Hawaii Birth Injury Lawyer in HonoLULU, HI
Childbirth is a momentous occasion for every parent. Every parent wishes for a smooth birth and a healthy baby. Parents place great trust in medical professionals throughout the pregnancy and delivery. While medical knowledge and technology have advanced greatly in recent years, birth injuries remain a reality. When an injury occurs to the mother or the child, seek legal assistance from a reliable Hawaii birth injury lawyer.
If something goes wrong during or after the child’s delivery, it can cause unimaginable suffering to a family. If your newborn suffers an injury due to something that could have been avoided, the future that you envisioned for your child could vanish in an instant. It’s also possible that you’ll become overburdened with responsibilities related to caretaking and high-paying costs.
When a medical professional’s carelessness causes birth injury to your child, you may require a Hawaii birth injury lawyer to assist you in obtaining justice and just compensation. Learn how our law office can help you in this journey. Call us immediately!
Why do you need a birth injury lawyer?
Cases involving birth injuries are extremely specialized and difficult to handle due to their complexity. A lawyer with the proper knowledge and experience is required to pursue birth injury litigation. The most important factor to consider when looking for a reputable birth injury lawyer is finding someone who has a demonstrated history of winning cases involving birth injuries.
Obtain Legal Advice From an Experienced Hawaii Birth Injury Lawyer
Working with a skilled birth injury in Hawaii will provide you with answers regarding what occurred during labor and delivery and how your child’s birth injury could have been prevented.
Our lawyer at SRB Hawaii Law takes pride in his over 30 years of experience handling birth injury cases. His hands-on approach in taking necessary steps to ensure a favorable court decision for your case will be your best advantage. The following are just a few of the legal services our legal team from SRB Hawaii Law can provide you.
- Free initial consultation for your birth injury case
- Conducting an investigation into the specifics of your medical malpractice claim to identify who are the parties at fault.
- Gathering proof to strengthen your case and show your family’s entire losses
- Making a demand for compensation from the responsible insurance company
- Providing legal representation of your claim for a birth injury whether you pursue a settlement or legal birth injury lawsuit
Do not delay looking for legal advice if you believe that your child’s injuries sustained at delivery justify taking legal action. Our compassionate and dedicated birth injury attorney at SRB Hawaii Law can take on your case anytime and fight for the justice you and your family deserve. Dial our number now for a consultation!
What is Birth Injury?
Birth injuries are any physical injuries that occur during the process of giving birth and can be sustained by either the mother or the baby. In newborns, a birth injury, or “neonatal birth trauma,” can refer to various conditions, ranging from bruises to fractured bones.
Birth Injuries Can Lead to Severe Disorders
These birth injuries might result from disease, strenuous labor, or mistakes made by medical professionals. Some birth injuries are just temporary and heal within a short period of time, while others are permanently disabling on both a physical and neurological level and can even last a person’s entire life. Injuries sustained at birth that affects the neck and the brain are particularly devastating and have the potential to lead to severe disorders such as cerebral palsy or brain damage.
The nature of birth injuries and the extent of the problem is determined by the conditions and factors contributing to the birth damage. Birth injuries can be caused by a variety of circumstances, including those that are internal to the mother or the newborn, as well as the overuse of Pitocin, failing to properly interpret fetal heart monitor tracings, applying too much traction or force when attempting a delivery.
If you suspect your child or your loved ones are birth injury victims, it’s best to seek legal advice from a reputable Hawaii birth injury lawyer immediately.
What are the Common Causes of Birth Injuries in Hawaii?
A wide variety of medical errors can cause birth injuries. Cases of birth injuries are regarded to be instances of medical malpractice. The plaintiff in a birth injury case has the burden of proving two things. First, the care supplied by the medical practitioner in question did not meet the “standard of care” that was necessary. And second, the patient was injured due to this violation of the “standard of care.”
Both aspects of the proof need to be proved from the perspectives of many medical professionals. Your trusted birth injury attorney at SRB Hawaii Law will ensure to establish and present the medical expert testimony required to satisfy these burdens of proof.
The following are some examples of negligent behavior that could potentially result in birth injuries.
Lack of Oxygen
A frequent reason for birth injuries is lack of oxygen. A doctor or nurse may have misread the fetal heart monitor tracings which showed a pattern consistent with hypoxia and the need for an immediate delivery.
