Merson Law Birth Injury Lawyers
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Merson Law birth injury lawyers help families like yours get justice and compensation for serious cases of birth injury medical malpractice in New York.
Jump To Section:
- How Can Merson Law Help You?
- Directory of New York Labor & Delivery Medical Centers
- What is a Birth Injury?
- How a Birth Injury Lawsuit Works
- Types of Birth Injuries
Your life and the well-being of your child are at serious risk when doctors and medical staff fail to uphold medical standards.
In the most tragic circumstances, a pregnant mother and her child can be injured severely – or even killed – by the negligence of a medical professional.
If your child suffered a serious birth injury or was diagnosed with a life-altering condition after a difficult pregnancy, labor, or delivery, you need to act now.
Your child suffering a birth injury due to the negligence of a medical provider during childbirth and delivery can and will have a lifetime of consequences and suffering for your child and family.
Many of these consequences will come in the form of financial hardships and the ability to pay for continuing medical treatment for the lifetime of you and your newborn child.
How can Merson Law help you?
A birth injury lawsuit can award you with financial compensation to pay for medical treatment, physical therapy, lifestyle changes, and more. It can also compensate you for your emotional turmoil and suffering.
And while a lawsuit may sound like the last thing you’d want to do after experiencing such a devastating event, it may be the best path forward for healing, recovery, and justice. Send us a message below to get started with your child birth injury claim.
Directory of New York State Labor & Delivery Medical Facilities
Who is Merson Law?
Merson Law was founded by one of New York’s most prominent and recognized birth injury lawyers, Jordan Koel Merson.
Over his law career, Mr. Merson has built a stellar reputation representing birth injury law clients in New York who have suffered catastrophic injuries through no fault of their own. He has built a strong team of caring but aggressive birth injury lawyers at Merson Law; a team which has extensive experience litigating birth injury medical malpractice cases valued in excess of $1 million and much of their background includes prosecuting cases that have resolved for more than $10 million.
Here are some of the birth injury law cases litigated by Jordan Merson and the lawyers of Merson Law*:
- $17 million for failure to timely perform c-section on baby
- $14.8 million for baby brain damaged when c-section was delayed
- $14.4 million for Queens family whose child suffered brain damage
- $11.3 million jury verdict for brain damage child
- $11 million for Brooklyn woman who had untreated post-delivery bleeding
- $5.5 million for Erb’s Palsy
*Please note that past results do not guarantee similar outcome
Mr. Merson was honored to be included in New York Law Journal’s first ever “Hall of Fame” for medical malpractice verdicts and settlements.
When New York Magazine published its top verdicts in 2014, Mr. Merson was included on that list, as well.
Mr. Merson was also named in Super Lawyers and he has been quoted by the national and local media, including USA Today, the New York Law Journal and the Daily News.
In fact, Mr. Merson has had the largest single-plaintiff medical malpractice verdict in Westchester County for at least a five year period and he had the largest verdict in Westchester County for any type of case in 2014 — a $11.3 million verdict after the defendant that proceeded to trial refused to offer any money to settle the case.
What You Need to Know If You Suspect Your Baby Suffered A Birth Injury During Delivery: Birth Injury Law
What is a Birth Injury?
A birth injury is any injury that occurs to a baby during the process of childbirth. Birth injuries can happen at any point during childbirth – while still in the womb, during delivery, or immediately after delivery.
Like regular injuries, the severity of birth injuries varies. Some birth injuries are minor and can be treated easily, while others are extreme and life-threatening.
It is estimated that about 7 in every 1,000 children born in the United States suffer from a birth injury.
It is important to distinguish birth injuries from birth defects. Birth defects occur while the fetus is still developing in the womb, and not during childbirth. They’re often the result of genetic mutations, infections, or exposure to toxins or harmful chemicals.
History of Birth Injury
Throughout most of modern history, childbirth was extremely traumatic and often fatal for both the mother and child. However, since 1915, advances in modern medicine have made childbirth increasingly more safe.
These advances have elevated the standard for childbirth to what it is today. This standard includes the expectation that trained medical staff can and will do everything in their power to ensure a healthy and successful delivery.
How Birth Injury Lawyers Help
Birth injury lawyers can help you pursue financial compensation for the injuries your child sustained during birth, and with the nuances and details of your case and the legal process.
- Legal Assessment and Consultation: A birth injury lawyer will carefully review the details of the case, including medical records and relevant evidence, to determine if there are grounds for a medical malpractice claim. They provide clients with a professional evaluation of their case and explain the legal options available to them.
