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We Handle Birth Injury
Cases in Portland and Throughout Oregon
Every parent wants their child to be as happy, healthy, and capable as possible. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that approximately one out of every 33 newborns in the United States is born with birth defects on an annual basis. In addition, such birth defects are the primary cause of infant fatalities in the U.S. Whether a child survives a birth defect or not, this can always be an emotionally devastating experience for parents.
Childbirth has changed a lot in the past few decades. Instead of automatically going to a hospital for your labor and delivery, many mothers are choosing to go to Portland birthing centers, have home births, use midwives, and/or have water births. No matter whether you have your baby in a hospital with a traditional OBGYN or you choose to have a midwife at home, mistakes can occur that can lead to serious birth injuries.
If a birth injury was caused by the negligence or wrongdoing of a licensed professional, you may have the right to file a claim against them for medical or professional malpractice. If you would like to discuss your rights after your child experienced a birth injury, call our experienced Portland birth injury attorneys for a free consultation today.
About Johnston Law Firm
Common Forms of
Negligence in Labor And Delivery
You can only recover following a birth injury if you can sufficiently prove that a medical professional was negligent in some way. This means that the doctors did not meet the standard of care required by medical professionals in their positions. Doctors and medical staff can be negligent in many ways throughout the labor and delivery process, including the following:
- Failing to diagnose and manage dangerous conditions in the mother that may cause complications during delivery;
- Not providing adequate prenatal care;
- Misdiagnosing false labor and sending the mother home;
- Administering drugs to which the mother has an allergy;
- Not properly monitoring the vital signs of both baby and mother throughout the process;
- Not performing an emergency C-section when necessary;
- Misuse of forceps, vacuums, or other birthing tools;
- Improper twisting or pulling of the baby;
- Not recognizing when the newborn child is in distress and administering neonatal care;
- Failing to monitor the mother following a birth for signs of hemorrhaging or other dangerous conditions.
While birth injuries can definitely affect a mother, as well, the following are some common birth injuries in children that result from malpractice:
- Brain damage from trauma or lack of oxygen (Cerebral Hypoxia and Anoxia);
- Cerebral palsy;
- Erb’s palsy;
- Joint dysfunctions and bone-development impairments;
- Wrongful death
The above are only some of the many different birth injuries that can have long-term financial, physical, and emotional effects on your child and family. Some birth injuries can require life-long medical care and personal assistance.
Don’t miss out on these common personal injury mistakes.
There are many different types of possible birth defects, some of which include the following:
- Cardiovascular defects;
- Cleft palate and/or cleft lip;
- Down syndrome;
- Eye defects;
- Gastrointestinal defects.
- Other chromosomal anomalies;
- Musculoskeletal defects;
- Spina bifida
While some birth defects can be partially or completely corrected by surgery, others are not treatable and a child live with the challenges of the defect their entire life. Parents may also be responsible for ongoing medical care and assistance for the child.
Much to the frustration of medical professionals and parents, the cause of many types of birth defects is unknown. However, in some situations, the defects can be traced to either genetics or environmental factors. If a birth defect occurs simply because of genetics, it could not have been prevented and parents likely have little to no legal recourse. On the other hand, parents may have significant legal rights if a defect occurred due to environmental factors. Such factors can be found in the home or workplace and can include
- Lead, mercury, or other heavy metals;
- SSRIs and other prescription drugs;
- Cleaning products and solutions;
- X-rays and other radiation exposure;
- Petroleum products;
- Volatile organic compounds (VOC);
- Toxic chemical exposure;
- Alcohol or tobacco.
While knowingly using alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs while pregnant would not result in a claim, a birth defect due to exposure to other environmental factors at home or work is often the basis for a valid claim.
Depending on where the exposure occurred, you may be able to hold your employer, municipal government, landlord, home builder, or similar party liable for the losses of you and your child due to the resulting birth defect. Establishing a connection between a particular birth defect and environmental exposure can involve complex medical evidence, so you want to have the help of an attorney who is familiar with this type of case and who has the resources needed to prove your claim.
Diagnose Birth Defects
In some cases, a birth defect may be so severe that parents may make the extremely difficult decision to terminate the pregnancy. This can avoid health risks to the mother, unnecessary pain and suffering of the child, and more. Medical professionals should carefully screen for birth defects as part of a mother’s prenatal care.
If a medical professional should have identified a severe birth defect and failed to do so, parents may be able to hold the doctor liable for their unnecessary losses by filing a medical malpractice claim. If you want to discuss whether you may have a malpractice claim involving your child’s birth defect, please call to discuss your case today.
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– Michelle E.
Mr. Johnston and his firm were incredibly thorough in getting us a fair settlement from our insurance company with little to no pressure. We really appreciated having someone who truly cared about us every step of the way. I would highly recommend the Johnston Law Firm to anyone in need of personal injury representation.
How We Can Help
At the Johnston Law Firm, our highly experienced medical malpractice attorneys understand how frightening and devastating a birth injury can be for your family. If your family has incurred financial losses or if your child has suffered long-term effects as the result of a birth injury, we will stand up for your rights to hold your doctor or medical professional liable for their malpractice. Our birth injury attorneys know you are going through a difficult time, but it is important to have a case evaluation as there are time limits to file a claim. Please call today at (503) 546-3167 for a free initial consultation.
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If you have been seriously injured at no fault of your own, please contact us using the form.
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