Birth Injury Lawyer Cleveland, OH
A birth injury lawyer in Cleveland, OH clients trust from Mishkind Kulwicki Law Co., L.P.A. understands that bringing a child into this world is one of the most exciting moments in a parent’s life. While a majority of births are successful, some can take a turn for the worst. When this happens, parents might feel unsure and scared about the future of the newborn. Complications can arise during pregnancy, the delivery, or soon after the birth. In some cases, these complications are natural and unpreventable. However, it is certainly possible for an error, made on the part of a medical clinician, to lead to a complication.
If you are a parent of a newborn, or child, who was injured or lost their lives during their birth, pre, or postnatal care, and you believe what happened was avoidable, it may be a good idea to ask a lawyer to review your case. Call Mishkind Kulwicki Law Co., L.P.A. for a case review.
Birth Injury Lawyer Cleveland, OH
- Can a Birth Injury Be Prevented?
- What are the Most Common Signs of a Birth Injury?
- Cleveland Birth Injury Law Infographic
- What are the Differences Between Life Care Plans and Cost Projections?
- Birth Injury Lawyer Cleveland, OH
- 5 Most Common Birth Injuries
- Birth Injury Law: FAQs
- What are Birth Injury Symptoms for a Child Who is 12-24 Months Old?
- Is it Possible For a Child To Exhibit Signs of Birth Injury After Two Years?
- What is the goal of a birth injury lawsuit?
- How will my lawyer help determine who is liable for my child’s birth injury?
- What can we pursue compensation for after a birth injury to my child?
- How are damages commonly classified in injury lawsuits?
- What are common examples of damages associated with birth injury lawsuits?
- Mishkind Kulwicki Law Co., L.P.A Cleveland Birth Injury Lawyer
- Cleveland Birth Injury Lawyer Google Review
- Get Legal Assistance Now
Can a Birth Injury Be Prevented?
As a lawyer might point out, some birth injuries cannot be avoided. This may be due to genetics, hereditary predispositions, the health of the mother, and so forth. That being said, there are times in which a birth injury could have been prevented. Because this can be difficult to determine without reviewing medical records and other elements of a possible case, it is advisable to reach out to a qualified lawyer in Cleveland, Ohio families can trust.
Determining whether a birth injury could have been prevented largely rests on whether any of the medical professionals involved adhered to their duty of care. In legal terms, and broadly speaking, the duty of care refers to skill and service provided by a medical professional who is of a sound mind, and with a comparable background. To ensure your case is reviewed properly, a lawyer might ask:
- Was the birth injury predictable or sudden?
- Were there any unreasonable errors made?
- Would another medical professional, with the same or similar background, make the same decision?
- Was anything done that should not have been?
In addition to these questions, a lawyer might ask you about:
- What happened?
- What you were told?
- Whether there were any indications of a mistake?
- The reactions or behaviors of the medical staff?
- Whether you were offered anything?
It is not uncommon for medical professionals to attempt to convince parents that a childbirth injury was indeed “unpreventable”, or something that “was going to happen no matter what.” Even if you have been told something similar, it is still a good idea to talk with a birth injury lawyer. A lawyer will likely gather all medical records and talk with various experts. In these types of cases, there is a high risk of evidence being lost, destroyed, or tampered with. Please act quickly.
Whether you were told an error was made, or your intuition is telling you something isn’t right, or perhaps being hidden from you, call Mishkind Kulwicki Law Co., L.P.A.. A lawyer in Cleveland, OH would be happy to talk with you about your case and help you to understand your legal options.
What are the Most Common Signs of a Birth Injury?
Identifying a birth injury may be obvious, or not as apparent, depending on the type of injury that was caused. Some injuries, they may not be noticeable until months or years post-delivery. But, there are initial signs that may mean a baby has sustained a serious birth injury:
- Low heart rate
- Excessive drooling
- Low oxygen levels
- Weak flexes
- Hand curled into a claw shape
- High-pitched crying, grunting, or fussiness
- Sensitivity to light
- Skull fractures
- Challenges with eating, suckling, or swallowing
- Arched back and crying
- Muscle stiffness (or very loose)
If your baby had any of these symptoms immediately after delivery, then we strongly urge you to call us. We can provide a free consultation so you can find out whether it is worth pursuing a case. If your baby is showing peculiar symptoms similar to the ones listed above and has not gotten medical attention, we recommend doing so with a sense of emergency and then contact our law office.