Cesarean Section Errors
Another common cause of birth injuries is the delivery of a baby through the vaginal birth canal when a cesarean section should have been performed instead or the inappropriate postponement of a necessary cesarean section
Heavy or Large Baby Cases (over 8 lbs and 13 oz)
Physician may overlook the fact that a mother has diabetes and is likely to give birth to a child who is greater in size if the doctor is not paying attention. Failure to record the baby’s size could prevent the doctor from discussing, arranging, or ordering a cesarean section, putting the mother and child at risk. This could put both the woman and the baby in danger.
There is a chance that the infant will struggle or twist in a way that restricts their oxygen flow if the mother’s pelvis is not shaped in a way that makes an easy birth possible. Some babies cannot fit through a mother’s birth canal requiring a cesarean section to prevent birth trauma.
Dystocia (Difficult Labor or Delivery)
A fetus that is awkwardly positioned during labor or a cervix that does not expand in a typical manner can contribute to the difficult labor process. Both of these disorders can make life tough for the child, and can cause a delay in delivery and cause brain damage during the birth process.
Premature delivery (before the 37th week of pregnancy)
Because the infant’s lungs and nervous system have not fully developed, premature births have an increased risk of the child sustaining an injury during birth.
Abnormal Fetal Position
Infants who are delivered in an abnormal position, such as those who are born head-up, buttocks-first, or breech, have an increased risk of sustaining an injury during the birthing process.
Physical Injury to a Child during Delivery
Serious birth injuries can result from physical trauma during labor and delivery. During birth, these injuries are possible outcomes of using forceps or the vacuum extraction method by a medical professional.
The medical staff may fail to recognize the signs and symptoms of an obstetrical emergency, such as a uterine rupture or an abruption of the placenta, which would result in an inappropriate delay in the diagnosis and treatment of these potentially fatal disorders.
Poor Decisions during Delivery
It is possible for an obstetrician to make poor decisions during the delivery process that may put the baby (and sometimes the mother). For instance, the doctor can make a mistake when deciding which medications to use to induce labor at risk.
Failure to Diagnose or Treat a Maternal Infection
Women are more susceptible to infections during pregnancy because their immune system is compromised. If not adequately recognized and treated, certain maternal illnesses can be extremely harmful to the baby and result in severe brain impairments.
Infant Resuscitation Errors
The most critical complication of fetal distress is the infant’s failure to initiate breathing independently. The medical personnel in the room must be in complete control of monitoring the situation and be prepared to take immediate action. Every second the infant’s brain is deprived of oxygen might result in brain damage or death.
Lack of Skills & Training of Medical Practitioners
Delegation of responsibility to a medical professional who does not have the education, training, or experience to deliver the type and amount of medical care required to the mother or baby can lead to birth injuries. These injuries can affect either the mother or the infant.
Lack of Communication
Birth injuries can occur when a member of an obstetrical team fails to communicate necessary information with the other team members or with other professionals involved in the care of the mother and child. As a result, medical errors can occur, which can cause the child to be injured.
What are the Types of Birth Injuries in Hawaii?
There are various birth injuries, each of which can have varying severity, manifested in a particular part of the body, and result in permanent disability or impairment. Infants may be mentally or physically handicapped for the rest of their lives due to serious damage sustained after birth, but mild injuries may heal over time with or without treatment. Gain a better understanding of the most frequent forms of birth injuries.
Asphyxia, also known as asphyxiation, is a condition that results from a lack of oxygen in the body and can result in unconsciousness, damage to the brain, or even death. Infants risk asphyxiation if they do not obtain an adequate supply of oxygen through the placenta or the umbilical cord when the mother is in labor or while giving birth. This may happen if the labor lasts for an extended period of time, if the C-section is performed too late, or if the shoulder dystocia problem is not managed properly.
Delivery Room Errors
The process of delivering a baby is one that is both difficult and delicate. Any mistake that occurs while giving birth can result in ongoing medical issues. Physicians are obligated to treat all of the patients under their care. The implications could be quite severe if they are unable to fulfill this commitment.
Shoulder dystocia is a birth complication that happens when the infant’s shoulder becomes trapped behind the mother’s pubic bone during labor and delivery. This can be dangerous for both the mother and the child.
