Birth TraumaLearn More About Birth Injury and Birth Trauma at the Buchanan & Buchanan Law Firm in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The delivery of your baby is supposed to be one of the most special days of your life. But when something goes wrong during the labor and delivery process and your child is born with severe birth injuries, you have the right to learn the truth about what happened and what help is available for your child. We can help you.
Severe Birth Injuries: You have Questions, We Have Answers
It never ceases to amaze and disappoint us how poorly doctors and hospital staff communicate with our clients, especially after an unexpected and tragic event like a severe birth injury. Many of our best clients initially came to us for help because they were not getting straight answers, and in some cases no answers at all. We understand your frustration in simply wanting to know whether your baby’s injury was caused by a preventable mistake (i.e., medical malpractice) or one of life’s natural and unavoidable catastrophes. We have successfully answered that question for many parents, and we are in the best position to answer it for you, too.
Our Unique Medical Advantage: An In-House Medical Doctor and Registered Nurse
Birth injury cases require the utmost in attorney skill and experience. We have also successfully handled many birth trauma cases and, in fact, teach a medical malpractice course in law school. But that’s just half of the equation.
Birth injury claims require medical expertise, too. They demand the guidance, from beginning to end, of skilled and experienced medical personnel. We have a medical doctor (Raymond E. Beckering, Jr., MD, University of Michigan Medical School educated and Mayo Clinic trained) and full-time registered nurse (Helen J. Hicks MSN, a former client with over 25 years of clinical nursing experience) on our professional staff.
With the exceptional skills of Dr. Beckering and Helen, we understand the medical issues involved in birth injury claims because we speak the right language: medicine. Appropriate cases are initially reviewed internally by Dr. Beckering and Helen at no cost to you. If we take your claim, Dr. Beckering and Helen will continue to guide us all the way through settlement or trial.
Types of Actionable Birth Injuries
The two most common types of birth injuries we see caused by medical malpractice are: cerebral palsy and injury to the brachial plexus (Erb’s Palsy).
Cerebral palsy (CP) is defined as a chronic movement or posture disorder. “Cerebral” refers to the brain, while “Palsy” refers to a physical disorder such as a lack of muscle control. Cerebral palsy is not caused by problems with the muscles or nerves, but rather with the brain’s inability to adequately control the body. In other words, cerebral palsy is a type of brain injury.
Cerebral palsy is a nonspecific term in that the debilitating medical condition can be caused by many different things, some of which are preventable mistakes (i.e., medical malpractice) and others are natural and unavoidable catastrophes of life (e.g., infections or genetic abnormalities). To answer the question of whether your baby’s cerebral palsy was the result of medical negligence will require us to carefully review the labor and delivery records. It would be our privilege to review the matter for you and your family. To start the evaluation process and obtain a free initial consultation, click here.
When we review your labor and delivery records, one of the first things we will study is the fetal heart monitor strip that recorded your contractions and your baby’s heart rate. Here, we are looking for signs of oxygen deficiency as revealed by your baby’s heart rate — signs that may have been missed by the obstetrician or nursing staff’s failure to appropriately monitor your labor. Once the tell-tale signs of inadequate oxygenation occur, your baby must be delivered expediently (often by cesarean section) to prevent permanent brain damage from the resulting acidosis (i.e., hypoxia, anoxia, and ischemia) – commonly referred to by doctors as hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE).
Brachial Plexus Injuries
The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that sends signals from your spine to your shoulder, arm, and hand. A brachial plexus injury occurs when these nerves are stretched or, in the most serious cases, torn during the delivery process. It is sometimes referred to as an Erb’s palsy, and can happen as a result of your baby’s shoulder being pressed down forcefully while his/her head is pushed up and away from that shoulder. This occurs during labor and delivery when the shoulders become stuck, a condition called shoulder dystocia, and your doctor and the hospital staff inappropriately maneuver your baby in response.
The Power of Experience
Contrary to common belief, not every birth injury attorney has courtroom experience. In fact, most birth injury attorneys rarely step into a courtroom and few have ever tried a case before a jury. Those who have been successful in court and discerning in the birth injury cases they will accept and handle have more clout in negotiations, and more credibility with judges, opposing lawyers, insurance companies, and juries.
Few birth injury attorneys anywhere in the nation can match our success in the courtroom or our experience with matters involving birth injury, brain injury, child TBI, cerebral palsy, serious injuries and medical issues. In short, we are prepared, tested, and proven.
Our Unique Medical Advantage Benefits You
Birth injury, serious injury and death cases require the utmost in attorney skill and experience. But that’s just half the equation. Catastrophic cases from an accident or medical malpractice (such as brain injury, birth injury, birth trauma, paralysis, disfigurement, severe burns, or wrongful death) require medical expertise, too. These cases demand the guidance of a medical doctor from beginning to end.
Yet, other law firms struggle to find a doctor to ask if a claim even exists, and then spend your money for a costly “preliminary review.” This causes delay in your case. Later, if they learn it is a good claim and decide to keep the case, these birth injury lawyers have incredible difficulty getting qualified doctors to help. Many doctors are reluctant to consult with patients (i.e., “plaintiffs”) in birth injury lawsuits and don’t want to interrupt their busy practices to teach medicine to birth injury attorneys.
Buchanan & Buchanan doesn’t have these problems because we speak the right language: medicine. We understand the medical issues in birth injury and personal injury cases. Appropriate birth injury cases are initially reviewed internally by our own medical physician, Dr. Beckering, at no cost to you and in much less time than an outside review. This unique doctor, nurse, and attorney team is just one reason Buchanan & Buchanan has become a national leader in matters of birth injury. We are the one place to turn for outstanding legal counsel, with a powerful medical advantage.
Understanding The Jury & Delivery Of Information
Appearing in court and actually trying birth injury cases has also taught us a lot about jurors. We’ve learned that jurors can be quickly bored by legal arguments and hopelessly confused about birth injuries, birth trauma, medicine, and medical issues.
As a result, we’ve learned to captivate and hold the attention and concern of juries using the latest communication technology. We explain the medical issues to them in plain language and demonstrate the losses and disabling birth injuries. And we speak to jurors as caring and intelligent human beings who make the decisions that will forever affect our clients’ lives. We’ve learned not only to build powerful cases and arrive always exceedingly well prepared, but to also present the birth injury cases in the clear, compelling manner they deserve. Because ultimately what matters isn’t what an attorney, doctor or expert says. It’s what jurors comprehend – and believe.