Umbilical cord injuries can cause severe, lifelong complications and even death for babies. The umbilical cord is the baby’s only connection to the placenta and the mother during pregnancy. It ensures the baby receives the oxygenated, nutrient-rich blood they need to develop and grow.
In some cases, an umbilical cord injury could support a birth injury medical malpractice claim. An umbilical cord birth injury lawyer from the Birth Injury Lawyers Group may be able to hold the doctor, hospital, or another liable party accountable on your family’s behalf. You could recover compensation for your child’s care and support.
Call our team at (800) 222-9529 to get help today. We provide free consultations for families whose child was affected by an umbilical cord injury.
For a free legal consultation, call 1-800-222-9529
Who Can I Sue for an Umbilical Cord Birth Injury?
If your child was the victim of medical negligence and there is evidence to support a birth injury case, you can likely file a claim or lawsuit on behalf of your child. The key to winning this type of case is proving who acted negligently and, therefore, may have committed malpractice.
Some of the most common liable parties in these cases include:
- The doctor monitoring the pregnancy
- The doctor tasked with monitoring labor and delivering the baby
- The medical practice of the doctors involved with the pregnancy and delivery
- The hospital where the birth took place
Because umbilical cord injuries occur in different ways—and only sometimes involve malpractice—taking legal action against one or more of these parties can be difficult. It will be necessary to review all relevant medical records regarding your child’s care to determine what happened and who is responsible.
An umbilical cord birth injury lawyer from our team can work with you to assign liability and identify all potential defendants in this type of civil action. In some cases, a medical expert’s input may be necessary to determine the role each person or facility played in your child’s injuries.
For example, it may be apparent that an issue was overlooked during a routine ultrasound, leading to a missed diagnosis during pregnancy. The ultrasound technician may not have conducted the scan properly or overlooked signs of the problem. Alternatively, the doctor may have failed to diagnose the condition or take action when complications arose.
No matter what happened, our birth injury attorneys will get to the bottom of things. Provide as many medical records as you can and explain to your lawyer how your child’s injury affected each aspect of your life. Your lawyers will initiate the discovery process, talk to witnesses, and even interview a doctor’s former patients. A medical malpractice claim, or court trial will likely result in a favorable settlement or verdict as long as you seek legal help quickly after you realize your baby is not doing well.
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How Can an Umbilical Cord Birth Injury During Childbirth Be Prevented?
In many cases, a problem that arises with the umbilical cord is not preventable. Most of these conditions do not occur as a result of negligence. Instead, the negligence occurs when the doctor or another medical care provider fails to identify or address the issue, leading to injuries.
The best way doctors can prevent umbilical cord birth injuries during childbirth is by closely monitoring the pregnancy, especially leading up to labor and delivery.
Around the midpoint of the pregnancy, an in-depth ultrasound should include a close examination of the umbilical cord. This, along with routine monitoring, should allow the obstetrician to identify any problems with the cord itself or its attachment to the placenta and the baby.
Thorough Ultrasounds Can Help Resolve Umbilical Cord Issues Early
During an ultrasound exam, care providers should be checking for umbilical cord abnormalities, including:
- Abnormal attachment, sometimes called insertion
- Vasa previa
- Incorrect or abnormal composition
- Masses, cysts, or clots in the cord
- Knotting or coiling
Many of these conditions have specific solutions that can dramatically increase the child’s chances of a healthy gestation and birth.
For example, vasa previa may be diagnosed at an ultrasound between 18 and 20 weeks. This condition—characterized by umbilical cord blood vessels lying too close to the cervix—may call for a planned cesarean (C-section) delivery before the fetal membranes rupture on their own.
According to Medical Science Monitor, proper diagnosis and monitoring of this condition increase the chance the baby will survive from 44 percent to 97 percent.
Why Do I Need an Experienced Birth Injury Lawyer for my Umbilical Cord Birth Injury Case?
An umbilical cord birth injury lawyer who represents families in your state will understand how umbilical cord injuries can occur. They will also be familiar with what it takes to pursue damages in this type of case. Each state has its own statutes and common practices regarding medical malpractice law and birth injury cases.
The statutes outline many aspects of how to build, prove, and proceed with these cases, including:
- The timeline and applicable deadlines
- The evidence necessary and when you must submit it
- The process you must follow to hold the liable parties accountable
- The limits placed on recoverable damages
- Exceptions to any of these rules
- Any rules that apply specifically to birth injury cases
It is imperative to follow the correct process to file your claim. Failure to do so could jeopardize your right to move forward with your case or damage your case to the point that it may be impossible to recover fair compensation.
