Birth Injury Attorney
If Your Child has Developed a Birth Injury due to Delivery Doctor Malpractice, Our Law Firm Can Help
If the parents of a newborn child find out their baby has suffered a birth injury, it can be devastating news – just about the worst that a parent could receive. The only news that could possibly be worse is if the baby died during birth.
Birth-related trauma such as brain injuries at birth, or other tragic injuries, can lead to long-term debilitating injuries that can last through the entirety of a child’s life. It goes without saying that when a parent gets this kind of news, it’s shocking and stunning. They can be, in a way, mentally paralyzed and not have any idea of what to do or where to turn next. A flurry of questions will pop into their heads, and they will be incredibly frustrated because the answers won’t be readily apparent.
Medical professionals have an incredible challenge in preventing the effects of birth injuries because a newborn child’s bones are so delicate. They have yet to harden or calcify, and as a result, are very flexible. Those bones and the muscles and tissue that are around them can be easily damaged through the process of birth. The resulting injuries can subject a child to a lifetime of disability, pain, and greatly affect the quality of life. That is in addition to the accompanying pain and suffering the child will have to experience, the incredible mental trauma associated with that suffering, and the immense amount of financial expense that the parents will have to deal with.
Adding to the tragic circumstances is that an unfortunately large amount of medical practitioners will, in an effort to avoid liability, tell parents and other members of the family that there was nothing that could have been done to either keep the injury from occurring or to reduce the effects of the injury. These injuries, they’ll claim are an unfortunate, yet natural, component of the birth process. Oftentimes those medical professionals are right. There are some birth injuries that are a wicked twist of nature, they’re normal. Other times these injuries could have been prevented or their effects minimized, but due to the negligence of a doctor, obstetrician, nurse, or some other medical professional, they weren’t. Sometimes, a medical practitioner exhibits negligence when trying to bring a baby into the world in a safe and effective manner.
The birth injury attorneys at our Law Office have handled the gut-wrenching, extremely complex, and intricate litigation that surrounds birth injury cases for 20 years. We take whatever time is necessary to thoroughly detail all of the aspects of this kind of case, and spell out all legal avenues a family may be able to take in clear, easy to comprehend terms. In order to determine whether their baby’s malady occurred due to a cruel twist of nature or through the negligence of a medical professional, it takes an intimate knowledge of not only medical terminology and process but legal processes as well. Someone who lacks familiarity in either area cannot hope to effectively litigate their case on their own. We will assist you in determining the most likely reason your child was injured. If you decide to enlist us for your legal representation, will work passionately to ensure that your family and your child receive the fair restitution you deserve.
There are myriad malpractice laws that cover negligence across all fields of medicine. Those that address birth injuries specifically cover injuries that not only happen to newborn children, but to the mothers who carry them as well, because of the negligent actions or inaction of medical practitioners such as nurses, doctors, obstetricians, and other medical professionals.
From a legal perspective, injuries at birth fall into one of two basic categories:
A medical professional misdiagnosed either the condition of the fetus or newborn baby or the condition of the expectant mother. The negligence led to either or both the mother and baby suffering harm. If a child suffers an injury, either in utero or immediately after birth, that falls into this category.
A medical practitioner working at a health facility, such as a nurse, doctor, or other professional, is responsible for the injury to either the mother or baby because he or she performed a negligent or reckless action. Any of these medical personnel could also have engaged in actions that can be considered to be non-standard according to established medical guidelines and can also be held liable as a result. The vast majority of injuries that can be blamed on negligence are found in this category. These injuries include Erb’s Palsy, brachial plexus injuries, cerebral palsy, and shoulder dystocia. Brain injuries at birth and other injuries to a baby’s skeletal or neurological systems are also included in this category.
The child and mother both face a significant risk of injuries during birth. Oftentimes, a doctor or one of his or her staff members knows very well that something is wrong with your baby. They might have even been aware that something was terribly wrong as soon as the child was born. Why would they keep this kind of incredibly important information from the parents, as tragic as that information may be? There are a couple of possible answers. The first is they will hold that information from parents because there is a chance the injury will heal on its own – this is, thankfully, often the case. The other reason is a far more nefarious one. They keep quiet concerning the injury because they are trying to either completely avoid, or failing that, at least try to reduce, any possible liability they might face because of their negligence in delivering the child. The parents of an injured child often don’t know something has gone wrong until they notice their baby isn’t developing in the correct timetable. There are a lot of instances where a birth injury could have been alleviated somewhat or prevented completely if that injury had been detected in a timely fashion by the medical professionals involved in the delivery. If they fail to do so, they can be considered negligent and face significant liability.
Our birth injury attorneys have won thousands of cases. Call us today to discuss your case.
Call a skilled and seasoned birth injury attorney with our Law Office toll-free for a confidential and free consultation concerning the circumstances of your case. If you choose to enlist our services for your legal representation, we will thoroughly investigate each and every detail of the injury your child suffered at birth. We will also help you ascertain what may have happened during either the pregnancy, birth, or during the early development of your child that might have caused your baby’s potentially disabling condition.
In addition, we will assist you in determining whether or not negligence might have been committed by medical professionals that could have resulted in the injury. We will also pore through all medical records and ascertain the facts of the case, and talk to medical experts as well, in order to identify whether or not there is sufficient evidence of negligence.
Birth Injury Red Flags
The mother and her child can both possibly suffer injuries related to birth, but there are times where a pregnant mother incurs an injury that also leads to the child suffering an injury as well.
A newborn child’s bones are very soft and flexible and children are commonly injured in some sort of manner. However, the flexibility of the newborn’s bones is critical to the process of birth. If not for that flexibility, the newborn would not be able to navigate through the birth canal of the mother. The pliability of those bones enables certain kinds of birth injuries to heal on their own, so they do not need long-term medical care. There are instances where a debilitating birth injury does not occur as a result of medical negligence, but because of an act of nature. Therefore, it can be very tough to identify whether medical negligence or simple, yet terrible luck is to blame for the injury that has befallen your child.
