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Birth Injury Attorney Helping Families Throughout Montana and Wyoming

There is nothing quite like the joy of welcoming a new baby into your family. When that precious infant suffers a birth injury as the result of a medical error committed by the doctor, nurses, pharmacist, and/or other medical personnel at the hospital, there is nothing like the despair a new parent feels. You worry about how you will be able to afford to properly care for your disabled child, and whether you will be able to gather the financial and emotional resources you will need to care for your son or daughter. If your child has been injured as the result of medical negligence before, during, or after delivery, you are entitled to seek compensation for your child to help them live their best life possible following the injury. While a Wyoming or Montana birth injury lawyer is in the best position to advise you on the recovery your child is entitled to, the following background information is useful when seeking legal counsel. 

Medical Provider Malpractice Contributes to Birth Injuries

The birth process can be medically dangerous for both mother and infant. With an abundance of activity and stress in the delivery room, a simple complication can quickly turn into a critical medical event. Physicians and other medical providers need to be well versed in appropriate labor and delivery procedures as well as ready to respond to emergency situations. Without proper training and adherence to safe labor and delivery practices, birth injuries can occur due to a medical provider’s malpractice. An experienced Montana birth injury lawyer can explain how to move forward in this difficult situation and help you recover the compensation you are entitled to for your child's birth injury. 

You should seek out the advice of an experienced Montana birth injury lawyer if your child has suffered any of the following specific injuries that commonly occur during labor and delivery: 

  • Birth asphyxia is caused by a lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain during labor and delivery. This commonly results in brain damage that can lead to numerous developmental delays and permanent disabilities. 
  • Spinal cord injuries are caused by excessive force during the birthing process, resulting in paralysis, nerve damage, and other mobility issues. 
  • Bone fractures are also a common injury caused by excessive force used in delivering the baby. While these injuries may be only temporary, they can lead to serious issues for newborns. 
  • Cephalohematoma is a condition where blood collects beneath the cranial bone, typically caused by broken blood vessels due to the misuse of vacuum extractors during a difficult vaginal birth. While it is often harmless, it can lead to an increased risk of jaundice, infections, and anemia.  
  • Facial paralysis is another common injury caused by too much pressure on the baby during birth. This can lead to nerve damage that paralyzes the facial muscles. 

Two of the more complex birth injuries are shoulder dystocia and brachial plexus injuries. Shoulder dystocia occurs when the baby’s shoulders become lodged in the birth canal during birth delivery and can result in severe injuries to both the mother and the child. There are a wide variety of shoulder dystocia injuries that can occur, including the following: 

  • Hypoxia. Surprisingly, shoulder dystocia can cut off oxygen to the baby’s brain. If the labor and delivery team fails to identify this issue and respond appropriately, it can result in brain damage to the infant and, in some cases, death. 
  • Erb’s palsy. If the group of nerves in the shoulder is injured during birth, it often causes weakness or shaking in the infant’s arm and/or hand. In many cases, this condition is caused by negligence on the part of the doctor and medical staff. If your child has been diagnosed with Erb’s palsy, you should contact a Wyoming Erb’s palsy lawyer as soon as possible. 
  • Klumpke’s paralysis. This involves paralysis of the forearm, wrist, hand, and fingers as a result of the brachial plexus nerves being stretched during birth. Unfortunately, the condition is often permanent. 

Authorities disagree on whether all brachial plexus injuries are caused by shoulder dystocia. The brachial plexus is the bundle of nerves in the shoulder that, when injured, can result in paralysis, disfigurement, numbness, and pain. The brachial plexus is often injured when the doctor negligently uses unnecessary force on the baby’s shoulder during delivery. This can result in the following injuries: 

  • Nerve ruptures are when the nerve is torn.
  • Neuroma is scar tissue that forms on the damaged nerve fibers that press on healthy nerves. 
  • Avulsion is when the nerve is severed from the spinal column
  • Neurapraxia involves an overstretching of the shoulder during delivery 
  • Cerebral palsy is believed to be caused by the misuse of forceps during labor and delivery, damaging the nervous system and affecting the brain’s ability to communicate with and control the rest of the body.

These injuries can require extensive medical treatment and often result in permanent disabilities. Thus, if your child suffered from the above, it's important to speak with an attorney who can evaluate your claim. 

