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Home | St Augustine, FL Birth Injury Lawyer

St Augustine, FL Birth Injury Lawyer

St Augustine Birth Injury Attorney

The injury of a newborn child or mother can be an incredibly traumatic experience for a family, especially if it was caused by the negligence of a medical provider. The typical happiness and excitement surrounding a new member of the family can be dampened by excessive medical visits and health-related stress. In a situation like this, it can be helpful to contact a St. Augustine, FL, birth injury lawyer.

Because of the emotions surrounding this unfortunate event, parents are sometimes subject to fighting on behalf of their child in court against powerful insurance companies trying to avoid paying compensation. Instead of struggling alone, consider working with an attorney who can support your case during such a painful time.

St Augustine, FL Birth Injury Lawyer

Why Should You Work With Spohrer Dodd Trial Attorneys?

Obstetrical malpractice and birth injuries can be extremely complicated to prove, which is why you should consider contacting Spohrer Dodd Trial Attorneys for more information on your claim. We frequently receive referrals for these types of cases due to our understanding and capable legal team in St. Augustine, FL.

Rodney Margol, one of our seasoned trial attorneys, has an extensive background in birth injury cases. He has won his birth injury clients over $23 million in cases involving labor and delivery injuries, brain injuries, and medical negligence. Spohrer Dodd Trial Attorneys has a supportive group of lawyers with skills that match your specific needs.

What Is a Birth Injury Claim?

In Florida, you can only file a birth injury claim if the injuries were caused by a healthcare provider making preventable mistakes. Not everything that goes wrong in a medical setting constitutes a birth injury. This claim falls under the domain of medical malpractice. In order for this claim to be legally valid, the following must be proven:

  1. The doctor, surgeon, or other healthcare provider must have performed below a specific standard of care. This standard refers to how a doctor would normally and/or reasonably operate under the given circumstances. This concept is legally defined as negligence.
  2. This negligence must be proven to be the direct cause of the child’s injuries. There are several factors that can complicate proving negligence, including the mother’s health conditions or other complications that occurred during pregnancy and/or labor.
  3. The child’s injuries must be severe enough to cause damages. Damages can include things like additional medical expenses, potential loss of quality of life, and pain and suffering. Things like medical bills and testimonies can help prove the severity of a child’s injuries.

Why Do I Need an Attorney?

Labor and delivery are extremely complicated processes, with many things happening all at once. This means it can be difficult to prove that a healthcare provider’s negligence directly caused a child’s injuries as opposed to extraneous factors. Additionally, it is in the healthcare provider’s interest not to acknowledge medical negligence or birth injuries.

These reasons make it important to consult with an attorney if you’re considering filing a birth injury claim. An attorney can help collect and analyze your evidence to make a case against the hospital or doctors involved. Their knowledge can help you advocate for your family’s rights against powerful insurance companies and medical facilities.

What Are Some Common Mistakes in Birth Injury Cases?

While every birth is different, some similarities can be drawn in the types of errors made in birth injury cases. Here are some common mistakes to consider:

  • Fetal Distress: One of the most important things for doctors and nurses to do during delivery is to monitor the baby. If the baby experiences distress during the birthing process, they can experience potentially life-threatening preventable injuries.
  • Incorrect Use of Tools: Tools like forceps and extractors can be necessary during the delivery process, but they can lead to errors. If a preventable error is made with medical tools, the baby might be harmed in the process.
  • Improper Actions: Certain actions during the delivery process are also necessary, like the ordering of a C section. If these actions are not requested in time, it can seriously affect the long-term health of the baby.
  • Undiagnosed Maternal Conditions: Certain conditions like preeclampsia and maternal diabetes may affect the pregnant mother during delivery. If a healthcare provider fails to recognize or address these conditions, then they can affect the newborn and mother.

If these issues occurred due to negligence, then filing a birth injury claim might lead to substantial compensation. It is important to remember, however, that the compensation amount and chances of success highly depend on each family’s unique situation.