There are many instances where the traditional means of delivering a baby through the mother’s vagina can lead to some relatively minor birth injuries. These kinds of injuries can include:
Miniscule white cysts: These cysts are also referred to as milia, and occur due to sweat glands that are clogged. They normally are seen on the child’s forehead, cheeks or nose and appear to be small pimples. Milia is a harmless condition that typically clears up in a few weeks as the baby’s sweat glands unclog, and does not require a great deal of medical treatment.
Bruising: Minor swelling or bruising can take place during a vaginal delivery, and show up on either the nose, neck, forehead, or scalp of an infant. These parts of the body are prone to this type of condition because they are the ones that normally force the mother’s birth canal open during the process of delivery. Breach babies (who are born upside down) will experience this swelling or bruising on their hips, buttocks, or legs. This is a normal condition and should clear up in a week or two. Therefore, there is no reason for concern.
Pink marks: These are dilatory, minute capillaries usually appear on the eyelids, forehead, or the back of an infant’s neck, and are also sometimes referred to as “stork bites.” As opposed to bruising and minor swelling, pink marks will often last much longer. By the time the child turns 2 years old, however, those marks should completely disappear.
Broken bones: Broken collarbones can occur during birth, although it rarely happens. When this happens, however, it’s normally not because of the negligence of a medical practitioner. Rather, this typically takes place when a baby that is larger than normal progresses through a narrower than usual birth canal. While a broken collarbone is typically a natural occurrence, if the baby suffers a broken arm, shoulder, or leg, that is a substantial red flag that negligence has probably occurred. If this type of injury happens, it could create a disabling condition that lasts a lifetime.
During the course of either an abnormal pregnancy or abnormal delivery, there are other warning signs that negligence has possibly taken place. Some of these warning signs consist of:
A member of medical staff, such as an attending doctor or obstetrician, fails to warn an expectant mother of a developing or existing condition such as preeclampsia (the development of high blood pressure, as well as protein in the urine, in a mother after the 20th week of pregnancy), diabetes, hypertension, and other possible long-term conditions during a mother’s pregnancy that can eventually result in long-term debilitation.
A medical practitioner who fails to warn the expectant mother of potentially dangerous medical conditions that are present during pregnancy, or who fail to sufficiently monitor or treat that condition. Dangerous side effects of prescriptions written or medicine is given to treat that condition or conditions fall into this category.
The failure of a medical professional to properly attach a fetal monitoring device as soon as the mother enters into labor. If that professional attaches this device, yet fails to detect warning signs of distress to the child such as an abnormally high or low heart rate, for example, that professional could be considered negligent.
Attending medical staff members failed to use ultrasound in an effort to determine whether or not the fetus was abnormally positioned in the mother’s womb. If this is the case, an emergency cesarean section, also called a C-section, is typically necessary in order for the child to be safely delivered. Should the fetus’ abnormal positioning be inadequately diagnosed, the newborn could be in significant danger.
The doctor chose to employ a high-forceps delivery to extract the child from the mother’s birth canal. If too much force is applied through this method, both the mother and the child can incur significant injuries as a result.
The infant experiences either hypoxia – not enough blood in the oxygen, or asphyxia – no oxygen in the blood. Hypoxia indicators include the baby’s skin displaying a bluish tint, weak or non-existent breathing, and a heart rate that is abnormally slow. Asphyxia indicators include weak heart rate and breathing rate, a lifeless appearance to the child’s eyes, and a pale shade to the skin. Both hypoxia and asphyxia can lead to devastating, disabling conditions such as delayed development, mental retardation, organ problems, and organ failure.
The baby registers a low score on the Apgar test, which is employed to identify the baby’s progress immediately after birth in several areas. The test is given one minute after birth, and then three, five, 10, 15, and 30 minutes after that. If the child’s score on the initial test is five or less, this should cause immediate alarm and mandate immediate medical action. Should the infant get a score of four or less in the following tests, that could possibly be an indication that some sort of brain injury at birth has taken place. The child could be suffering from cerebral palsy as well.
The infant does not appear to show an appetite and does not appear to exhibit basic feeding characteristics such as suckling or grappling.
The baby exhibits sluggish or slow movements after being born and appears to suffer from a lack of balance of movement in his or her face, legs, or arms. This could be noticeable by parents in the form of the infant moving only one of its arms or legs or smiling on only one side of its face.
Signs of a seizure, such as tremors or glassy eyes, are present.
A complete investigation must be launched into the medical treatment given during the pregnancy, delivery, birth, and early childhood so that it can be ascertained whether a birth injury can be blamed on the negligence of a medical professional. Through our two decades of experience in dealing with birth injury cases, we oftentimes see that the gut feel of a parent is typically the best indication that a birth injury or other form of complication has taken place. If you have any reason at all to believe that, at any time during the process of the birth of your child, that child’s development and/or health have been negatively affected in any manner whatsoever, call a birth injury attorney as soon as you can so that investigation can be launched. It will be vital for you to collect all copies of medical records concerning the pregnancy and birth, including prenatal checkups, any records concerning the delivery process, any post-partum checkups that may have taken place, and any doctor visits that took place during the infancy of your child. If you fail to procure these records, then any review of your case will be useless.
Next, you will need the opinion of an independent medical expert, and he or she will need those records in order to determine whether or not it is apparent that medical negligence was committed. The lawyers at our Law Office have relied on a wide range of medical experts throughout our two decades of experience. They have been of invaluable assistance to us, and they can help you and your family get the fair restitution you have coming to you.
Different Forms of Birth Injuries
Both newborns and mothers are susceptible to injuries during pregnancy, delivery, and birth.
There are usually two reasons that a birth injury takes place during pregnancy. One is the failure of a medical professional to give proper treatment to a mother for a preexisting medical condition, and possibly dangerous reactions to drugs the medical practitioner prescribed to the mother concerning that condition. There are times where a doctor will make the very risky choice to prescribe the mother a drug without taking into account what kind of potential adverse effects the child might experience. If an injury to the newborn child takes place as a result of that doctor’s choice, this is a form of negligence that is called teratogenicity.
