Birth Injury Attorneys in Maine
Find Compassionate Legal Counsel at Shaheen & Gordon, P.A.
In our contemporary society, there are many different ideas and opinions concerning childbirth and how and where it should be done. No matter whether you opt for a home birth or traditional hospital birth, the possibility of medical negligence is, unfortunately, always present. Every year, an average of about 6 to 8 of every 1,000 children born in the U.S. sustain a birth injury, many of which could have been prevented had the attending health care professional(s) been more attentive.
If your child suffered a preventable injury, you have a legal right to attempt to hold the at-fault party accountable through the judicial system. Our Maine attorneys at Shaheen & Gordon, P.A. have stood up to negligent doctors, nurses, midwives, obstetricians, and other health care professionals after their malpractice injured unsuspecting children and families. We fight to protect the rights of families because we genuinely care, as evidenced by how we continue to push for a future with safer birthing practices and medical policies.
Contact Shaheen & Gordon, P.A. online today to consult a Maine birth injury lawyer about your legal options.
Common Types of Birth Injuries
There are many different birth injuries a child may sustain, but the most common tend to be:
- Bone fractures: Any bone can be broken during birth, although the clavicle/collarbone is at a heightened risk of breaking.
- Bruising from forceps/vacuum extractors: Medical tools can easily bruise a child when used with too much force or for too long. Cranial nerve damage and/or facial paralysis may result.
- Cephalohematoma: Often appearing several hours after birth and characterized by a lump on the head, cephalohematoma is when there is internal bleeding between the skull and its fibrous covering. It may cause jaundice.
- Cerebral palsy: The use of an incorrect birthing technique could result in this neurological disorder characterized by issues with muscle coordination and body movement.
- Brachial plexus injuries: The brachial plexus is the bundle of nerves that controls the arms and hands; during birth, these nerves can be stretched or torn due to an improper handling of shoulder dystocia (when the shoulder gets lodged behind the mother’s pelvic bone).
- Erb’s palsy: Brachial plexus injuries may result in Erb’s palsy, a condition in which the arm and/or hand is weakened or paralyzed.
- Maternal or fetal death: Although many people view death during childbirth as something of the past, it continues to happen today. According to USA Today, more than 700 mothers across the country die due to childbirth on an annual basis. If your birth injury case involves the wrongful death of the mother or the child, it is advisable to consult an attorney as soon as possible.
Typical Causes of Birth Injuries
It can be difficult for many parents, especially first-time parents, to know whether negligence led to a birth injury. Typically, preventable birth injuries are caused by one or more careless acts of the birth team or a member of the birth team, including but not limited to:
- Failure to address an extended labor
- Failure to address a breech birth
- Failure to correct fetal oxygen deprivation
- Failure to deliver an emergency cesarean section
- Improper use of birthing tools (forceps and vacuum extractors)
- Insufficient monitoring of the child and/or mother
- Ignored the self-reported symptoms of the mother
Pursuing a Birth Injury Case in Maine
Maine Statute of Limitations for Birth Injury Claims
Any person who was injured by another’s negligence and incurred damages as a result — medical bills, emotional distress, pain and suffering, lost wages, etc. — very likely qualifies to file a legal claim against the negligent party. However, they only have so long to do so; each type of claim has a legal deadline, the statute of limitations, that must be met.
In Maine, the statute of limitations for birth injury claims is 3 years from when the cause of action accrues, which is the “date of the act or omission giving rise to the injury,” per 24 Maine Revised Code § 2902. This means that any claim filed after this date will not be considered legally valid.
There may be additional deadlines to meet depending on the details of your claim, such as if it will be brought forth against a government entity. Contact a lawyer to find out which deadlines your claim must adhere to.
Potential Compensation for Birth Injury Victims
In Maine, if your birth injury claim is brought to a favorable resolution, the damages for which you could be compensated may include:
- Medical expenses
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Disability accommodations
- Reduced enjoyment of life
- Reduced projected earning ability of the child
When death is involved, a jury award may include compensation for funeral and burial expenses, loss of companionship, and the like.
Work with Shaheen & Gordon, P.A. — Call (207) 222-7261 Today.
When your child has suffered a major birth injury, do not entrust your legal case to an uncaring, inexperienced legal team. At Shaheen & Gordon, P.A., our team of more than 30 lawyers offers compassionate, comprehensive, and experienced legal representation to birth injury claimants. Since 1981, we have fought for the rights of New England residents and families, taking on cases no matter the size or complexity.
Hire a team you can trust. Contact Shaheen & Gordon, P.A. online for a free initial consultation with a birth injury attorney in Maine.
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