What Are the Signs of a Birth Injury?

It is the hope of every parent to receive a happy and healthy newborn, but this does not always happen. Here are some symptoms that might indicate that a child has a serious birth injury:

  • Muscle Abnormalities: In conditions like cerebral palsy and other neurological conditions, a newborn may appear like their muscles are either unusually tense or loose.
  • Visible Marks: Things like bruises, scabs, or bumps on a baby’s head might indicate a more serious brain injury.
  • Trouble Breathing: While initial breathing issues after birth can be resolved, if CPR or a breathing tube is used for the purposes of reviving a baby, it can be a sign of a larger issue.
  • Difficulties With Essential Tasks: Things like suckling are instinctual in a newborn. If they struggle with basic tasks like swallowing during feeding, this might be a warning sign that they experienced a birth injury.
  • Potential Hemorrhaging: A newborn with a pale color, slow or delayed breathing and heart rate, or seizures might have experienced head trauma during delivery. There are several different types of hemorrhaging that can occur in a newborn, but the most common is an intraventricular hemorrhage, where there is bleeding in the brain’s ventricles.

If you see any of these behaviors in your newborn, seek medical care as soon as possible. Something that might seem harmless initially can turn into a bigger problem in the future. It’s important to document these injuries so that they can potentially be used in a birth injury claim.

What Is the Florida Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Act?

The Florida Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Act, also known as NICA, provides compensation for newborns and their families that meet certain criteria:

  • The newborn must suffer from a brain or spinal cord injury.
  • The injury must have been caused by oxygen deprivation or mechanical injury.
  • The injury must have caused permanent impairment to the newborn.
  • Childbirth services must be performed by a qualifying medical provider, and the child must have been born in a Florida hospital.
  • The paperwork must be filed before the child turns five years old.

Families that qualify for NICA can receive coverage for medical expenses and equipment that is helpful for the child. While it is not legally required to fill out the petition form with the help of an attorney, speaking to one before completing the paperwork can answer questions about your unique situation.

St. Augustine Birth Injury FAQs

Q: How Much Do Personal Injury Lawyers Charge in Florida?

A: The cost of a personal injury case can vary in St. Augustine. Things like how long the claim takes to resolve, how much research is needed to prove the claim, and the lawyer’s knowledge of personal injury can all impact the cost of a case. Personal injury cases are typically paid by a contingency fee, which is a percentage of the damages won if the case is successful. Depending on the payout, this typically amounts to 33%-40% of damages.

Q: When Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in Florida?

A: There are many occasions when injuries warrant hiring an attorney. It can be helpful to work with an attorney if your injuries are serious or due to another person’s negligence or if you’re not sure who is liable in the accident. An attorney can still help you if an insurance company denies your personal injury claim, depending on the situation.

Q: Can You Sue Hospitals in Florida?

A: In St. Augustine, suing a hospital usually means that you’re filing a medical malpractice claim. In order for this claim to be legally viable, it must be proven that the hospital was negligent and performed below the standard of care. You also must prove that your injuries were directly related to the negligent actions of the hospital or healthcare provider you’re trying to file against.

Q: What Is the Statute of Limitations on Birth Injuries in St. Augustine, FL?

A: Birth injuries are normally considered medical malpractice claims in Northeast Florida. In general, medical malpractice claims have to be filed within two years of when the injuries were received or discovered. There are exceptions to this rule via Tony’s Law, which extends the statute of limitations if the child sustained a birth injury that was not discovered until after the typical statute of limitations expired. Talking with an attorney can determine if this law applies to your situation.

Don’t Suffer in Silence—Contact a St. Augustine, FL, Birth Injury Lawyer

Spohrer Dodd Trial Attorneys have decades of experience working with families to fight for their compensation after a birth injury. We are skilled in considering a wide variety of evidence for your claim so that your arguments are successful in court. Make an appointment for a free consultation today to learn more about your options for your birth injury case.