Did your child sustain a birth injury in Atlanta, Georgia? If so, you may have the right to recover financial compensation from a negligent doctor or healthcare provider. The experienced birth injury lawyers at Hasner Law can help. Give our skilled legal team a call to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case in greater detail. We’re always here to take your call – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Why Should I Hire an Atlanta Birth Injury Attorney?
Birth injury cases can be complex and involve several parties. They require a thorough investigation into the facts as well as a deep understanding of both the law and the medical field.
In most cases, expert witnesses are necessary to prove your case. These individuals have specialized knowledge of medical terminology and practices and will have their opinions and backgrounds heavily scrutinized in court. For this reason, it’s important to take care in selecting these experts.
You will also need to file what is known as an Expert Affidavit with your claim. Failure to do so will result in your lawsuit being dismissed. Affidavits are legal documents and should be drafted by a personal injury attorney in Atlanta to make sure that the medical expert meets all of the requirements under the law.
Because these cases can be difficult to navigate for non-lawyers, many victims feel pressure to accept settlement offers made by medical malpractice insurance companies. However, these offers are often much lower than the money you are entitled to and deserve.
Note that the representatives for these companies are interested in settling these matters as quickly and cheaply as possible. They do not have your best interests in mind. For that reason, don’t accept anything until you have spoken with an attorney.
At Hasner Law, PC, our Atlanta birth injury lawyers have more than 80 years of experience helping injury victims across the state of Georgia. If your child was injured in utero, during labor and delivery, or after birth, we’ll be there to help you fight for the money your family deserves. Call out Atlanta, GA law offices to schedule your free consultation today.
Overview of Birth Injuries
Birth trauma is not an easy subject to talk about. But, it’s important to be aware of these injuries as they can have devastating, long-lasting consequences for a child. Note that complications during birth can also cause harm to the mother.
Now, if you or your child suffers a birth-related injury, you may have the right to bring a medical malpractice claim against the person or entity responsible.
At Hasner Law, our Atlanta personal injury attorneys can assist with all cases involving birth injuries. We’ve helped clients who have experienced a birth injury because:
- The baby is large
- The baby doesn’t come out head-first
- A particularly long or difficult labor
- The mother is overweight
- The size or shape of the mother’s birth canal made it difficult for a normal birth
- The baby is born prematurely
- Medical professionals used tools, such as forceps or vacuums, improperly
- The child was deprived of oxygen at birth (hypoxia), and
- A cesarean section (C-Section) was necessary, but delayed.
Birth injuries can happen for a lot of different reasons. It’s important to reach out to an attorney to learn about your legal rights and options. When you call our birth injury lawyers in Atlanta, we can review your case and provide some preliminary guidance as you decide if you want to file a birth injury lawsuit.
Common Injuries That Occur During Birth
As discussed, complications that happen during labor or childbirth can be serious. Fortunately, the number of these types of injuries has declined over the years. Instead, what we normally see is relatively minor harm to the mother or child, that results in one or more of the following conditions:
- Breakage of small blood vessels
- Fracture of clavicle or collarbone, and
- Bleeding under a collar bone.
More serious, long-term problems can also occur. Examples of the conditions that may result include:
- Damage to organs from lack of oxygen
- Brain injuries
- Cerebral palsy
- Erb’s palsy
- Spinal cord injury
- Umbilical cord strangulation
- Soft tissue damage
- Facial paralysis
- Drug-related injuries
- Nerve injury, and
- Death to baby or mother.
Do not hesitate to call our skilled Atlanta birth injury lawyers for assistance as soon as you learn that your child has been injured. Our team can arrange a time to visit you at home or at the hospital, if that’s more convenient for you at this difficult time.
Showing of Negligence Required for Birth Injury Lawsuits
Keep in mind that in order to be successful in a birth injury lawsuit, you need to show that a medical provider was negligent. Medical negligence refers to the failure of a professional to provide an adequate level of care. This failure then results in injury to the patient.
That said, the standard of care in Georgia requires that a medical professional use a “reasonable degree of care and skill” in carrying out his or her duties. In order to determine what was reasonable under the circumstances, a court would consider what similar professionals with comparable facilities and resources would have done in the particular situation.
