Birth injuries can shatter the joyous occasion of welcoming a new member into the family. The emotional, physical, and financial toll of such injuries is enormous. When you face a challenge like this, it’s time to get a Philadelphia birth injury lawyer on your side.
We are here, equipped, and committed. Ready to help families navigate these trying times, our law firm is a beacon of hope, providing clarity in potentially murky legal waters. This article aims to give a comprehensive look into birth injuries, shedding light on their causes, the varied types, and what a Philadelphia birth injury lawyer can do.
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Birth Injuries in Philadelphia: An Overview
Every parent dreams of a safe delivery and a healthy child. But sometimes, unexpected challenges arise in the form of birth injuries. Not to be confused with congenital disabilities – which are conditions present before or at birth – birth injuries occur during the birthing process.
These can stem from numerous factors and can vary in severity. In a bustling city like Philadelphia, with its multitude of medical facilities, many types of birth injuries are possible.
Common Types of Birth Injuries
With the myriad medical processes involved in childbirth, there’s a range of birth injuries that can occur:
- Cerebral Palsy: A disorder affecting muscle tone and movement, often due to brain damage before, during, or after birth.
- Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE): Brain damage resulting from a lack of oxygen, with consequences that can span a lifetime.
- Brachial Plexus Injury: An injury to the network of nerves controlling muscles in the shoulder, arm, and hand, often caused during challenging deliveries.
- Bone Fractures (such as clavicle fractures): Breaks or cracks in the bones, with the clavicle being the most commonly fractured during birth.
- Caput Succedaneum: A swelling of the soft tissues on the baby’s head as it travels through the birth canal, typically resolving without treatment.
- Cephalohematoma: A collection of blood between a baby’s skull and periosteum caused by the pressure during birth.
- Birth Asphyxia or Perinatal Asphyxia: A decrease in blood flow to the baby or a lack of enough oxygen in the blood.
- Facial Nerve Injury: Damage to the facial nerve, often due to pressure during birth or the use of forceps.
- Seizures: Often indicative of a potential brain injury in newborns, requiring immediate attention and intervention.
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Causes and Risk Factors
While birth injuries can sometimes arise from unpredictable complications, there are also instances where they can be attributed to specific causes:
- Medical Negligence: This can range from the mishandling of equipment, delayed C-sections, or lack of adequate monitoring during labor.
- Prolonged or Difficult Labor: Sometimes called dystocia, this can increase the risk of injuries to the baby.
- Breech Birth Position: When the baby’s buttocks or feet enter the birth canal first, increasing the risk of complications.
- Premature Birth: Babies born before 37 weeks may be more vulnerable to injuries due to their delicate state.
- Use of Assistive Devices: The use of forceps or vacuum devices can, at times, lead to injuries if not handled with utmost care.
Identifying potential causes and risk factors is instrumental in understanding the path ahead, especially when considering legal steps.
Why Hire a Philadelphia Birth Injury Lawyer
Navigating the aftermath of a birth injury isn’t just about medical care and healing. It’s also about seeking justice and compensation for any potential oversight or negligence. So, why consider a birth injury lawyer? When families face the shock of a birth injury, deciphering the legal world can be overwhelming.
Our attorneys bring knowledge, skill, and compassion, turning complex legal jargon into actionable steps. The legal arena requires precision, research, and experience. Our attorneys stand ready to investigate, gather evidence, consult medical professionals, and represent your interests in court.
Lastly, the peace of mind a dedicated lawyer brings can be invaluable. Our team handles the intricate legal procedures, allowing families to focus on healing and adjusting to their new circumstances.
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Seeking Compensation: What You’re Entitled To
The financial ramifications of a birth injury can be daunting. From continual medical appointments to specialized equipment, the costs add up. So, what might compensation cover?
- Immediate and long-term medical care and therapy
- Specialized equipment or modifications to the home
- Emotional and psychological distress
- Future needs as the child grows, like educational assistance or caregiving
Legal compensation isn’t about placing a price on pain. It’s about easing the financial burden, ensuring that affected families can provide the best possible care and quality of life for their child.
Time Is of the Essence: Pennsylvania’s Statute of Limitations
Legal matters come with timelines, and birth injury claims are no exception. In Pennsylvania, there’s a specific time frame to act. According to Pennsylvania Statute 40 § 1303.513, birth injury cases typically need to be initiated before your child’s 20th birthday.
This time might seem sufficient, but considering the demands of caring for an affected child and dealing with emotional upheaval, it flies by. It’s essential to act swiftly. Being aware of this timeline helps families make informed decisions without missing their window of opportunity.
Contact a Philadelphia Birth Injury Attorney Today
Birth injuries are life-altering events, casting shadows on a time meant for joy and celebration. They bring challenges, questions, and a search for answers. While no legal action can undo the pain, it can provide a path to justice, answers, and vital resources.
If you or a loved one is grappling with the aftermath of a birth injury, know that you don’t need to navigate the legal maze alone. We stand ready, with the experience and commitment to guide you through. Don’t delay in seeking justice and the support your family deserves. Contact us today.