Birth Injury Lawyer Cleveland, OH
A birth injury lawyer 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 parents’ life. While a majority of births are successful, some can take a turn for the worst. When this happens, parent’s 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 life 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.
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 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, duty of care refers to a 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, made 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 childs’ birth 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. For 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 claw shape
- High-pitched crying, grunting, or fussiness
- Sensitivity to light
- Skull fractures
- Challenges 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 contacting our law office.
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 age sof 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
- 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 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 costs 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.
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 a 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.