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Birth Injuries

Birth Injuries

Jacksonville Birth Injury Lawyers

Jacksonville Birth Injury Lawyers

Childbirth is a delicate process requiring careful attention by highly trained professionals. Injuries that occur during delivery can have long-term consequences for a child’s health and quality of life, and in some extremely unfortunate cases, birth injuries can prove fatal.

At the law firm of Cronin & Maxwell, PL, our Jacksonville birth injury lawyers help parents pursue medical malpractice claims on behalf of children who have been injured during the birthing process. Our attorneys are committed to getting clients the justice they deserve.

Why Do I Need to Hire a Jacksonville Birth Injury Lawyer?

You might assume that if your child suffered a birth injury due to a flagrant medical error during the childbirth procedure, you should have minimal difficulty proving fault for the injury and the resulting medical complications. However, no matter how clear the fault for your recent birth injury may be, it is vital to understand that a medical malpractice case is very different from a standard personal injury claim. Additionally, birth injury claims tend to involve substantial damages, such as the cost of ongoing medical treatment the child will likely require for the rest of their life.

Due to the complex nature of medical malpractice cases and the significant damages often involved, it is vital to have legal counsel you can trust to successfully navigate your case. While it is technically possible for a family who experienced a birth injury to pursue a medical malpractice claim without a lawyer, it is far more difficult than many expect. You would need to manage very complex court proceedings and filing requirements, calculate the full range of your claimable damages, and handle the aftermath of the injury itself all at once.

Let Your Attorney Help With a Birth Injury

Working with an experienced Jacksonville birth injury attorney can provide your family with much-needed rest and reassurance during what is sure to be a challenging time. Your legal team can help you meet all of the procedural requirements your case entails, accurately determine the full scope of damages you can seek in your claim, and guide you through the complicated proceedings ahead of you until you reach a suitable result for your case. Ultimately, you are far more likely to succeed with your case when you have a Jacksonville birth injury lawyer representing you. You are also more likely to maximize the total recovery you win from your successful case.

Holding Negligent Medical Providers Accountable For Delivery Personal Injury Errors

One of the most common birth injuries is oxygen deprivation (hypoxia), which can result in cerebral palsy, a serious neurological disorder. While not all cases of cerebral palsy are caused by oxygen deprivation during delivery, many cases have been traced back to this cause.

Cerebral palsy can have a severe impact on a child’s physical and mental development. Many people with cerebral palsy require special care and treatment throughout their lives.

If your child has developed cerebral palsy as a result of doctor negligence or any other medical malpractice during delivery, you deserve an opportunity to hold the responsible parties accountable and obtain compensation for the harm done to your child and your family.

Our firm pursues malpractice claims on behalf of children with cerebral palsy and other common disorders such as Erb’s palsy, which is caused by shoulder dystocia during delivery. We take time to learn as much as possible about each client’s unique situation, tailoring our legal strategy to the client’s needs. We do not believe in one-size-fits-all legal solutions to complex cases. Our individualized approach to medical malpractice counsel has allowed us to successfully represent many past clients in complicated birth injury claims.

Commonly Reported Birth Injuries in Jacksonville

The term “birth injury” can apply to many different injuries that can occur during childbirth procedures, including:

  • Cerebral palsy. This condition results from oxygen deprivation before or during childbirth. When the brain is deprived of oxygen, brain cells begin to die very rapidly. Even a momentary disruption in oxygen flow to a baby’s brain can result in lifelong disability. Cerebral palsy can be characterized by a wide range of symptoms, some of which are more disruptive to a child’s development and ability to thrive than others. Many children who develop cerebral palsy from childbirth face lifelong medical complications because of their condition.
  • Shoulder dystocia. When a baby leaves the birth canal, their shoulders are the widest part of the body that must leave this narrow opening. If a delivery doctor is too forceful in extracting the infant, their excessive force can damage the muscles and tendons in the brachial plexus area, the shoulder, collarbone area, and upper arm. When shoulder dystocia occurs, the child could develop Erb’s palsy, which often results in weakness, poor function, and delayed development in the affected side of the body. Some children recover from this condition, while others face permanent complications.
  • Internal injuries. Negligent actions by the doctor performing a delivery of an infant can potentially result in internal organ damage to the baby. These injuries can escalate to life-threatening levels very quickly without appropriate intervention.
  • Injuries from surgical instruments. Some delivery doctors must use forceps and other surgical instruments to release an infant from their mother’s birth canal. If the doctor does not use these tools correctly, they can cause extreme traumatic injuries to the infant, such as puncture wounds or lacerations.
  • Injuries to the mother. Many birth injury claims pertain to injuries suffered by the infant being delivered, but some involve injuries to mothers. Doctors performing childbirth procedures must carefully monitor mothers’ vital signs and address any complications as promptly and safely as possible. Unfortunately, some mothers sustain life-changing injuries due to their doctors’ negligence during childbirth procedures.

