Birth Injury Lawyers St. Louis
Birth defect and injury lawyers in St. Louis
Birth injuries are devastating regardless of the cause. Complications during childbirth can contribute to a number of serious injuries such as cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, and other forms of brain damage. When these conditions are the result of negligence on the part of your doctor or hospital, you are legally entitled to seek reimbursement for your harms and losses.
Dixon offers a wide range of legal services. This includes personal injury, workers compensation, product liability, and other claims. Our St. Louis birth injuries lawyers bring grade-a legal counsel to clients and their families. Please contact us for additional information and a free consultation from our birth injuries lawyers.
St. Louis Birth Injuries Attorneys
When you open a birth injuries claim in St. Louis, it’s crucial to find legal counsel with experience. Our personal injury and workers comp lawyers ensure clients have the resources they need to win a case. Here are a few questions to ask St. Louis birth injuries lawyers:
How much does legal representation cost me? This varies on the case and various factors. Dixon utilizes a contingency system, meaning our services are free.
How much could I win? This also depends on the case. Dixon’s St. Louis birth injury attorneys try to provide clients medical expenses, personal hardship, and other compensation.
What do I do now? The next step is to contact Dixon for more information and consultation from our St. Louis birth injury lawyers.
The costs of caring for the victim of a birth injury can last a lifetime, and the financial cost of a lifetime of care is the cause for countless bankruptcies. Despite rising medical costs, the infant mortality rate and birth injuries in United States continues to rise. This devastating fact is made worse by the massive profits hospitals make year after year. Doctors are often overworked and prevented from spending enough time with each patient. Placing profits ahead of people leaves countless children suffering every year.
It is hard to think of anything more tragic than a child never even getting a chance in life. America has a shockingly-bad rate of infant mortality compared to the rest of the world, and nobody is exactly sure why. Countries like Japan and Finland have a rate of 2.3 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, while America is well behind at 6.1. Much of the difference appears to be caused by poor families not having access to good medical care, something that everyone is hoping will improve with changes to health care laws. The sad truth is that many birth injuries are caused by medical malpractice, and the professionals that cause those negligent injuries should be held liable.
How do Birth Injuries Happen?
Birth injuries can occur due to an unlimited variety of factors. Cases are reported of medical providers lacking the appropriate training, hospitals mixing patient charts resulting in improper specialized care, medical providers performing procedures while intoxicated, and countless other examples of medical negligence.
While the negligence of the hospital or doctor is the ultimate cause of the injury, the negligence usually produces a mechanism of injury during or shortly after the birthing process which causes the birth defect itself. Some common mechanisms are:
- Reduced Oxygen to the Brain
- Reduced Glucose
- Location of the Placenta
- Umbilical Cord Compression
- VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesarean)
Often, one or more of the above factors may occur during labor and results in an injury. The above mechanisms most often result in injury to the infant’s brain, causing lasting damage.
Common Types of Birth Injuries
Some common birth injuries are:
- Umbilical Prolapse: The umbilical cord is the lifeline of the baby. When the umbilical cord is pinched in the birth canal, the baby is starved of oxygen and is referred to as umbilical prolapse.
- Umbilical Cord Compression: This happens when the umbilical cord is wrapped around the child’s body during delivery. The wrapped cord will cut off needed oxygen and blood.
- Fetal Distress (Hypoxia): This is the broad category of injury which refers to an infant being deprived of oxygen. Often complications with the umbilical cord are the cause.
- Cerebral Palsy (See below): This is the broad term referring to numerous different types of permanent brain injuries occurring before, throughout or after the child’s birth.
- Erb’s Palsy: This traumatic injury is the result of a child’s shoulder being stuck behind the pubic bone of the mother during birth.
- Brachial Palsy/Brachial Plexus Injury: This occurs when the grouping of nerves that supply the hands and arms (the Brachial Plexus) are hurt.
- Kernicterus (Severe Jaundice): This is another form of brain damage resulting from increased jaundice.
- Brain Injuries Caused by Vacuum Extractors and Forceps: When delivering the baby, these tools are often used to twist and turn the baby through the birth canal. The use of these tools may result in traumatic injury to the spinal cord or brain.
