Houston Birth Injury Lawyers
In most cases, the birth of a child is a joyous experience for an entire family. Unfortunately, mistakes made by doctors, nurses, and other professionals during the birthing process could lead to severe injuries that can require lengthy hospitalization and a possible lifetime of health challenges.
When a birth injury is the result of a medical professional or establishment’s negligence, families should be compensated for the harm caused to their newborn. This compensation is usually necessary for paying for the additional medical expenses and lifetime care that the child will require.
Williams Hart has been representing birth injury victims in the Houston area for over 25 years, and we’re ready to fight for you and your family. We are known for obtaining the maximum compensation for victims, and our verdicts and settlements include a $38 million verdict for a family whose child was born with congenital disabilities as a result of consumption of the prescription drug Depakote. Call (713) 352-7071 right now to schedule a free consultation that will let our attorneys provide a complete evaluation of your case.
Do I Need A Birth Injury Lawyer?
Birth injuries are medical malpractice claims. In such cases, victims will be subject to stringent requirements and time limits. The average person may not be familiar with the complex issues likely to be encountered in pursuing a birth injury claim, but the experienced attorneys of Williams Hart have extensive experience handling these types of claims. Our firm can immediately handle all phone calls you receive from insurance companies, and we can also take care of the court appearances and paperwork that will also be involved.
Many birth injury claims will involve testimony from experts in the related field, and Williams Hart has access to a group of individuals who are among the foremost in knowledge relating to their specific fields. Additionally, our investigations will determine all possible liable parties.
While some victims can be tempted to think that accepting an insurance company’s proposed settlement without hiring a lawyer will save them a lot of money, it is essential to understand that the amounts usually paid by insurers are only a fraction of what victims are entitled to. Considering that many birth injuries can result in lifelong medical expenses, victims who accept settlements without legal representation are then unable to obtain any more money from the negligent party when the bills continue to pile up, but the settlement is gone.
Why Choose Williams Hart To Handle My Case?
John Eddie Williams, Jr. and Steven J. Kherkher are both certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in personal injury law. Our firm has the experience in handling these types of cases that allows most clients to know that their cases are in callable hands.
In the more than a quarter-century that we have been representing people, we have recovered billions of dollars for our clients. Our firm maintains a moral commitment to helping members of the community.
Do not think that your case is too big or too small, as our firm handles cases of all sizes. In every case, our lawyers are guided by a desire to get justice for the people harmed by the negligence or wrongful acts of other parties.
Types of Birth Injury Cases We Handle
A birth injury can refer to any injury a child sustains before, during, or immediately after being born. Depending on the circumstances, children can suffer any one of a number of birth injuries, including:
- Brachial Plexus Injury
- Erb’s Palsy
- Klumpke’s Palsy
- Cerebral Palsy
- Shoulder Dystocia
- Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
- Detached Placenta
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)
- Uterine Rupture
- Perinatal Asphyxia
- Caput Succedaneum
- Infant Cephalohematoma
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Bell’s Palsy
- Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)
Most medical professionals take additional care to ensure safe delivery of healthy babies. Despite the frequent concern, many catastrophic injuries are the result of simple mistakes or oversights.
Common Causes of Birth Injuries
Some of the most common causes of birth injuries include, but are not limited to:
- Improper or delayed delivery
- Failure to recognize and prepare for high-risk deliveries
- Infant oxygen deprivation
- Failure to diagnose and treat problems before delivery
- Medication errors
- Failure to follow protocols and procedures
- Delays in addressing complications during delivery
- Failure to properly treat excessive bilirubin
- Incorrect use of delivery instruments (forceps, vacuum extractors)
- Failure to order a timely cesarean section (C-section)
- Monitoring issues
- Failure to identify umbilical cord issues
- Delays in or failure to request help
- Failure to recognize and respond to fetal distress
- Failure to accurately monitor and record the baby’s heart rate
- Human error
The childbirth process involves several months of medical appointments at which a baby’s health is supposed to be continuously monitored. The Houston area is home to many nationally renowned hospitals that people place a tremendous amount of faith in to deliver their babies safely, but the fact remains that one mistake is often enough to have very damaging results.
Williams Hart understands the birth injury claims are extraordinarily complex, but our firm can conduct an exhaustive independent investigation to determine exactly what caused your child’s injury and make sure all negligent parties are held fully accountable.
Frequently Asked Questions About Birth Injuries
If you have questions, our team of experienced birth injury lawyers is here to answer them. Don’t hesitate to contact us and schedule a free consultation to discuss the specific details of your case and learn more about your legal options. You can also learn more by reading the answers to a few frequently asked questions below.
Birth defects are conditions that occur before or during birth because of certain inherited medical conditions. In many cases, birth defects cannot be prevented. For that reason, they are dramatically different from birth injuries, many of which are preventable. Nobody can be held liable for a birth defect (unless the defect was the result of a drug or an environmental factor), but both injuries typically involve some kind of error for which a negligent party can be held liable.
A life care plan is the legal document that lays out what a child with a birth injury will require over the course of their lifetime. The plan is usually drafted by drafted up by medical experts and specialists who estimate such costs as medical, educational, and rehabilitation expenses. A life care plan usually attempts to predict the rate of inflation to avoid financial hardships for the family.
Yes. While several government institutions enjoy immunity from malpractice lawsuits, the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) does provide possible recourse for birth injury victims. With military hospitals, the one catch is that the person filing a lawsuit cannot have been an active service member at the time of the injury.
No. You may have signed a consent form agreeing to the treatment or acknowledging that you were informed of some risks regarding medical procedures, but that consent form does not allow medical personnel to provide negligent care. Informed consent is based on a patient understanding of their treatment options and making their preferred choice. Medical professionals still must provide the expected standard of care, which is usually defined as the level of care that a competent medical professional with similar training and in the same medical community would have taken under the circumstances involved.
In most personal injury cases in Texas, a victim has only two years to file a legal claim. With birth injuries, however, minors are granted up until two years after their 18th birthdays to file legal claims. That said, Texas does place a 10-year statute of repose on medical malpractice claims, which completely bars any medical malpractice claim from being filled more than ten years after it occurred.
Birth Injury Statistics
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 3,945,875 births in the United States in 2016. Of these births, 8.2 percent involved low birthweight (less than 5.5 pounds), and 9.8 percent were preterm (less than 37 weeks gestation). The 23,161 infant deaths translated to a rate of 587 deaths per 100,000 live births.
In a June 2009 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (H-CUP) statistical brief, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) stated that almost 157,700 injuries to mothers and newborns that occurred during childbirth could have been avoided. The brief also found that of hospitalizations involving potentially avoidable injuries to mothers and newborns during childbirth in 2006, 8,877 involved birth trauma or injury to a newborn.
The AHRQ also reported that with injuries involving obstetric trauma for mothers, 42,033 involved vaginal delivery with an instrument, 101,494 involved vaginal delivery without an instrument, and 5,285 involved cesarean delivery.
Contact a Houston Birth Injury Attorney Today
Was your child born with a severe injury because of a hospital or medical professional’s negligence? You will want to make sure that you have legal representation as soon as possible.
Williams Hart helps parents and families in communities all over the greater Houston area. You can have our lawyers review your case and answer all of your legal questions when you call (713) 352-7071 or contact us online to receive a free consultation.