Queens Birth Injury Lawyers
It is a very tragic moment in a new parent’s life when they receive
news that their newborn child has suffered a severe birth injury; even
more so when the tragedy is the result of a doctor’s negligence.
At Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool, our Queens Birth injury
lawyers understand the emotional, economic, and physical impact of a birth
injury on a family. Our experienced attorneys have been helping families
who have been forced to deal with birth injuries for over 50 years. Over
that time, we’ve recovered numerous large verdicts and settlements
to help families deal with the emotional and economic strain caused by
a birth injury. For instance, we recovered $9.6 million in a birth injury
case where the pregnant mother developed gestational diabetes, which increased
the size of her unborn child. In this case, the doctors neglected to account
for the baby’s increase in size. Thisled to the mother experiencing
immense strain during labor. Unfortunately the physicians did not conduct
a cesarean section in a timely manner, which resulted in the baby being
born deaf, blind, and severely brain damaged. Our attorneys worked closely
with the distraught parents and were able to alleviate some of the economic
strain that they will encounter as their child grows older. We believe
that all parents, whose infant has endured a birth injury due to medical
malpractice, should be properly compensated for their future hardships.
If your child has suffered an injury before, during, or after birth, and
you suspect that it was due to your physician’s negligence, you
may be entitled to compensation. Please call us at 212-406-1700 or contact
us online. Our attorneys will review your claim and determine whether
you might have a meritorious lawsuit.
Birth Injuries that May Have Been Caused by Medical Malpractice
The following includes some of the birth injuries that may have been caused
by a physician’s negligence:
Brain Damage: There are several causes of brain damage in an infant that may be the
result of medical malpractice. These injuries include the improper use
of forceps and a vacuum, a delay in the order of a C-section or the failure
to monitor the infant’s oxygen levels.
Hypoxia: Hypoxia occurs when the fetus’s intake of oxygen is obstructed.
Hypoxia often occurs when the umbilical cord wraps around the baby and
effectively suffocates them. Additionally, it can be caused by an infection
or damage to the placenta. Doctors, however, are specially trained to
detect early signs of hypoxia and take the necessary steps to minimize
additional potential damage to the baby. In the event that a doctor fails
to detect hypoxia in a timely manner and their negligence leads to a birth
injury, the parents of the injured child may be entitled to compensation.
Cerebral Palsy: Cerebral Palsy covers different neurological disorders that effect muscle
coordination and movement that is controlled by the brain. A common cause
of Cerebral Palsy is hypoxia or fetal distress during child birth. The
initial signs that indicate possible cerebral palsy in newborns include
but are not limited to the following:
• Trouble breathing
• If the baby is born with a bluish skin tone
• Poor muscle control Four Types of Cerebral Palsy
The four types of cerebral palsy are:
Spastic Cerebral Palsy: This type causes muscles to get very stiff which causes their movements
to seem erratic. This is the most common form of cerebral palsy. It occurs
when a baby’s motor cortex is damaged before, during or after child
birth. The motor cortex is essentially the supreme command center for
the control of body movements. Spastic Cerebral Palsy can negatively affect
all everyday activities and even speech. A long-term effect that the child
may experience is a stunt in necessary bone growth because of the inability
to flex muscle fibers, which results in a smaller muscular anatomy. This
also prevents joints from properly developing, which may prevent a normal
full range of movement. In addition, shortened and contracted muscles
may lead to bone deformities such as scoliosis and hip dislocation. Immense
pain is also a common attribute to this illness.
Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy: This type of cerebral palsy occurs when the newborn’s basal ganglia,
which is responsible for sending neurological messages between the movement
center and the spinal cord, is damaged. A person suffering from this illness
has little control of their movements, and will begin to make continuous
and involuntary writhing motions, especially when attempting to move.
It can affect any extremity including facial muscles and the tongue.
Ataxic Cerebral Palsy: Ataxic cerebral palsy affects balance and coordination, and is considered
as very rare. Quick or precise movements become a big problem. A person
suffering from this illness may experience tremors when attempting to
move, like reach for a glass of water. It results from damage to a newborn’s
cerebellum, which is the part of the brain that is responsible for balance
and coordination. It can affect any part of the body.
Mixed Type Cerebral Palsy: There are cases where a child may develop a combination of multiple types
of cerebral palsy.