There are several common conditions, such as diabetes, depression, asthma, anxiety, inflammatory bowel disease, and nausea, that have treatments associated with them that have been known to cause pregnancy complications. There are several well-known and well-established drugs, including Celexa, Albuterol, Effexor, Lexapro, Paxil, Prozac, Accutane, Thalidomide, Welbutrin, Zoloft, and Singulair, that are known to be teratogenic. If a medical practitioner is acting responsibly, he or she will do whatever is necessary in order to make sure the baby does not experience any dangerous side effects due to medicine that was prescribed to the mother for the mother’s pre-existing condition. If a birth injury occurs to either the baby or the mother as the result of improper monitoring of any prescription or prescriptions, there is the distinct possibility that negligence on the part of a medical practitioner has taken place.
Should you still not be certain if this type of negligence has occurred in your case, an experienced birth injury attorney can help you identify whether or not medical negligence led to the injury that has affected your child. We have a passionate staff, as well as a cadre of brilliant medical experts, who will make sure they do whatever ever is possible so that your family obtains just restitution, and is able to use that compensation to get their child the best quality of medical treatment he or she could possibly get.
Some especially serious complications, including blood clots, hemorrhages, broken bones, neurological trauma, and severe bruising, can take place during the process of birth. Each one of them can potentially lead to a disabling condition the child will have to deal with throughout the entirety of his or her life. These problems include cerebral palsy, Erb’s Palsy, shoulder dystocia, brain damage, and deformity.
Cerebral Palsy, or CP, is a well-known condition that is a combination of several different maladies that affect both movement and posture in a negative fashion. CP can happen as the result of brain injuries at birth and also during the development of the infant. CP can also take place during the pregnancy, delivery process and infancy, and can occur because of damage to many different areas of the brain. CP typically does not manifest itself at the time of the infant’s birth. It instead gradually begins to appear during the child’s first two years. There is no cure for Cerebral Palsy, but available treatments can somewhat alleviate its effects.
There are four major forms of Cerebral Palsy:
Spastic CP, which is characterized by convulsive, stiff movements.
Ataxic CP, signified by a lack of depth perception or lack of balance.
Dyskinetic CP, manifested by poor bodily coordination.
Mixed CP, which occurs when two or more of the above-mentioned conditions take place simultaneously.
The form of cerebral palsy that affects the infant will depend on the portion of the child’s brain that has experienced damage. You need an independent medical expert in order to determine whether or not a medical professional’s negligence either caused or played a role in the CP afflicting your child, and whether or not a medical practitioner could have prevented the condition. The expert will investigate pregnancy, labor, delivery, and birth. There are only a few ways to treat cerebral palsy and all of them require intensive, extremely costly treatments. These treatments include extended therapy, as well as accommodations and modifications that have to be done to the home in order for the child to have the highest quality of life he or she can have. There is also a high probability that the automobile used to transport the child will have to have modifications done.
This combination of modifications, accommodations, and treatments will obviously cost a massive amount of money. It is not at all uncommon for CP treatment costs to run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. If a medical professional’s negligence is the cause of your child’s CP, a condition that will result in a lifetime of misery, your family needs to obtain just compensation for the significant monetary expenditures you will have to make. The birth injury attorneys with our Law Office have been handling these cases for 20 years, and have an excellent track record of winning fair restitution for families experiencing this tragic condition.
Erb’s Palsy, Shoulder Dystocia, and Brachial Plexus Injuries
Erb’s Palsy also referred to as brachial palsy, is a significant problem that takes place when damage occurs to an infant’s brachial plexus nerves. This is the grouping of nerves that is located slightly below a newborn’s shoulder. In a healthy infant, this cluster of nerves eventually expands and stretches through the entirety of the arm. Should damage take place in this cluster during the birth process, significant and severe problems can occur.
These problems include substantial limitation of arm movement or a total lack of movement of the arm. This condition typically occurs when that nerve cluster cannot properly extend. In the event of this happening, the brain cannot stimulate the arm muscles. The consequence of this is the arm being either completely immobile or severely weakened. The damage inflicted on the arm depends on how severely the brachial plexus nerve cluster has been affected.
Erb’s Palsy typically occurs when one of the newborn’s shoulders becomes stuck in the birth canal of the mother. This problem is referred to as shoulder dystocia. The doctors who are responsible for safely delivering babies have varied levels of experience. Seasoned doctors who would otherwise be very reliable in this critically important area of bringing a child into the world can be subject to significant fatigue and overwork. For whatever reason, doctors will sometimes apply too much force in the attempt to remove a baby from the mother’s birth canal. When this takes place, the result can be shoulder dystocia. This can lead to shoulder dislocation and damage to the brachial plexus nerve. If C-section or high-forceps methods of delivery are used to extract the infant from the birth canal, this can also result in damage to the nerve cluster.
The existence of Erb’s Palsy is immediately obvious to any competent medical professional the moment the infant emerges from the mother’s birth canal. The symptoms are obvious; a child suffering from Erb’s Palsy won’t be able to grip with the afflicted hand, and will also not be able to move that affected arm. Also, an Erb’s Palsy victim will typically pin the affected arm tightly to its body, and the arm will be cocked at a 90-degree angle. Other, less significant problems involving the brachial plexus nerve could possibly be corrected through treatment and/or surgery. Unfortunately, there is no way to correct Erb’s Palsy, and the condition will result in an immense amount of treatment and therapy. By employing proper methods of delivery, injuries involving the brachial plexus nerve can be avoided.
Brain Injuries at Birth
A relatively common consequence of birth is a brain injury. You would assume that by the way the phrase “brain injury” sounds, that any such instance would be extremely serious. However, some brain injuries at birth, such as swelling or minor bruising, are actually fairly benign. Others, however, are potentially devastating, such as skull fractures, hemorrhages, hematomas, and hypoxia. What makes these kinds of injuries even more tragic is the fact that they are sometimes preventable.
