Seattle Birth Injury Attorney
When a baby is born with an injury or illness, parents are understandably devastated. When that injury was the result of medical error and negligence, parents want answers:
- How did this happen?
- Who was at fault?
- Could we have done something differently?
- How will I take care of a disabled child?
- The future is so uncertain, and the options seem very limited.
At Elk & Elk, our Seattle personal injury lawyers know what a difficult time this is for parents. Our Seattle birth injury attorneys will help you understand your options and will seek compensation from the negligent parties, whether that is the doctor, the hospital, the nurses or anyone else whose negligence may have contributed to your child’s injury.
To learn how we can help you and your child, contact us for a free consultation. Call 1-844-ELK-WEST (1-844-355-9378).
Why Turn to Elk & Elk for Your Birth Injury Needs
Elk & Elk is an established law firm with decades of experience across Washington state and the USA. This history has provided us with extensive knowledge of Washington state law and the intricacies of the legal system.
- Elk & Elk does not require any upfront costs or fees when taking on your case. We work on a contingency fee basis so you only pay when you have received financial compensation for your claims.
- Our firm has contacts with professionals in the medical field who are able to provide important knowledge and information on your situation. This allows us to better handle and manage your case, especially if it goes to trial.
- The Elk & Elk team of medical malpractice lawyers will negotiate with the hospital, involved medical professionals, and insurance companies to maximize your potential for fair compensation. Should our team receive opposition, we will defend your rights.
Why Seattle Residents Need an Attorney for Cases Like These
Birth injury claims can be complex. It is important for someone handling a birth injury case to be educated on the subject matter, preferably with experience dealing with these types of cases.
- Injuries to the mother or child sustained during childbirth can have lifelong consequences. Having an experienced lawyer is important for ensuring your family can recover the maximum amount of compensation available.
- Your attorney will be able to investigate your case and determine liability. They will be able to recover and examine medical documents surrounding the childbirth and use them to decide the direction of the case.
- The lawyer will also decide if taking the case to trial is the right option. If that happens, they will be able to represent you in the court of law to hold those at fault accountable for their actions.
What Are Some Potential Factors that Can Increase the Likelihood of a Birth Injury?
There are some factors to take into consideration when determining the likelihood of a birth injury. Although they may not cause the birth injury themselves, they are important to know when embarking on a pregnancy.
- A particularly large baby, especially in relation to the size of the mother’s pelvis
- A premature or late pregnancy
- A cesarean (c-section) delivery
- An overweight mother
- Irregular or long-lasting contractions
- Use of external devices like forceps or vacuums
Knowing the potential factors that could increase the likelihood of a birth injury can better prepare a mother and medical staff for delivery. It is important to remember that, while some of these are out of the control of doctors delivering the baby, they may still be responsible for the assessment of risk factors and the actions they take considering them.
Potential Causes of Birth Injuries in Washington State
Birth injuries happen in Washington state on a consistent basis. Elk & Elk wants to explain the potential causes of birth injuries in the state to better inform the public on the dangers of medical malpractice and how it can affect families expecting a new child.
- Discharging a mother and/or baby too early
- Failure to properly sanitize medical tools and bedding
- Working under improper credentials or an expired medical license
- Utilizing an improper baby delivery technique
- Failure to respond to bleeding in a timely manner
- Misuse of forceps or vacuums
- Delayed cesarean section (c-section)
- Improper prescription or dosage of medications
- Negligence in attending the delivery at the proper time or tardiness to the delivery
- Failure to recognize potential threats for infections
Examples of Birth Injury Cases in Washington State
Our law firm handles all types of birth injury cases, seeking maximum compensation for families. Common cases involve:
- Swelling of a body part
- Breakage or fracture of a bone, most often the clavicle or collarbone
- Injury to nerves that serve the arms and hands
- Blood vessel breakage in the eyes
- Brain damage
- Cerebral palsy
- Erb’s palsy
- Klumpke’s palsy
- Fetal acidosis
- Shoulder dystocia
- Facial paralysis
- Forceps bruising and other injuries
The Difference Between Birth Injuries and Birth Defects
Although oftentimes confused, there is a clear difference between birth injuries and birth defects. Knowing the difference is crucial when determining if one should move forward with a claim or not. In Washington state, a birth defect would not constitute a claim, while a birth injury would.
A birth injury is described as an injury that happened before, during, or after birth. In a case of a birth injury, the baby’s DNA has nothing to do with its injury. A birth injury is technically described as preventable and is often caused by the mistake or negligence of a doctor, midwife, nurse, or another medical professional.
On the other hand, a birth defect has nothing to do with the actual birth of the child. These types of complications are encoded in the child’s biology and are not preventable from the standpoint of childbirth. In rare cases, there are birth defects that could have been prevented during a woman’s pregnancy, and this may or may not be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Legal Information About Birth Injury Cases
Medical malpractice cases, in general, and birth injury cases, in particular, require a high standard of proof. One must show that the provider or organization deviated from the established standard of care and that the deviation caused the injury or illness to your baby. In most cases, parents must bring legal action within three years of finding out about the injury. Although you may think this is a very long time, some birth injuries don’t show themselves until months or years have passed. In a few instances, a medical malpractice lawsuit may be filed up to eight years afterward.
What Can Be Recovered in a Birth Injury Lawsuit?
There are many damages that a family could recover through a birth injury claim in Washington state. Your Seattle birth injury attorney will help determine what you should be entitled to and advise you on what a fair amount of compensation would be for each one. Some of the most common types of compensation recoverable in these cases includes:
- Medical bills already received
- Future medical bills, including other types of medical assistance like therapy
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of society and companionship
- Potential wage loss
Securing compensation for these damages will help secure a better quality of life for you and your child. It is impossible to know what life could have been like if your child had not been the victim of a birth injury, but having the funds available to help them live life to the fullest means an overall better quality of life for your entire family.
Giving Parents the Confidence They Need to Face the Future
The attorneys at Elk & Elk know that money will not always make everything better. It is possible that your child will be disabled for life. However, obtaining full and fair compensation can mean the difference between agonizing about the future and being able to face it with the knowledge that you have the resources to take care of your child. This can make a huge difference.
Call Us for Answers After Your Baby’s Birth Injury
A Seattle birth injury attorney from Elk & Elk can consult with our extensive network of medical experts and others to determine how the actions of medical providers caused your baby’s birth injury. We will work with financial experts and life planners to calculate the cost of the baby’s care and treatment. We will use all this information to build a strong case in pursuit of full compensation for you and your child.
To learn more about our approach to birth injury cases, call us at 1-844-ELK-WEST (1-844-355-9378) or contact us online for your free consultation.