A birth injury lawyer who has represented families with umbilical cord birth injuries can navigate this process on your behalf and help the claims process go smoothly.
To learn more about how an attorney can help you move forward with a malpractice claim based on your child’s birth injuries, reach out to our team for help today. You can speak with the Birth Injury Lawyers Group now for free when you dial (800) 222-9529.
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How Long Do I Have to File an Umbilical Cord Birth Injury Lawsuit?
Each state has its own deadline that applies to filing medical malpractice lawsuits, known as the statute of limitations. You have until the applicable deadline arrives to begin the suit by filing paperwork that names the liable parties.
However, many states also have additional steps they require you to work through before you can file a medical malpractice suit in civil court. For example, some have laws requiring advanced notification of the doctor or hospital, allowing them to review the case before you take them to court.
They could offer a settlement, develop their own argument, or take other steps before determining if a trial is necessary. Many birth injury cases settle during negotiations at this time.
Exceptions for Birth Injuries
Medical malpractice filing deadlines often have exceptions for birth injury cases. The statute of limitations in many states “tolls,” or pauses, for a set number of years or until the child reaches a certain age.
Once this grace period ends, the clock starts running. The best way to learn how long you have to file your lawsuit is by discussing your options with an attorney who understands the laws in your state.
What Types of Malpractice Cause Umbilical Cord Birth Injuries?
Medical negligence can occur almost any time a medical care professional deviates from the normal protocols or procedures. This could cause them to fail to provide an acceptable standard of care, which is the basis for medical malpractice cases.
When it comes to umbilical cord birth injuries, some of the most common ways that malpractice occurs include:
Failure to Monitor
An obstetrician’s job involves close monitoring of the mother and baby from the initial positive pregnancy test through delivery. As the pregnancy moves forward, this includes ordering ultrasounds, blood tests, and other screenings to ensure everything is going well. Failure to monitor the pregnancy could mean missing signs of a problem.
Failure to Diagnose
In some cases, the care team monitors the mother and baby but fails to recognize signs of a problem. This prevents them from treating the concern and could cause preventable birth injuries.
Failure to Take Proper Actions
Some doctors may recognize a problem and offer a diagnosis but not take the next step to properly address the issue. If they are not sure what to do, consulting with a specialist might be the best option.
Depending on the issue that arises, babies may have a better chance of survival with a planned c-section delivery or other interventions. Failure to prescribe the right solution and act on it could be medical negligence.
Issues During Delivery
In some cases, it is impossible to know that an umbilical cord complication—such as a prolapsed cord—will happen in advance. When this happens during delivery, the medical team has an obligation to identify it and take steps to prevent unnecessary harm to the baby.
To learn if your child’s umbilical cord birth injury may support a medical malpractice claim, speak with the Birth Injury Lawyers Group team today. We offer free case assessments. Call (800) 222-9529 to get started.
What Are the Different Kinds of Umbilical Cord Birth Injuries You Can Sue For?
Almost any type of preventable injury that occurs during pregnancy, labor, or delivery may support a medical malpractice claim. If you can show how the doctor or another medical care professional acted negligently, you could have a case.
Some of the most common umbilical cord birth injuries that support this type of legal claim include:
Cord compression occurs when the baby’s umbilical cord is pressed against an external object, the walls of the birth canal, or another surface, preventing adequate blood flow.
A nuchal cord refers to when the baby’s umbilical cord becomes wrapped around their neck in the womb or during labor. This can cut off their blood supply to their brain.
A true knot is when the umbilical cord loops over on itself and creates a knot. In some cases, these knots can be tight enough to restrict blood flow and cause injury or even death.
Umbilical cord prolapse refers to when the cord delivers before the baby, which can lead to cord compression in the birth canal and cause the baby to lose adequate blood flow.
Vasa Previa occurs when the cord’s blood vessels run too close to the inner opening of the cervix.
How Common Is an Umbilical Cord Birth Injury?
Some types of umbilical cord concerns are more common than others, such as compression. However, the majority of these cases only involve minor compression or compression that only lasts a few seconds. In these cases, children tend to have no apparent lasting injuries.
Serious injuries stemming from umbilical cord accidents are much rarer, but they do comprise a relatively large number of incidents that lead to the death of a baby.
According to BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, about 10 percent of stillbirths analyzed in one study resulted from umbilical cord accidents. This was greater than the number caused by hypertension (9 percent) and other maternal medical concerns (8 percent).
The same journal also cites a literature review regarding newborn fatalities, which linked 15 percent of stillbirths to an umbilical cord accident.
Can an Umbilical Cord Birth Injury Cause Cerebral Palsy?
