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Lansing Birth Injury Lawyer

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Lansing Birth Injury Attorney

Welcoming a new member of the family should be a positive experience. Unfortunately, labor and delivery can be extremely difficult and can result in complications. Sometimes, these issues are unavoidable, but in other cases, injuries and complications are completely preventable. If you suspect that your child’s birth injury was due to medical malpractice, consider contacting a Lansing birth injury lawyer.

Lansing Birth Injury Lawyer

A Compassionate and Supportive Team

Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC, is not a general practice law firm and chooses to focus on personal injury and malpractice cases. This means that all of our efforts go toward helping victims of medical malpractice, personal injuries, and birth injuries receive the compensation they deserve. We have over 30 years of successful cases to prove our approach.

The attorneys at Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC, have decades of experience in cases in a range of healthcare fields, including birth injuries, misdiagnoses, and wrongful death claims. They have recovered millions of dollars for their clients and are prepared to help you recover damages for your birth injury claim.

What Is Birth Injury Law?

Birth injuries fall under medical malpractice claims. In order to file a birth injury claim, the case must prove the following:

  • The patient must have had a relationship with a medical provider. This means that they must have consulted that medical provider during childbirth.
  • The doctor’s actions must have gone against the standard of care. This means that the actions must have differed from typical actions for similar labor and delivery cases.
  • The injuries sustained during the birth must be proven to have been directly caused by the doctor’s negligent actions.

What Is Medical Negligence?

The terms “medical malpractice” and “medical negligence” are often used interchangeably but mean different things. Any mistake a medical provider makes that does not meet the previously established standard of care is considered medical negligence. Common forms of medical negligence include:

  • Failing to notice complications in the newborn or mother during the labor and delivery process
  • Causing unnecessary damage to a mother during a cesarean section or leaving surgical tools in the body
  • Damaging a newborn’s head or brain by improper use of forceps or other surgical tools

While these actions are troubling, they do not constitute medical malpractice unless they directly cause injuries to the patient(s). This is something the party filing a birth injury claim needs to prove in order to have a successful case. A birth injury attorney can help you prove this by finding evidence to build your case.

Why Do I Need a Lawyer?

Birth injury claims can be difficult to win because you have to prove that a doctor’s negligence directly caused the injuries. Working with a medical malpractice attorney can help prove your case in the face of reluctant insurance companies and medical institutions. We work to obtain damages for our clients to cover future medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more.

Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC, focuses on medical malpractice claims and has experience finding evidence for each client’s unique case. We can help find things like medical records, eyewitness testimonies, and affidavits from medical professionals to prove a healthcare provider’s negligence.

What Type of Evidence Do I Need for a Birth Injury Case?

Birth injury claims often need significant evidence to hold up in court. Here are some examples of evidence that could be useful during your claim:

  • Medical Records: The records of how a mother and newborn were treated during the labor and delivery process can help with proving your case.
  • Background Information on the Medical Professional: An attorney can help retrieve any other complaints filed against the medical professional or institution you’re filing your claim against. Finding a history of negligence or malpractice might add legitimacy to your case.
  • Staff Testimony: Obtaining testimony from hospital staff can confirm details about your treatment and the environment of the medical procedure.
  • Testimony From Medical Professionals: Doctors, pharmacists, surgeons, and other medical professionals in the same field as the one you’re filing a claim against can testify about your case. They can determine whether the defendant’s actions were standard or if they acted negligently.

