New Jersey’s Best Birth Injury Law Firm

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Get the compensation you deserve for Birth Injuries

This is a medical-related malpractice that could possibly have long-lasting implications, and if you feel that you deserve compensation for any medical negligence or mistake that has occurred during or after delivery, you should not hesitate to get in touch with one of our experienced New Jersey birth injury lawyers, who can help you get the settlement you rightfully deserve.

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What You Need to Know about Birth Injury

There are a variety of injuries that can occur to a mother or a newborn because of medical malpractice during the birth process. Unfortunately, these injuries often cause lifelong disabilities requiring significant medical care. Common scenarios that we are often asked to investigate because of possible medical malpractice during labor and delivery include:

Secrecy surrounds almost all medical errors. Studies demonstrate that physicians rarely tell patients when consequential medical mistakes occur. This problem is magnified when a traumatic birth injury occurs because infants are unable to communicate and the extent of dysfunction caused by a birth injury can go undetected because children must develop before their ability to function (and functional deficits) can be evaluated. For these reasons, parents of children who suffer neurological deficits as a result of a traumatic labor and delivery often do not even consider consulting an attorney until years after these events occur.

In New Jersey, the statute of limitations for injuries occurring at birth is within 2 years of the plaintiff’s 18th birthday if the child was born before 2004. The statute of limitations was shortened by the Patients First Act, however, and now these cases have to be filed by the child’s 13th birthday if the child was born after 2004.

If you think you or your child might have been injured as a result of negligence that occurred during labor and delivery, click the links above to learn more and call us to discuss whether we can help you.

Birth Injury FAQ’s
<strong>01</strong>What Is a Birth Injury?

While the birth of a baby is generally the cause of great celebration, it can be marred by instances of birth injuries. These could occur for a range of reasons, from a mistake made out of carelessness or incompetence, or due to pure medical negligence.

We understand the gravity of such a situation, and the various financial, physical and emotional costs involved. With our extensive experience, our New Jersey birth injury attorneys can help you understand the legal rights you have to hold the concerned professional responsible, and help you prove your case and ultimately get the birth injury lawsuit settlement that you are entitled to.

<strong>01</strong>Birth Injury Statistics in the United States
For every 1,000 births that take place in the United States, there are about seven birth injuries; with the numbers coming up to one in 9,714 people in total — approximately 0.01 percent of the population.

Unfortunately, the incidences and frequency of almost all types of birth injuries seem to have risen since 1989. The most common type of birth injury that has been diagnosed is cerebral palsy, with about 4 out of every 1,000 babies born suffering from the condition.

<strong>02</strong> What Does Commercial Property Insurance Cover?
Birth injuries have been observed to occur when a medical professional is incompetent in possessing and successfully implementing the medical skill required to deliver a baby and this medical-related malpractice could take place either while performing a C-section or while delivering a baby through the birth canal.

 

The doctor, nurse or member of the medical team also need to be adequately equipped to deal with unforeseen complications that might take place during the procedure, failing which, they can legally be held responsible for the malpractice.

 

There are various types of birth injuries including brain injuries, cerebral palsy, the possibility of cognitive or intellectual disabilities, Erb’s palsy, infections and even cases of death.

 

These injuries are naturally tragic and can cause a huge strain on the unsuspecting family in many ways.

 

Medical negligence during childbirth is a serious issue, and our experienced New Jersey birth injury lawyers have a track record and years of experience in handling birth injury cases so that your family receives the money it deserves.

<strong>03</strong> What Is the Birth Injury Statute of Limitations for New Jersey?
The birth injury statute of limitations for malpractice in New Jersey is two years.

Like several other states in the United States, New Jersey, too, has a time limit during which an individual can file a lawsuit for this form of medical malpractice against the responsible party.

 

When it comes to birth injuries, though, things do work a little differently. Since the results of a birth injury can manifest years after the birth of the baby, the family can bring forth a suit until the time the child turns 13 years of age.

 

If the lawsuit has not been initiated by the parents or family by the time the child is 12, he or she can file a lawsuit themselves; the minor also has the option to request the court to appoint them a “guardian ad litem”, who can then take things forward on their behalf.

 

<strong>04</strong> How Do You Identify a Birth Injury?
While some injuries are easily noticeable and are exhibited at the time of the birth, others might have occurred before or at the time of birth. Congenital injuries, which occurred before the birth, have nothing to do with the medical professional’s performance or skill set.

Here are some of the reasons that birth injuries could take place.

<strong>05</strong> Types of Birth Injuries:

Improper Use of Forceps

Forceps are generally used by a physician if the baby’s position in the womb is problematic, or when a mother is having issues with the delivery.

 

It is integral that forceps are used carefully and properly. When they are, this can hugely cut down on chances of fetal distress or deprivation of oxygen, which have both been found to be connected to cerebral palsy and other birth injuries.

 

If used without caution, however, the baby stands the risk of suffering nerve damage in the chest or neck, and other head injuries.

 

An unfortunate incident of this type took place in Texas, in 2014, where a baby girl, Olivia Marie, was laid to rest a painfully-short five days after her delivery by forceps.