Birth injury attorney
These kinds of injuries are typically caused by medical professionals using too much force in trying to remove the infant from the mother’s birth canal. The improper use of forceps can lead to extreme difficulties. Most brain injuries are usually not caused by medical negligence. The failure of medical practitioners to adequately diagnose or treat these kinds of injuries can often be considered negligence and can lead to a life-long debilitating condition. Any signs of potentially significant trauma to the brain have to be immediately discerned so that the chances of life-long disabilities are reduced. With proper treatment, many of the negative effects of these conditions can be mitigated as long as the trauma is noticed soon enough.
However, it is oftentimes the parents who see the signs of a possibly major brain trauma before anyone else. A baby may, for example, appear to only be looking through one eye, or smiling with only one side of the mouth. Another cause for alarm is when the infant moves the arm or leg on only one side of its body.
Should you have any reason whatsoever to believe that your baby is showing any of these or other symptoms, and could have experienced some sort of brain injury at birth, it is imperative that you act as quickly as you possibly can. Call a birth injury attorney and start the legal wheels in motion to make sure you, your family, and your child get the restitution you have coming to you for the negligence of a medical professional.
Possible Legal Options You May Have in the Event of a Birth Injury
As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, there are all kinds of questions that will fill the brain of the parent of a child who has suffered a birth injury. How did this happen? How can the injury be treated? Who is to blame? How will we ever hope to be able to pay for treatment? What are my legal options? How can I trust to handle my case? These are but a few of the questions parents face, and early all of them and many others have to be answered before any legal avenues can be pursued. Again, we mentioned earlier that the special equipment and treatment needed for more serious birth complications – equipment and treatment a child will need in order to even have a chance at any semblance of a normal life – can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. That’s not even taking into consideration the immense emotional and distress that is being experienced by the parents, and that the child will almost undoubtedly experience in future years.
The birth injury attorneys with our Law Office are well aware that there are quite a few instances where parents will choose not to initiate litigation. They feel uneasy suing a family doctor who they have trusted for years and who may be a close friend or a highly valued member of the community. You cannot let this happen to you. You simply cannot make the incredible mistake of not pursuing legal action. Such action doesn’t necessarily mean you will have to go through an emotionally draining trial, since, many times, an amicable resolution of this type of litigation can occur through an independent mediator. Our attorneys will completely explore all potential avenues of resolution so that your family can get the compensation it deserves without the need for a trial.
Cases Involving Injuries at Birth
Often, however, the only chance you have at obtaining just restitution for the trauma you and your child are experiencing is through the filing of a lawsuit. Should you find this is the case, you have to employ the services of an experienced, skillful team that will operate in a coordinated fashion in order to get justice for your family. A seasoned birth injury attorney, working in conjunction with convincing medical experts and passionate, tireless staff, will be intensely focused on getting the compensation your family has coming, and greatly needs.
Litigating these kinds of cases, however, is an incredibly complex task and nearly impossible for someone who has no experience or legal background. There are complexities and intricacies regarding any sort of litigation. The kind of legal action that surrounds birth injuries is a completely different kind of beast. Trying to pursue this litigation without the help of an experienced attorney is, to put it nicely, a ridiculous idea. Plaintiffs must surmount all kinds of difficult hurdles in order to successfully pursue litigation. The burden of proof and the limits on damages that are recoverable are but two. A plaintiff must also present a compelling case backed by rock-solid evidence that the condition of their baby is a direct result of the negligence of medical practitioners. The plaintiff also must have an independent medical expert who can convince a judge or jury that negligence took place, and it took place because attending medical professionals either neglected or ignored the reasonable standard of medical treatment that has been long established regarding the safe delivery of a child.
The standard of medical treatment is more subjective than objective. Therefore, the opposition in your case will have its own group of medical experts who will attempt to be just as compelling in overcoming the testimony offered by the expert working for you. You can just about guarantee that the defense’s team of lawyers will do whatever they can to prove that the injury that befell your baby was just a wicked trick of nature and did not take place due to the negligence of the attending medical personnel. The defense will claim that medical professionals did not have any chance at either reducing the effects of the injury or preventing the injury from occurring. They will try and point to medical literature in an effort to prove that nature, and not negligence, caused your child’s injury. However, that literature is written in a way designed to deflect blame from medical practitioners. Obviously, the medical community has a keen interest in protecting its members from liability in all instances, especially in cases concerning birth injuries. The defense, as a result, will point heavily point to that literature, even though it has been well established that previous actions of medical practitioners performed in accordance with these so-called “by the book” medical standards have often resulted in tragic birth injuries.
The defense lawyers working to defeat your case will be among the toughest that any plaintiff could ever face, regardless of the nature of the litigation. If you make the choice to fight your case on your own, without the help of legal representation, it could very well be the worst decision you’ll ever make. You only get one chance at pursuing litigation. There is no “reset” button. This isn’t a video game. This isn’t like going to Vegas and sitting at a blackjack table or in front of a slot machine – the kind of gamble you’ll be taking could result in a lifetime of misery and financial ruin.
You won’t be able to just show up in a courtroom with a picture of your child and count on the compassion of a judge and jury to lead them to award you a ton of money. There are several steps to a successful birth injury case. If you don’t have a compelling medical expert testifying on your behalf who can accurately interpret your medical records, you won’t be able to prove why your child’s injury occurred. Evidence concerning medical negligence has a way of disappearing even before the signs of your child’s injury begin to manifest themselves.
There is simply no alternative for you – you have to have the experience of a birth injury attorney working for you. If you don’t, and you lose your case, you will have to come up with the incredible amount of money it will take to treat your injured child, and pay for any accommodations your child will need to have any chance at all for a reasonable quality of life. You can just about guarantee that if you act as your own attorney, you will lose. And by doing so, you will have ensured several years of misery for your family and your child. That might sound harsh, but it is stone-cold reality.
As soon as the medical practitioners assigned to the care of the mother and baby begin to realize questions are being raised concerning the pregnancy, birth, or delivery, they will immediately inform their medical malpractice insurance provider. That provider will employ any means necessary to shift blame away from the medical team by proving that no medical negligence took place. There will be an incredible amount of money at stake. Insurance providers generate millions upon millions of dollars from malpractice policies – they will devote an immense amount of resources to protect them. An insurer doesn’t care about the emotional and physical trauma your family has experienced and continues to experience on a daily basis. An insurer also could care less about the unbelievable expense your family has incurred. The only thing that company cares about is the protection of its bottom line. So they will do whatever it takes in order to make sure that your case is defeated and your medical malpractice claim is denied.
