Birth Injury Attorneys in Lancaster, PA
Legal advocacy for families whose infants were harmed by medical negligence
We put the lives and health of our newborns in the hands of our trusted medical professionals during pregnancy and childbirth. However, when an infant suffers a preventable injury during the labor and birth process, your plans for your child may change forever. Serious birth injuries can lead to years or even a lifetime of medical care and treatment, and it is vital to hold the right people accountable when their actions harm your newborn.
The Lancaster medical malpractice attorneys at KBG Injury Law know how to handle these types of cases with compassion and understanding. We work entirely in your child’s best interests, determining the parties liable for their injuries and holding those parties accountable. Our job is to ensure your child has what they require to meet their physical and emotional needs now and for the rest of their life.
What is a birth injury?
Merck Manual calls a birth injury “damage that occurs as a result of physical pressure during the birthing process, usually during transit through the birth canal.” Although many birth injuries occur as a result of the natural forces of labor and delivery, some are preventable and happen due to medical malpractice and negligence.
What are common types of birth injuries?
Some birth injuries resolve on their own with no or little intervention. However, some infants and children may require extensive medical care and treatment, possibly for the rest of their lives. Some of these injuries include:
- Brachial plexus injury. A group of nerves between the neck and shoulder, the brachial plexus may suffer injury during a difficult delivery. These injuries cause weakness in the shoulders and elbows (Erb’s palsy) or the hands and wrists (Klumpke palsy).
- Cerebral palsy. Commonly caused by oxygen deprivation during childbirth, cerebral palsy is a group of symptoms resulting from damage to parts of the brain that control muscle movements. This damage can occur during pregnancy, labor, or shortly after birth. There is no cure for cerebral palsy, but many therapies exist to help children thrive as much as possible.
- Facial paralysis. Nerve damage to the face can result in a drooped or lopsided expression. This can occur from overly excessive use of vacuum extractors or forceps by obstetricians. Facial nerve damage may require corrective surgery or leave permanent damage.
- Oxygen deprivation. Loss of oxygen during pregnancy or delivery can leave an infant with lasting brain injuries. Newborns can develop serious conditions like cerebral palsy, cognitive issues, or hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE).
- Skull fractures. Infants have soft spots on their skulls to allow them easier passage through the birth canal. However, excessive force during labor can cause their skull to fracture. Although some fractures heal without incident, some can cause life-threatening hemorrhages and brain injuries.
- Umbilical cord injuries. Abnormal development of the umbilical cord can put your baby’s life at risk. Other dangers include umbilical cord compression or the cord wrapping around the baby’s neck, leading to lack of vital nutrients and oxygen.
- Wrongful death. In the most egregious and tragic cases of preventable birth injuries, an infant may lose their life. Any action or failure to act on the part of a medical professional that leads to the loss of your child would qualify as a Lancaster wrongful death action.
The attorneys at KBG Injury Law want to hear your family’s story, and we want to hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions.
Why do birth injuries happen?
Doctors, obstetricians, and other medical professionals should be aware of all reasonable circumstances where birth injury is likely to occur, and take steps to mitigate these risks. Common causes of medical negligence resulting in birth injury include:
- Failure to recognize fetal distress. Medical staff and physicians must monitor the infant throughout the labor and delivery process for any signs of distress. This includes using a fetal heart monitor and responding to any issues immediately. Fetal distress may require an emergency C-section, and failure to do so can result in a host of complications and birth injuries.
- Failure to identify risk factors. One aspect of a healthy delivery is a healthy pregnancy. If a pregnancy is high-risk, the labor and delivery plan must account for that. When a doctor fails to note conditions like gestational diabetes or breech babies, serious injuries can result.
- Medication errors. In some cases, doctors may prescribe drugs like Pitocin to induce or speed up labor. However, when administered incorrectly or in too high a dose, contractions can occur too quickly or become strong. This can result in uterine rupture, oxygen deprivation, and fetal deprivation.
- Vacuum and forceps errors. When a doctor is having difficulty delivering an infant through the birth canal, they may use assisted delivery tools. These must be used with care and precision to ensure the newborn does not suffer any harm. If a doctor uses excessive force or places the tool in the wrong spot, brachial plexus injuries or skull fractures can result.
- Umbilical cord problems. Many birth injuries occur from issues with the umbilical cord. Doctors must respond immediately to any problems with the umbilical cord, as it provides oxygen and nutrients to the baby. Physicians must stay alert for emergencies like umbilical cord prolapse or the cord wrapped around the baby’s neck.
Nobody’s child deserves to suffer an injury, especially one that may affect them for the rest of their life. Our legal team will help you hold the liable parties responsible for their actions.
Who is liable for my child’s Lancaster birth injury?
As an expectant parent, you have an entire medical team working with you. If your child is injured during the course of pregnancy, labor, or childbirth, any of them might be liable, depending on the circumstances. These parties could include:
- Lab technicians
- Hospitals and clinics
If you are unsure about who is ultimately responsible for what happened to your child, the Lancaster attorneys at KBG Injury Law can help answer your questions. We do the work for you so you can focus on your child and your family.
How long do I have to file a birth injury claim in Lancaster?
Here in Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years. However, when a minor is involved, the statute of limitations halts (or “tolls”) until their 18th birthday, which allows them until their 20th birthday to bring a birth injury claim. This law is in place to give minors the time they may need to recognize or communicate a birth injury.
Note that a parent’s individual claims related to a minor’s injuries or death, e.g. claims for emotional distress and medical expenses or loss earnings, are still subject to a two-year limitations period.
Our lawyers can explain more about statutes of limitations.
Is there a birth injury attorney near me?
KBG Injury Law is centrally located on 1776 Harrisburg Pike, near Good Drive in Lancaster, PA. We also maintain four locations throughout South Central Pennsylvania.
Birth injury attorneys serving Lancaster families
Children born with severe birth injuries may face many challenges later in life. It is important they get the best possible care to ensure they are provided every chance to thrive. When your child experiences a preventable birth injury due to medical malpractice, the attorneys at KBG Injury Law can help. We will step in and take care of the legal issues so you can take care of your family. To schedule a free consultation, call 717-848-3838 or fill out our contact form today. We have offices in York, Lancaster, Gettysburg, Harrisburg, and Hanover, and serve families throughout South Central Pennsylvania.