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Rhode Island Birth Injury Lawyers

Birth injuries refer to damage that an infant suffers during the process of labor and delivery. Some birth injuries result from natural causes. Many are caused by a medical professional’s negligence or mistake.

Statistics suggest that 27 of every 1,000 births have some preventable complication or injury associated with them.

When there is a lapse in judgment or care, and a patient is harmed, the healthcare professional may be found liable for what is known as “medical malpractice.” Several people may be held responsible for a birth injury other than the doctor, including attending nurses, support staff, technicians, and even the hospital itself. Our medical malpractice lawyers in Rhode Island strive to help you determine who is at fault for a birth injury and pursue the compensation you deserve.

Get Help from Experienced Rhode Island Birth Injury Lawyers

Given the complexity of birth injury cases, it is crucial to contact an attorney if you believe your child’s birth injury could have been prevented.

For more than four decades, the Rhode Island birth injury lawyers of Gemma Law Associates have helped victims of medical errors and their families throughout the state. To learn how Gemma Law Associates can help you, call us today toll-free at 401-467-2300 or use our online form. We provide free initial case evaluations.

Common Causes of Rhode Island Birth Injuries

There are two significant causes of birth injuries.

  • One is oxygen deprivation. This can occur for various reasons, including compression or twisting of the umbilical cord.
  • The second is physical trauma, which may occur when the baby assumes an unnatural position during birth.

Common mistakes that result in birth injury include:

  • Leaving the baby in the birth canal too long can result in oxygen deprivation.
  • Failure to perform a Caesarean section when the baby is in distress can result in oxygen deprivation.
  • Failure to detect umbilical cord problems, such as that it is blocked or around the baby’s neck.
  • Excessive force during extraction can cause physical trauma to the infant.
  • Failure to respond to the mother’s changing health conditions, such as high or abnormally low blood pressure or toxemia, i.e., toxins in her blood.

Some common injuries include:

  • Bone fractures
  • Bleeding/bruising
  • Nerve damage
  • Brain injuries / mental retardation from oxygen deprivation or physical trauma
  • Cerebral Palsy is caused by insufficient oxygen or physical trauma to a baby’s brain, resulting in irreversible neuromuscular deficiencies.
  • Erb’s Palsy, also called Brachial Plexus Palsy or Klumpke’s Palsy, is caused by injury to a group of nerves known as the “brachial plexus,” resulting in paralysis in the shoulders and arms.

Signs that a Medical Error May Have Occurred

A medical error that causes a birth injury can rob that child of a healthy and fulfilling life and have lifelong consequences for the child’s parents. In any case of a serious injury that occurs while in the care of a medical professional, it is essential to have the case reviewed as soon as possible by an experienced Rhode Island medical malpractice attorney, such as those employed by the law firm of Gemma Law Associates.

Signs that a child may have experienced a birth injury due to the negligence of a medical professional may be noticeable immediately after the child’s birth. These signs include:

  • The baby has bruises, abrasions, or swelling on the face, head, or shoulders.
  • One of the baby’s arms is limp.
  • The baby has seizures within two days of birth.
  • The child does not breathe immediately after birth and requires CPR or a breathing tube.
  • The baby lacks muscle tone and has a “floppy” appearance.

Other signs may not appear for several months after birth. For example, suppose the child misses critical developmental milestones, such as the ability to support his or her head at three months or crawl at 12 months. In that case, it is possible that he or she suffered a birth injury.

Proving Medical Malpractice

Proving medical negligence or malpractice in a birth injury case may require a lengthy investigation.

Qualified medical witnesses are likely required to establish that the medical practitioner’s conduct failed to meet accepted standards of care. Documentation of all procedures and medicines used during the prenatal, delivery, and immediate post-natal phases of the child’s birth must be gathered.

Your observations are also important. For example, your observations about how you felt during your pregnancy and your observations of your baby’s developmental milestones. Finally, a thorough understanding of Rhode Island law and its application to medical malpractice cases is essential.

If you think you may have a claim for medical malpractice, or even if you are not sure if you do or not, the main thing that you should not do is delay approaching an attorney about your concerns. Because malpractice cases rely on not only documented medical records but also on memory, it is best to file your claim as quickly as possible in order not to jeopardize your case.

The statute of limitations in Rhode Island to file a birth injury claim extends until three years after his or her 21st birthday; however, it is best not to wait. A delay means you will forgo any financial award crucial for your child’s medical care.