Cleveland Birth Injury Law Infographic
What are the Differences Between Life Care Plans and Cost Projections?
A lawyer has to account for all of the harms, losses, and damages arising out of a personal injury or medical malpractice claim. Some of these expenses are not obvious. A birth injury lawyer Cleveland, OH residents trust will turn to a certified life care planner (CLCP) or another disability expert, such as a case manager, to determine the real economic costs caused by a serious injury. The preparation of a full-scale life care plan can cost from $10,000.00 to $50,000.00, depending upon the level of detail and the preparer’s credentials.
For instance, some life care plans are prepared by physicians who are also certified life care planners. If the doctor has to travel from his/her residence to another city or state to conduct a medical examination of the injured party, this can add substantially to the expense of the life care plan.
In order to avoid the substantial expense associated with a complete life care plan, some life care planners have begun to offer a cost projection in lieu of a life care plan, as a Cleveland lawyer can attest. Cost projections are prepared based on existing medical records and bills. The life care planner does not interview the injured party or conduct a physical exam.
As explained by a life care planner in a recent deposition:
Q: What is a life care plan?
A: A life care plan is a detailed document that identifies the needs, both medical and non-medical, with the associated costs for someone who is catastrophically injured or chronically ill throughout their lifetime.
Q: What is a cost projection?
A: A cost projection is a document that’s prepared to inform all parties involved of the expected or estimated future care through a lifetime or through a medical event.
So, a cost projection is a less detailed accounting of the medical costs associated with a particular treatment. In order to prepare a cost projection, the life care planner must rely on testimony from a medical expert establishing that the future treatment is reasonable and necessary and related to the underlying injury. Cost projections are substantially cheaper than life care plans, ranging in cost from $2,000.00 to $5,000.00.
A cost projection is useful when the injured person’s future care is uncomplicated and defined. For instance, a cost projection would be appropriate in any of the following circumstances: (1) to assess the lifetime costs of dialysis; (2) to assess the lifetime costs of medications; or (3) to assess the lifetime costs of supplies or equipment that are routinely needed for care.
A cost projection would not be appropriate when the injured individual’s future care needs are complex or involve numerous one-time costs, like retrofitting an existing home to make it handicap accessible, purchase of a wheelchair-accessible van or other types of transportation, or periodic medical assessments by various specialists.
Life care plans and cost projections can be critical elements of the total damages involved in a personal injury lawsuit. Many states now have caps on noneconomic damages, like pain, suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of usual activities, and loss of enjoyment of life. A birth injury lawyer handling cases involving quadriplegia, paraplegia, traumatic brain injury, amputation, permanent back injury, stroke, blindness, or birth injury, must capture all of the economic costs associated with such a condition at trial in order to maximize compensation for their client.
Cleveland Birth Injury Law Statistics
According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately seven out of every 1,000 babies are born with a burn injury. Ten percent of these incidents occur in premature deliveries. Birth injuries can leave a child suffering from Cerebral Palsy, Brachial Plexus injury, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, brain hemorrhages, and more.
Birth Injury Lawyer Cleveland, OH
While there are many reasons why a child may be injured at birth, you should know that talking to a birth injury lawyer in Cleveland, OH is often in your best interest. You should not have to tackle this emotional process alone. While many babies across the United States do suffer from minor birth injuries that do not need to be treated, there is plenty that has more severe complications.
If your child has suffered a birth injury you could be entitled to compensation. We know that this is often a stressful time for you and your family.
5 Most Common Birth Injuries
Birth injuries typically happen when the child is born. While they can happen after most of the time they do not. Here are the top 5 most common birth injuries:
Out of every 1,000 born about 2-3 may have cerebral palsy. It is characterized by a lack of motor skill development, weak muscles, and muscle spasms. In many cases, this is the result of damage to the brain that occurred during the birthing process. The improper monitoring of the laboring mother, inadequate birth techniques, and the failure to monitor fetal distress can all cause hypoxic episodes. There is no cure for cerebral palsy and it often requires a lifetime of therapy.
If the infant’s face has too much pressure placed on it during the delivery period it can result in the facial nerves being damaged. This is more common when forceps or vacuum extraction is being used to pull the baby out.