Anything that disrupts the oxygen supply to the baby’s brain can potentially cause permanent neurological damage that leads to cerebral palsy. When an umbilical cord becomes blocked, compressed, or knotted, it can cut off blood and oxygen flow. This is known as birth asphyxia.
In many cases, birth asphyxia only lasts a couple of seconds and has no lasting consequences. When it continues long enough for the baby’s brain cells to sustain damage, the infant may develop hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). HIE affects specific areas of the brain—primarily an area known as the cerebral motor cortex.
Damage to this area of the brain can cause numerous lifelong health concerns, including cerebral palsy, epilepsy, vision loss, deafness, and more. Children with HIE may also have co-occurring conditions, such as cerebral palsy and vision loss or epilepsy and cerebral palsy.
What Evidence Do I Need to File an Umbilical Cord Birth Injury Claim?
To pursue a medical malpractice claim based on an umbilical cord birth injury, you will need to prove that the doctor or another medical professional committed medical negligence and that your child suffered injuries as a result.
An umbilical cord birth injury lawyer will be able to determine what evidence is necessary to prove your allegations and win your case. There are two primary types of evidence in these cases:
Medical Records and Related Documentation
Medical records related to the pregnancy and your child’s birth will play a vital role in determining what happened to cause the birth injury. Additional medical records documenting your infant’s symptoms and diagnosis will help you prove their injuries and your family’s damages.
Your lawyer will obtain these records, with your permission, and submit them to a medical expert for review and analysis. Some additional documentation, such as lab test results, medical imaging, or other items may serve as evidence in the case as well.
Medical Expert Opinions
Most states require an expert opinion in medical malpractice cases. These experts are doctors who practice in the same area of medicine as the accused doctor in a nearby area.
In some cases, more than one medical expert will play a role. It may be necessary to call in someone who specializes in your child’s condition or has more knowledge of another unique aspect of your child’s case to properly document your child’s prognosis, future care needs, or other damages.
Our lawyers have networks of experts we work with for these cases. We will use our connections to identify medical experts with similar training and experience as our clients’ doctors.
These experts will review our clients’ medical records and testify about whether they believe medical negligence and malpractice occurred.
Can I Sue a Hospital for an Umbilical Cord Birth Injury?
You may be able to file a claim and hold a hospital responsible for your baby’s injuries if there is evidence to show the facility played a role in your child’s birth injury case. This may be the case if the hospital:
- Is vicariously liable for negligence by a non-doctor medical professional
- Had a culture of carelessness or laxity
- Failed to uphold the strict standards required to keep patients safe
- Knew about the negligent professional’s record of similar incidents yet hired or retained them on their staff
In short, we must prove the hospital or an employee was responsible for your child’s injury or shared the responsibility. If only the doctor was negligent, the hospital most likely will not be a defendant in any legal claim we file.
Suing a hospital is not easy and requires a high level of evidence. There are also additional hurdles we must clear if the hospital is a public hospital, meaning it is government-funded.
To learn if you may be able to sue the hospital where your child was born, reach out to the Birth Injury Lawyers Group now by calling (800) 222-9529. We will review your case and help you identify the liable parties.
How Is Pain and Suffering Calculated in an Umbilical Cord Birth Injury Case?
The umbilical cord birth injury lawyer handling your child’s case will put a value on your child’s pain and suffering. They will include this value in their demand for a just payout. There are several ways to calculate pain and suffering and other non-economic or intangible damages.
One common way attorneys determine how much a client’s pain and suffering losses are worth is by using a multiplier. This is done by taking some of their economic damages—such as medical care costs—or all of their economic damages and multiplying them by a specific number.
The multipliers in these cases depend on several factors. They take the child’s prognosis and their quality of life into consideration, for example. A multiplier could be one, two, three, or even more.
For example, if your child has medical bills of $10,000 for their testing, diagnosis, and treatment, and only minor lasting concerns, the multiplier might be two. This would mean that a fair settlement in your child’s case would be around $30,000; that is $10,000 in medical bills plus $20,000 in pain and suffering.
There May Be a Limit to the Damages You Can Collect
Limitations on pain and suffering damages exist in some states. According to the American Bar Association, groups representing doctors, hospitals, and medical malpractice insurance providers have tried to get states to pass a $250,000 cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases.
As of January 2021, more than half of all states have a rule limiting how much a medical malpractice victim can recover. Several of these laws apply to both economic and non-economic damages.
What Damages Can I Collect for an Umbilical Cord Birth Injury Lawsuit?