The Legal Process to Make a Birth Injury Claim

Where birth injuries are caused by a medical professional’s mistake, the parents of the injured baby may be entitled to compensation. Although financial compensation cannot make up for the injury, it can help pay for the expensive and lengthy medical care that the child will likely need. Many medical malpractice lawsuits can be long and involve the following steps:

  • Investigate and Review Medical Records
    Your lawyer will interview and review your medical records. This preliminary investigation may take months as it often takes time to secure and review all medical records. Your attorney will also request that an expert review your case and issue an opinion.
  • Demand
    Your lawyer will contact the defendant and make open discussions for a financial settlement.
  • Lawsuit
    If no settlement agreement is reached, your lawyer will file a complaint to begin the lawsuit.
  • Discovery
    Once the litigation begins, the discovery process involves reviewing the other’s claims and defenses. This is accomplished by deposing witnesses and getting questions answered through written interrogatories. Discovery can take more than a year.
  • Settlement
    Both sides will consider settling and negotiating. In some cases, mediation may be involved.
  • Trial
    If no settlement is reached, the case will go to trial. The timeframe from filing the lawsuit until the end of the trial can be one to three years or even more. Added to this is the time it takes for the preliminary investigation and settlement negotiations before filing a lawsuit.

Contact Our Rhode Island Birth Injury Lawyers Today

The birth injury attorneys at Gemma Law Associates have investigated medical malpractice cases for decades. We’ve won multimillion-dollar settlements on behalf of injured clients throughout Rhode Island.

We have a successful record of litigating claims involving hospital negligence and medical errors that resulted in birth injuries, and we are prepared to argue on your behalf in the courtroom if necessary to recover the damages you deserve.

Rhode Island places strict time limits on filing medical malpractice claims, so call our Rhode Island law firm at 401-467-2300 or use our online form.

Serving the Greater Providence metro area, including Warwick, Cranston, Pawtucket, North Providence, South Kingston, Coventry, Cumberland, Woonsocket, and East Providence.

Gemma law is the best and helped and guided me threw everything … highly recommended thank you so much
ellen almgren
ellen almgren
5 stars all the way. They did exactly what was expected. Good Job
Keith Ruggiero
Keith Ruggiero
Very efficient and very good with communicating with me. I received updates about my case without having to call and request them. Very good law office! Very satisfied.
Bethania Herrera
Bethania Herrera
Mark Gemma has been absolutely amazing. He was helpful and answered all concerns and questions I’ve had. Him and his team are beyond incredible, supportive, and sweet. I would like to thank them all for everything they’ve done.
Samantha Argus
Samantha Argus
very professional and honest, what I liked the most is whenever you call the lawyer returns your call with every concern I had. It was my first time and I would not hesitate to trust them again.
Diana Palacio
Diana Palacio
This team is extremely helpful and kind. Mark Gemma was a great help in guiding me through this whole process and was a huge help. I would recommend this team to anyone seeking legal counsel
Zachary Dustin
Zachary Dustin
I am so happy with the turnout of my case. Both Sarah and Peter kept me up to date on everything and worked very hard on my case. The whole staff is friendly and diligent with their work. 100% recommend!
Chelsie Abatiello
Chelsie Abatiello
Managed to get my money before Christmas...in just days after settling! Great communication and always helped with my needs, and always gave good advice. Would definitely recommend.
Trini Luckey
Trini Luckey
Always professional and always checking in on their clients. Excellent atmosphere.
Susan Hallam
Susan Hallam
After spending 8 hours in a hospital overnight to get stitches in my lip because of a drunk driver’s negligent decision to get behind the wheel, the last thing I wanted to do was think about it all. I sent an email to Gemma Law, and Mark Gemma quickly called me back with an empathetic approach to listening to my story and helping me figure out the next steps. When he told me I wouldn’t have to have any contact with the insurance companies, I was HOOKED! When he pointed out how unfortunate it was I might have to miss out on a lip modeling career from a potential scar from the stitches, I was SOLD! And when I finally received my settlement check after letting him do all the leg work while I just focused on recovering, I was and am eternally GRATEFUL! Mark Gemma helped me turn a near death experience into a new start in life and I highly recommend him to anybody needing a personal injury lawyer.
Angie Sherman
Angie Sherman
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