Kaneohe Birth Injury Attorneys
Helping Families During Their Time of Need
When a baby is injured during the birthing process, the consequences can be devastating. Birth injuries can cause permanent disabilities, including brain damage, cerebral palsy, and Erb’s palsy. In some cases, birth injuries can even be fatal. If your child was injured during birth, you may be facing a lifetime of medical bills, ongoing care, and other expenses. You may also be dealing with the emotional trauma of knowing that your child’s injuries could have been prevented.
At Davis Levin Livingston, we understand the unique challenges you are facing. Our Kaneohe birth injury lawyers are here to help you fight for the justice and fair recovery you and your child are owed. We have successfully handled numerous birth injury cases, including those involving medical malpractice and personal injury. Our team is prepared to put our extensive experience and resources to work for you.
What is a Birth Injury?
A birth injury is a physical injury or medical condition that occurs to a newborn or mother during the process of childbirth. These injuries can happen due to various factors, including complications during labor and delivery, medical negligence, or other unforeseen circumstances. Birth injuries can have a significant impact on the health and well-being of the newborn and may result in long-term consequences.
Common types of birth injuries include:
- Cerebral Palsy: Cerebral palsy is a group of neurological disorders that affect a child's ability to control their muscles and movement. It often results from brain damage that occurs before, during, or shortly after birth. Children with cerebral palsy may have difficulties with muscle coordination, mobility, and speech.
- Erb's Palsy (Brachial Plexus Injury): Erb's palsy is a condition that affects the brachial plexus, a network of nerves controlling the arm and hand muscles. It typically occurs when there is excessive force applied during delivery, leading to nerve damage. Children with Erb's palsy may experience weakness or paralysis in the affected arm.
- Shoulder Dystocia: Shoulder dystocia is a complication during childbirth where the baby's head passes through the birth canal, but the shoulders become stuck behind the mother's pelvic bone. This situation can result in injuries to the baby, such as brachial plexus injuries, as well as injuries to the mother.
- Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE): HIE is a type of brain injury that occurs when a baby's brain is deprived of oxygen and blood flow during childbirth. It can lead to cognitive and developmental delays, seizures, and long-term neurological issues if not treated promptly.
- Fractures: Birth-related fractures can occur when there is excessive force applied during delivery. The most common fractures are to the clavicle (collarbone) and the long bones in the baby's arms and legs.
- Facial Nerve Injury: This type of injury can occur when excessive pressure is applied to the baby's face during delivery, leading to damage to the facial nerve. It can result in facial weakness or paralysis, which may be temporary or permanent.
- Intracranial Hemorrhage: Intracranial hemorrhage refers to bleeding within the baby's brain. This can occur due to trauma during childbirth or from other medical conditions. It may result in brain damage and neurological deficits.
- Infection: Infections in newborns can occur during childbirth if the mother has an infection that is transmitted to the baby. Common infections include Group B Streptococcus (GBS) and neonatal sepsis.
- Cephalohematoma: Cephalohematoma is a collection of blood between the baby's skull and the periosteum (the membrane covering the bones). It is often caused by pressure exerted during delivery and may resolve on its own over time.
- Facial Bruising or Caput Succedaneum: These are common minor birth injuries that result in temporary swelling, bruising, or fluid buildup on the baby's head or face during passage through the birth canal. They are generally not severe and typically resolve without long-term consequences.
Who is Liable for a Birth Injury in Hawaii?
Determining liability for a birth injury in Hawaii, as in other jurisdictions, involves a careful examination of the circumstances surrounding the injury and an assessment of whether medical negligence or malpractice contributed to the harm.
Liability in birth injury cases can typically be attributed to the following parties:
- Healthcare Professionals: Healthcare providers, including doctors, nurses, midwives, and other medical personnel involved in prenatal care, labor and delivery, and postnatal care, may be held liable if their actions or omissions deviate from the accepted medical standard of care, resulting in harm to the baby or mother. This deviation from the standard of care is often the central issue in a birth injury lawsuit.
- Hospitals and Medical Facilities: Hospitals and medical facilities can also be held liable for birth injuries if they employ or contract with healthcare providers whose negligence or errors lead to harm. In some cases, the hospital may be held vicariously liable for the actions of its staff.
- Pharmaceutical Companies: In cases where a medication or medical device administered during pregnancy or childbirth leads to harm, pharmaceutical companies may be held liable if the product was defective or if the prescribing physician failed to provide adequate warnings or information about the risks.
- Medical Equipment Manufacturers: If a birth injury is caused by a defect in medical equipment or devices used during childbirth, the manufacturer of the equipment may be liable for the injury.
- Third Parties: In some instances, third parties may also be liable for birth injuries. For example, if an accident during pregnancy or childbirth is caused by a negligent driver in a car crash, that driver may be held responsible.
It's important to note that proving liability in a birth injury case typically involves demonstrating the following elements:
- Duty of Care: Establish that the healthcare provider, facility, or other party owed a duty of care to the mother and child. In a medical context, this means that they had a responsibility to provide care consistent with the accepted medical standard.
- Breach of Duty: Show that the responsible party breached the duty of care by acting negligently or making errors that deviated from the accepted standard of medical care.
- Causation: Establish a causal link between the breach of duty and the birth injury. In other words, demonstrate that the negligence or error directly resulted in the harm.
- Damages: Document the extent of the harm and the resulting damages, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, disability, and long-term consequences.
Liability for a birth injury can be complex, and the legal process may involve thorough investigation, expert medical testimony, and litigation. Furthermore, the specific laws and regulations governing medical malpractice and liability may vary by state, including Hawaii. It is essential to consult with an experienced birth injury attorney in Hawaii who understands the state's laws and can assess the merits of your case.
Why Choose Davis Levin Livingston
At Davis Levin Livingston, we pride ourselves on our commitment to providing exceptional legal representation for families in Kaneohe and throughout Hawaii. Our dedicated team of attorneys has extensive experience handling birth injury cases and is well-versed in the unique challenges that these cases present.
Here's why we are the best choice for your birth injury case:
- Experience: With over 40 years of experience, we have successfully represented numerous clients in birth injury cases, obtaining substantial settlements and verdicts on their behalf.
- Expertise: Our team of legal professionals is well-versed in the complex medical aspects of birth injuries, enabling us to effectively investigate and build strong cases.
- Compassion: We understand the emotional toll that birth injuries can take on families. Our compassionate attorneys are committed to providing support and guidance throughout the legal process.
- Resources: We have the resources and connections to consult with leading medical experts who can provide critical insights into the causation of birth injuries.
- Proven Track Record: Our firm's history of success in birth injury cases speaks for itself. We have secured millions of dollars in compensation for our clients.