It may occur in deliveries in which the infant is disproportionately large in relation to the mother’s pelvic bone and birth canal, or in a “sunny-side up” delivery in which the infant is placed face up as opposed to face down. Shoulder dystocia should be treated immediately, regardless of the underlying cause, to prevent oxygen deprivation in the infant.
Erb’s palsy is brought on by damage to the nerves that make up the brachial plexus. These nerves travel from the spinal cord, down through the shoulder and neck, and into the hand, wrist, and fingers. In a difficult delivery, these nerves may be stretched, torn, or pulled completely from the spinal cord.
Fetal distress is a term that is used when a fetus is suffering from lack of oxygen and blood flow. This can be seen on the fetal heart rate monitor. When a fetus is in fetal distress delivery is required to prevent permanent brain damage.
Therapeutic hypothermia or hypothermia therapy, often known as head cooling, is a treatment method for birth-related brain injury in newborns. It is usually regarded as one of the most successful treatments for hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). It involves reducing the brain’s temperature, which can halt the death of brain cells and lessen the chance of lasting brain damage. If your child was born with HIE he or she may have required head or body cooling to prevent brain damage.
Kernicterus, also known as hyperbilirubinemia, is a form of brain injury that can arise as a consequence of severe jaundice. Although jaundice is a relatively common condition in newborns and can be easily treated, if it goes unrecognized and untreated, it can become quite severe and result in dangerously high levels of bilirubin in the blood can lead to brain damage.
Preeclampsia is a condition that often manifests itself after the 20th week of pregnancy. This condition is characterized by high blood pressure, elevated amounts of protein in the urine, and edema (swelling of the feet, ankles, hands, or face). Not receiving treatment poses a risk of death to both the mother and the infant.
In certain circumstances, a doctor may be required to perform an instrument-assisted delivery to expedite the delivery of a baby exhibiting signs of fetal distress. A vacuum extractor or forceps may aid the infant’s passage through the delivery canal. In these situations, the physician must not only exercise good judgment in trying an instrument-assisted delivery by placing the vacuum or forceps on the correct part of a babies head and using only gentle traction, otherwise vacuum extraction complications can occur.
Injuries to the brachial plexus, a bundle of nerves beginning in the neck and spreading to the shoulder, arm, wrist, and hand, can develop from various birth-related reasons. Depending on the extent of nerve trauma, brachial plexus injuries can induce either temporary or permanent paralysis. It can cause Erb’s palsy and Klumpke’s palsy, for which no recognized treatments exist.
Blood can form between a newborn’s scalp and skull, causing a condition known as cephalohematoma. A hematoma is when blood collects outside the body’s blood arteries. The head is referred to as the cephalo-. This kind of birth damage happens when pressure applied to a baby’s head causes blood vessels in the scalp to break.
A particular form of brain injury, cerebral palsy is typically sustained after a traumatic or difficult childbirth. During birthing, if there is an interruption in the flow of oxygen to the baby’s brain, cells in the brain will begin to die off very quickly. This is the underlying cause of cerebral palsy in the long run.
Bacteria are the most common cause of newborn sepsis. However, it can also be caused by other germs. If your amniotic fluid is contaminated, your baby may become infected before birth. The newborn may be exposed to an infection in the birth canal during delivery.
Neonatal Spinal Cord Injury
Neonatal spinal cord injury is a rare consequence of difficult delivery birth trauma. The most common symptoms are diminished or absent movement, loss of reflexes, apnea or intermittent respiration, and a lack of responsiveness to painful stimulation.
It is possible for pregnant women suffering from placenta previa to undergo significant bleeding, which puts both their lives and the lives of their unborn infants in danger. When a mother suffers from this potentially life-threatening disease, it is possible that her unborn child will have to be delivered before its lungs and other important organs have fully developed.
Injuries To Mothers
Although most people think of newborns when they hear “birth injury,” mothers can also sustain injuries during childbirth. At any point throughout pregnancy, labor, delivery, or after childbirth, a mother is at risk of suffering an injury to herself or her baby if she receives inadequate or negligent medical treatment.
Wrongful Death of a Child
The wrongful death of an infant happens when an infant dies due to negligence, which can include negligent medical care. Some birth injuries, such as severe asphyxiation, hemorrhaging in the brain, hydrocephalus, or injury to the spinal cord, are more likely to result in death than others.