Oxygen deprivation during delivery can lead to brain injuries. These brain injuries can cause many issues like cerebral palsy or chronic seizures. When the doctor fails to monitor the infant during and after birth, then brain injuries can happen due to there being no oxygen. These can happen even during mild oxygen deprivation.
This is a birth injury that is marked by bleeding under the cranial bone. A raised bump may appear several hours after birth, often caused by the use of forceps. While it does tend to clear up within a few months, it can bring other risks such as meningitis, jaundice, anemia, or hypotension.
This is an injury that involves damage to the nerves that go from the upper spine to the neck, shoulder, arm, and hand. This can result in temporary or even permanent disability. The mildest form involves stretching the nerve, while more severe cases involve torn or ruptured nerves that fail to heal properly. In the most extreme cases, there is complete paralysis that results from the root of the nerve being dislodged from the spine.
If you or your loved one have experienced a birth injury don’t hesitate to reach out to a birth injury lawyer in Cleveland, OH from the team at Mishkind Kulwicki Law Co., L.P.A for assistance today.
Birth Injury Law: FAQs
We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions that will help build a basic understanding of the primary goals of a birth injury lawsuit. An experienced lawyer will be able to answer your questions in detail and will provide invaluable guidance throughout the entirety of the lawsuit process.
What are Birth Injury Symptoms for a Child Who is 12-24 Months Old?
While we are not medical professionals, we are familiar with how birth injuries may present themselves. We understand that it can take upwards of 1-2 years before symptoms are apparently obvious, and this is particularly true if the injury was cognitive or behavioral. Sometimes parents do not realize something is not quite right until their child has entered school. Symptoms of a birth injury between the ages of 12-24 months include:
- Ataxia (loss of bodily movements)
- Difficulty crawling or walking
- Intellectual problems, such as poor memory
- Delay in speech development (or not talking at all)
- Poor coordination
- Trouble grasping objects and using them (such as utensils, cups, and plates)
- Involuntary pulling of the neck
- Doesn’t bring items to mouth
- Cannot pass a small item between each hand
Is it Possible For a Child To Exhibit Signs of Birth Injury After Two Years?
Not all cases of birth injuries involved the child having symptoms within the first two years. If your child exhibits any of these signs, is over the age of two, and your gut tells you something may have gone wrong during your delivery, please call our office for a full case assessment:
- Jerky reflexes or trouble with motor skills
- The onset of disabilities related to development, such as epilepsy or autism
- Unable to talk or understand full sentences
- Cannot draw straight lines or complete circles
- Stiff muscles
- Shakiness or tremors
- Challenges getting up and down stairs
- Has trouble with drinking, eating, or getting dressed without support
What is the goal of a birth injury lawsuit?
The primary goal of a birth injury lawsuit is to facilitate a space for parents of a child who was injured during birth to explore their legal options for pursuing compensation from the party who is believed to be responsible for the injury. With the representation of an experienced birth injury lawyer, parents may discover that they have a viable case and that there is potential for obtaining compensation to aid in their healing and recovery process. In many birth injury cases, there is no dollar amount that can feasibly make up for the hardships the child and their family were forced to endure. Ultimately, the goal of a compensation award is to make the recovery process less impactful financially.
How will my lawyer help determine who is liable for my child’s birth injury?
In order for a birth injury lawsuit to be considered a success, the plaintiff, commonly the parent or guardian of the child who was injured during birth must present substantial evidence that proves the defendant was liable for causing the injury or contributed to the conditions that caused it.
By means of evidence such as medical records, witnesses, photos or video, the birth injury lawyer will be able to develop a strategy for proving that the defendant was liable in their client’s case.
What can we pursue compensation for after a birth injury to my child?
Following an alleged birth injury where a party involved in the birth process is suspected to be liable, compensation can be pursued. Compensation is usually pursued to help families with the costs that were accrued as a direct result of the birth injury in an attempt to make these expenses less financially impactful. One example is the costs of long-term care needed for a neurological disability that resulted from the birth injury.
How are damages commonly classified in injury lawsuits?
When damages are referred to in the context of a lawsuit, they refer to the factors that financially impacted the victim. The family of a childbirth injury victim who is filing a lawsuit would pursue monetary compensation for the damages that were sustained. Compensatory damages are usually categorized as being either economic or non-economic.
What are common examples of damages associated with birth injury lawsuits?