 

The mother was apprehensive about the delivery to begin with, due to her own petite figure and the size of the baby at delivery, but the doctor refused to perform a C-section since it would result in a scar. During the grueling 18 hour-delivery, baby Olivia’s heart rate shot up, and the doctor informed Rachel that the infant was positioned upside-down in the vagina.

 

When trying to reposition her failed, he attempted at delivering her with forceps, that resulted in the head of the baby to crack, and caused her spine to break. By the time the order for an emergency Cesarean was given, Olivia had suffered multiple fractures, and it was too late to save her.

 

Her parents, Rachel Melancon and Allen Coats, have sued the responsible medical professional, Dr. George T. Backardjiev of the Medical Center of Southeast Texas.

 

Improper Use of Vacuum

A vacuum might be required to help the delivery along, in case the mother is unable to completely push out the baby. These can be attached to the shoulder or skull of the baby, and are used to help expel the baby.

 

If this vacuum is not used with appropriate caution and skill, the professional responsible could cause grave injuries to both the baby as well as the mother.

 

An instance of this malpractice in New Jersey we witnessed in 2016 resulted in the tragic death of a newborn twin, due to gross medical negligence.

 

A medical malpractice suit has been filed against Capital Health Medical Center — Hopewell, for negligence during the delivery of the second their twins, which took place on August 21, 2014. The father described being “shocked by the critical condition of (the child) at birth,” according to the lawsuit, and that he recognized it as medical malpractice right away.

 

The family, the Freemans, have alleged that the slow heart of the infant during the delivery of the second child was not noticed in a timely manner, with the medical professionals performing the delivery unable to slow down heart rate alarms, after which they unsuccessfully attempted a vacuum delivery.

 

After spending some time post-delivery in a neonatal intensive care unit, the infant was diagnosed with perinatal asphyxia, which occurs due to a lack of oxygen, and decreased blood flow to the brain. He was then on life support for two days, until the assisted breathing was stopped; the baby passed away less than six hours later.

 

The Freemans are now seeking monetary compensation under New Jersey’s Wrongful Death Statute.

A Delay in Ordering a Cesarean Section

Fetal distress, occurring when the heart rate of the newborn slows down because of bleeding from the abruption of the placenta, or sudden decrease in the mother’s blood pressure, is one of the cases in which an emergency C-section is ordered by the medical professional.

 

Other conditions would include slowed labor, the placenta covering the cervix, uterine ruptures or cord prolapses.

 

If the team that is delivering the newborn does not recognize the need for a Cesarean section or does not order it in a timely manner, their lack of skills or prowess can be held responsible, and legal and financial compensation can be sought by the family.

 

A lawsuit that was filed against Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and a Springfield obstetrician resulted in the Middlesex County family that had initiated it receiving $18.5 million, as ruled by an Essex County jury.

 

The doctors acted too slowly in performing an emergency Cesarean or C-section back in 1998, at the time of Darius Morgan’s birth, which was consequently delayed and resulted in him suffering from cerebral palsy. The family of the 12-year-old received justice from the jury after a mere two-day deliberation on their part, a judgement which gives hope to other similar lawsuits.

<strong>06</strong> What Are Some of the Most Common Birth Injuries?
There are a number of birth injuries that occur most commonly:

  • Infant brain damage
  • Erb’s palsy, a form of brachial plexus, also known as shoulder dystocia
  • Facial Paralysis
  • Bone fractures
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Cephalohematoma
  • Perinatal Asphyxia
  • Caput Succedaneum
  • Fetal lacerations
  • Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
  • Anoxia
  • Wrongful death
<strong>07</strong>Actual Cash Value (ACV) Versus Replacement Cost (RC)
Premiums are also different based on what method your company offers to calculate losses when claims are made. If you choose to determine losses based on actual cash value (ACV), your premium will be lower because the method involves replacement of damaged goods with similar items, adjusted for depreciation. On the other hand, electing to calculate using replacement cost (RC) means that the replaced equipment will be of comparable quality to the original, without accounting for the depreciation in value. RC would basically ensure practically new, identical replacements for your lost goods, and the premium for this variant would be higher.

 

The coverage designed for your business would, therefore, take into account numerous factors before an accurate quote is provided.

<strong>08</strong>Commercial Property Insurance Discounts
Although a prudent investment, commercial property insurance can be a major cost, especially for small businesses. To lessen the strain of the heavy premium, businesses could avail discounts or rate reductions that come with minimizing risk exposure.

This can be done by putting safety equipment in place to counter perils like fire, for example, construction using fire-retardant materials. Burglar alarms, shatterproof glass and surveillance mechanisms could be installed which bring down the risk of thefts.

 

Purchasing a Business Owner’s Policy (BOP) from an insurance company also offers you significant cost savings, as the property insurance and general liability insurance is bundled together in this product. You thus pay less than you might for both these insurance packages separately, provided your business is eligible.

When you go for a commercial vehicle insurance policy, always ensure that you are properly informed about the regulations, provisions and discounts that you can avail as a business owner. Not only does it save you money in the short as well as the long term, but also offers you peace of mind that any losses you might incur in the business are compensated for.

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