To make matters even more difficult, the State of Texas makes it very tough for families whose children suffered a birth injury due to medical negligence to find justice. The Texas Legislature passed a tort reform that gives doctors and insurance companies a significant advantage in the form of compensation caps. This “reform” placed a $250,000 limit on the general damages a plaintiff can win for emotional distress, pain and suffering, and disfigurement. The only way the family of an injured child can obtain just compensation is if they can prove damages such as lost potential future wages the child may have earned, medical expenses, and the previously mentioned special accommodations. These damages are referred to as “special” damages, and can only be won if a judge or jury determines that the medical team was negligent in the provision of your child’s care.
In essence, your family could have millions of dollars in general damages coming to you, but because of tort reform, the most you can get would be $250,000. That amount of money would not come anywhere close to paying for some of the most devastating medical conditions that result from birth injuries. Again, you have only one chance to obtain justice. If you don’t have the help of a skilled and seasoned birth injury attorney on your side, that chance will likely disappear forever. If you hire a lackadaisical or inexperienced lawyer, he or she may only work to prove general damages. If that happens, your family will be woefully shortchanged and your child’s chance at any decent quality of life will likely be gone forever.
There may be grounds for more than one lawsuit to be filed on behalf of both the child and the mother against different responsible parties. This is dependent on the extent and type of injuries suffered by each of them. It takes a skilled and experienced lawyer to be able to handle them simultaneously and deal with all the procedural aspects of each case, including filing the correct claims, presenting the facts of each case, and presenting enough evidence to convince a judge or jury that the claims of the plaintiff are valid. As soon as you can, call the attorneys at our Law Office toll-free for a free and confidential consultation. We will, in a language that is easy to understand, give you a thorough idea of how we can help you and your family get the just restitution you deserve. We will listen to the circumstances surrounding your case, give you a detailed plan of action, and give you a thorough explanation of any legal complexities you may have difficulty comprehending.
Cerebral Palsy is Often Caused by Birth Injury or Delivery Malpractice
If you are a parent and your child has recently been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, you probably have many questions that require answers. What is cerebral palsy? What causes this condition? Do you have a legal right to seek financial reimbursement if your child’s cerebral palsy was the result of medical negligence? Our Law Office has the answers you seek here.
The term cerebral palsy refers to a collection of conditions affecting motor function and coordination. Cerebral palsy may be diagnosed shortly after delivery or later, through the child’s first two or three years of life.
How does this happen? Sometimes, the brain suffers an injury that can lead to cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy can lead to lowered levels of motor coordination, abnormal bodily movement, and decreases in cognitive function. The location of brain damage establishes the type of cerebral palsy that affects the child. How severe the damage depends on what type of cerebral palsy has been diagnosed. The symptoms of cerebral palsy may begin as little as a few months from the child’s birth. However, the symptoms are frequently not observed by either the doctors or the parents of the child until the delayed development of certain motor skills makes them more apparent. This observation usually happens around the first or second year of the child’s life. Sadly, no cure is yet available for cerebral palsy, although it can be treated through expensive medical care, therapy, and appropriate accommodations. Cerebral palsy may often be prevented during pregnancy and subsequent childbirth through appropriate medical intervention. If a doctor could have taken steps during pregnancy to prevent the development of cerebral palsy in your child but did not, you have the legal right to seek financial restitution for your child’s condition. Our Law Office has twenty years of experience pursuing medical malpractice and birth injury claims. We know what to do to help you and your family recover economically in order for your child to receive the treatment they deserve.
What Forms of Cerebral Palsy Are There?
There are four principal kinds of cerebral palsy that may have an effect on varying regions of the brain, each with its own symptoms. The following is a list of these kinds of cerebral palsy, as well as some insight into what can cause them:
Ataxic Cerebral Palsy – This type of cerebral palsy occurs with lower frequency than do the other types. Sufferers of ataxic cerebral palsy find it difficult to balance and may be deficient in fine motor skills, which may make it harder to complete things like wielding utensils to eat dinner, tying shoelaces, writing with a pen and paper, and typing using a keyboard. What causes ataxic cerebral palsy? Trauma to the cerebellum can precede this form of cerebral palsy, resulting in weakened muscles. Children afflicted with ataxic cerebral palsy may experience tremors when attempting sudden movements. This type of cerebral palsy is often detected later in the child’s development when it becomes apparent that the child requires assistance to stand, or just go out of their way to achieve balance. Some other indicators of ataxic cerebral palsy include lack of balance when walking, speech that sounds slurred, a wide range of speech volume, and a noticeable deficiency in in-depth perception. This form of cerebral palsy also commonly includes hypotonia or low muscle tone.
Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy or Athetoid Cerebral Palsy – This form of cerebral palsy accounts for about 10-20% of all cases. It can include both hypotonia and hypertonia. Hypertonia is when there is an unusual increase in muscle tension, rendering it harder for the child to stretch their muscles. Dyskinetic cerebral palsy sufferers typically have a reduced ability to control their movement and may suffer spontaneous spasms that they cannot control. They may also experience difficulty retaining an upright position or keeping themselves steady. This may make it harder to grasp objects, and it is at this point of the child’s development that this form of cerebral palsy is usually detected. What can cause dyskinetic or athetoid cerebral palsy? Generally, this form of the disease happens when doctors neglect to treat an infant’s abnormally high bilirubin levels. This can lead to damage in the basal ganglia. Because this is obviously avoidable, failure to attend to it is clear medical negligence. Increased treatment, accommodation, and therapy are all required to treat this form of cerebral palsy.
