San Francisco Birth Injury Lawyer
Compassionately Representing Injured Infants & Mothers in the Bay Area
Rouda Feder Tietjen & McGuinn tenaciously represents clients who have suffered birth injuries due to the negligence or carelessness of physicians and hospitals. If your child has been disabled or has suffered a traumatic injury, our San Francisco birth injury lawyers can help you pursue compensation.
Healthcare providers owe a duty of care to patients. If they breach that duty of care and cause an injury, they must be held responsible. Our firm has guided numerous clients in a variety of medical malpractice cases, and in one notable instance, we secured over $84 million at trial for the family of a child diagnosed with cerebral palsy (CP).
We can talk with you to determine a course of action. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.
What Is a Birth Injury?
A birth injury refers to any physical trauma caused to a baby during delivery. This can involve injuries to the brain, as well as injuries to muscles, bones, and soft tissue. While complications can arise during birth, many are preventable by following the standard of care required of medical professionals. Birth injuries often cause permanent damage to infants. They also often require expensive medical treatment.
Common types of birth injuries include:
- Cerebral palsy
- Brachial plexus injuries
- Erb’s palsy
- Shoulder dystocia
- Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy
Cerebral palsy affects 500,000 children in the United States. Some causes of cerebral palsy include maternal infections, ischemic hypoxia, reduced brain oxygen, failure to timely deliver, excessive force during delivery, and forceps or vacuum extraction used during birth. It hinders a child’s gross and fine motor skills, and can affect muscle tone and coordination, balance, posture, and oral motor function.
Unfortunately, many cases of cerebral palsy are directly caused by physician negligence. In our $84 million jury verdict in Andrew Levyas v. Norma Paragas, M.D., our client’s newborn child was born with jaundice, which continued for several days after his birth. Because the pediatrician did not act with enough urgency, the child did not receive appropriate treatment for a life-threatening liver condition that poisoned his brain, causing him to develop cerebral palsy and become completely paralyzed.
Although nothing could truly account for the family’s suffering in this matter, our team at Rouda Feder Tietjen & McGuinn was glad to secure a judgment that would help secure medical care and costs over the course of the child’s life expectancy.
Brachial Plexus Injuries & Erb's Palsy
The brachial plexus is a group of nerves located between the shoulder and neck. Since brachial plexus nerves control feeling in a child’s arm, an injury may result in a loss of ability to move or feel anything in the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, or even fingers. A breech birth (where the child is feet-first instead of head-first), maternal diabetes or obesity, and large infant size and weight can increase the risk of a brachial plexus injury.
In addition, Erb’s palsy is a muscle injury that occurs during delivery. It is actually a brachial plexus injury that causes damage to the nerves in the child’s upper arm and shoulder. Injured children may be unable to move their hand, arm, wrist, or fingers. It essentially results in paralysis to the affected arm.
Shoulder dystocia, another common birth injury, occurs during delivery. The baby’s shoulder becomes stuck behind the mother’s pelvic bone, causing it to be pulled back during birth. If immediate action is not taken to free the baby’s shoulder, a serious injury could result. The mother may be moved to a different birth position, and emergency procedures may be required.
While these are common brain and muscle injuries that occur during birth, other injuries may occur as well. Excessive use of force during delivery, pulling or tugging on the baby, pressing on the mother’s stomach, and improperly using medical tools such as forceps can cause serious trauma to the infant. If your baby was injured due to medical malpractice, our San Francisco birth injury attorneys can fight on your behalf as you pursue the settlement you deserve.
Who May Be Liable for a Birth Injury?
Birth injuries can result in serious long-term harm to a baby. It is important to file a lawsuit against those responsible so you can receive the financial relief you need in this stressful time. There may be a variety of parties who can be held liable for a birth injury.
- You may be able to file a claim against:
- The doctor
- The nurses or staff involved in the birth
- The drug manufacturer or pharmacist (if the injury resulted from medication)
- The hospital
A vicarious liability claim may also be brought against the HMO employer of the doctor. A vicarious liability claim is basically suing a third party. Even though the HMO provider did not directly cause the injury, it may still be held liable because of the circumstances or its proximity in the incident.
Our Compassionate Birth Injury Lawyers Can Fight for You
Before filing a lawsuit, you must identify all parties who may be liable for your child’s injuries. Gathering evidence is a necessary step. At Rouda Feder Tietjen & McGuinn, we can conduct a thorough investigation of your case. We can talk to witnesses, pull medical records, and look at pictures or videos of the incident to determine who is responsible. Our firm has guided numerous clients to successful settlements. We know you are going through a stressful time, but you can count on us to work hard to handle the legal issues of your case.
Contact our office today to learn how we can help.