Economic damages: Tangible damages that can easily be quantified. Their value cannot be interpreted differently based on their perception in the eyes of the jury that is reviewing them.
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future lost wages
- Household services
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Medical expenses may also be included under economic damages. These damages are bills that arise out of the injuries that are caused.
Other medical expenses that compensation can be collected for:
- Chronic physical health issues
- Chronic mental health issues
- Future treatments
Noneconomic damages: These are more difficult to quantify because they pertain to experiences that were endured, such as pain and suffering, humiliation, anguish, or loss of enjoyment of activities.
- Emotional anguish
- Reputation damage
- Loss of enjoyment of activities
Parents of a child who sustained an injury during childbirth or delivery and are contemplating their options should consult with a local lawyer that specializes in birth injury-related legal matters.
Mishkind Kulwicki Law Co., L.P.A Cleveland Birth Injury Lawyer
Cleveland Birth Injury Lawyer Google Review
“We were referred to Dave and so thankful that we were. He is easy to talk to, professional and very responsive. He always took the time to answer all of our questions even though I asked them numerous times. His priority is always what is in the best interest of his client. Dave and his staff are wonderful people and I would highly recommend them to anyone.” – Dee M.
Get Legal Assistance Now
If you are unsure whether you have a claim for medical malpractice or birth injury, we offer no-obligation consults. We can imagine that you may need peace of mind about the situation or are ready to jump in and start taking action for justice. No matter what stage of the process you are in, we are here to help. For more information about birth injuries, contact the attorneys of Mishkind Kulwicki Law Co., L.P.A., today to schedule a consultation with a Cleveland, Ohio birth injury lawyer.
As a Cleveland, Ohio birth injury lawyer, I have experience handling medical malpractice cases involving maternal death, fetal demise, cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, and shoulder dystocia cases arising out of complications of the labor and delivery process. Neurologic damage to newborns, including permanent brain injury, spinal cord injury, or brachial plexus injury, are complex and expensive legal matters that require an experienced attorney having in-depth knowledge of the legal and medical issues that are involved in these cases. Birth trauma and resulting neurologic damage require an understanding of many subspecialties of medicine, including obstetrics, neonatology, pediatrics, pediatric neurology, and infectious disease. All of these medical subspecialties may be involved in litigation arising out of birth-related injuries.
Similar injuries may arise immediately after birth, including brain injury from meningitis, kernicterus (jaundice), herpes encephalopathy, or physical trauma to the vulnerable newborn due to mishandling by medical or nursing staff. In the end, damage to a newborn’s brain or nervous system is both tragic and catastrophic since the human nervous system is a very unforgiving organ. As a result, these injuries are often permanent and devastating.
Because the consequences of birth-related injuries are often profound and lifelong, hospitals, doctors, and insurance companies have banded together to aggressively defend these cases. For example, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (APA) jointly prepared a manual, called the “green book,” that sets forth stringent criteria for determining if a child’s cerebral palsy was caused by negligent care during labor and delivery, like a delayed C-section. The green book criteria are horribly skewed and inconsistent with compelling medical studies. But the green book criteria are routinely used to contest meritorious birth injury lawsuits.
So, you can expect your case to be opposed by a team of defense experts who practice medicine at some of the finest academic medical centers in the United States and who have experienced trial witnesses. Make no mistake: the defense will come prepared with a team of hired guns who will be willing to say anything to prevent you from obtaining fair compensation for your injured child.
To combat this imposing defense, you will need an experienced Cleveland, Ohio birth injury lawyer who knows the legal and medical issues involved in these cases and has the resources to bring a variety of credible medical experts to prove your case. Beyond the liability issues, these cases demand significant resources to prove the full extent of the harms and losses caused by the birth injury. These damages typically require testimony from proven trial experts with experience in life care planning, rehabilitation, and economics.
Cases involving neurologic injury to a newborn or infant do not end with recovery of compensation through settlement or trial. A caring lawyer specializing in this area of law will also provide post-resolution assistance in the form of referrals to qualified case managers, benefit coordinators, and legal and financial planners.
When it comes to your injured child, there is no substitute for experience, hard work, and resources. We are caring, too. As a Cleveland, Ohio birth injury lawyer, I know that a child’s severe brain injury or other significant nerve damage affects the whole family. We are here to help.
To learn more about how a birth injury lawyer can help you, contact Mishkind Kulwicki Law Co., L.P.A. today.
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