Portland Birth Injury Lawyers
The birth of a child is one of life’s greatest joys for a family. However, even the smallest mistake during delivery can have a devastating effect on the baby. Birth injuries can leave a child with a lifetime of health issues, including serious physical, cognitive and emotional impairments. Medical professionals are trusted to make the right decisions and follow acceptable medical standards, especially during childbirth. If your loved one has suffered an injury at birth due to medical negligence, you may be able to file a claim to obtain compensation for your child’s medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages. At Rizk Law, we have helped many families throughout Portland and the surrounding areas pursue the justice they deserve. Our Portland birth injury lawyers have the resources and experience to determine if your child’s birth injury could have been prevented and will work hard to hold a negligent medical professional or medical facility liable for failing to provide the level of care required by the law.
There is no risk in scheduling a free, no obligation consultation with us to review your case. All of our services are provided on a contingency fee basis. This means there are no upfront costs or attorney fees involved unless we help you recover compensation for your claim.
Call 503.245.5677 now to learn more about your legal options.
Causes of Birth Injuries
While some birth injuries are a result of birth defects, such as an unpreventable illnesses or diseases due to genetic, hereditary or environmental factors, many are caused by complications during delivery.
If you suspect your child was injured during childbirth, a physician or medical professional could be found at fault. To have a valid claim, it must be proven that the medical professional’s negligence directly led to your child’s injury.
Some common examples of medical negligence that cause birth injuries include:
- Delaying a C-section or failing to order a C-section
- Neglecting to perform specialized tests to detect pregnancy issues
- Administering the wrong medication during pregnancy and/or delivery
- Improperly using forceps, vacuums and other delivery instruments
- Failing to monitor or properly manage signs of fetal distress
- Mishandling the child by improperly twisting or pulling during delivery
- Misdiagnosing false labor or miscalculating contractions
- Failing to diagnose and manage dangerous conditions in the mother
A Portland birth injury attorney can help you determine if you may be able to file a claim against the medical professional who delivered your child.
Fill out our Free Case Evaluation form to get started.
Types of Birth Injuries
Complications during childbirth are a common occurrence. Obstetricians and delivery room staff have a responsibility to take all necessary precautions to avoid birth complications and take appropriate measures when problems arise, or they know the process will be difficult. Negligence caused by medical malpractice can lead to a wide variety of birth injuries, which can lead to serious harm for the child and/or mother.
At Rizk Law, our birth injury attorneys in Portland are prepared to handle different types of birth injury cases, including those involving:
Brachial Plexus Injuries
A brachial plexus injury occurs in the upper part of the arm. It involves sudden damage to the arm’s main nerves, causing weakness, loss of feeling or the inability to use certain muscles. This type of injury can be caused by certain forms of negligence when a child’s shoulder gets stretched, compressed or turned during a head-first delivery. A medical professional may also place pressure on a child’s raised arms during a feet-first delivery, causing injuries to the shoulders, arms and hands.
Erb’s palsy and Klumpke’s palsy are both forms of brachial plexus injury. These injuries cause damage to the nerves in the arm. Erb’s Palsy affects the nerves in the upper arm. A child may experience arm numbness, loss of sensation or function and in the most critical cases, partial or full paralysis in the arm. Klumpke’s Palsy affects the nerves in the lower arm and it can cause loss of feeling or weakness in the arm, wrist and fingers. A child may have total paralysis in the arm and his or her hand may appear like a claw.
Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that affects certain parts of the brain that control body movements and muscle coordination. In some cases, this type of birth injury is preventable. When a medical professional fails to quickly respond to fetal distress, lack of oxygen to the child, infections or any abnormalities before, during or after delivery, it can cause cerebral palsy.
This condition can cause lifelong impairments for children, including:
- Impaired speech
- Learning disabilities
- Difficulty eating
- Trouble walking
- Limited motor skills
- Visual impairment
Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy
Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) is a serious brain injury that can occur during labor and delivery when a child does not get enough oxygen and blood flowing to the brain. Oxygen deprivation can result in severe impairments or fatalities. Delaying or failing to perform an emergency C-section to quickly deliver a child that is not getting enough oxygen can cause significant damage to the brain, resulting in permanent disabilities.
Symptoms of HIE may include a low heart rate, poor muscle tone, weak breathing or trouble breathing, excessive acid in the blood, or a bluish or pale skin color.
Shoulder dystocia is a complication that occurs during delivery when a child’s head and shoulders become lodged in the mother’s pelvic bone. This injury can also happen when the baby is born face first and doctors have to pull the child out of the birth canal. This can cause injury or stress to the shoulder and neck area, resulting in a fractured collarbone, broken humerus, brachial plexus injury and trouble breathing.
Our firm can help you pursue the maximum amount of compensation you deserve. We understand that many birth injuries result in life-long disabilities and the need for ongoing medical care and we take that into consideration when determining the amount of compensation you are entitled.
Schedule a free consultation today by calling 503.245.5677.
Statute of Limitations for a Birth Injury Claim
Under Oregon law, lawsuits involving preventable birth injuries fall under medical malpractice law. This means you must file your claim within the statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits in Oregon.
Oregon’s statute of limitations for birth injuries mandates that claims be filed within two years of the date of the injury or from the time the injury should have been reasonably discovered, but no more than five years from the date of the injury.
For minors, the two-year deadline does not start until they turn eighteen years of age. However, the maximum five-year time limit still applies. This means the child must file a lawsuit within five years of the injury, or one year of his or her 18th birthday, whichever date comes first. An experienced attorney can review your claim and guide you through each step of the filing process if you decide to move forward.
In the unfortunate event of a fatality, a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within three years from the date of the injury that caused death, or the date the injury was discovered or reasonably should have been discovered.
If you fail to file your lawsuit within the applicable time limit, you will lose the right to do so and you may lose your only chance of obtaining compensation. The birth injury lawyers in Portland at Rizk Law can help ensure you receive the fair compensation you deserve.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form today.
Damages Awarded in Birth Injury Cases
Oregon has placed certain caps or limits on the types of damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice cases, which includes birth injury cases.
There is a $500,000 limit on non-economic damages in all personal injury cases, including medical malpractice cases. This includes damages such as pain and suffering, loss of companionship and emotional distress that are difficult to monetize.
However, there is no cap on economic damages a family may recover when filing a lawsuit, such as:
- Past and future medical bills
- Prescription fees
- Rehabilitation or physical therapy costs
- In-home heath care expenses
- Lost wages from an inability to work
Contact Our Portland Birth Injury Lawyers Today
Has your child suffered a birth injury as a result of someone else’s negligence?
At Rizk Law, our skilled Portland birth injury lawyers understand the physical, emotional and financial consequences of a devastating birth injury. We can thoroughly investigate your claim and gather the necessary evidence to determine if a medical professional or medical facility is liable for negligence.
We offer free, no obligation case consultations and do not get paid unless we help you recover favorable compensation. Contact us today to learn more about your legal options and how we can help you obtain justice for your child’s injury.