Wrongful Death Of A Mother
Pregnant women with placenta previa may have life-threatening bleeding that endangers their lives and their unborn children. When a mother gets this severe illness, her baby may need to be delivered before the lungs, and other essential organs have fully developed.
Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy
Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, also known as HIE, is a disorder in which there is damage to the brain brought on by an inadequate supply of oxygen and blood to the brain. This category of birth injury can result in developmental delays, seizures, cerebral palsy, and other diseases that are caused by damage to the brain.
Facial Nerve Palsy and Birth Trauma
Face nerve palsy, or paralysis, is a condition that can be present at birth in infants. This condition results in the loss of coordinated movement in the facial muscles. This may result from a catastrophic injury such as facial paralysis sustained during birth or a developmental abnormality involving the brain or facial nerve.
The term “periventricular” refers to the ventricle region. “Leuko” means white, and “malacia” is softening. Periventricular leukomalacia is a word that refers to the destruction (or softening) of the brain’s white matter surrounding the ventricles, which are fluid-filled regions of the brain. Oxygen depletion around the time of birth causes periventricular leukomalacia. Other risk factors include brain hemorrhages and infections transferred during delivery.
Neonatal seizures are most common in infants who have suffered an injury during birth, such as brain damage caused by oxygen deprivation, traumatic force to the head, or an infection. Some infants may only experience a single seizure throughout their lifetime. For others, they may reoccur and present as a seizure disorder that may persist throughout infancy and maturity.
Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Intellectual and developmental disabilities can be the consequence of several different circumstances, including heredity, diseases, and birth traumas that cause early brain damage. In most cases, intellectual and developmental disabilities that are the result of a birth injury can be prevented. This is in contrast to inherited disorders and diseases, which may be unavoidable.
What are the Signs of Birth Injury?
Your child’s birth injury symptoms will fluctuate over time, improve, or get worse depending on their health and diagnosis. Here are the signs of birth injury to help you assess your child’s condition. It is in your best interest to consult a seasoned Hawaii birth injury lawyer if you believe your child suffered a birth injury.
Immediately After Delivery
There are some birth injuries that can be seen immediately when the baby is born. The following are some of the most common indicators that a birth injury may have taken place:
- The infant’s APGAR ratings are not very high
- The infant has a slow heart rate, is breathing more slowly than normal, or needs to be resuscitated
- The complexion of the infant is either very light or bluish
- Blindness or deaf
- Organ problems
- The newborn appears stiff (hypertonic) or floppy (hypotonic)
- Neonate with abnormal reflexes (infant does not react to loud noises, does not grip onto objects, etc.)
- Seizures manifest themselves in the baby’s face, arms, or legs, or the infant leans to one side of the body more frequently than the other
- Alternate states of consciousness, such as coma
- Either the infant does not show any desire in being fed, or the infant has trouble being fed
- An extreme metabolic or mixed acidemia was detected in a blood sample taken from the umbilical artery
- The baby is sluggish or lethargic
- Excessive sleepiness
- Sharp and loud crying
- During Childhood
Some birth injuries are not discovered for years until the child begins to miss important developmental milestones. The child’s parents, teachers, and other people who are physically near to the child may start to notice problems such as the following:
- Behavioral problems
- Learning disabilities
- Speech-language disorders or communication issues
- Short attention span
- Motor dysfunctions
- Seizure disorders
- Cerebral palsy
- Visual and auditory deficits
- Sensory processing abnormalities
WHAT ARE POSSIBLE BIRTH INJURY TREATMENTS?
Birth injuries can have various effects on a kid. As a result, birth injuries are treated differently. Although some injuries are less severe, all necessitate prompt action from parents and physicians. Without prompt treatment, these conditions might result in permanent health complications or even death. Learn more about treatment options for birth injuries below.
