Pursuing Justice for Birth Injury Victims

Sadly, 6 out of every 1,000 infants born in the US suffer from significant birth injuries like developmental disorders, broken bones, and neurological disorders, based on CDC statistics. The skilled birth injury attorneys at The Alvarez Law Firm in Oregon have a proven track record of winning large complex cases throughout the country including birth complication and injury lawsuits. Our experienced birth injury lawyers have the necessary skills, knowledge, and resources to resolve your case favorably.

Examples of Serious Birth Injuries

Cerebral Palsy

A neurological disorder affecting movement and muscle coordination, often caused by oxygen deprivation during birth or trauma during delivery.

Erb's Palsy

Nerve damage in the baby's shoulder or upper arm, typically resulting from excessive force during delivery or shoulder dystocia.

Brachial Plexus Injuries

Damage to the nerves in the baby's neck and shoulder region, leading to weakness or paralysis of the arm, commonly associated with difficult deliveries.

Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)

Brain damage caused by oxygen deprivation or reduced blood flow during birth, leading to cognitive impairment, developmental delays, and neurological issues.

Facial Nerve Injuries

Damage to the facial nerves during delivery can result in facial paralysis or weakness, often caused by pressure from forceps or other delivery instruments.

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Additional Serious Birth Injuries

Fractures and Bone Injuries

Fractures or broken bones, such as clavicle fractures, skull fractures, or long bone fractures, may occur due to excessive force during delivery or improper handling of the baby.

Birth Asphyxia

Oxygen deprivation during birth, leading to potential brain damage, cognitive impairments, and long-term developmental challenges.

Meconium Aspiration Syndrome (MAS)

Inhalation of meconium (baby's first stool) into the lungs during or shortly after birth, causing respiratory distress and potential complications.

Cephalohematoma

Collection of blood between the skull and the periosteum (outer covering of the bone) of the baby's head, often resulting from trauma during delivery, such as the use of forceps or vacuum extractors.

Perinatal Infections

Infections contracted by the baby during pregnancy, labor, or delivery can lead to serious health complications if not diagnosed and treated promptly.

What Are Some Common Causes of Oregon Birth Injuries that Count as Medical Malpractice?

Medical negligence, or malpractice, occurs when a healthcare provider, whether a doctor, professional, hospital, or facility, does not offer care that aligns with accepted medical standards, leading to a patient’s injury, illness, or deterioration.

Birth injuries might constitute medical malpractice, depending on the cause. Here are some examples of injuries that are more likely to qualify for a successful lawsuit against negligent medical providers in Oregon:

  • Delayed or improper response to fetal distress during labor and delivery
  • Mismanagement of shoulder dystocia or other birthing complications
    Failure to monitor or address signs of maternal infection during pregnancy
  • Misuse of forceps, vacuum extractors, or other delivery instruments
  • Prescription of medications harmful to the fetus or mother during pregnancy
  • Failure to perform a timely cesarean section (C-section) when medically necessary
  • Inadequate prenatal care leading to undiagnosed or untreated conditions
  • Errors in administering anesthesia during labor and delivery
  • Lack of communication or coordination among healthcare providers during childbirth
  • Negligence in handling high-risk pregnancies or multiple births

How Do I Prove Medical Malpractice in a Birth Injury Lawsuit?

Proving medical malpractice in a birth injury lawsuit requires gathering strong evidence and showing that healthcare providers did not meet the expected standard of care in similar situations. The initial step involves creating a doctor-patient relationship between the healthcare provider and the mother or child, indicating that the provider has a responsibility to care for the patient. Then, your legal team must demonstrate the accepted standard of care in the specific situation. This will involve presenting expert testimony from qualified medical professionals who can explain what a competent provider would have done under similar circumstances.

At the heart of a medical malpractice claim is showing that the healthcare provider did not meet the standard of care. This can be proven through:

  • Medical records
  • Witness testimony
  • Expert opinions
  • Other evidence that highlights where the provider's actions fell short

It's essential to establish a direct connection between the healthcare provider's failure to meet the standard of care and the birth injury.

