Miami Birth Injury Attorneys
Representing Families in Birth Injury Lawsuits and NICA Claims in Florida
No parent ever wants to receive the devastating news that their child has suffered a birth injury during birth or as a young infant. Neonatal birth injuries such as Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE), brachial plexus injuries, and traumatic brain damage can lead to lifelong consequences, including disabilities and motor disorders like cerebral palsy.
Many of the most common birth injuries are a direct result of physician or obstetrician negligence. However, under Florida law, families that endure neonatal birth injuries may also be entitled to file a no-fault claim through the Florida Birth Related Neurological Injury Compensation Act, or NICA. With a NICA claim, parents may be eligible for compensation to cover medical expenses and other damages, as well as up to $100,000 in additional compensation.
If you or a loved one have experienced medical negligence during childbirth that resulted in neonatal death or birth injury, our medical malpractice attorneys at Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen are prepared to fight for the compensation you deserve. Whether you want to file a NICA claim or pursue a lawsuit, our Miami birth injury lawyers will stand by your side and help you navigate the legal process.
What is a Birth Injury?
A birth injury refers to any physical damage that occurs to an infant before, during, or shortly after the birthing process. These injuries can happen due to a variety of reasons, including medical conditions, complications during labor, or medical negligence.
Some common types of birth injuries include:
- Brachial Plexus Injuries: This affects the network of nerves controlling the arm and shoulder, often due to excessive pulling or stretching during delivery, leading to conditions like Erb's palsy or Klumpke's palsy.
- Cerebral Palsy: A group of disorders affecting movement and muscle coordination, usually caused by damage to the brain during birth or pregnancy.
- Bone Fractures: Fractures, especially of the collarbone or arm, can occur during difficult deliveries.
- Caput Succedaneum or Cephalohematoma: Swelling or bleeding between the scalp and the skull due to pressure during delivery.
- Facial Nerve Injury: Pressure or trauma during birth can result in facial nerve damage, leading to facial paralysis.
- Perinatal Asphyxia: Insufficient oxygen supply to the baby's brain before, during, or after birth, which can lead to brain damage or even death if severe.
- Intracranial Hemorrhage: Bleeding within the baby's skull, often due to trauma during delivery, which can lead to brain damage.
- Injuries from Medical Instruments: Misuse of forceps, vacuum extractors, or other delivery tools can cause bruises, lacerations, or more severe injuries.
These injuries can vary in severity and may have long-term implications for the child's health and development. Prompt medical attention and appropriate care are crucial for minimizing the impact of these injuries.
Common Causes of Birth Injuries
Birth injuries caused by medical malpractice can occur due to various factors, often stemming from negligence or errors made by healthcare professionals.
Some common contributing factors include:
- Delayed or Improper Monitoring: Inadequate monitoring of the mother and baby's vital signs during labor can lead to missed signs of distress or complications.
- Misuse of Medical Instruments: Improper use of forceps, vacuum extractors, or other birthing tools can cause injuries to the baby's delicate body parts.
- Failure to Perform Timely Cesarean Section (C-Section): In some cases, a C-section may be necessary due to complications or fetal distress. If medical staff fails to perform a C-section promptly when needed, it can lead to birth injuries.
- Medication Errors: Incorrect administration of medication to the mother during pregnancy or labor can result in complications that affect the baby's health.
- Failure to Recognize or Respond to Complications: Healthcare providers may fail to recognize signs of fetal distress or complications during labor, delaying necessary interventions.
- Inadequate Training or Experience: Lack of proper training or experience among medical staff attending the birth can lead to errors in handling labor and delivery.
- Poor Communication among Healthcare Providers: Miscommunication or lack of coordination among medical professionals attending the birth can result in critical errors or delayed responses to emergencies.
- Neglecting Preexisting Conditions: Not considering or properly managing the pre-existing conditions of the mother or the baby can contribute to birth complications.
- Improper Prenatal Care: Inadequate prenatal care can result in missed opportunities to identify and address potential risks or complications during pregnancy.
These factors, when present, can contribute to birth injuries caused by medical malpractice. Legal recourse may be pursued if it's determined that negligence or errors in medical care led to these injuries during childbirth.
Determining the Compensation You Deserve
In Florida, damages available in a birth injury case can encompass various aspects aimed at compensating the injured party for the harm caused. These damages are divided into two primary categories:
Economic Damages: These damages aim to compensate for quantifiable financial losses resulting
from the birth injury. They may include:
- Medical Expenses: Costs related to medical treatment, surgeries, hospital stays, therapy, medication, assistive devices, and future medical care required due to the birth injury.
- Lost Earning Capacity: If the child or the parents are unable to work or earn as they could have before the injury, future earning potential or income may be considered.
- Rehabilitation Costs: Expenses associated with physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and other rehabilitative services.
- Home Care Expenses: Costs for in-home care or modifications needed to accommodate the injured child's needs.
Non-Economic Damages: These damages are less tangible and aim to compensate for the intangible
losses and suffering endured due to the birth injury. They may include:
- Pain and Suffering: Compensation for the physical pain and emotional distress experienced by the injured child.
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life: Compensation for the limitations imposed on the child's ability to enjoy life and engage in typical activities.
- Emotional Distress: Compensation for the emotional turmoil endured by the parents or caregivers due to the injury to their child.
- Loss of Consortium: Compensation for the impact on the relationship between the injured child and their parents or other family members.
Florida law does impose certain caps or limitations on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases, which can affect the maximum amount recoverable for pain and suffering or emotional distress.