Common Forms of Birth Injuries

There is a countess number of possible birth injuries, but there are some conditions that are often formed as a result of medical negligence, including:

  • Brain Injuries: These can occur if a newborn doesn’t get enough oxygen or is injured while leaving the birth canal. Brain injuries can include hemorrhages, skull fractures, and other long-term conditions.
  • Erb’s Palsy: This condition occurs if a newborn suffers from nerve damage during labor and delivery. Most cases are completely treatable but often require additional expenses after birth.
  • Cerebral Palsy: Unlike Erb’s palsy, most cases of cerebral palsy are untreatable and cause lifelong disability. Cerebral palsy occurs when the brain is damaged during childbirth, limiting the brain’s ability to control parts of the body.
  • Jaundice: If a yellowing pigment in the blood builds up in a newborn’s body, it can make their skin appear yellow. If this condition goes unnoticed by a healthcare provider, it can lead to severe and permanent brain damage.
  • Head Injuries: Injuries to a newborn’s head, like a cephalohematoma or a skull fracture, can be dangerous if left untreated. They need to be addressed by a healthcare provider as soon as possible to prevent permanent physical complications.
  • Spinal Cord Damage: A rushed delivery or improper use of vacuum or forceps can lead to damage to a newborn’s spinal column. This can harm the connections between the spine and the nervous system, resulting in paralysis or muscle weakness.

Some birth complications are unavoidable, but many are caused by a healthcare provider acting inappropriately during labor and delivery. Speaking to a medical malpractice attorney can help you determine if filing a birth injury claim is right for your unique situation.

How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?

In Lansing, MI, a birth injury claim must be filed in a relatively short amount of time after the injuries occurred. Lansing’s statute of limitations for birth injury claims states that a claim must be filed before the child’s tenth birthday.

While this may sound like plenty of time, some birth injuries are not discovered until several years after the procedure. Additionally, legal cases aren’t instantaneous and can take several months to several years to resolve. This means that it’s important to file your birth injury claim as soon as possible to make sure it falls within the statute of limitations.

Damage Limits for Birth Injury Cases

To understand the limits to your compensation, you must first know the different types of damages you can receive. Economic damages cover costs of monetary value, including additional medical expenses, future medical expenses, and any income lost as a result of being unable to work. Non-economic damages cover intangible things like pain and suffering and the emotional toll of a disability.

In Lansing, there is no technical limit to the economic damages a plaintiff is entitled to, but the amount must be reasonably proved by the plaintiff. However, there is a hard cap on non-economic damages. Most cases receive the lower cap of $537,900 unless they can prove that they qualify for the upper cap of $960,500. These figures are annually adjusted for inflation.

FAQs About Lansing, MI Birth Injury Law

What Is Medical Negligence for Birth Injury?

Medical negligence occurs when a healthcare provider neglects to meet an established standard of care. If this occurs during childbirth, it can potentially cause life-threatening injuries to the mother and child. Common types of medical negligence during childbirth include failing to notice complications and using forceps improperly. Some of these complications can result in long-term health issues.

What Is the Most Common Site of Birth Injury?

Common areas of birth injuries due to medical malpractice include the brain, nerves, bones, and skin. Hemorrhages, skull fractures, cerebral palsy, and perinatal asphyxia are all birth injuries that can be caused by medical malpractice. Some injuries can heal on their own, but more serious injuries could lead to permanent complications. It’s important to contact a personal injury lawyer shortly after you suspect a birth injury.

How Is Birth Trauma Treated?

Victims of birth injuries might have trauma associated with the experience. Birth trauma, also known as postnatal post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), can affect your relationship with your new baby. There are several treatment options for PTSD, including therapy and medication. Working with a personal injury attorney to file a birth injury claim could help to cover the additional medical costs associated with treating PTSD.

What Is the Difference Between a Birth Injury and a Birth Defect?

The difference between defects and injuries in childbirth has to do with when they occur. If a child develops complications during pregnancy, it is considered a birth defect. There are a variety of reasons for birth defects, including genetics or prenatal exposure to alcohol or smoke. Birth injuries occur during or after childbirth and are sometimes caused by medical malpractice. They might not be apparent until significantly after the child is born.

Protect Yourself Against Medical Institutions by Hiring a Lansing Birth Injury Lawyer

If you believe your child was a victim of medical malpractice, it’s crucial to contact a personal injury attorney to fight for fair compensation. Help hold insurance companies and medical institutions accountable for failing to meet widely accepted healthcare standards. Schedule a consultation with Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC, to tell your unique story and review your options.

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Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC

3049 Miller Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

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