By VSCP LAW
If your baby was injured during his or her birth, you may wonder whether you should hire a birth injury lawyer. But not all babies’ injuries are the result of someone else’s wrongdoing or negligence. So how do you know when you should consult a birth injury attorney in Philadelphia? Here are some of the critical situations where you should hire a birth injury lawyer in Philadelphia.
Sometimes after birth, a baby will appear to be blue in color. This blue skin tone is due to a lack of sufficient oxygen to support healthy red blood cells (blood cells are only red when they have enough oxygen). If the appearance of blue skin remains for several minutes after the birth, this could be indicative of a serious medical problem.
The brain is one of the most delicate organs during childbirth. It is also the most important organ in a person’s body because it controls the bodily functions as well as the cognitive processing. Thus, birth injuries resulting in brain damage can be the most devastating of any birth injury. There are a variety of brain injuries including hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE or, also, perinatal asphyxia), brain bleeds (hemorrhages or hematomas), periventricular leukomalacia (PVL), kernicterus, cerebral palsy, caput succedaneum, and hydrocephalus. Many of these are caused by hypoxia or – as described above – a lack of oxygen in the blood.
The brachial plexus is a series of nerves near the neck that provide movement and feeling to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Erb’s palsy describes the weakness and loss of motion in these body parts. This physical injury can result from difficult deliveries, such as with a large baby or where the baby was in breech position. The injury can also result from a prolonged or delayed labor — or when the person assisting the delivery exerted excessive force in pulling the baby from the birth canal.
In Pennsylvania, you can file a birth injury claim up to two years after the child turns 18 (i.e., up until their 20th birthday). But you should never wait that long to consult an attorney. There are two main reasons you should contact a birth injury attorney in Philadelphia as soon as you suspect your baby’s injury was caused by another person’s action or inaction:
(1) To preserve the parents’ claims. While your child’s case doesn’t expire until your child turns 20, YOUR parental claims expire two years after you knew or should have known that your child’s birth injury was someone’s fault, which is usually two years from the date of birth. Your claim as the parent could be for, e.g., out of pocket expenses, emotional suffering, etc. Parents lose their individual right to sue the healthcare providers after those two years expire.
(2) To preserve and gather medical records, testimony, etc. Your birth injury attorney needs ample time and opportunity to review medical records, retain experts, gather evidence, and conduct depositions. All of these processes need to be done sooner rather than later as the passage of time tends to erase memories and details. And your birth injury attorney needs all the memories and details available to create a clear and successful lawsuit on your behalf.
If you believe your child suffered a birth injury, you may have a viable birth injury lawsuit. You should not hesitate to contact the attorneys at VSCP Law (vscplaw.com) for a thorough evaluation of your claim.
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