There are several types of damages your attorney will seek on your family’s behalf through your claim or at trial. This includes:
The economic damages in a medical malpractice case are your family’s actual expenses and losses. This includes:
- Medical bills
- Income from time you had to take off work
- Related expenses
- Ongoing care costs because of your child’s diagnosis
Your child’s non-economic damages may be recoverable even though it is difficult to put a value on them. Your attorney will establish a fair price and include it in your claim for damages. This could cover your child’s:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Diminished quality of life
Future Expenses and Losses
If your child requires long-term treatment or therapies, or if they have lifelong impairments, these types of damages will be essential to your family. Your attorney will work with experts and take other steps to put a price on your child’s future care and support before seeking compensation for these expenses.
Wrongful Death Damages
If your child passed away because of an umbilical cord complication or another preventable birth injury, your attorney will discuss the damages available through a wrongful death action.
What Is the Average Settlement for an Umbilical Cord Birth Injury Lawsuit?
Birth injuries can affect children differently and require different treatments, so calculating an average settlement for an umbilical cord birth injury lawsuit is difficult. The value of each case is too complex to generalize and apply to other cases, even if two infants’ injuries occurred in the same way.
This is why it is so important to understand the value of your case. Your attorney will calculate the range that a fair settlement will likely fall into before filing your claim. During the settlement negotiation process, your legal team will push for a payout that falls within that range.
No matter what, you will get the final say about whether to accept a settlement offer from the malpractice insurance company, the doctor, or the hospital. Your lawyer will offer advice about when you may want to consider a settlement agreement or if they believe you should take the case to court.
How Long Does It Take to Settle an Umbilical Cord Birth Injury Case?
There is no way to know how long a particular case could take to settle without knowing specific details about the case. Your lawyer may speculate about your case settling quickly or taking time, but there is no way to know for sure. Some cases take only a few months, while others go on for a year or more.
How long it takes to reach a settlement in a birth injury case depends on factors such as:
- The strength of the case
- The liable parties
- Your child’s injuries
- The insurer’s willingness to negotiate
- If the case goes to court
- Whether a trial is necessary
In general, when a doctor or hospital does not take responsibility for their actions or the insurer is not motivated to negotiate and reach an out-of-court settlement, the case may require a civil lawsuit. Going to court, especially when a trial is necessary, usually takes much longer than a settlement.
We recommend getting started today by calling the Birth Injury Lawyers Group team at (800) 222-9529. We provide free case reviews to all callers. The sooner you get in touch with our team, the sooner we can start working on your case.
How Is Negligence Proven in an Umbilical Cord Birth Injury Claim?
Negligence is often proven in a medical malpractice case with help from an expert witness. Most states require their testimony or at least a signed affidavit stating that they believe medical negligence occurred.
Your attorney will provide the expert with your child’s medical records, including:
- Documentation of the care received during the pregnancy
- Information about the labor and delivery
- Proof of any complications that occurred
- Records about screenings conducted shortly after birth
- Documentation of your child’s related diagnoses and any related records
The medical expert will review these records to determine what happened, when, why, and who was involved. They can testify to what most doctors with the same training and experience would have done under the same circumstances. Then they can identify any action that was not within the acceptable duty of care.
With their knowledge and background, the medical expert’s opinion is vital to proving negligence occurred and caused your child’s injuries.
Can I Sue for Future Medical Expenses and Long-Term Care?
You will be able to include your child’s future medical expenses and long-term care as damages in your lawsuit. These are important damages to families with children who:
- Require further treatment for their injuries
- Will need lifelong monitoring and medication or other treatment
- Need continued care and support because of their injuries and additional complications
Treatment for the medical conditions that can occur due to an umbilical cord injury can cost thousands of dollars each year, not to mention other care costs and related expenses. For example, consider:
- Epilepsy: According to the American Journal of Managed Care, expenses for managing epilepsy in the United States in 2014 averaged $15,414 per patient.
- Cerebral Palsy: According to the Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy, Medicaid paid out an average of $10,368 in medical expenses per ambulatory child with cerebral palsy during 2014. The average for children who were non-ambulatory and suffered severe effects of the condition was $43,687.
Estimating Future Care Costs in Your Birth Injury Case
While it may seem impossible to know how much your child’s future treatment and care could cost, your lawyer will have resources they can call on to put a value on these expenses. This includes relying on witnesses such as doctors, specialists, and economists.
To learn more about how you can seek compensation for your child’s future treatment and ongoing care costs, speak with a team member from the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today for your free consultation. Call (800) 222-9529.
Who Owes a Legal Duty of Care for an Umbilical Cord Birth Injury?
When a patient sees a health care provider, they generally have two expectations:
- The doctor will use their education, knowledge, and skills to provide the necessary and appropriate medical care.
