Has your child suffered a birth injury in Oklahoma City, OK? If the injury was caused by a medical provider’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. While compensation can’t erase the pain and trauma your child has experienced, it can help provide for the medical care and services they may need going forward.
McGuire Law Firm has more than 50 years of combined legal experience representing families affected by birth injuries.
Contact our law office today to schedule a free case review to discuss your case with an Oklahoma City birth injury lawyer.
How McGuire Law Firm Can Help with a Birth Injury Case in Oklahoma City
Birth injuries are among the worst medical malpractice cases because they affect children at the start of their life and may have life-changing consequences.
Sadly, many families dealing with the pain and heartache of a birth injury are left fighting an insurance company for the compensation they deserve.
The Oklahoma City personal injury lawyers at McGuire Law Firm have more than 50 years of combined experience handling complex medical malpractice claims. When you choose our law firm, you will work directly with Kent R. McGuire whose 30+ years of legal experience includes 13 years spent working for insurance companies. Our firm uses this insight and expertise to fight for our clients.
When you choose McGuire Law Firm to represent you, you can depend on us for:
- Compassionate legal counsel and guidance through every stage of your case
- A thorough investigation of your child’s injury to determine causation, liability, and damages
- Handle every aspect of your case
- Consult with medical experts to strengthen your case
- Negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf
- Represent you in court if a fair settlement can’t be reached
McGuire is a small law firm in Oklahoma City that achieves big results. Call our law office to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. We will help you explore your options to seek the compensation your child deserves.
What Is a Birth Injury?
A birth injury refers to any injury that happens during pregnancy, labor, or delivery. While some birth injuries are normal and difficult to avoid, others are the result of negligence.
Medical providers have a duty to recognize and treat complications and conditions that increase the risk of a birth injury. If an obstetrician does not exercise reasonable skill and care, for example, they may fail to recognize when labor is too difficult and placing the infant and mother at risk.
Birth injuries are generally divided into two categories:
- In utero birth injuries which happen during pregnancy
- Labor and delivery birth injuries which are more common
An example of an in utero birth injury is a woman who is prescribed a drug that has side effects on the fetus.
Common Oklahoma City Birth Injuries
Birth injuries can occur in countless ways. They may be relatively minor such as swelling of the head or they can leave a child with life-long complications. Some of the most common types of injuries our Oklahoma City birth injury lawyers see include:
- Cerebral palsy (CP), a common birth injury affecting 3 out of every 1,000 births in the U.S. Cerebral palsy ranges in severity with 58% of children being able to walk independently but 31% having no or limited ability to walk. About 1 in 10 cases are caused by birth hypoxia when oxygen is disrupted during birth.
- Erb’s palsy and brachial plexus palsy are conditions that are caused by nerve damage, usually from a vacuum assist or forceps delivery.
- Facial paralysis can happen when a nerve in the face is damaged during delivery.
- Shoulder dystocia occurs when the head and shoulders cannot pass through the birth canal.
- Fractures, a common birth injury that usually affects the clavicle
- Caput succedaneum which causes serious swelling of the scalp, usually due to incorrect use of a vacuum tool.
If your child has suffered a birth injury, contact McGuire Law Firm today. We will investigate the circumstances of your labor and delivery to determine if a physician’s mistake caused your child’s injury.
What Causes Birth Injuries in Oklahoma City?
Not all birth injuries are the result of negligence or error. Sometimes complications occur that result in unavoidable injuries despite a medical professional’s reasonable care and skill. However, a large share of birth injuries are avoidable through proper care, planning, and skill.
Any type of medical provider can make a mistake that causes a birth injury during pregnancy, labor, or delivery. This includes anesthesiologists, obstetricians, primary care doctors, nurses, and technicians. The following are common birth injury cases our Oklahoma City birth injury lawyers represent.
A physician should check if a woman is pregnant before certain drugs are prescribed that may cause birth defects. Certain drugs must also be used carefully during childbirth.
Two of the most common examples are epidurals and Pitocin.
Pitocin is often used to induce labor, but the mother and child must be monitored carefully as it may cause a rupture of the uterus or reduce the child’s oxygen supply.
An epidural can also come with risks and may cause labor difficulties.
Misdiagnosis or Failing to Act Quickly
Sometimes childbirth can become life or death, seemingly in the blink of an eye. Medical providers have a duty to monitor the child and mother during labor and delivery to watch for complications like oxygen deprivation or labor that has gone on too long and is putting stress on the infant. When necessary, an emergency C-section should be ordered.
Failure to Monitor the Fetus During Pregnancy
One of the most common causes of birth injuries is failure to monitor the fetus for signs of distress during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. A fetal heart rate monitor should be used to detect problems and immediate, appropriate action should be taken.
Failure to Diagnose, Monitor, or Treat a High-Risk Pregnancy
Many conditions such as gestational diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and preeclampsia can make a pregnancy high-risk. Without proper monitoring and treatment, this can place the mother and the fetus at risk. A physician has a duty to screen a mother for risk factors, provide proper treatment, and take these risk factors into consideration.
Proving Medical Malpractice
Birth injuries are not always avoidable and do not always reflect negligence. To recover compensation for your child, you must prove that your child’s injury was caused by a medical professional’s negligence.
Medical providers have a duty to exhibit reasonable competence based on their specialty, training, and experience. The legal system in Oklahoma considers whether a reasonably competent physician in a similar situation with the same specialty would have acted differently and if this would have prevented the child’s injury.
Multiple parties can be held liable for medical negligence, including:
- Nurse anesthesiologists
To successfully hold a medical provider accountable for a birth injury, you must prove:
- The medical provider owed you a duty of care
- The provider breached this duty of care
- You or your child suffered an injury due to the breach
- The injury caused you to suffer damages
An Oklahoma City medical malpractice lawyer at McGuire Law Firm will help you recover the compensation you deserve. We will carefully investigate your child’s injury to determine if it was caused by a medical provider’s negligence.
Compensation for a Birth Injury Claim
When your child has suffered a birth injury, you face not only emotional trauma but also a potentially high financial cost. Birth injuries can result in very real and very high financial costs for a family. Cerebral palsy, one of the most common and serious birth injuries, has an average lifetime cost of $921,000, most of which are indirect costs.
If your child’s birth injury was caused by a negligent medical provider, you may be able to recover damage from the negligent party through a personal injury lawsuit. Financial compensation can never make your child whole again, but it can ensure they receive the medical care, education, and services they need to live a full and happy life.
A birth injury claim may involve many types of damages:
- Medical expenses, including anticipated future medical costs
- Lost or reduced earning capacity over your child’s life
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
Under the Texas Medical Malpractice and Tort Reform Act, the amount of compensation you can recover in a claim is capped but only for non-economic damages. Non-economic damages have a cap of $250,000 against all health care providers and $500,000 against health care facilities or hospitals.
Contact an Oklahoma City Birth Injury Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Birth injuries aren’t just traumatic to the children they impact; they also affect the entire family. At McGuire Law Firm, we sympathize with the trauma, uncertainty, and anger you may be feeling.
Our Oklahoma medical malpractice lawyers are here to help you hold the responsible party accountable and seek the compensation you deserve to give your child the best life possible.
Contact McGuire Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation with a compassionate Oklahoma City birth injury lawyer to discuss your case.