- Investigation: Birth injury cases can be complex, requiring a thorough investigation to establish negligence or malpractice. Birth injury lawyers work with medical experts to analyze medical records, consult with specialists, and gather evidence to support the claim.
- Building a Strong Case: Based on the investigation, the lawyer will build a compelling case to demonstrate how medical negligence or malpractice led to the birth injury. They prepare legal arguments, gather expert testimonies, and present evidence in a persuasive manner.
- Negotiating with Insurance Companies: Birth injury lawyers handle communication and negotiations with the responsible party’s insurance companies. They advocate for fair and just compensation for their client’s damages, including medical expenses, ongoing care, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
- Filing a Lawsuit: If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiations, the birth injury lawyer will initiate a medical malpractice lawsuit on behalf of their client. They handle all the legal paperwork, court procedures, and ensure the case is filed within the statute of limitations.
- Representation in Court: During trial, the birth injury lawyer represents the client in court, presenting the case to the judge and jury and cross-examining witnesses. They use their legal expertise to argue on behalf of their client’s best interests.
- Mediation and Settlement: In some cases, a birth injury lawyer may pursue alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation to reach a settlement outside of court. They guide their clients through the process and work to secure a fair resolution.
- Support and Compassion: Birth injury lawyers understand the emotional toll that birth injuries can take on families. They provide support, empathy, and guidance throughout the legal process, helping clients navigate the complexities of the case.
- Expert Network: Experienced birth injury lawyers have access to a network of medical experts who can provide critical insights and testimony to support the case.
- Ensuring Future Care: Birth injury lawyers strive to secure compensation that covers not only immediate medical expenses but also the long-term care and support required for the child’s ongoing needs.
How a Birth Injury Lawsuit Works
The laws that pertain to birth injury fall under the broader category of personal injury law (also known as tort law). Personal injury laws exist to protect you if you, your property, or in this case, your child, is injured or damaged due to someone else’s actions.
Within personal injury law is the subset of medical malpractice law. Medical malpractice encompasses personal injury cases that are the result of the actions of a doctor, technician, nurse, dentist, or any other medical professional.
Medical malpractice is its own unique category of law because medical professionals are held to different standards than the general public. This is because as a society, we expect medical professionals to help us. When you seek the care of a medical professional, you expect that they are educated and trained in their field. You expect that they prioritize your wellbeing and do everything they can to ensure it.
This expectation is known as the standard of care, or standard of practice.
“The ‘medical standard of care’ is typically defined as the level and type of care that a reasonably competent and skilled health care professional, with a similar background and in the same medical community, would have provided under the circumstances that led to the alleged malpractice.”
There are caveats to this standard of care. For example, you wouldn’t expect your dentist to be able to diagnose an eye infection – that’s not their specialty. You would however expect your OB/GYN to be able to diagnose gestational diabetes or complications in your pregnancy, since these issues relate to their specialty.
Because of this, you would not be able to sue your dentist if you discovered that your eye infection was glaucoma. Your dentist cannot diagnose this issue, since they did not train in that field.
But if your OB/GYN did not recognize a complication in your pregnancy, and that complication developed into a birth injury, you may be able to sue for that birth injury.
How to Know if You Can Sue for a Birth Injury
To have a viable birth injury case, four legal elements must be proven:
- A professional duty owed to the patient
- Breach of such duty
- Birth injury caused by the breach
- Resulting damages: money damages, if awarded, typically take into account both actual economic loss and non-economic loss, such as pain and suffering.
What does this mean?
Professional Duty Owed to the Patient
This means that you retained the medical services of a doctor or other medical professional. When you do so, that medical professional owes a duty to you, the patient.
This is to ensure that you do not sue a doctor that did not treat you or did not owe you their services at the time of the injury.
Breach of Such Duty
A breach of duty is some action (or inaction) by a medical professional that broke that expectation between you and them.
Birth Injury was Caused by the Breach
The birth injury must have been caused by this action or inaction in order for your case to be viable.
You must be able to prove that there were damages or injury that occurred because of this action.
These elements are difficult to prove without the assistance of a birth injury lawyer or medical professional. The birth injury lawyers here at Merson Law can help you with your case. Give us a call today!
Types of Birth Injuries
There are many types of birth injuries, each with its own unique symptoms, causes, and treatments.
Many birth injuries fall into one or more sub-categories, since the nature of birth injuries can be very complicated.