Spastic Cerebral Palsy – This form of cerebral palsy results from injury to the brain’s cortex. It accounts for 70-80% of cerebral palsy cases. Children with spastic cerebral palsy are afflicted with hypertonia or increased muscle tension. Spastic cerebral palsy is classified differently according to what part of the body is affected. Spastic hemiplegia refers to cerebral palsy affecting one side of the body. Spastic diplegia affects the lower limbs and can result in a scissor gait and walking on tiptoes. This variation of spastic cerebral palsy is the most common. Children with spastic diplegia are often nearsighted. Spastic monoplegia refers to a single limb being affected by cerebral palsy, while spastic triplegia means that three limbs are affected. Spastic quadriplegia affects all four limbs to varying degrees. Children afflicted with spastic quadriplegia are unlikely to walk, or even to want to walk, due to the degree of difficulty inherent in the task. The effort required to overcome the muscle spasms and rigidity is usually entirely too great. Spastic cerebral palsy in general can also lead to early-onset arthritis.
Mixed Cerebral Palsy – If the brain is damaged in more than one area, multiple types of cerebral palsy can occur. This form of cerebral palsy is quite rare.
Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorneys are Necessary to Successfully Pursue Lawsuits Related to Cerebral Palsy
The brains of developing fetuses and babies can sustain injury or trauma from a number of sources. Legal experts in brain damage are needed to establish whether your child’s cerebral palsy was caused through the negligence of a doctor or other medical professional or due to random chance. The child’s development records will need to be evaluated to help make the assessment. These records should include everything through pregnancy and birth. Only by doing this can a legal expert make a determination on whether or not the resulting cerebral palsy was caused through preventable negligence on the part of a medical professional attending to your child. The amount of cerebral palsy caused due to negligence is about one-third of all cases. The child is then left to endure physical and mental suffering, while the family of the child struggles to meet the new financial demands the condition requires to treat appropriately.
The Medical Malpractice Attorneys of Our Law Office are Here to Help You if Your Child is Afflicted with Cerebral Palsy Resulting from Medical Negligence
Has your child recently been diagnosed with cerebral palsy? Do you suspect that the condition resulted from medical negligence? Our Law Office can provide the services of an independent legal medical expert to go over your child’s medical records with a fine-toothed comb to discover evidence of negligence. Call us today toll-free to receive a free consultation that will remain confidential. We will discuss with you the particular details of your child’s condition, answer your legal questions, and let you know what we can do to help you. You and your child deserve fair economic restitution for the long scope of treatment required to deal with this disease.
Erb’s Palsy Lawyer
Birth Injury Lawsuit Lawyer Discusses Brachial Plexus, Shoulder Dystocia, and Erb’s Palsy
Birth injuries can happen to anyone and can result in very serious medical conditions. Numerous factors, even seemingly unrelated ones like a rushed or tired physician, can result in life-threatening or long-term disabling injuries to both mother and child and can occur during pregnancy or childbirth.
While some birth injuries happen merely because of the statistical inevitability of nature, many other birth injuries occur because of the negligent actions of doctors, nurses, obstetricians, and other medical personnel, who have been given the incredible responsibility of safely delivering babies. Sadly, just a minor error by a physician can result in a lifetime of medical treatment, care, and special accommodations for a child who has suffered an injury.
Erb’s Palsy is one of the most serious medical conditions that can arise from a birth injury and is characterized by a significant decline of strength and range of movement in the child’s arm and shoulder. This injury can translate into mounting medical and treatment bills that can quickly overwhelm a parent or guardian. If you find yourself in this situation and struggling with these issues, and are suspicious that medical malpractice may have occurred in the injury to your child, you may potentially qualify for compensation for your financial losses and medical expenses, ranging from past bills to future or impending costs for medical care. Our Erb’s palsy medical malpractice attorneys have compiled this brief article to highlight specific kinds of birth injury that can lead to life-long health issues for a child.
For the past twenty years, the birth-injury attorneys of our Law Offices have learned the legal complexities of birth injury lawsuits. We can help you understand the intricate issues involving birth injuries and the litigation needed to solve them. Often in trying to decipher if the birth injury was a tragic natural occurrence or caused by someone’s negligence, parents have no medical-legal experience to turn to when an injury occurs. We can help make that determination and then work diligently to make sure your case is resolved to your satisfaction and that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Brachial Plexus Injuries
The brachial plexus is the bundle of nerves that connects the spine to the upper extremities, such as the shoulders, arms, and hands. Any excessive physical exertion or unusually difficult labor and delivery can injure both mother and child in different ways. Brachial plexus injuries can happen in exceptionally large babies, unusually small birth canals, awkward positioning of the baby in the womb, or abnormal activity in the uterus or womb. It is a fairly normal occurrence, afflicting nearly 20 percent of all childbirths. Dystocia is any excessive physical exertion or unusually difficult labor and delivery. It can injure both mother and child in different ways. Attending obstetricians and their medical staff have been trained to take reasonable care in delivering the baby without causing injury or harm because brachial plexus injuries frequently take place during childbirth.
In most cases, the medical staff bypasses vaginal delivery and performs an emergency caesarian section (c-section) or a high-forceps procedure. This can result in serious birth injuries to the brachial plexus nerve cluster that joins the hand, arm, and shoulder to the spine. In newborn babies, these nerves are clustered together in the shoulder before completely spreading throughout the entire arm in the adult arm and shoulder. The damage to these nerves can be significant, even to the point where the nerves become severed and lead to life-long debilities because of the way they’re bunched together. Sometimes surgery can be done to correct the damaged nerves.
Many doctors try to avert liability by telling the families of babies who suffered birth injuries, the harm that took place was unpreventable or was simply normal, under the circumstances. Some birth injuries happen just because of the statistical inevitability of nature, but others occur because of the negligent care from physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals, who were given the incredible responsibility of delivering the baby safely. Many of these injuries are diagnosed incorrectly. Many times a doctor will recognize the obvious signs, yet simply hope the injury or symptoms will go away. In some cases, the nerve damage does go away.