- The doctor will not do anything to cause the patient further harm due to carelessness or other negligent behavior.
These expectations are, in fact, the legal duty a medical professional owes to every patient. Each patient is owed a legal duty of care from the moment they receive any type of medical attention or the doctor accepts their case.
In most medical malpractice birth injury cases, it is safe to assume the doctor or other professional accused of negligence owed the mother and baby a legal duty of care. The relevant medical records should provide adequate proof.
However, some cases may require additional evidence. This could include a situation in which an expert was called in to consult but never saw the patient in person. Another example is when the doctor who monitored the pregnancy was not the doctor who delivered the baby.
How Soon After an Umbilical Cord Birth Injury Diagnosis Should I Contact a Lawyer?
At the Birth Injury Lawyers Group, we recommend you speak with a law firm as soon as you learn that your child may have suffered a birth injury.
Establishing a relationship with an attorney early on ensures you do not miss any deadlines and that we can gather evidence when it is fresh. For example, interviewing eyewitnesses is unlikely to be as helpful later because they will not remember the circumstances as clearly.
However, it is important to know that we may not be able to move forward with filing your legal claim until your child is older. To ensure we account for as many of your family’s expenses and losses as possible, we need to have a strong understanding of your child’s diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment plan.
In some cases, serious medical concerns may not show themselves until a year or more following the child’s birth.
The most common time that parents reach out to us about their child’s possible birth injury is following a diagnosis of a related condition. This is a great time to contact us. If your child recently received a diagnosis of epilepsy, cerebral palsy, or another condition and you believe there is a link to an umbilical cord birth injury, call us today.
You can speak with the Birth Injury Lawyers Group for free now. Dial (800) 222-9529.
How Can a Lawyer Help with an Umbilical Cord Birth Injury Claim?
An umbilical cord birth injury lawyer will help you navigate the birth injury claims process, handling the legal aspects for you and protecting your family’s rights every step of the way.
Representing You Throughout the Process
These cases are often difficult to prove, and it is easy to say the wrong thing and have the accused doctor, their legal team, or the insurance company use your words against you. Your lawyer will manage all communication about your child’s case.
They will also gather evidence to develop an argument that supports medical negligence and a fair settlement.
Bringing in Experts to Support Your Case
A key part of building an umbilical cord birth injury case is identifying and working with the best experts, including a doctor who will verify that medical negligence likely occurred. Your lawyer will also contact other experts to help establish a value for your case, especially when it comes to ongoing and future care needs.
Using information from these experts, your past and current medical bills, and receipts from other related expenses, your lawyer will put a value on your financial expenses and losses. Then they can use the value of your current and future economic damages to value your child’s non-economic damages.
Filing Your Claim or Lawsuit
Once your legal team understands the value of the case, they will file your claim with the medical malpractice insurance company or another appropriate party. They will usually attempt to reach a negotiated settlement but will represent you at trial, if necessary.
Your lawyer and legal team will take all of these steps at no upfront expense to you. The Birth Injury Lawyers Group operates based on contingency fees.
Can I Sue a Doctor Without Malpractice Insurance?
You can sue a doctor who does not have medical malpractice insurance coverage, but this could make collecting damages more difficult. There may be alternatives to filing a lawsuit and taking an uninsured doctor to trial. Even if the court awards you a judgment, taking it from the doctor’s personal assets may or may not be possible.
In some areas, doctors must pay any judgments against them to maintain their license to practice medicine, but holding them accountable is still a complex process.
You might be better off considering if you also have a case against the individual doctor’s practice, the clinic, or the hospital. Most of these facilities or formal medical groups will have malpractice insurance. Seeking additional liable parties is one way to work around an uninsured doctor.
To learn more about your options, call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today. If you believe the doctor who delivered your child and caused or failed to prevent their birth injuries does not have malpractice insurance, our team will brainstorm ideas and determine your options for financial recovery.
You can get help today. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529.
Speak with the Birth Injury Lawyers Group for Free Today
If your child suffered birth injuries because of an umbilical cord accident or has a diagnosis that could be linked to a preventable birth injury, you can get help today. Reach out to our team to connect with someone who will review your case, explain your rights, and determine how we may be able to help your family.
An umbilical cord birth injury lawyer from the Birth Injury Lawyers Group may be able to develop a case to hold the at-fault doctor or hospital accountable and recover compensation for your family. This could offer a way to ensure your child receives the necessary care without worrying about the large financial burden.
You can contact the Birth Injury Lawyers Group now at (800) 222-9529. Call us today for your complimentary consultation with a team member.