Did Your Medical Professional Meet the Standard of Care

Birth injuries can occur for various reasons, such as failure to monitor the vital signs of the mother or child, failure to address known medical conditions of the mother, improper use of medical techniques, and inappropriate use of medical instruments. Ultimately, medical negligence occurs whenever a medical professional fails to meet the standard of care a patient requires for their condition.

If you believe that your family has experienced any birth injury due to the negligence of the physician who handled your delivery, you must speak with a Jacksonville birth injury attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can help you understand the medical malpractice claim process, assess your damages, and assist you in holding the responsible medical providers accountable for your experience.

How Does a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Work?

While a medical malpractice case is a form of personal injury claim, there are unique rules a claimant must follow if they intend to pursue a medical malpractice claim. The victim of medical malpractice typically cannot directly sue the medical professional responsible for their injury. First, they must submit a formal complaint to the medical board with oversight over the defendant in their claim. This medical board evaluates the claim and determines whether the claimant has grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. If they deem the claim valid, the medical board will grant the plaintiff a certificate of merit that allows them to proceed with their medical malpractice case.

In addition to the approval of the medical board, you will also likely need to consult an outside medical expert who possesses similar credentials to the defendant named in your claim. This medical professional can provide testimony as to whether the defendant in your claim met or failed to meet the required standard of care. Your Jacksonville birth injury attorney should assist you in securing any expert witness input your case may require.

Success Hinges on Proving Standard of Care Not Met

Once you can proceed with your medical malpractice case, success with the case hinges on your ability to prove the defendant named in your claim failed to meet the standard of care you required during the childbirth procedure in question. The “standard of care” is the minimum level of medical treatment a patient requires based on their symptoms, current condition, and medical history. The professional medical community reaches a consensus on acceptable standards of care based on proven methods and techniques. Medical professionals may not deviate from the standard of care a patient requires except under extreme circumstances.

Your Jacksonville birth injury lawyer can assist you in your case proceedings, from filing the initial complaint with the Jacksonville County court system to assessing your damages. Many claimants in this situation are surprised to learn their claims are worth much more than they initially expected.

Damages and Compensation for a Birth Injury in Jacksonville, FL

Any form of medical malpractice can be highly damaging to the victim and their family, but birth injuries are especially tragic because they often result in permanent harm to an infant from the very beginning of their life. Florida enforces strict civil statutes regarding medical malpractice claims and the damages available to plaintiffs in these cases. Your Jacksonville birth injury attorney can potentially help you and your family recover various economic damages, including medical expenses and lost income.

When a negligent medical professional harms their patient, they absorb liability for all medical treatment costs the victim requires to heal from their malpractice. When it comes to birth injuries, the medical professionals responsible for these injuries face liability for the lifelong medical care a child will likely require due to their actions. The defendant is liable for the costs of corrective medical care the victim requires immediately following the birth injury, long-term treatment costs for managing their symptoms, and any in-home care the affected child requires.

If a family experiences a birth injury, one or both parents may need to stop working to care for the victim. If your child suffered a severe birth injury and you or your co-parent must stop working to address the child’s medical needs, the medical professional responsible for the birth injury is liable for the income you lose because of their actions. When you calculate the cost of all the medical treatment required following a birth injury in addition to the income lost by the family due to the incident, the family could potentially secure substantial damages to reflect their economic losses.