Brachial plexus can be naturally caused during birth when a baby’s shoulders become wedged. Another very similar injury is a broken collarbone in the shoulder. These injuries are much more likely, however, when a doctor is physically pulling the baby out of the birth canal. Sometimes a doctor has to make a tough call that risking a minor injury to the baby’s shoulder is worth it to ensure the baby does not suffer a more serious injury, like asphyxiation from lack of oxygen.
A doctor is liable for injuries caused by failing to follow the appropriate standard of care for the situation, though. Common mistakes that cause birth injuries include allowing labor to go on for too long, failing to recognize or respond to a breech birth, and unnecessarily-aggressive delivery techniques. Being overly-aggressive can include simply pulling too hard on a baby with the doctor’s bare hands, or it can include injuries caused by using tools like forceps and a vacuum.
The Causes and Signs of Cerebral Palsy
One of the most common types of birth injuries is cerebral palsy. It occurs when a newborn suffers brain damage before, during, or immediately after birth. There is a correlation between cerebral palsy and a lack of oxygen reaching the infant during the birthing process. Statistics show that cerebral palsy occurs almost two times in every 1000 births.
Symptoms of cerebral palsy often take time to materialize. Here are some of the signs that may surface over the course of your baby’s early development:
- He or she takes longer to reach certain milestones such as sitting up, crawling, walking, and talking
- He or she has trouble feeding, speaking, or swallowing
- Muscle spasms, tightness, or floppiness are evident
- He or she lacks coordination and is unable to walk
- Abnormally high or low muscle tone
- Joint or bone deformities and contractors
- The inability to easily stay in one place
Cerebral palsy affects a child’s motor functions and often results in a physical disability as the infant develops. These disabilities may affect a child’s perception, communication, behavior, thinking, as well as numerous other cognitive areas. As the child matures, cerebral palsy may affect the child’s ability to gain employment and interact with the world in a self sufficient manner. If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and you suspect the negligence of a medical provider was the cause, you and your child are entitled to reimbursement for your harms and losses.
Recognizing a Child Birth Injury
No parent can anticipate the suffering caused by medical negligence during childbirth. Few parents are even aware that this is a risk. The natural assumption of all patients in a hospital is that they will be well taken care of by qualified professionals. When this turns out not to be the case, the ramifications can be severe and permanent.
If you suspect that something is wrong with your newborn, watch for the following early signs that a brain injury may have occurred during childbirth:
- Your infant’s skin looks dusky or blue
- He or she develops seizures within 48 hours of delivery
- Your infant cannot breathe immediately after birth and needs resuscitation
Damages Can Be Astronomical
Parents almost always underestimate how much it will cost to raise a child with permanent injuries caused during birth. For example, one of the most tragic birth injuries is cerebral palsy. This disease can be caused by asphyxiation during birth and can lead to poor coordination, muscle weakness, and tremors. In more severe cases, it can cause a person to struggle with sensation, vision, hearing, speaking, or even eating.
Parents are often working with limited information, and they do not know how much aid their infant will need when he or she is fully grown. A child that cannot take care of him or herself could need millions of dollars’ worth of care over a lifetime. Those kinds of costs are often hard to fathom, but generally there is only one chance to seek compensation for birth injuries caused by malpractice and parents need to look at the big picture.
More About Birth Injury Attorneys in St. Louis, MO
Christopher R. Dixon and the Dixon Injury Firm specialize in birth injury claims and other personal and workplace injuries. Recognized by the National Trial Lawyers Association as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer, Chris understands how difficult these cases are for clients. To help lower financial stress, Dixon Injury Firm make things easier by offering a contingency payment plan. This enables you to pay fees only if the case is won. Dixon Injury Firm’s legal services are free until then.
How do I Hire a St. Louis Child Birth Injury Lawyer?
Hiring a childbirth injury lawyer should be a decision you and your family do not take lightly. Childbirth injuries often involve complex medical and legal issues in order to truly understand the reason for the birth injury. Medical malpractice cases involving childbirth injuries require expert testimony and must be filed within a limited time frame. It is important you hire an attorney who has experience holding medical providers and doctors responsible for negligent care. You only have one opportunity to obtain the financial recovery needed to take care of your child for the rest of their life.
The Dixon Injury Firm’s Christopher Dixon is recognized as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association, and a Lifetime Member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Call today for a FREE birth injury consultation by calling 314-409-7060, or Toll-Free by calling 855-402-7274. Our St. Louis birth injury lawyers work on a contingent fee basis. This means there is never a fee unless we win your case.