Mothers Can Suffer Birth Injuries Too

While the infant may be the most vulnerable, mothers can also suffer serious injuries due to medical malpractice. You should contact a Wyoming birth injury lawyer if you suffered one of the following injuries: 

  • Femoral nerve dysfunction - This is caused by unnecessary pressure on the femoral artery during labor and delivery. It often results in difficulty in walking. Women who suffer from this condition may need to use a walker or wheelchair for months after delivery. 
  • Lumbosacral plexus injuries - This is damage to the nerves that control the legs, which is caused by improper insertion of the epidural. It can result in weakness in the legs, a loss of sensation, or shooting and stabbing pains. 
  • Damage to the pelvic floor - This can result in genital prolapse or urinary incontinence. It is often caused by the doctor’s failure to perform a C-section. 
  • Perineal tears - These are often caused by a negligent episiotomy. They can result in severe nerve and muscle damage, leading to sexual dysfunction, pain, incontinence, and numbness.

Defective Medical Equipment and Supplies Contribute to Birth Injuries 

Modern labor and delivery utilize an extensive amount of medical equipment and supplies in an attempt to bring both mother and child through the experience safely. However, problems with medical equipment, medical supplies, and medications can put the infant at risk for birth injuries. The main categories of equipment defects are:

  • Defective design: The manufacturer’s product design is inherently dangerous such that it makes it difficult for doctors and hospitals to avoid unsafe use. In these instances, the manufacturer may be liable for negligence in a birth injury claim due to negligent design.
  • Manufacturing defects: It is possible that there are errors during the manufacturing process of medical equipment, making the equipment unsafe for its intended use. 
  • Marketing defects: The information contained in marketing materials for the equipment may not communicate proper use or provide adequate warnings. Without adequate instructions and warnings, medical providers may unknowingly put infants at additional risk for birth injuries.
  • Contamination risk: It is possible, in some instances, that the medical equipment is exposed to contamination through the packaging and shipping process. If equipment arrives into the delivery room unsterile, it places the newborn at increased risk of infection and illness. Infections at birth can cause complications for the child.

In addition to the risk that defective medical equipment and supplies pose to newborns, medications used during labor and delivery or administered to a newborn can be compromised and have these same types of defects. A Montana or Wyoming birth injury lawyer can help you explore your legal options and recover damages from the liable party for your child's birth injury.   

Injuries to Infants During Birth

A birth injury usually occurs when the newborn suffers from some form of trauma during the childbirth process itself. In many cases, the child suffers oxygen deprivation, occurring from: 

  • The failure to properly monitor the fetus for signs of distress
  • The failure to timely deliver via Caesarean section when warranted
  • Pulling or twisting the baby’s head during delivery
  • Damaging the infant through the use of forceps or vacuums during delivery

In other instances, an infant suffers injury as a result of improper medications or incorrect doses of medicines being administered during pregnancy or labor. Birth injuries can also occur when the OB-GYN and other medical providers fail to timely react to and treat the baby following a trauma or other injurious occurrence in the delivery room. 

If you suspect your child has sustained an injury during delivery -- or you've suffered a tragic loss -- we encourage you to reach out to a Wyoming or Montana birth injury lawyer at our firm.  

Our Birth Injury Attorney Shares the Long-Term Effects of Birth Injuries

Some injuries are apparent when they occur and others are not diagnosed until the child manifests symptoms as an older baby or toddler, reflected in a failure to meet certain developmental milestones.  In the short-term, physical birth injuries may include broken bones, dislocated joints, bruising, swelling, and paralysis. Even if these conditions resolve, your child still deserves compensation for suffering a birth injury.

 Often, severe birth injuries can cause cerebral palsy or Erb’s palsy, as well as other conditions that can stay with the child for his or her entire lifetime. Birth injuries can result in all kinds of health issues — both physical and behavioral — including: 

  • Neurological disorders
  • Orthopedic issues 
  • Respiratory conditions
  • Speech delays and/or other kinds of language disorders
  • Issues with sensory processing
  • Learning disabilities
  • Problems with hearing and vision
  • Chronic pain
  • Emotional issues
  • Skin disorders and diseases

How Ragain & Clark Can Help

If your child was injured before, during, or after birth as part of the delivery process, you may have a claim for birth injury damages against the doctor, the hospital, drug companies, and/or pharmacist. Contacting an experienced Montana or Wyoming birth injury attorney as soon as you become aware of a problem is very important. There are statutory deadlines for seeking relief and the failure to file a lawsuit timely could bar recovery. 

Securing compensation for your child’s benefit when they have suffered a birth injury is important. The compensation may cover current medical bills related to the birth injury, future medical expenses for unresolved birth injuries requiring ongoing treatment, and pain and suffering. A birth injury lawyer will help you track the expenses incurred for medical treatment due to your child’s birth injuries, as well as analyze future cost projections. Ragain & Clark will fight for you to recover what your family deserves due to your child’s birth injury.

Contact Us to Speak With a Montana or Wyoming Birth Injury Attorney 

To speak with a Ragain & Clark, PC birth injury lawyer about pursuing a claim in Montana or Wyoming, contact us online. Initial consultations are free.


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