- Adaptive equipment – Equipment such as braces, wheelchairs, orthotics, strollers, and other aids can be of assistance to children who struggle with mobility
- Medication – Some medications have the ability to relieve muscle tension and treat secondary illnesses such as epilepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
- Surgery – Children who have serious difficulties moving around as a result of disorders with their feet, hips, legs, or spines may require surgery to fix their mobility concerns
- Speech therapy – Children who have problems with their oral muscles, as well as mental difficulties, may gain from working with a speech therapist to improve their ability to communicate with others
- Occupational therapy – Children can improve their ability to perform tasks requiring fine motor control, such as brushing their teeth, clothing, and washing themselves, by engaging in practice activities
- Physical therapy – Children benefit from this in that it helps them strengthen their muscles, recover control over their voluntary movements, and enhance their mobility
Your child may undergo a different kind of treatment for their birth injury depending on the severity of their condition. It is essential to discuss the various treatment options with the medical professional who is caring for your child if you wish to discover which ones will be most beneficial.
BIRTH DEFECTS VS BIRTH INJURIES
Birth defects are distinct from birth injuries. The major distinction between a birth defect and a birth injury is how and when the condition manifested itself.
Birth injuries can occur either before, while, or immediately after the process of giving birth. A birth injury can be caused by the baby experiencing any kind of physical trauma. Most cases involving birth injuries are also associated with medical negligence and might have been avoided with appropriate care during the delivery process.
Birth defects occur while the child is still in the womb, most commonly during the first trimester of pregnancy. Some birth abnormalities have no known origin, but others are caused by external causes such as maternal medical disorders, drug usage, medications, and other factors.
How Can I Prove Birth Injury Liability in Hawaii?
To establish that medical negligence was the cause of a birth injury, your qualified birth injury attorney in Hawaii will help you in proving and establishing the following:
- Duty of care – the medical practitioner or entity had a duty of care to the patient, which meant that they were obligated to provide the patient with adequate care
- Breach of duty – a breach of duty occurred when the medical professional did not provide the appropriate care to the patient
- Causation – the failure to fulfill the duty was the direct cause of the birth harm that occurred
- Damages – as a result of the birth injury, the kid or family experienced both economic and non-economic damages
A medical professional may try to downplay their involvement in your child’s birth injury by claiming that they did not cause harm. However, SRB Hawaii Law attorneys will seek solid evidence, such as injury images and medical documentation, to demonstrate how their negligence contributed to your child’s agony and suffering.
What are Birth Injury Compensation Claims in Hawaii?
A birth injury compensation claim is a legal claim that a parent can file on behalf of a child who has been harmed during or shortly after delivery. When filing a medical malpractice claim, you must be prepared to demonstrate that your child’s birth harm was caused by carelessness or medical malpractice.
A financial compensation claim may involve various factors. If you are considering submitting a claim, keep track of all the costs associated with the birth injury and the predicted cost to your family in the future. It may cover all costs associated with your child’s birth injury and any following medical issues or disabilities:
- Current and future medical bills
- Costs of home adaptations and vehicle modifications
- Travel expenses for appointments and treatment
- Medical/assistive devices
- Therapy costs
- Home health care
- Lost wages you incurred while caring for your child
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Educational and behavioral interventions
- Child’s loss of independence
- Wrongful death (if the birth injury proved to be fatal)
Insurance companies may attempt to deny your birth injury claim, preventing you from receiving the financial compensation you deserve. Working with a well-experienced birth injury lawyer in Hawaii can give you a strong chance of receiving compensation to help care for your child.
How Do I Know if My Case is Eligible for Birth Injury Compensation Claims?
You have the right to bring a claim for compensation if the negligence of a doctor resulted in injuries or a handicap for your child. Medical personnel who act negligently can be held accountable and liable for any damages they cause.
Talking to a Hawaii birth injury lawyer is the most effective approach to find out if you have a case for making a claim for financial compensation. We will evaluate your situation without charging you a fee and advise you as to whether or not it is possible that carelessness and malpractice played a part.
Call our Qualified Birth Injury Attorney in Honolulu, Hawaii Now!
During pregnancy and delivery, parents put their faith in the care provided by medical professionals to ensure the well-being and safety of their children. When nurses, doctors, or other health care workers fail to live up to their responsibility of providing proper care, it can result in catastrophic consequences for the mother or the child.
Our qualified and experienced lawyer at SRB Hawaii Law is more than ready to assist you in filing a claim against the medical professionals who are liable for the birth injuries sustained by your child. Our diligent attorney will personally take your call and assist you with great care. Equipped with over 30 years of experience in birth injury cases, you can be assured that your birth injury lawsuit is in good hands.
Choosing the right birth injury lawyer for your case may be the most significant choice you ever make for your child. Speak to us now!