This involves presenting medical evidence demonstrating that the provider's actions or inaction directly caused or significantly contributed to the injury.

As part of this, your legal team will collect thorough documentation of the damages resulting from the birth injury. This includes:

  • Medical records
  • Treatment costs
  • Ongoing care needs
  • Lost wages
  • Emotional suffering experienced by the child and family

It's crucial to differentiate between negligence and natural complications during childbirth. Not all birth injuries are caused by medical malpractice; some may occur even with proper medical care. Your legal team will seek to demonstrate that the injury resulted from negligence, not just a natural complication. Reviewing hospital policies and protocols and the provider's adherence to these guidelines can also help establish medical malpractice.

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How Do I File a Birth Injury Claim in Oregon?

Filing a birth injury claim in Oregon involves specific steps to ensure that you protect your rights and seek compensation for your child's injuries:

  • Seek Medical Attention: Ensure your child receives immediate and appropriate medical care for their injuries. Medical documentation is crucial for your claim.
  • Consult with a Birth Injury Attorney: Contact an experienced birth injury attorney in Oregon, such as the compassionate team at the Alvarez Law Firm, who can evaluate your case, explain your legal options, and guide you through the claims process.
  • Gather Evidence: Collect all relevant medical records, including prenatal care, labor, delivery, and postnatal treatment details. Documentation of the injury, diagnoses, treatments, and prognosis is essential.
  • Review Statute of Limitations: Be aware of Oregon's statute of limitations for birth injury claims, which typically allows two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit. Consulting with an attorney promptly is crucial to ensure all deadlines are met.
  • Determine Liability: Identify the healthcare providers, medical facilities, or other parties potentially responsible for the birth injury. This may include obstetricians, nurses, hospitals, and medical staff.
  • File a Claim or Lawsuit: Your attorney will help you file a claim with the healthcare provider's malpractice insurance or initiate a lawsuit in civil court if a settlement cannot be reached through negotiations.
  • Investigate and Negotiate: Your attorney will conduct a thorough investigation, gather expert opinions, and negotiate with the insurance company or defendants on your behalf to seek a fair settlement.
  • Prepare for Litigation: If negotiations fail to result in a satisfactory settlement, your attorney will prepare your case for litigation, including filing legal documents, discovery, depositions, and trial preparation.
  • Attend Mediation or Trial: Depending on the progress of negotiations, your case may proceed to mediation for a settlement conference or trial in civil court if a resolution cannot be reached.
  • Receive Compensation: If successful, you may receive compensation for medical expenses, ongoing care costs, pain and suffering, lost earnings, and other damages related to the birth injury.

Who Can Be Held Responsible for a Newborn Birth Injury in Oregon?

  • Healthcare Providers: This includes doctors, nurses, midwives, obstetricians, anesthesiologists, and other medical professionals involved in prenatal care, labor, delivery, and postnatal care. If a healthcare provider's negligence, errors, or misconduct contributed to the birth injury, they may be held liable.
  • Hospitals and Medical Facilities: Hospitals, birthing centers, clinics, and other healthcare facilities can also be held responsible for birth injuries if they failed to maintain proper standards of care, provided inadequate staffing, or allowed unsafe conditions that led to the injury.
  • Pharmaceutical Companies: In cases where a birth injury resulted from medication errors, defective drugs, or improper administration of medications during pregnancy or delivery, pharmaceutical companies may be held accountable.
  • Medical Equipment Manufacturers: If a birth injury occurred due to the malfunction, defect, or improper use of medical devices or equipment during childbirth, the manufacturers or distributors of such equipment could be held responsible.
  • Other Healthcare Professionals: This includes radiologists, laboratory technicians, genetic counselors, and other healthcare professionals whose actions or negligence contributed to the birth injury.
  • Third Parties: In some cases, third parties such as contractors, maintenance companies, or service providers whose actions or negligence led to unsafe conditions in the healthcare facility may also share liability for a birth injury.
  • Legal Guardians or Custodians: If a birth injury occurs while the newborn is under the care of legal guardians or custodians, such as foster parents or adoptive parents, and negligence or misconduct on their part contributed to the injury, they may be held responsible.
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What Compensation Can I Get for a Birth Injury Lawsuit in Oregon?

