Maui Birth Injury Attorneys
In the hours or days following birth, you might realize that something is wrong with your newborn. After a thorough exam by the doctor, you might receive a diagnosis. Your first priority is getting your child the best possible care, but your second priority is figuring out why they’re hurt at all.
If you suspect that your child’s injury is due to medical negligence, we recommend you talk with an experienced birth injury attorney in Hawaii as soon as possible. At Menzer Law Firm, PLLC, Matt Menzer has decades of experience handling birth injury cases. He’ll investigate the facts and circumstances of the injury to your child, and advise you of your right to pursue a medical malpractice claim.
Common negligence-related birth injuries include:
Brachial Plexus Injuries (Erb’s Palsy)
The brachial plexus is a group of nerves that starts in the neck and runs down your shoulders, arms, wrists and hands. An infant can experience a brachial plexus injury during birth.
The consequences of nerve damage vary. Your child could experience a temporary injury and regain full movement and sensation in the affected area. But if the nerves are fully compromised or severed, it could lead to permanent paralysis, known as Erb’s palsy.
If your medical team isn’t careful during birth, your child could suffer a broken bone. One of the most commonly broken bones is the clavicle (the collarbone). Another possibility is a broken femur (thigh bone) if a leg is twisted during birth.
Asphyxia happens when someone’s oxygen is cut off. This can happen to your child in utero or during birth. It causes general hypoxia, which is the condition of the body not getting all the oxygen it needs.
If your child’s brain and body don’t get enough oxygen for several minutes or longer, your child can be born with permanent injuries, including some forms of brain damage. The medical term for this type of brain injury is hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), or intrapartum asphyxia.
HIE can cause a wide range of disabilities, including developmental and neurodevelopment delays, cognitive impairment, motor impairment, epilepsy and cerebral palsy.
Cerebral palsy (CP) can be caused by oxygen deprivation before or during birth. Other risk factors include premature birth and other birth or post-birth complications. Scientists have not found a sole cause of CP, and, in some cases, it’s impossible to determine what caused the condition.
CP is a group of neurological disorders that impact muscle tone, posture, balance and movement. Some individuals with CP have cognitive deficiencies, vision or hearing problems and difficulties with speech. The effects of CP vary greatly, from mild physical limitations to needing lifelong care.
Forceps/Vacuum Extraction Injuries
A doctor might use forceps or vacuum extraction to help an infant through the birth canal. This might be necessary if the infant is in distress. Improper or negligent use of these instruments can cause the mother and baby harm.
If one or more of the nerves in your child’s face is injured, your child could lose control of their facial muscles. This injury happens most often with forceps deliveries and affects one side of the face. This injury can resolve itself over time, though there is a risk of permanent facial palsy.
A cephalohematoma is a collection of blood under the skin in the periosteum of the skull bone. Though it’s not usually a dangerous condition, it’s associated with the risk of anemia or jaundice. In some circumstances, an infant might need a blood transfusion.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Your child could suffer a total or partial spinal cord injury during birth. Spinal cord injuries can result in loss of sensation and movement or total paralysis.
Birth Injuries Are Different Than Birth Defects
Birth defects usually arise during the baby’s development. Defects can be due to genetics or an environmental factor. Birth injuries are the result of something going wrong, usually during the delivery or shortly after birth. These injuries might be caused by a negligent health care provider.
Whether your child is born with a birth defect or suffers a birth injury, talk with an experienced lawyer about the cause of your newborn’s injury. An experienced attorney might discover that a negligent medical provider is at fault.
Did You Suffer An Injury During The Pregnancy Or Birth?
If you’re a new mother and believe you received negligent medical care during your pregnancy or delivery, call us right away. Doctors must be on the lookout for many dangerous conditions during pregnancy. Failing to diagnose a condition and monitor and treat it can lead to irreparable harm.
Common maternal injuries include:
Placenta previa is when the placenta fully or partially covers the cervix. It can cause significant bleeding during pregnancy and birth as well as other life-threatening complications. This condition needs to be diagnosed and monitored closely.
Preeclampsia, which used to be known as toxemia, is relatively common and life-threatening to mother and child if untreated. Preeclampsia involves high blood pressure and possible damage to other organs. Doctors should notice the signs of preeclampsia and treat you accordingly. Treatment for the infant is delivered as soon as it is possible to do so.
Cesarean sections are often necessary for the health and safety of mother and child. But a C-section is a serious surgical procedure. Carelessness during a C-section can cause serious harm or death to the infant or mother.
You might have experienced a uterine rupture during your pregnancy or birth. This is a life-threatening condition that must be diagnosed and treated right away. A uterine rupture requires a C-section and either a repair of the uterus or a hysterectomy.
Let Us Guide You Through The Medical Malpractice Claim Process
The medical malpractice claim process in Hawaii is not simple or easy to navigate on your own. First, you need certification by a medical expert – most often a doctor – saying that you have a valid medical negligence claim. This is known as a certificate of consultation.
Second, you must file a claim with the Medical Inquiry and Conciliation Panel (MICP) at the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. This panel provides a nonbinding reconciliation process. It gives you the chance to resolve the case out of court. We will present evidence to the panel, which is made up of two attorneys and one doctor, as will the doctor or the hospital. The members of the panel can then respond and tell the parties how they view the case.
Third, following this presentation to the panel, we’ll usually either enter settlement negotiations or file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Contact Menzer Law In Maui Today
You can schedule your free initial consultation by calling 808-427-5752 or submitting your information through our online form. We handle birth injury and other medical malpractice claims that arise in Kahului, Kihei, Lahaina, Wailuku, the rest of Maui County and all the neighbor Islands.
We accept medical malpractice cases on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay nothing upfront. We only receive our fee if we win compensation.