This means that it wouldn’t be appropriate to compare the medical care of a rural doctor in a small community care facility with limited resources, to a physician in a large well-funded city hospital. This is because the providers likely do not have the same level of training and technology available to them. Further, note that just because you are injured during a medical procedure, this doesn’t necessarily mean that someone acted negligently.
Evidence Required for Birth Injury Lawsuits
Instead, in order to be successful in a malpractice claim, you must offer evidence, typically in the form of expert testimony and medical records. This is important because you must be able to establish what the standard of care was, and how exactly the provider failed to meet it. Finally, your evidence must provide a causal link between the doctors’ deviation from the standard of care and your injury.
In other words, it’s not enough that you can prove that a medical professional acted negligently. For example, let’s say that a physician breached the standard of care owed to you by failing to order a prenatal test. Now, if it can be shown that your baby’s birth defect was caused not by the missed test but by an unrelated fall, you would not have a legal basis for suing the doctor.
Examples of Birth Injury Negligence
With that in mind, the causes of birth injury that typically rise to the level of negligence include:
- Insufficient prenatal testing
- Failure to monitor the mother and baby during birth
- Untreated infection
- Improper use of drugs, like Pitocin, used to induce labor
- Failure to diagnose or treat a complication
- Delay in ordering a caesarian section
- Otherwise mishandling the infant during delivery
- Neglecting to bring a specialist when necessary, and
- Medical staff not communicating problems to doctors.
If you think that your child was injured at birth because of a negligent medical professional, call Hasner Law to set up a time to speak with our personal injury team. The sooner you call, the sooner we can begin to work on your case and demand the money your family deserves.
Compensation Available for Birth Injury Cases
Once you can establish that your birth injury was the result of medical malpractice, you may consider filing a claim against those responsible. This may include nurses, other medical staff, doctors, and hospitals.
In your lawsuit, you are generally able to seek compensation for you and your baby’s medical bills. Note that this would include any future treatment costs. This is especially important if there are any long-term injuries to an infant. In fact, sometimes these victims can require medical treatment for life.
You may also be entitled to payment for any wages you lost due to the birth injury. This would include the time period when you were unable to work, as well as amounts meant to cover the reduction in your earning capacity after the injury.
There may also be amounts available to compensate you for any pain and suffering you or your child endured. Note that these are not specific dollar figures and are meant to cover less obvious harms, such as mental anguish and loss of enjoyment of life.
Wrongful Death Birth Injury Claims in Atlanta
Now, in the unfortunate event that a baby or mother dies during childbirth, close relatives of either person may be able to file what is known as a wrongful death claim. Typically, this cause of action is limited to the spouse and/or parent of the child.
If successful, the court may award amounts to cover funeral and burial expenses, loss of companionship, as well as any lost wages and benefits that the deceased parent or child would have earned in his or her lifetime.
But, keep in mind that Georgia law has limits on wrongful death claims based on an unborn fetus. Specifically, you can only bring a claim if “quickening” has occurred. Quickening refers to the fetus being able to move in its mother’s womb, which typically takes place around 18-24 weeks.
This means that if you had a premature birth before quickening, you would not have a wrongful death claim. These types of cases can be complicated, so it’s best to consult with an attorney if you are unsure whether or not you have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit.
Contact Our Atlanta Birth Injury Attorneys Today
At Hasner Law, our Atlanta birth injury lawyers have significant experience with these types of cases and are here to help you get the compensation you deserve. We regularly work with insurance companies and know how to fully investigate a medical malpractice claim to determine who can be held responsible.
It’s important not to delay in reaching out to an attorney. This is because Georgia law imposes what is known as a two-year statute of limitations on these types of cases. Note that while the clock generally won’t start ticking until after you discover the injury, this cannot be more than 5 years after you give birth.
Bear in mind that even if you are not at risk for missing the filing deadline, there is good reason to initiate your claim as soon as possible. This is because gathering evidence becomes much more difficult as time goes by. Further, a lawsuit can take months or even years to complete. This means that you will have to wait longer for the money that you need to get your life back in order.
Call our Atlanta law firm today for a free consultation and find out how we might be able to help you and your family at this difficult time.