Navigating birth injury cases and determining the extent of damages can be complex. Consulting with our experienced legal team at Grossman Roth Yaffa is crucial to understanding the specifics of the law, assessing the damages accurately, and seeking appropriate compensation for the affected parties.
Medical Malpractice Eight-Figure Settlement Achieved for Family Involved in a Medical Malpractice Case
Medical Malpractice Seven-Figure Orthopedic Medical Malpractice
A Punta Gorda, Florida woman in her forties visited an ear, nose, and throat specialist for a check-up due to fatigue. After performing a brief examination, the doctor at the facility recommended that she undergo parathyroid surgery, however he did not order the necessary radiological scan that determines which side of her neck should be operated on. Without that information available, the surgeon began on the wrong side of her neck and did not realize his error until they were well into the procedure.
Medical Malpractice Seven-Figure Settlement for Woman Who Lost Her Leg After Misdiagnosis
A woman in her sixties was brought to a hospital after she slipped and fell, injuring her leg and causing severe pain. During her treatment, the hospital staff failed to notice that the impact had caused a blood clot behind her knee, which was restricting circulation to the rest of her leg. Over time, the untreated clot cut off blood flow to the point where her leg was beyond saving and needed amputation.
Medical Malpractice Seven-Figure Settlement for Family of Mother Who Died During Childbirth
In 2015, a 23-year-old mother began experiencing severe complications while giving birth in Charlotte County, Florida. The hospital’s staff did not give her the attention she needed, and failed to realize that her complications required an emergency transfer to a Sarasota County Hospital, which had the needed staff and equipment to treat her. The mother and her unborn child eventually died in the hospital.
Medical Malpractice Seven-Figure Settlement for Misdiagnosis of a Blood Clot
A 68-year-old man was complaining about pain in his left leg, which was swollen, red, and painful. He went to a local emergency room, and the family asked the doctor if it was a blood clot. The doctor assured the family that it was not a blood clot but was instead cellulitis from a sunburn. When the patient returned home the next day, he died of a pulmonary embolism due to the blood clot that was initially suspected by the family.
Medical Malpractice Over $1 Million Settlement for Medical Malpractice Victim
A middle-aged man had a history of an aortic aneurysm. His plan was to fly to Stanford University, where a doctor was scheduled to repair the aneurysm. Rather than starting the transfer to Stanford the day he arrived, the hospital waited three days and then failed to get his insurance company to pay for the transfer. Tragically, while the patient was speaking with the insurance company on the phone about the transfer, the aneurysm ruptured, and he died.
Jury Verdict Against the University of Florida $23,500,000
A $23.5 million medical malpractice jury verdict against the University of Florida on behalf of a woman who suffered a massive stroke when a medical procedure to ease her migraines went wrong.
Jury Verdict on Behalf of a Former Major League Baseball Star $898,000
A medical malpractice jury verdict on behalf of a former Major League Baseball star against an ophthalmologist for negligence in the removal of a cataract and implantation of an artificial lens in our client’s left eye.
Medical Malpractice Eight-Figure Settlement for Victim of Nursing Medical Malpractice
A middle-aged woman was in a hospital recovering from a brain aneurysm. While recovering in her hospital room, she grew agitated and began pulling on the tracheostomy tube connected to her neck. The nurse on duty documented that she was pulling at her tubes six different times in 24 hours, and yet did nothing to prevent her from being able to dismantle the tubes.
Medical Malpractice Eight-Figure Settlement for Failure to Timely Treat a Heart Attack
After successfully opening and stenting a 53-year-old man's blocked artery, while in the recovery room, the patient suffered another heart attack, but this time it took medical staff nearly 90 minutes to get him back to the catheterization lab. Due to the delay, his heart stopped. He was revived in the operating room, but he suffered a hypoxic brain injury, causing massive brain damage.
Changing Lives by Changing The Law
Since our firm opened, we've made it our mission to get justice for our clients and their families. We've not only taken on cases that other firms had turned down, but we've also fought to get unjust laws and restrictions overturned or modified.
A Team of Legal Professionals
Complex legal cases require extensive research, trial experience, and industry knowledge, which is why we always have a team of attorneys working on every case we take on. Our team-centric approach to litigation means that we're able to really focus on getting our clients the best possible outcome.
There Are No Upfront Legal Fees
We handle all of our claims on a contingency fee basis and will handle all legal fees, court costs, and expert fees related to your specific case. With decades of experience in this industry, we have a wealth of experts we work with routinely to ensure your case is handled with the utmost care.
We Understand the Medicine
Our attorneys not only take the time to understand the evidence in your case, but also the pathology and medical techniques used in your specific situation. We believe that any attorney that takes on these types of cases needs to be on equal footing with medical professionals and physicians.
Our Past Successes in Birth Injury Litigation
In one example of our past successes for affected families, Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen procured a $9.8 million birth injury settlement for a husband and wife whose twins failed to receive the special attention they needed from Coral Springs Medical Center and doctors from the Omega Gynecology & Obstetrics Center. As a result of the negligence of these defendants, one of the twins suffered severe brain damage, rendering the child permanently disabled. The settlement will pay for the lifetime of medical expenses and other needs of the child.
While past results do not guarantee future success, we believe that our track record of results speaks to our experience and skill. With over $1 billion won for parents and families in Miami, South Florida, and beyond, our attorneys are well-prepared to fight for your rights – and ensure that no family ever has to suffer the same birth injuries again.
For more information about how we can help with your claim, give us a call at (866) 629-1061.