Erb’s palsy usually happens when the baby’s shoulder getting stuck in the birth canal, which is a condition known as shoulder dystocia. If a weary or inexperienced doctor pushes or pulls too forcefully in attempting to dislodge the baby, shoulder dystocia can cause the shoulder to dislocate, which damages the brachial plexus nerve cluster. If an infant’s shoulder becomes immovable, the delivery process becomes quite risky, because of the extreme pressure put on the baby’s head, neck, and umbilical cord. If action is not taken immediately to readjust the shoulder, the baby could suffer severe brain injury because of the lack of oxygen to the brain. This lack of oxygen is called hypoxia. If too great a pressure is applied, the brachial plexus nerves can become stretched, bruised torn, or even severed. On many occasions, in these severe situations, medical malpractice occurs because of the aggressive or negligent behavior of health care professionals.
Erb’s Palsy most often arises from the condition of shoulder dystocia as mentioned above. Erb’s Palsy causes the muscles in the arm to lack adequate stimulation by the brain, which leaves the arm immobile or very weak, depending on the severity of the brachial plexus nerve injury.
Erb’s Palsy should be detected soon after birth by the attending physician and staff because the symptoms are immediately obvious—babies can’t grip with the affected hand, lack voluntary movement in the affected arm, and hold their arm tightly pinned against their body, cocked at a 90-degree angle. Occasionally, less severe brachial plexus nerve injuries can be treated and corrected with proper treatment or specialized surgery by the attending physician. Erb’s Palsy, however, creates lifelong disabilities that require extensive treatment and therapy, including specialized adaptive technologies and accommodations. However, proper delivery techniques can prevent injuries to the brachial plexus nerves.
Call Our Erb’s Palsy Lawyer
The attorneys at our Law Office have been helping families recover from birthing process injuries for over twenty years. We understand how to navigate the rough waters of medical malpractice law, unlike many attorneys who simply avoid these types of cases because they are too complicated and challenging to win. We will devote the time required to build a solid case to make sure those responsible for your baby’s shoulder dystocia, brachial nerve trauma, or Erb’s Palsy are made accountable. We’ve won millions of dollars in settlements from every major insurance carrier in the U.S. The insurance company adjusters and defense lawyers are familiar with our successful track record. As a result, our clients frequently receive fair settlement offers without having to go to trial. Our attorneys can ensure you get the best results possible so that your child receives the best treatment possible and compensation for the mental and physical trauma they have suffered in this ordeal. If your child has been injured in childbirth because of a medical professional’s negligence, call the birthing injury attorneys at our Law Office (toll-free) for a free consultation. We can answer your specific questions and help you make an informed decision.
Day Care Accidents
Daycare Abuse Attorney
Has Your Child Been Injured or Abused by a Daycare Professional?
When allegations of child abuse are levied, those are charges that should never be ignored or taken lightly. Pursuing legal action against either a person or entity that is guilty of child abuse at a daycare facility can be an extremely complex ordeal that is fraught with emotional trauma.
Should a parent or legal guardian have a reason to suspect that his or her child may have been the subject of either sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, or physical abuse while in the care of a daycare facility, the resulting anger, and frustration experienced by both parents and members of the family can be incredible. If the negligent behavior of an employee of a daycare facility, or a caregiver at another type of facility, the worker and the worker’s employer may both be held responsible for their actions (or, in some cases, inactions) by means of a personal injury lawsuit. This article, provided to you by the daycare abuse attorneys with our Law Office will provide detailed information on the signs associated with child abuse, the legal aspects that are often a part of child daycare abuse cases, and what you should do if you have a suspicion that your son or daughter is experiencing daycare child abuse. While we obviously hope that neither children, parents nor guardians ever have to go through the trauma associated with any form of child abuse, we are nevertheless prepared to spring into action to assist in achieving justice against those who would stoop so low as to abuse a child. This article is not meant to be a substitute for a legal consultation, however. Please call our Law Office (toll-free) for a free and confidential consultation regarding the specific details of your case.
Child Abuse Statistics in the United States
These alarming statistics, presented by the National Children’s Alliance, serve as a reminder of the depressingly too common occurrence of child abuse, not only in Texas but also throughout the United States of America.
Nearly 700,000 children are abused in the U.S each year. An estimated 678,000 children (unique incidents) were victims of abuse and neglect in 2018, the most recent year for which there is national data. That’s about 1% of kids in a given year. However, this data may be incomplete, and the actual number of children abused is likely underreported.
Child welfare authorities ensure the safety of more than 3.5 million kids More than 3.5 million children received an investigation or alternative response from child protective services agencies.1 An estimated 1.9 million children received prevention services.
How child abuse impacts kids
The youngest children were most vulnerable Children in the first year of their life had the highest rate of victimization of 2.7% of all children that age.1
Child abuse is deadly. In 2018, an estimated 1,770 children died from abuse and neglect in the United States.
Nationally, neglect is the most common form of abuse. Three-out-of-five (nearly 61%) of victims were neglected only, more than 10% were physically abused only, and 7% were sexually abused only. Yet the statistics indicate a more complex problem where children experience multiple forms of abuse. In 2018, more than 15% of kids were polyvictimized (suffered two or more forms of abuse).
Yet CACs serve far more sexual abuse cases, indicating a deeper problem.CACs investigated 243,039 cases involving sexual abuse allegations in 2019, fully 65% of all cases our members carried through. While not all these cases resulted in a disclosure, charges, or a conviction, it’s an indication that the problem of sexual abuse may be much larger than federal statistics show.
Child abuse allegations concerning daycare facilities are often intensely publicized, even though they do not account for the majority of child abuse reports. As such, the attendant publicity should not lead parents or guardians to assume that there is evidence of abuse being common in daycare settings, and should not lead them to believe that daycare facilities are inherently unsafe environments for children. Even one incident of daycare child abuse is one too many.
Signs of Possible Daycare Child Abuse
A parent or guardian will oftentimes notice if a child suddenly starts to act in a different manner than normal, or is experiencing significant shifts in mood, withdrawal symptoms, or aggressive behavior. Most children have a hard time expressing their feelings or comprehending why they are all of a sudden acting in a certain manner. Also, children may attempt to hide what they’re experiencing because they do not want to “tell” an adult. Following is a list of some of the red flags and symptoms of child abuse that could help you determine whether or not your child may be suffering from such abuse.
