Rhode Island Birth Injury Lawyer​

There’s nothing more beautiful-or terrifying-than bringing a new child into the world. However, for some families, the excitement of childbirth can be overshadowed by the devastating reality of a birth injury. These injuries, often caused by medical negligence or malpractice, can have profound and lasting consequences for both the child and their family.  

Our experienced Rhode Island birth injury lawyers help families stand up to powerful hospitals and doctors fighting to secure financial justice for their children’s devastating birth trauma.

Types Of Birth Injuries

What is a birth injury, anyway? Strictly speaking, a birth injury is “an impairment of the [newborn’s] body function or structure due to an adverse event that occurred at birth.” In other words, it’s a broad term for any avoidable physical, cognitive, or developmental injury to a child at birth.

At Marasco & Nesselbush, we advocate for children and families who have sustained a wide range of birth injuries, including:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Brain damage
  • Brachial plexus injury
  • Shoulder dystocia
  • Hypoxia
  • Bell’s palsy
  • Erb’s palsy
  • Klumpke’s palsy
  • ​​Spina bifida
  • Cranial nerve injury
  • Skull fracture
  • Broken bones
  • Cephalohematoma
  • Caput succedaneum
  • Subconjunctival hemorrhage
  • Facial paralysis
  • Wrongful death

Reach out to our personal injury attorneys in Rhode Island if your child has been diagnosed with a birth injury. We can help you understand your legal rights and explain how our award-winning Rhode Island trial attorneys can help you fight to make things right. 

Birth Injury Risk Factors

Certain risk factors can increase the likelihood that a child sustains an injury during labor or delivery:

  • Dystocia (difficult birth)
  • Large baby
  • Small pelvic opening
  • Breech presentation
  • Premature birth
  • C-Section delivery
  • Placental abruption
  • Uterine abruption
  • Induction and induction medications 

Certain medical instruments, like vacuums and forceps, can also increase the risk of birth injury. These instruments can place abnormal pressure on a child’s delicate body and, even with the slightest pressure, cause significant damage.

Some studies also suggest that a mother’s overall health, including medical conditions and weight, can affect a child’s risk for injury at birth.

What Are The Potential Long-Term Effects Of Birth Injuries?

For many children, an injury at birth sets off a chain reaction that will impact their lives for years to come.

Trauma and injuries at birth can cause:

  • Developmental delays
  • Brain damage
  • Altered motor skills
  • Physical injuries
  • Disfigurement
  • Speech impairment
  • Shortened life expectancy
  • Death, for the mother or the child

Children who suffer injuries at birth might need to rely on medical devices or medical equipment to live their lives and perform necessary bodily functions like breathing or walking. Others will suffer from debilitating mobility and cognitive impairment that prevents them from living independently. Some will have to live with their parents or a caretaker indefinitely.

As a result, a child who suffers an injury at birth in Rhode Island can face a life full of medical visits, limited independence, and overwhelming financial burdens. In these situations, it can be critical to file a birth injury claim so that the child (and their family) does not have to shoulder the consequences of their birth injury on their own.

The Legal Process To Make A Birth Injury Claim

Filing a birth injury claim involves a step-by-step legal process that requires careful attention to detail and adherence to specific timelines. Here’s an outline of the typical process, along with the necessary documentation and the importance of hiring a specialized lawyer for guidance and representation:

 

  • Initial Consultation: The process begins with an initial consultation with a specialized birth injury lawyer. During this meeting, the lawyer will review the details of the case, including medical records, and assess the viability of the claim.

 

  • Gathering Medical Records: The lawyer will request medical records related to the pregnancy, labor, and delivery, as well as any postnatal care provided to the mother and child. These records are crucial for evaluating the circumstances surrounding the birth injury.

 

  • Medical Evaluation: The lawyer will consult with medical experts to review the medical records and determine if there was negligence or malpractice involved in the birth injury. Medical experts play a crucial role in assessing the standard of care and identifying any deviations that may have contributed to the injury.

 

  • Notice of Claim: Depending on the jurisdiction, there may be specific notice requirements for filing a birth injury claim. The lawyer will ensure that all necessary notices are filed within the required timeframe to preserve the right to pursue legal action.

 

  • Filing the Complaint: The next step is to file a formal complaint with the appropriate court. The complaint outlines the allegations of negligence or malpractice and identifies the parties involved in the lawsuit, such as healthcare providers or medical facilities.

 

  • Discovery: During the discovery phase, both parties exchange relevant information and evidence related to the case. This may include witness statements, expert reports, and additional medical records. Depositions may also be conducted to gather sworn testimony from key witnesses.

