Birth Injuries: What Are They and How Do I Look for Help

mother laying down and holding newborn baby in hospital

When parents give birth, they hope for a normal delivery and look forward to a healthy baby. Unfortunately, some parents have to deal with a birth injury in their newborns that can result in disability, diminished quality of life for the child, or the death of the mother or the infant.

Types of Birth Injuries
The MSD Manuals, aka Merck Manuals, enumerates five types of birth injuries as follows:

Head and brain injuries
The most common birth-related injury, head injuries are often caused by instruments used during a vaginal delivery, such as forceps, monitor leads or vacuum extractors. These injuries include scalp scratches, fractures, cephalhematoma (blood accumulation below the periosteum) and subgaleal hemorrhage (bleeding under the scalp).

Intracranial hemorrhage
Bleeding in and around the brain is more common among very premature infants, although it may also occur after a normal delivery of a well newborn. Babies with bleeding disorders, like hemophilia, have a high risk of getting this injury as well. Symptoms—if displayed—include lethargy, seizures and poor feeding.

Nerve injuries
Occurring before or during delivery, this may affect the facial muscles (lopsided facial expression), arms or hands, phrenic nerve (difficulty breathing), spinal cord (rare; causes paralysis), legs and lower back.

Bone injuries
Common bone injuries include fractures to the collarbone, upper arm bone (humerus) or upper leg bone (femur). Sometimes, infants with certain genetic conditions where their bones are very fragile can have fractures of multiple bones.

Perinatal asphyxia
Babies with perinatal asphyxia suffers from a decreased blood flow to their tissues or reduced oxygen in their blood. It causes infants to appear pale and lifeless at birth, breathe weakly or not at all, and have a very slow heart rate.

Identifying Medical Negligence
On their own, most parents will have a hard time determining if medical negligence occurred during any phase of the birthing process, including prenatal and postnatal care.

Typically, medical negligence happens when your doctor, nurse or other medical professionals didn’t provide the standard care or didn’t follow their stated protocol for your situation. It might also involve improperly trained staff or inappropriate monitoring of mother and infant, etc. For instance, failure to detect a baby’s poor position, undiagnosed and/or untreated infection in the mother, or mismanagement of medications can be construed as medical negligence.

When to Contact a Lawyer
As soon as you determine or suspect medical negligence, talk to a birth injury lawyer immediately. It’s important to receive just compensation—even if money may be the last thing on your mind right now.

Birth injury comes under laws related to personal injury, and an attorney will help you confirm any medical negligence and assist you in filing a suit within the statute of limitations, or time limit when you can file a lawsuit, in your state.

Nicholas Parr is a respected birth injury lawyer in Maryland who has dealt with similar cases in the past successfully. He and his team will investigate any potential case for you. Contact Nicholas Parr today for a free consultation.

Personal Injury Lawyers

nurse holding a patients broken leg in a cast

What Do Personal Injury Lawyers Do and When Do I Need One?

Dealing with a personal injury after an accident can be a traumatizing experience, especially in a city like Baltimore where the rate of road collisions is high. In fact, a recent study showed Baltimore is the no. 1 city in the United States with the worst drivers and with the shortest average period between collisions.) While some cases get resolved without much complication, there are times when a lawyer is needed to help.

What Do Personal Injury Lawyers Do?

Not everyone is fully aware of the role a personal injury lawyer plays. Questions like “What do they do?” and “When do I need one?” are common. There are many ways in which an experienced attorney can help after an accident, and here are some of the ways they can assist their clients.

Explain Rights and Provide Advice

The first and perhaps the most significant role a personal injury lawyer plays is that he/she explains the rights of the client and the application of the law in the case.

For instance, there is a specific time limit within which a lawsuit can be filed that is commonly referred to as the Statute of Limitations. In Maryland, the claimant BP23 — Nick Parr, Personal Injury Lawyers — 072019 2 has three years to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party; they must settle their claim within this period or lose their legal right to pursue their claim for any compensation.

Maryland is also among the few states in the country that uphold the Contributory Negligence Rule. The law states that the claimant will not receive any compensation if it is proven that they had even the slightest contribution to an accident.

Connecting with the Right Medical Professionals

A personal injury lawyer who has seen multiple cases over the years will have developed strong connections with medical practitioners. This experience and business connections will be useful in determining if the client needs to see a specialist for better treatment. It is also important to make sure that the doctors document how the injury is related to the accident, which should come in handy later during a settlement negotiation or the trial. The attorney may know medical practitioners who may be ready to provide some services without upfront payment and wait for the settlement amount, which will be extremely helpful for a cash-strapped client.

Assessing the Damage

Assessing the total damage of an injury calls for another kind of a professional. An attorney may know an economist or an actuary to help determine the right amount that needs to be claimed. Apart from the medical bills, vehicle repair costs and the loss of wages, the claimant should also consider the long-term impact of the accident, such as a diminished capacity to earn. Insurance companies may deny the claim or offer a very low payout that is not commensurate with the injury. It is times such as these that an experienced lawyer can help the client make sense of the numbers.

Settlement Negotiation and Representation in Court

Armed with the complete knowledge of the level of damage caused by the injury, a lawyer is in a good position to negotiate a settlement. In most cases, the injured party doesn’t have to go to court to get the money owed. But, if the claim or settlement is refused, then the personal injury attorney can take the case to alternative dispute resolution forums or fight the case in court.

Professional Investigation of the Accident

If the accident case reaches the court, an experienced personal injury lawyer and his team will be able to build a case by conducting an investigation of the scene of the accident and interviewing witnesses. There may be a need to recreate the accident in the court, and an attorney will know what kind of professional experts need to be called to make a compelling case.

Personal Injury Lawyer in Baltimore

The streets of Baltimore can be dangerous for drivers and pedestrians alike. In the event of an accident, it is better to save the number of a good personal injury lawyer than scramble to find the right information in a very stressful time. Nicholas Parr has experience in dealing with accidents related to car, motorcycle, truck, bus and pedestrians. Call today for a free consultation!