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Shoulder dystocia is damage that can occur during delivery if an infant’s shoulders get stuck in the mother’s birth canal. This is not an uncommon occurrence, and medical professionals should be able to handle the situation without injuring the mother or child by following the accepted standard of care for such situations. However, this doesn’t always happen, and the child suffers preventable injuries. The result can be lifelong disability, pain and suffering, and the need for expensive continuing care.
If your child has suffered a shoulder dystocia injury due to negligence or medical mistakes made by medical professionals including doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, anesthesiologists or hospitals, you may be entitled to compensation. However, Alabama medical malpractice laws are complicated, proving fault can be difficult, and medical professionals and their insurance companies and lawyers will do everything possible to avoid paying.
Fortunately, you do not have to fight for compensation alone. At Caldwell Wenzel & Asthana, our skilled birth injury attorneys know medical malpractice law and how insurance companies operate. We are fully prepared to conduct investigations into how and why your child’s injuries occurred, find all responsible parties, and handle all legal hurdles involved with winning a fair settlement that can provide the care your child needs now and into the future.
We offer a free consultation to discuss your case and determine the best path to compensation. Call us today to get started at 251-444-7000.
WE WON $8 MILLION IN A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CASE
There are many lawyers out there, and it is important to find one who can aggressively negotiate and litigate claims of shoulder dystocia complications during birth. Here are some reasons why Caldwell Wenzel & Asthana is your best choice:
When you have Caldwell Wenzel & Asthana on your side, we start working on your case immediately. We will:
The sooner you call our Alabama shoulder dystocia attorney, the better, as we can start working while evidence is available and witnesses can be found.
Shoulder dystocia is a preventable complication of childbirth that, if not diagnosed quickly, can result in serious harm and permanent injury. Shoulder dystocia can be caused when the baby’s head exits the birth canal but the shoulders become stuck behind the mother’s pubic bones. When this happens, there are several safety techniques medical professionals should take to prevent injuries from shoulder dystocia. If they do not, serious injuries may occur.
When medical professionals fail to recognize potential for and symptoms of shoulder dystocia and do not take quick and careful action to avoid serious complications, the following injuries may occur:
In addition, failure to deal appropriately with shoulder dystocia can lead to damage for the mother, including hemorrhaging, lacerations, tearing or bruising of the cervix, bladder, rectum, or vagina, and uterine rupture.
Medical professionals have a duty to follow the generally accepted standard of care, be proactive, and take every step possible to prevent birth complications such as shoulder dystocia. For example, the size of the mother’s pelvis should be measured at the first prenatal visit and a thorough history should be taken to determine if the mother has any risk factors for shoulder dystocia. If problems occur during delivery, doctors should have a delivery plan in place that utilizes the proper techniques and maneuvers necessary to effectively relieve the risk of shoulder dystocia during and after delivery.
Under Alabama law, Alabama Code § 6-5-548, to win your case, our attorneys would have to show that the health care provider failed to exercise the reasonable care, skill, and diligence that other similarly situated health care providers in the same general line of practice ordinarily would in a similar situation. This involves showing the existence of the following legal elements:
Our Alabama shoulder dystocia attorneys will establish the appropriate standard of care, then conduct investigations, gather evidence, and get expert medical testimony to prove that as a result of the sub-standard care, your child suffered harm from shoulder dystocia.
Injuries from shoulder dystocia can be expensive to treat and may necessitate continuing care for a lifetime. Negligent parties should be held liable for the damages – the costs and losses that result from shoulder dystocia.
In a successful lawsuit, you may receive a damage award that covers your economic damages for calculable costs, such as medical, rehabilitation, therapy and ongoing care expenses. You may also receive restitution for non-economic damages that do not have a specific dollar value but negatively impact quality of life, such as disability and mental, emotional, and physical pain and suffering.
Punitive damages may also be awarded in rare cases when the defendant acted in an especially egregious or malicious way (such as delivering a baby while under the influence of drugs or alcohol).
Dealing with an injured newborn is frightening and overwhelming, and you are bound to have questions. We can best address your specific concerns at your free consultation, but to get started, here are some answers to questions our birth injury attorneys are often asked:
Are there time limits for filing a lawsuit?
Yes, Alabama has a statute of limitations that sets time limits for filing. According to the law (Alabama Code Section 6-2-38), you generally have two years from the date of the birth injury or six months after the discovery of the injury to file a claim or the courts are likely to refuse to hear your case.
How much compensation will I be awarded?
There are a wide range of compensation awards possible for shoulder dystocia, from the thousands to millions of dollars. The amount you receive depends on the circumstances of the case and factors such as the extent and permanence of the injury, the costs of care, the effects on the ability to live a normal life, and the degree of negligence involved.
What if my child died during the birth process?
In the tragic situation where shoulder dystocia causes death, such as when oxygen is shut off from the brain for too long, our attorneys may be able to file a wrongful death claim. Under Alabama law (Section 6-5-410 of the Code of Alabama), our attorneys can win a punitive damage award that is paid directly to the family members, and compensation may cover funeral and burial costs, in addition to other damages.
Our Alabama shoulder dystocia lawyers know how difficult it is to be dealing with an injured child and that a lawsuit can add to the stress. Rest assured that we will be there for you throughout the entire legal process, answering your questions and keeping you informed.
When your doctor, medical team or medical facility is negligent, and your newborn is faced with the hardships caused by shoulder dystocia, you and your child deserve compensation to help with the costs and burdens that result. The compassionate birth injury attorneys at Caldwell Wenzel & Asthana are here to help you get justice and fair compensation.
If you even suspect that medical negligence may have been responsible for your child’s injuries, call us today for a free initial consultation at (251) 444-7000. There are no fees to you unless and until we win your case.