Erb’s Palsy: Erb’s Palsy is a condition that is usually caused from damaged nerves
that are adjacent to the shoulders of a newborn. When these nerves are
damaged, it can restrict your child’s movement of their hands and
arms. It can lead to weakness or permanent paralysis. Erb’s Palsy
often occurs when a doctor uses excessive pressure in order to dislodge
the infant’s trapped shoulder, also known as a shoulder dystocia.
Improper use of a vacuum or misusing forceps in order to hasten the delivery
process can also cause nerve damage. In cases when a child is too large
to travel through the birth canal and instead of a C-section, the doctor
decides to pull on the head of the newborn; it may cause permanent nerve
damage in the neck and shoulders, which causes Erb’s Palsy.
Some Causes of Birth Injuries
There are certain procedures that can cause birth injuries if they are
neglected or done incorrectly by the medical professional that is attending
to your newborn. Some of these procedures include but are not limited
to the following:
Incorrect Use of Forceps: Doctors use forceps and a vacuum if the mother is experiencing difficulty
during labor, and these tools help the baby travel through the birth canal
more smoothly. They also reduce the risk for hypoxia or fetal distress
which is linked to cerebral palsy and other birth defects. However, if
not properly used these tools may cause significant nerve damage to the
baby’s neck, chest, and other minor injuries to the head.
Delay in ordering a Cesarean section: Physicians that deliver babies are trained to specifically determine the
correct time to order the C-section and prevent any major injuries for
both the baby and the mother. However, there are instances when a physician
acts negligently and fails to notice clear signs where a C-section is
necessary in order to secure the safety of the baby and the mother. For
example, an emergency C-section may be ordered by a competent doctor in
the case of fetal distress. This occurs when the child’s heart rate
drops due to the mother’s sudden decrease in blood pressure, bleeding
from placental abruption, or other complications during child birth. In
the event of uterine rupture, cord prolapse, and when the placenta covers
the cervix, it is standard to perform an emergency C-section. If the medical
professionals that were responsible for your baby’s delivery failed
to act in any of these emergencies, you may have a meritorious birth injury lawsuit.
Improper Use of a Vacuum: When the baby is having trouble travelling down the birth canal, either
from the size of the child or any other complication, the doctor may use
a vacuum to help the child get through. The vacuum attaches to the child’s
head or shoulders in order to give the doctor a better grip to ease the
child further down the canal. However, in cases where the medical professional
incorrectly places the vacuum or uses excessive force when pulling the
child through the canal. This poor placement or excess force can cause
shoulder dystocia, which leads to Erb’s Palsy.
Injuries to the Mother
Newborns aren’t the only individuals that suffer injuries during
child birth. Mothers experience devastating injuries that can sometimes
be fatal. The most common maternal injuries include but are not limited
to the following:
• Failure to prevent or end any excessive hemorrhaging.
• Failure to diagnose or treat preeclampsia.
• Failure to diagnose or treat maternal diabetes.
• Failure to treat maternal infections, i.e. chicken pox, group B
strep, rubella, syphilis, or UTI.
• Tearing of the uterus, vagina, cervix, or rectum
In most cases, these complications can be properly treated and controlled.
However, in cases where the medical professionals that have been appointed
to deliver your child has acted negligently, and has caused injury to
you or your newborn, then you may be entitled to compensation.
Medical Indemnity Fund
The Medical Indemnity Fund was established in 2011 and it provides a source
of compensation for parents of an infant that suffered a birth-related
neurological injury caused by medical negligence. This fund helps fund
future health care costs of the injured child. The law states, "An
injury to the brain or spinal cord of a live infant caused by the deprivation
of oxygen or mechanical injury occurring in the course of labor, delivery
or resuscitation or by other medical services provided or not provided
during the delivery admission that rendered the infant with a permanent
and substantial motor impairment or with a developmental disability”,
may qualify for compensation. Our Queens birth injury lawyers have recovered
compensation for their clients from the Medical Indemnity Fund on multiple
If your child was diagnosed with one of the aforementioned illnesses, please
do not hesitate to contact our Queens birth injury lawyers, at 212-406-1700
or contact us online for a free consultation. We will discuss your options
and determine whether you have a meritorious case.