Los Angeles Birth Injury Lawyer

Few personal injuries are more tragic than those experienced by infants while they are being born. Medical personnel such as doctors, nurses, and other professionals are expected to have the qualifications and experience to act swiftly and appropriately when complications arise. Unfortunately, some of them do not exercise reasonable care, resulting in physical injury to the infant.

The personal injury lawyers at Moaddel Kremer & Gerome LLP believe that birth injuries caused by obstetricians, nurses, and other medical professionals are unjustifiable. It is their responsibility to remain alert for preventable injuries during difficult births. When they fail in this duty of care and their negligence harms the mother or child, we are firmly committed to holding them accountable. 

To talk to an experienced injury lawyer in Los Angeles, reach out to us today. We offer strong and compassionate support to families during this difficult time.

An Overview of Birth Injuries in Los Angeles

Birth-related injuries can range in severity from skin irritation and temporary bruising of the baby’s head and shoulder area to serious and disabling conditions such as spinal cord injury and brachial plexus. In extreme cases, wrongful death can even result.

Brachial Plexus Injuries

The brachial plexus is a network of nerves in the shoulder that transmits movement and sensory signals from the spinal cord to the hands and arms. Typically, brachial plexus injuries result from trauma to the neck, causing pain, weakness and numbness in the arm and hand. Erb’s palsy, Klumpke paralysis, and Erb-Duchenne paralysis are all examples of damage to brachial plexus nerves.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a medical condition that can result from brain damage during birth. While it can occur naturally, medical negligence often plays a role in causing or exacerbating the condition.  The primary outcome is developmental difficulties, particularly where movement and motor coordination is concerned. Severe cases can impose overwhelming financial and emotional demands on the child’s parents.

Erb’s Palsy

Erb’s palsy can be caused by issues such as injured brachial nerves due to the infant’s neck and head being drawn to the side when the shoulders emerge from the birth canal. If a child has it, they may not be able to move their arm or may feel weak in the limb. Unfortunately, Erb’s palsy can lead to ongoing and permanent complications in some cases.

Shoulder Dystocia

If the infant’s shoulders remain stuck in the mother’s pelvic area after the head emerges, the doctors may cause injuries while pulling it out. Common post-shoulder dystocia injuries include light limb paralysis, nerve damage, and a claw-like hand.

Fractured Bones

When the attending physician pulls on the baby with too much force while it is in the breech position, a broken clavicle may result. The same injury can also occur if the doctor pulls on the shoulder too firmly after a difficult delivery.

Cephalohematoma

This birth trauma, which is marked by bleeding beneath one of the cranial bones, can be caused by tools used to assist the birth. Potential complications include hypotension, jaundice, anemia and even meningitis.

Other common birth injuries include: 

  • Temporary body paralysis
  • Cranial nerve damage
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Uterine rupture
  • Nuchal cord injury (occurs when the umbilical cord becomes wrapped around a baby’s neck)
  • Wrongful death

Common Causes of Birth-Related Injuries in CA

Birth injuries are often the result of medical errors that occur during labor and the time surrounding delivery. Infections that go undiagnosed, failure to detect lack of oxygen, and injuries from unnecessary force during the delivery process can all cause severe injuries to the mother and/or baby. Other causes include but are not limited to:

  • The wrong medication and treatment
  • Failing to detect fetal distress
  • Allowing the baby to stay in the birth canal too long
  • Delayed Cesarean section
  • Using forceps or vacuum extractors improperly
  • Placental abruption

Our experienced lawyers will review all medical documentation and reports to identify what went wrong and who was responsible, so you can file a civil claim against them for compensatory damages.

What Financial Compensation is Available in a Birth Injury Lawsuit in LA?

With personal injury claims based on medical malpractice, families of birth injury victims can recover the following types of compensation:

  • Medical expenses such as hospital bills and prescription medication
  • Medical care expenses that can reasonably be anticipated in the future
  • Lost wages
  • Reduced ability to earn a living
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish 
  • Loss of consortium

In general, child injury victims may seek recovery for lost income, pension benefits, and fringe benefits that their lifetime of disability will prevent them from collecting. There is a $250,000 cap on general damages for losses such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and disfigurement. At the personal injury law firm of Moaddel Kremer & Gerome LLP, our goal will be to help secure your baby’s future by getting maximum compensation for all types of damages.

How Long Do I Have to File a Birth Injury Claim in California?

According to the current statute of limitations, medical malpractice claims in California must be filed within three years of the date of the injury, or one year from the date the victim discovered or should have discovered it. However, when the victim is a minor, different time limit rules apply.  

California medical malpractice for minors is governed by the California Code of Civil Procedure 340.5.  It states that the statute of limitations begins after the child turns six years old. However, if the child is under six, a personal injury lawsuit must be filed within three years of the date the malpractice occurred or the child’s eighth birthday, whichever is greater.

Your personal injury lawyer at Moaddel Kremer & Gerome LLP can help ensure that your legal claim is filed within the appropriate time frame so that you and your baby don’t miss your right to fair compensation.

Is It True That if I Am a Kaiser Member, I Can’t Sue the Company for a Birth Injury?

Yes. California’s Court of Appeal has held that unborn children are Kaiser members like their parents and are subject to the company’s arbitration agreement the moment they are born. It doesn’t appear to matter that the children themselves were not legally able to contract and not even legally present when the contract was negotiated. 

Because of this, personal injury claims brought against The Permanente Medical Group or Kaiser are subject to the Kaiser contract’s arbitration provisions. Your Los Angeles birth injury attorney can guide you through the steps involved in a claim against these insurance companies.

Let a Los Angeles Birth Injury Lawyer Help Your Family Get Justice

If your child is living with a catastrophic injury or disability attributable to medical negligence during the birthing process, contact a Los Angeles birth injury attorney at our law offices. Our legal team will confer with medical providers and experts to determine if the attending physician and hospital staff are at fault and if that turns out to be the case, help you proceed by:

  • Providing skilled and knowledgeable legal representation
  • Negotiating pretrial settlements with insurance companies
  • Preparing documents for trial
  • Collecting evidence such as medical bills and reports
  • Contacting expert witnesses
  • Building a compelling case against the responsible parties

The experienced birth injury attorneys at the law firm of Moaddel Kremer & Gerome LLP will fight to ensure that you and your baby receive the maximum recovery possible so that your family can meet medical expenses and build the best possible future. We work cases on a contingency-fee-basis, meaning that you don’t owe us anything unless we win your case. To schedule an initial consultation with a Los Angeles birth injury lawyer, contact us today.

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All we need from you right now is a basic idea of the situation you or your loved one is currently in.

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