initial Consultation with A Birth Injury Attorney?
During an initial consultation with a birth injury attorney, you can expect several things:
- Discussion of the Facts: The attorney will want to hear the entire story from you – what happened before, during, and after the birth.
- Review of Medical Records: If you have them available, the attorney might want to review medical records or any other relevant documents related to the birth.
- Assessment of the Case: The attorney will evaluate the merits of your potential claim based on the information you provide and their knowledge of birth injury law.
- Explanation of Rights and Options: The attorney will explain your rights, potential next steps, and what you can expect if you decide to pursue a lawsuit.
- Discussion of Fees: Most birth injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you win your case. The lawyer will explain this fee structure and any potential costs associated with pursuing the case.
- Questions and Answers: The initial consultation is not just for the attorney to gather information but also for you to ask questions. You can ask about their experience, their success in similar cases, and any other concerns you might have.
- Confidentiality: Anything you discuss with the attorney will be confidential, ensuring your privacy.
What Steps Should I Take If I Believe My Child Has Suffered A Birth Injury Due To Medical Negligence?
Discovering that your child may have suffered a birth injury is a deeply unsettling and distressing experience. If you suspect that this injury resulted from medical negligence, here are the steps you should take:
- Seek Medical Attention: Prioritize the health and safety of your child. Consult with a pediatrician or specialist immediately to understand the extent of the injury and determine the necessary treatments or interventions.
- Document Everything: As soon as possible, write down everything you remember about the birth process. Note communications with medical staff, unusual events, and procedures.
- Gather Medical Records: Gather all relevant medical records connected to your pregnancy, the birth itself, and any subsequent treatments. These can offer evidence about what happened and the medical decisions that were made.
- Avoid Signing Anything: Be wary of any attempt by medical institutions to get you to sign documents that might absolve them of responsibility or limit their liability. Don’t sign anything without first consulting with an attorney.
- Consult a Birth Injury Attorney: If medical negligence is a concern, make an appointment for an initial consultation with a birth injury attorney. They can provide guidance on the next steps.
Contact A Baltimore Birth Injury Lawyer
Has your child suffered a birth injury in Baltimore? Don’t face this alone. Contact a Baltimore birth injury lawyer to protect your rights and get the justice you deserve.
Birth Injury Hospitals In Baltimore, Maryland
Call 410-THE-FIRM (843-3476) For a Free Case Evaluation
The Snyder Law Group, LLC proudly represents clients throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C. Our experienced attorneys understand the frustration that comes with an insurance company, medical professional, or other party that refuses to accept liability for negligent or reckless behavior. You can take heart in knowing there are talented and experienced lawyers ready to work for you.