Virginia Beach Birth Injury Lawyers
The days and weeks after your child’s birth should be filled with joy. But if your child suffered a birth injury during labor or delivery, that joy could quickly turn to distress. Depending on the circumstances, you could be entitled to compensation from the medical professional responsible for their injuries – and Deering Hedrick is ready to help you pursue this compensation, as well as the accountability you and your family deserve.
Attorneys Mike Deering and Chris Todd Hedrick are dedicated to helping the people of Virginia Beach in their times of need. We understand the stress and emotional pain that birth injuries can cause, and we will aggressively seek the compensation you need to give your child the best life possible. Call us today or visit our contact page for a consultation with a Virginia Beach birth injuries lawyer.
Common Types of Birth Injuries
Some of the most common and preventable birth injuries include the following:
- Broken bones– A clavicle or collarbone fracture is the most common fracture during labor and delivery and can occur if a baby is stuck in the birth canal. This fracture can also be caused by a doctor improperly using birthing tools or being too aggressive. Humerus and femur fractures can also happen during delivery, particularly if rushed.
- Brachial palsy– The brachial plexus is a group of nerves near the shoulder that relay nerve signals from the brain and spinal cord to the hands and arms. The brachial plexus is often injured when there is difficulty removing the baby’s shoulder during delivery. Nerve damage may be temporary or permanent.
- Cerebral palsy– Cerebral palsy is a condition that can affect a child’s motor skills and lead to additional complications, such as problems with speech. Cerebral palsy is often a result of damage to the baby’s brain during delivery, which may be caused by inadequate birth techniques or failure to adequately monitor labor.
- Facial paralysis– Pressure on a baby’s face during labor or birth may cause permanent facial paralysis, which requires surgery to correct. Facial paralysis can result from improper use of birthing tools, such as forceps. Typically, there is no movement on one side of the baby’s face, and the eye on the affected side cannot be closed.
- Brain damage– If a baby does not get enough oxygen during labor or delivery, it could suffer significant brain damage. Brain damage is usually permanent and may result in mental and physical impairments. Doctors need to carefully monitor a fetus’s oxygen levels during labor and delivery to prevent brain damage from occurring.
Who Is Liable for Birth Injuries Caused by Medical Malpractice?
The liable parties in a birth injury case depend on the particular circumstances of the incident, but could include:
- Nurses and other support staff
- Laboratory technicians
- Hospitals and other medical facilities
How Do You Prove Negligence in a Birth Injury Case?
Doctors and other healthcare professionals have a duty to provide their patients with medical care in line with generally accepted practices – that is, they must do what a professional of similar training and experience would do in the same circumstances. If a healthcare professional fails in this duty and injures their patient, the patient can hold them accountable for their negligence.
To prove negligence on the part of a healthcare provider, a plaintiff will generally rely on the expert testimony of doctors and other medical professionals who can speak to the accepted standard of care in the given situation. This testimony can be bolstered by evidence like medical records and eyewitness testimony.
Potential Compensation in a Virginia Beach Birth Injury Case
If you are successful in a birth injury case, you could be compensated for the following financial and personal losses:
- Medical expenses related to treating the injury, including past and anticipated future costs of medical treatment for your child
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Diminished quality of life due to the injury
- Wages you lose if you cannot work because of the injury
- Reduced earning potential
A medical malpractice case can also be filed against a healthcare provider or institution for negligent or reckless conduct that resulted in injuries to the mother during the birth of a child.
Remember that, in Virginia, compensation for a medical malpractice suit cannot exceed an annually adjusted cap.
The Virginia Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Act (BRNICA) is a program passed by the General Assembly in 1987 to provide financial compensation to families of infants who have suffered a birth-related neurological injury. The program is intended to provide financial assistance to families who have incurred significant medical expenses as a result of the injury, as well as to provide for the long-term care of the affected child. BRNICA is a no-fault program, meaning that it does not require a determination of fault or negligence on the part of any party. Instead, the program provides families compensation based on the injury’s severity and the resulting expenses.
BRNICA is an alternative to filing a medical malpractice lawsuit to seek compensation. A lawyer can review the circumstances to determine if you have a valid claim.
How Long Do You Have to File a Birth Injury Lawsuit?
In Virginia, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years, including for medical malpractice cases. This means you typically have two years from the date of the birth injury or the date you discovered it to file a lawsuit. You should contact an attorney immediately to get started on your birth injury case so you don’t miss the statutory deadline.
How a Virginia Beach Birth Injury Lawyer Can Help
Dealing with the aftermath of a birth injury is hard enough without having to pursue compensation on your own. Instead, let the attorneys at Deering Hedrick help you by:
- Reviewing the evidence to determine who is responsible for the birth injury
- Documenting your financial and personal losses due to your child’s injury
- Using medical records, expert testimony, and other evidence to establish liability
- Filing an insurance claim or lawsuit promptly to ensure your rights are preserved
- Communicating with defendants, lawyers, and insurance companies on your behalf
- Negotiating a reasonable settlement for you
- Taking your case to court, if necessary, to seek maximum compensation
Contact a Virginia Beach Birth Injury Attorney Now
If you or your child suffered an injury during childbirth, you need an attorney to help you pursue full and fair compensation. The attorneys of Deering Hedrick are ready to demand the money and accountability you need. Contact our office for a consultation with a Virginia Beach birth injury attorney.