No parent wants to find out that their child has suffered a serious injury due to trauma before, during or shortly after birth. Unfortunately, birth injuries affect dozens of families in Houston and throughout Texas each year. Many birth injuries are caused by medical malpractice, meaning they could have been prevented had a doctor used an appropriate amount of care in treating the mother or baby. At The Doan Law Firm, our Houston birth injury attorneys are passionate about exposing medical malpractice and helping families who are faced with devastating birth injuries achieve justice.
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Why Do You Need a Birth Injury Lawyer?
How do Birth Injuries Occur?
When Can You File a Lawsuit?
Birth Injuries vs. Birth Defects
What Are Common Birth Injuries?
How Can a Birth Injury Attorney Help?
Damages Available in a Birth Injury Case
Who is Responsible for Your Child’s Injuries?
Texas’s Statute of Limitations for Birth Injury Lawsuits
How Much Does a Birth Injury Lawyer Cost?
When Should You Involve an Attorney in Your Case?
Speak to a Lawyer Today
A birth injury lawsuit is a type of medical malpractice claim. This is one of the most complicated types of lawsuits in Texas. Medical malpractice lawsuits have unique elements, such as requirements for written notices and medical expert reports. The best way to meet these requirements is by hiring a Houston personal injury attorney to take care of legal matters for you, such as filing your claim and collecting evidence. You can count on an attorney to fight for maximum compensation on your family’s behalf, even if this means taking your birth injury case to trial in Harris County.
Both injuries can occur in a wide variety of ways. Essentially, anytime a doctor, surgeon, nurse, or any other member of the medical team helping with the delivery of a child is negligent in their actions, the child can sustain an injury.
Some of the most commonly cited causes of birth injuries include:
A birth injury refers to any type of harm suffered by an infant during gestation, labor or delivery. It can also refer to injuries sustained shortly after birth, such as a newborn who is mishandled or dropped by a hospital staff member. Although many mothers experience unexpected complications during childbirth, if these issues – or resultant infant injuries – are caused by a negligent health care practitioner, the family has the right to file a medical malpractice claim in Texas.
Medical negligence is when a health care professional deviates from the accepted standard of patient care. Medical malpractice is a knowing or intentional deviation rather than one caused by carelessness. If a health care provider is guilty of either tort in connection to a birth injury in Houston, the family may be entitled to financial compensation for their related losses.
It is not uncommon to confuse the terms “birth injuries” and “birth defects.” However, these are two separate things.
Birth injuries are the types of trauma that a child incurs as an infant, either during the pregnancy, the birthing process, or shortly after birth. Birth defects are either chemical defects or physical defects that are present at birth. Birth defects are usually genetically inherited or caused by some sort of environmental factor. In most situations, you will not see a birth injury lawsuit brought against a medical professional for birth defects unless the environmental factor that caused the defect was the result of negligence.
Birth injuries can be caused by many lapses or inconsistencies in a patient’s care during the birthing process. These include miscommunications, misdiagnoses, a lack of fetal heart rate monitoring, the failure to order an emergency C-section and the misuse of birth-assistive tools such as forceps. If an OBGYN, nurse, surgeon or another health care professional breaches the standards of patient care, it can cause serious birth injuries, such as:
If your child was diagnosed with any type of injury soon after birth or in the first few years of his or her life and you believe that a doctor’s negligence played a role in causing the injury, don’t hesitate to contact an attorney. There are critical deadlines that you cannot miss if you wish to have a valid medical malpractice claim in Texas. A lawyer from The Doan Law Firm can immediately go to work on your case to make sure you don’t miss your filing window.
Both injury claims in Houston and the surrounding areas are fairly difficult cases to litigate, more so than traditional medical malpractice cases. That is why it is so crucial to have a Houston birth injury lawyer who can stand by your side every step of the way.
When a child sustains an injury at birth, there needs to be an extensive investigation into the incident. An attorney will be able to use their resources to handle the investigative process. This includes working through the court system to obtain all medical records related to the particular birth injury as well as examining the history of the medical professionals involved.
Often, these claims revolve around seeking medical witnesses who can provide expert testimony as to why they believe that the child was injured due to the negligence of another medical professional. These claims are extensive. An attorney will handle all negotiations with the insurance carriers or legal teams involved. However, this may not be sufficient enough. A birth injury lawyer will also have the claim fully ready for trial if that is what it takes to help their client recover compensation.