This is not an exhaustive explanation, but this page encompasses the most common birth injuries in the United States.
The leading brain-related injury in relation to birth trauma is cerebral palsy (CP), affecting around 800,000 children. CP can develop after maternal infections, oxygen deprivation, infant stroke, and infant infection. In many instances, CP could have been eliminated with corrective and preventative measures by a physician. For example, if a physician fails to monitor fetal distress and take the appropriate actions, the infant may develop CP. Other instances include:
- Failure to monitor, detect, and treat maternal infections
- Failure to plan and carry out an emergency C-section
- Failure to identify and treat a prolapsed umbilical cord
- Failure to use birth-assisting tools correctly
Cerebral palsy is often misinterpreted as a muscle-related birth injury because in some cases, the infant has total loss of muscle control. However, cerebral palsy is a brain-related birth injury that affects the way the brain sends communication to the muscle groups.
Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)
Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy, usually referred to simply as HIE, is a brain condition that may develop during pregnancy, labor and delivery or in the postnatal period. It occurs as a result of birth asphyxia, which is when the brain is starved of oxygen for a period of time. HIE can result in serious, permanent damage to the brain.
Brachial Plexus Injury
The brachial plexus is a network of nerves between the shoulder and neck. These nerves control muscle function in the chest, shoulder, arms, and hands, as well as feeling in the upper limbs. In rare instances, injury to the brachial plexus can occur during childbirth. Symptoms include weakness in the affected arm and the inability to use certain muscles in the affected arm. The shoulder and hands may also be affected. Electrical-type shocks and a burning sensation down the affected arm is also common.
Erb’s palsy is a form of brachial plexus marked by the nerves of the upper arm being affected, usually after a birth injury. Infants with Erb’s palsy may experience the loss of feeling and weakness in the affected. In severe cases, infants may have total paralysis in the affected arm.
Klumpke’s palsy, another form of brachial plexus, is caused by damage to the lower nerves in the arm, affecting the arm, wrists, and fingers. Typically, an infant with Klumpke’s palsy with have total paralysis in the affected area, and the hand usually takes on a permanent, claw-like shape.
Shoulder dystocia is a birth injury that occurs when an infant’s head and shoulders get trapped behind the mother’s pelvic bone during delivery. Although shoulder dystocia only happens in 1% of all pregnancies, the complications that arise with this type of injury can be severe. Along with the risk of maternal hemorrhaging and uterine rupture, the baby may experience difficulties when breathing, a collarbone fracture, cerebral palsy, a brachial plexus fracture, and in some instances, death.
Birth Injuries Related to Infections or Developed Through Pregnancy
Sometimes the responsibility of who passes on the birth injury is fuzzy. In some instances, a birth injury is passed on from the mother, though a physician’s job is to detect and treat any maternal problems. A couple of these injuries are attributed to infections, such as the group B strep infection or meningitis, both infections that the mother can carry in the vagina without even knowing it (about 1 in every 4 mothers carry these infections without any symptoms or knowledge of these infections). Children can catch this from their mothers just by being born, by passing through the birth canal where these infections are stored.
Other birth injuries caught from the mother are injuries developed through pregnancy that the physician should have tested for or found early. These injuries include folic acid deficiency, anemia, and spina bifida. These birth injuries could have possibly been prevented by the mother taking supplements based on the physician’s recommendations.
Additionally, a birth injury that could happen at the end of pregnancy just before delivery is meconium aspiration syndrome, which occurs when the infant is under stress from a long and difficult delivery. The infant defecates in the uterus and then breathes in the meconium, causing severe breathing problems after birth.
Injuries from Delivery
Birth injuries that arise during delivery are a common occurrence. These types of injuries occur from the use of vacuum extractor or forceps, tools invented to assist in delivery. Other injuries from delivery may include administering the wrong medication, or mishandling the infant, resulting in broken bones, lacerations, or skull fractures. Depending on how the physician handles the delivery, an infant may also experience injuries related to stress, high blood pressure, or hypertension.
Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
PPHN occurs when the pulmonary article responsible for delivering oxygen to a newborn shuts down. In turn, the infant has a difficult time breathing, which can lead to rapid heartbeats, cyanosis, heart murmurs, and more. PPHN is often the result of a difficult birth, yet in many instances it arises due to medical negligence. For example, prescription-based medications have been linked to an increase in blood pressure, and during pregnancy this can place stress on the infant. Other causes include failure to treat maternal infections, failure to detect and prevent infant asphyxia, and performing an unnecessary C-section.