In addition to these economic damages, the plaintiff in a medical malpractice case also has the right to seek compensation for the pain and suffering caused by their experience. Florida state law limits the pain and suffering damages a plaintiff can seek in a medical malpractice claim to $500,000, regardless of the extent of the damage done by the defendant. However, if medical malpractice results in death or a permanent vegetative state, the plaintiff can seek up to $1 million in pain and suffering compensation. Your Jacksonville birth injury lawyer can assist you in calculating an appropriate amount of pain and suffering damages to include in your claim.

Birth Injuries And Medical Malpractice In A Military Hospital

Birth Injuries

Military families should expect the same level of medical care as civilians. Like all health care professionals, military doctors must adhere to strict standards of care.

When they fail to check fetal monitoring strips, administer improper medications, make surgical errors in cases involving shoulder dystocia or commit emergency room mistakes, your family deserves justice. For over a decade, we have been helping the families of military personnel throughout the world file birth-injury lawsuits and gain the compensation they need to cover medical and other expenses.

We understand the challenges presented by filing a medical malpractice claim against the military. We regularly deal with the military system and the stringent guidelines presented by the Federal Tort Claims Act and the Military Claims Act.

How Do I Choose a Jacksonville Birth Injury Lawyer?

It’s essential to evaluate potential attorneys carefully when you need legal representation to guide you through a difficult birth injury case. The primary criteria you should evaluate include the attorney’s experience level, availability, and billing policy. When it comes to experience, you must choose an attorney who has solid experience handling complex medical malpractice cases. In addition, the attorney should be able to provide a detailed account of the past claims they have handled and the outcomes of those cases.

You must also be sure the attorney will be available to address your case’s unique needs and keep you regularly updated about the progress of your case. A good attorney maintains a balanced caseload, ensuring they can devote the full scope of their attention and resources to any given client when they need it most. Ask a potential attorney about how they manage their caseload and how responsive they will be throughout your case proceedings.

When it comes to billing, most attorneys who take medical malpractice cases in Florida are bound by the state’s billing statutes for medical malpractice cases. An attorney can typically take up to 30% of the first $250,000 recovered for their client and 10% of all damages recovered beyond this amount. Therefore, your chosen attorney should provide a clear and concise explanation of how they bill their clients and the anticipated cost of them representing your case.

What to Expect From Your Jacksonville Birth Injury Attorney

When your family is reeling after a birth injury, it’s vital to find legal counsel you can trust to guide you through the complicated legal proceedings ahead of you. When you choose Cronin & Maxwell to represent you, you can expect personalized legal representation and ongoing support throughout your case. We will begin by carefully reviewing the details of the birth injury you experienced and the medical records from the hospital. Then, our team can help you gather the preliminary materials you may need to proceed with your case before assisting you in filing your complaint with the Jacksonville County court system.

Once your case is filed, it can be resolved through settlement negotiations with the defendant or through litigation. Most defendants seek swift settlements to put these situations behind them as quickly as possible. If liability for your birth injury is abundantly clear and the defendant accepts responsibility for the incident, it’s possible to settle your birth injury claim outside of court in a matter of weeks or a month or two. However, if the defendant disputes liability or contests the amount of damages sought by the plaintiff, the case may go to trial.

If your medical malpractice case proceeds to court, the judge handling the case has the final say regarding liability for your damages and the compensation you will receive. The courtroom environment can be intimidating, but the right attorney on your side can assist you in approaching the situation with confidence and understanding. The attorneys at Cronin & Maxwell are capable of assisting you in resolving your case swiftly through settlement, but we will represent you in litigation if necessary to succeed with your claim.

Contact Our Cerebral Palsy Attorneys At

Injuries caused by fetal distress during childbirth are not always diagnosed right away, but the state of Florida places time limits on medical malpractice claims, so it is important to contact a lawyer as soon as you have reason to believe your child may have been injured during delivery.

Our medical malpractice attorneys at Cronin & Maxwell have the experience to determine whether you have a birth injury claim and, if so, to pursue the compensation your child deserves. To discuss your birth injury claim, please contact us at 904-388-9555 or by email.

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