West Virginia Birth Injury Lawyer
Birth Injuries Caused by Medical Malpractice & Negligence
Although technological advances and increased medical training have reduced birth injuries across the United States, preventable medical errors still occur during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. These medical mistakes can result in permanent injuries that may take years or a lifetime to treat.
If you believe that your infant’s injuries were caused by medical errors, you should consult with a skilled attorney. At Warner Law Offices, PLLC, we offer free birth injury consultations because we want you to learn your options before you take action. Our legal team has the financial and legal resources required to handle these complex cases, and we are ready to advocate for you.
Birth Injuries Occurring During Pregnancy
When a child suffers injuries or developmental problems in the womb, they are typically known as birth defects. While some birth defects are due to environmental factors, such as the mother’s health, drug use, and family history, others may result from obstetrician malpractice and negligence.
Specifically, untreated infections in the mother can cause serious birth defects that may cause the child to suffer significant medical conditions or even die. Obstetricians and other health care providers are responsible for properly diagnosing and treating maternal conditions that could be dangerous for both the mother and the baby.
Some examples of maternal conditions that could lead to birth defects or injuries without proper medical care include:
- Gestational diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Infections and illness
There are many other maternal complications that could affect the health and safety of the mother and the unborn infant. It is absolutely critical that obstetricians and other medical professionals effectively treat these conditions during pregnancy, as well as properly manage them during labor and delivery.
Birth Injuries Occurring During Labor & Delivery
Labor is a difficult process, even when the mother and baby are healthy. Spiking blood pressure readings and falling oxygen levels are just two issues that the labor and delivery staff need to pay attention to throughout childbirth, along with many others.
The labor and delivery team is responsible for monitoring the vital signs of both the infant and mother. If a doctor or attendant does not realize that either patient is in distress, irreparable damage may occur.
We routinely represent clients suffering from injuries caused by preventable labor and delivery mistakes, including but not limited to:
- Oxygen deprivation
- Anesthesia errors
- Forceps and vacuum extractor delivery injuries
- Pitocin and antibiotic dosage errors
- Skull and shoulder fractures occurring during birth
In some cases, such as when the infant presents in breech position, vaginal childbirth is not feasible. When this occurs, the attending doctors should quickly recognize that surgery is required and order a timely cesarean section (C-section). Failure to do so can lead to numerous complications, including prolonged labor and infant hypoxia/anoxia (oxygen loss). This may, in turn, lead to serious medical conditions, such as cerebral palsy or brain damage. In some cases, it can be fatal.
Additionally, newborns can suffer traumatic injuries when they become lodged in the birth canal and require forceps or vacuum extractors to release them.
Common birth injuries that occur during this procedure include:
- Shoulder Dystocia: Shoulder dystocia is a condition in which the infant’s shoulder(s) become lodged behind the mother’s pubic bone during delivery. Shoulder dystocia is considered a medical emergency, as it can lead to oxygen deprivation and compression of the umbilical cord. It can also lead to complications for the mother, such as tears and hemorrhaging. It is critical that doctors respond quickly and appropriately to shoulder dystocia to ensure that the baby is born safely and that the mother is protected, as well.
- Brachial Plexus Injuries/Erb’s Palsy: The brachial plexus is a group of nerves located near the neck and shoulders that controls the nerves throughout the arm. When an infant’s head or shoulder is twisted or stretched too far during childbirth, it can lead to brachial plexus injuries and temporary or permanent nerve damage. In some cases, this may cause a condition known as Erb’s palsy. Depending on the severity of the nerve injury, a child with Erb’s palsy may have difficulty with arm movement, mobility, function, and sensation.
- Cerebral Palsy: Cerebral palsy is a medical condition that affects the individual’s posture, balance, and mobility. Technically, cerebral palsy (CP) refers to a group of disorders, and there are several different types and effects of CP. The most common type of CP is spastic cerebral palsy. While CP is often caused by developmental problems in the brain, it can also result from oxygen deprivation during labor and delivery. This is especially true when labor is prolonged or when there are other issues affecting childbirth, such as shoulder dystocia or breech presentation.
- Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE): Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, commonly referred to as HIE, is a type of birth injury involving reduced blood flow and oxygen deprivation, leading to infant brain damage. HIE is also known as birth asphyxia, neonatal encephalopathy, and perinatal asphyxia. Although it is treatable, HIE can lead to numerous other conditions, such as epilepsy, hearing problems, impaired vision, cerebral palsy, cognitive disability, and more.
These injuries can cause severe brain and nerve damage in the infant. While rehabilitation can help to reverse this damage, some injuries require life-long medical intervention.
Providing Compassionate, Effective Legal Representation
At Warner Law Offices, PLLC, we understand how devastating it is to realize that your child’s life has been irrevocably altered by a trusted health care provider’s negligence. We believe that you and your child deserve justice, which is why our West Virginia birth injury lawyers are ready to litigate your claim and, if necessary, represent your family in court.
When you work with us, we will conduct a thorough investigation into your pregnancy, labor, and/or delivery, as well as the medical professionals assigned to your care. We will share our findings with medical experts who know how to analyze records and use them to support your case. We will make it our mission to secure the best results for your situation.
Throughout the process, our team will remain available and accessible to you. We prioritize attorney-client relationships, offering honest communication, personal attention, and dedicated guidance directly from your attorney.
Connect with Us Today
With offices in Charleston, West Virginia, as well as in Colorado, we offer state-wide representation to injured individuals and their families. Our team brings more than 20 years of experience to every case, as well as a long history of success in even the most challenging and complex of claims. We recognize the pain and suffering your family has endured, and we are here to help.