 

  • Settlement Negotiations: In many cases, birth injury claims are resolved through settlement negotiations between the parties involved. Your lawyer will advocate on your behalf to seek fair compensation for the injuries suffered by the mother and child.

 

  • Trial: If a settlement cannot be reached, the case may proceed to trial. During the trial, evidence will be presented, and witnesses will testify before a judge or jury. Your lawyer will present a compelling case to demonstrate the negligence or malpractice that led to the birth injury.

 

  • Verdict and Appeal: Following the trial, the judge or jury will render a verdict determining liability and any damages awarded. If either party disagrees with the verdict, they may have the right to appeal the decision to a higher court.

 

Throughout the entire legal process, hiring a specialized birth injury lawyer is essential for guidance and representation. These lawyers have the knowledge, experience, and resources necessary to navigate the complexities of birth injury cases and advocate effectively for the rights of the injured mother and child. Their expertise can make a significant difference in the outcome of the case, ensuring that families receive the compensation they deserve for the harm caused by preventable birth injuries.

What Do I Have To Prove To Win A Birth Injury Lawsuit In Rhode Island?

Birth injury claims are a matter of medical negligence. As a result, it is necessary to prove that a medical professional was negligent and that their conduct was the direct and proximate cause of a child’s injury at birth.

In Rhode Island, a successful birth injury claim must prove:

Duty of Care: A doctor-patient relationship existed, which meant that the doctor or another healthcare provider owed the mother and child a duty of care. In Rhode Island, the expected standard of care in medical malpractice cases is for a doctor to “exercise the same degree of diligence and skill as physicians in good standing engaged in the same type of practice.”

Breach of Duty: The doctor failed to satisfy the duty of care through some action or omission. In other words, the doctor failed to use the level of skill and diligence expected of a professional in their specialty. 

Causation: The doctor’s action or omission was the direct and proximate cause of an adverse event that caused a child or mother to sustain a birth injury. The child or mother wouldn’t have been injured if the doctor hadn’t made a mistake.

Damages: The child or mother suffers identifiable damages, such as medical expenses, emotional distress, and disability.

Medical malpractice and birth injury lawsuits in Rhode Island can be complicated. The laws are written more to benefit healthcare providers than for injured patients.

At Marasco & Nesselbush, we have decades of experience successfully litigating these types of cases. Our ability to take on powerful hospitals and healthcare providers is well-known. We have the in-depth knowledge of Rhode Island medical malpractice and birth injury law, experience, and resources you’ll need to make the most of your fight for compensation.

How Long Do I Have To File A Rhode Island Birth Injury Lawsuit

You won’t have an unlimited amount of time to file a lawsuit if your child has suffered an injury at birth at a hospital in Rhode Island.

The statute of limitations for most birth injury lawsuits is three years, meaning you have three years from the date your child is injured—or their injury is reasonably discovered—to pursue litigation.

However, Rhode Island also provides that a child may bring a birth injury claim themselves. In these situations, the statute of limitations is tolled until their 18th birthday, giving them until they turn 21 to file a birth injury lawsuit.

a stethoscope and a wooden gavel

Why Should I File A Birth Injury Lawsuit?​

Money won’t guarantee that your child fully recovers or lives a healthy, everyday life. However, there are considerable benefits to filing a birth injury lawsuit in Rhode Island.

  • You’ll be able to recover compensation to cover the costs of current and future medical expenses, make up for the impact of a disability and reduced earning capacity, and compensate for your child’s pain and suffering.
  • You can ensure that the doctor who made the mistake is held legally and financially responsible for the harm they’ve caused, which can help protect other children from suffering the same fate.
  • You can bring awareness to how unnervingly common birth injuries can be.

Ultimately, this is your opportunity to demand justice for the devastating injury your child has suffered. A successful claim can take the injury’s financial burden off their shoulders and put it right where it should be—with the person who made the mistake.

Contact The Rhode Island Birth Injury Lawyers At Marasco & Nesselbush Today

The thought of suing your obstetrician or taking on a powerful multi-million-dollar hospital can seem intimidating. But your child was injured, and someone must be held accountable. The good news is that you don’t have to travel this journey on your own.

Call Marasco & Nesselbush and put our award-winning Rhode Island birth injury lawyers in your corner. We’re ready to fight to hold the hospital and negligent providers responsible for your child’s traumatic birth injury. We understand how much is riding on your case, and our team is prepared to go above and beyond to get you the results you deserve.

We offer a free consultation and represent families of birth injury victims on contingency. There’s no cost to hire our law firm unless we win your birth injury case.

Contact our Rhode Island law office in Providence, Wakefield, Warwick, or Woonsocket to arrange a free, no-obligation case assessment now.

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