The families of children who have sustained birth injuries may be able to recover various types of compensation. The total amount of damages available for a successful birth injury claim will vary depending on the type of injury and the severity of the injury. There are various factors that attorneys and financial experts will use when calculating how much compensation the client should receive.
Some of the basic factors that will be considered for these claims include:
Because these injuries occur early in a person’s life, the total costs of care can become quite high. However, we must take into account the fact that Texas does place some limitations on the total amount of compensation available for medical malpractice claims, which includes birth injury claims.
Under Texas law, plaintiffs will be limited to $250,000 for non-economic damages, which includes losses like physical and emotional pain and suffering. However, there are no limitations on how much compensation a person can receive for economic damages, which includes medical costs, lost wages, and other calculable expenses.
There may be various parties who could hold liability for a child’s injuries. This includes the following:
In general, individuals will visit their primary care provider or family physician to confirm the pregnancy. Most of the care provided by a family physician is not considered specialty care, but they do have a duty to ensure that a pregnant individual is screened properly and referred to an obstetrician or gynecologist if a birth or pregnancy-related complication arises.
Obstetricians and gynecologists are primarily responsible for the prenatal care of an expecting mother. Often, the mother’s OB/GYN is the person who delivers the child. If there is a high-risk pregnancy anticipated, this should be planned and monitored by an obstetrician at the appropriate level of care. Any lapse in judgment during a high-risk pregnancy could lead to injury or death for the infant or expecting mother. In such an outcome, a wrongful death lawyer in Houston is ready to fight for justice for your family.
Obstetricians are generally the party that is responsible for delivering the child and using various birth tools. Additionally, they are usually the ones to either perform C-sections or recommend that a C-section be performed if the vaginal birth is deemed too dangerous. Again, any missteps in making these decisions could lead to harm for an infant or mother.
Nurses and physician assistants commonly assist with the birthing process, particularly the monitoring of a mother before, during, and after the birth. These individuals will also be in charge of caring for the infant after birth. Any mistake by these medical professionals could lead to harm for a child or mother.
Anesthesiologists play a key role in the birthing process if a C-section becomes relevant. These individuals are responsible for administering anesthesia and monitoring vital signs as the procedure goes forward. Failing to adequately perform these duties could lead to harm to a mother and baby.
Hospitals or surgical centers could be responsible if their employees’ negligence led to an injury to an expecting mother or infant during the birthing process. Generally, employers will be held liable for the actions of their employees.
The medical malpractice statute of limitations in Texas is two years from the date the medical mistake occurs. This generally means that the medical malpractice victim must file the lawsuit within this two-year time frame or lose the ability to recover compensation for their losses.
There are some exceptions to this overall statute of limitations. The first limitation deals with injuries that occur to a minor. Under Texas law, a minor has until the age of 14 to file a malpractice lawsuit. Any injury that occurs to a minor after they turn 14 but before they turn 18 must be brought within two years from the date the malpractice occurred.
Texas law does state that any claim for the minor injury victim’s medical expenses before they turn 18 years of age belongs to the minor’s parents. This claim is subject to the two-year statute of limitations.
When an individual needs a birth injury lawyer, the last thing they need to think about is how much it will cost them. That is why our Houston birth injury attorney takes these claims on a contingency fee basis. This means that both injury victims and their families will not pay any legal fees until after our team successfully recovers compensation for their losses. There will be no upfront or out-of-pocket costs to worry about during the case.
If the claim is successful, our legal fees will equal a percentage of the total settlement or jury verdict amount, and this percentage will be agreed upon before any work begins. If we do not win, our clients do not pay anything.
Individuals need to speak to a Houston birth injury lawyer as soon as they suspect that a birth injury has occurred. These claims are complicated enough as it is, and waiting any amount of time could put the claim in jeopardy. An attorney needs to get involved quickly so they can begin investigating the incident, working with trusted medical experts, and helping recover compensation. Call our medical malpractice lawyer in Houston today so we can begin looking into your unique case.
A birth injury is a traumatic event for the whole family, not just the injured child. Attorney Jimmy Doan understands how greatly these injuries impact his clients. He goes above and beyond to not only secure the best possible results for each case but also to make sure that his clients have what they need during difficult times. Find out how we can help you today during a free case review in Houston, Texas. Contact our local birth injury lawyers at (800) 349-0000 for more information.
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