  • Medical Expenses: Compensation may cover past, current, and future medical expenses related to the birth injury. This includes hospital bills, surgeries, medications, therapy, rehabilitation, assistive devices, and ongoing medical care needs.
  • Pain and Suffering: Damages for pain and suffering seek to compensate the child for physical pain, emotional distress, trauma, and loss of enjoyment of life resulting from the birth injury.
  • Lost Wages: If parents had to take time off work to care for the injured child or incurred lost income due to the birth injury, they may be compensated for these financial losses.
  • Future Earning Capacity: If the birth injury impacts the child's ability to work and earn income in the future, compensation may be awarded for lost earning capacity.
  • Disability and Impairment: Damages may be provided for permanent disabilities, impairments, or limitations caused by the birth injury, including cognitive disabilities, physical disabilities, developmental delays, and mental health conditions.
  • Rehabilitation and Therapy Costs: Compensation can cover the costs of rehabilitation programs, therapies (such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy), and specialized treatments needed for the child's recovery and development.
  • Special Education Needs: If the birth injury results in educational challenges or the need for special education services, compensation may be awarded for these additional expenses.
  • Home Care and Assistance: Damages may include compensation for home health care services, nursing care, personal assistance, and other caregiving needs for the child's daily activities and well-being.
  • Punitive Damages: In rare cases involving extreme negligence, intentional misconduct, or egregious behavior, punitive damages may be awarded as punishment and deterrence against future misconduct.
  • Legal Fees and Costs: In successful birth injury lawsuits, the prevailing party may be entitled to reimbursement for attorney fees, court costs, and other legal expenses incurred during the litigation process.

Can I File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit for Birth Injuries in Oregon?

Yes, in Oregon, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit for birth injuries under certain circumstances. Oregon law allows for wrongful death claims when the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another party causes a person's death. This includes situations where a birth injury results in the death of the newborn or the mother.

Here are key points to keep in mind:

Criteria for Wrongful Death Claims

To file a wrongful death lawsuit, specific criteria must be met:

  • The wrongful act, neglect, or default of another party must cause the death
  • The deceased must have been a viable fetus or live-born child at the time of the injury leading to death

Statute of Limitations

In Oregon, the statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is typically three years from the date of death. However, exceptions and variations can be based on the specific circumstances and parties involved.

Potential Parties in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit for Birth Injuries:

  • Healthcare providers or medical facilities whose negligence or malpractice led to the birth injury and subsequent death
  • Pharmaceutical companies if the death resulted from medication errors or defective drugs administered during pregnancy or childbirth
  • Other parties whose actions or negligence contributed to the fatal birth injury, such as equipment manufacturers or third-party contractors

Damages in Wrongful Death Cases

  • Medical expenses related to the birth injury and subsequent medical care before the death
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of financial support, services, and companionship
  • Emotional pain and suffering experienced by surviving family members
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Select a Dedicated Oregon Birth Injury Lawyer to Protect Your Legal Interests

Errors during pregnancy or childbirth can turn a joyous occasion into a devastating tragedy. The esteemed birth injury attorneys at The Alvarez Law Firm in Oregon have aided numerous families in obtaining rightful compensation from negligent healthcare providers. 'Integrity for justice' is not just a slogan; it's our guiding principle in everything we do. Our firm provides strategic and compassionate legal advocacy to help you hold the healthcare provider responsible for your child's injuries accountable. Contact us now to schedule a complimentary, confidential consultation with one of our seasoned Oregon medical malpractice lawyers.

Let’s talk about your case.

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