Signs of potential physical abuse include:
Burns, bruises, swollen areas, or cuts that are not explained
Swings in mood
Exhibiting an unusually strong aversion to going to daycare
Withdrawing from normal, everyday activities
A child complaining of pain or some sort of injury without being able to explain why it occurred
Signs of possible emotional abuse include:
Delays in normal development
Disorders concerning speech
Severe allergies, ulcers, or asthma
A child displaying either manic-depressive behavior or passive-aggressive behavior
Biting, rocking, thumb-sucking, or other habitual disorders
Signs of potential neglect include:
A child exhibiting a dirty appearance, or whose diapers are dirty after leaving daycare
A daycare facility that is understaffed
A child being unusually hungry or thirsty after leaving daycare
The daycare facility discourages visitors who are unannounced
Signs of potential sexual abuse include:
A child who fears contact
A child who abnormally craves contact
A child engaging in inappropriate sexual play
A child exhibiting an unusual level of interest in the sexual parts of the body or in issues of a sexual nature
Yeast or urinary tract infections
Bruising or bleeding in the region of the genitals
An inability of the child to properly stand or sit
Torn or dirty underclothes
What to do Next if Your Child May be Suffering from Daycare Child Abuse
Should you have a reason to suspect that your son or daughter may be experiencing child abuse while under the care of a daycare facility, you have a number of steps you can take to identify whether or not that abuse is actually taking place. The first thing you should do is discuss the child’s behavior with your spouse or partner. Both of you are more apt to notice and manners of behavior that are out of the ordinary, since you are the ones closest to the child. You might also think about talking to the parents of other children at the daycare facility to see if they have any suspicions regarding potential child abuse as well. There are some cases where the problem is not child abuse at all, but the actions of another child that are causing the injuries and/or abnormal behavior. There are other times where, in fact, these abnormalities and injuries are the direct results of child abuse. It is important to be tactful when engaging in these kinds of conversations, but it can be vital to talk with a fellow parent to see if they’ve noticed his or her child displaying the same kind of troubling characteristics after attending daycare that your child is displaying.
There is only so much that parents can do to ensure the safety of their children, but one of the things they can do to head off any potentially damaging problems is to listen to their children regarding their daycare experiences. Ask your children on a daily basis about their experience at daycare and keep track of the responses. That way you can consistently make an accurate determination of the child’s emotional well-being.
Abuse or neglect is often not physical in nature, but rather emotional, and as a result can be much tougher to ascertain because there are no obvious physical signs. This form of abuse is just as dangerous as physical abuse because it can result in emotional scars that lead to delays in development. Should your child not want to talk about his or her time at a daycare facility, or become abnormally depressed or aggressive while talking about it, there could be a good reason for a parent or guardian to become significantly concerned.
If, for whatever reason, you feel your child may be a victim of daycare child abuse, immediately call either your local police or the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). If the suspected case of daycare child abuse needs to be addressed immediately, call the DFPS hotline as soon as possible toll-free at 1-800-252-5400. They have someone available to talk to you at any time of the night or day, any day of the week. Should there not be a need for an immediate response, worried parents can use the Texas Statewide Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation Reporting System website (https://www.txabusehotline.org/) to submit a suspected daycare abuse report. That report will be replied to within a period of 24 hours.
Finally, you may want to consider the pursuit of legal action against the liable parties that have caused harm to your child through a personal injury lawsuit. The daycare abuse attorneys at our Law Office can help guide you and your family through this extremely trying period of time. Once child abuse allegations are leveled toward either a person or place of business a detailed investigation is launched by the State of Texas in order to determine the legitimacy of said claim. Your rights, and the rights of your child, will be defended every step along the way by an experienced Law Office attorney. Our daycare child abuse attorneys will deal with all of the necessary paperwork and any other parts of the process in connection with litigation so you and your family can remain focused on caring for your child and helping him or her heal from this incredibly traumatic experience.
Liability Concerning Incidents of Daycare Abuse
No matter what kind of torment their child may be going through, whether it is a result of either child sexual abuse, child emotional abuse, child physical abuse, or neglect, there is one question that parents or guardians immediately ask – “Who’s fault is this?” In the arena of litigation, this question is referred to as the question of liability. Either one person or entity, or multiple persons or entities can be regarded as liable in such a case. Texas law subscribes to the notion of “respondeat superior.” Basically, this means that when a judge or jury finds an employee guilty of negligent behavior that results in either the injury or death of another person, the employer of that worker will be held as well as a vicariously liable defendant. In the case of daycare child abuse, the daycare worker would be a defendant in a daycare child abuse personal injury action, and the company that owns the daycare facility would also be a defendant.
There are many instances where daycare child abuse does not take place as a result of the actions of either a daycare worker or teacher at the facility. Oftentimes, these occurrences are the result of the actions of a secondary daycare worker such as a janitor or bus driver. These individuals may only have a moderate amount of contact with the children. There have also been times when relatives of daycare workers were responsible for daycare child abuse. No matter who may be the ultimate cause of the abuse, the daycare facility is still responsible for the safety of all the children in attendance at all times. If more than one party is held liable for a daycare child abuse incident, multiple civil suits can be filed against each party. A detailed, thorough investigation is often necessary so that all of those responsible can be identified and held accountable for their actions so that you and your family can get complete justice for the harm done to your child.
Negligence Claims Involving Daycare Abuse
Personal injury claims involving negligence that results in the abuse of a child are handled much differently than other forms of claims in Texas. In the instance, of, say, an injury accident case, a very specific type of negligence must be applied. In order to ensure justice in the case of a personal injury claim involving harm to a child, there are a variety of negligence claims that may be used. A negligent hiring claim, for example, can be filed against a liable daycare facility if those in charge failed to make a reasonable effort to perform appropriate background checks on potential employees. If someone with a history of questionable character works near children, as subsequently is the cause of a child suffering some kind of harm, the employer will be held liable for the injury due to its negligence in the hiring process. There is another legal avenue, called negligent entrustment or negligent supervision, that can be pursued in a case involving daycare child abuse. If an adult acting in a supervisory capacity does not properly ensure a child’s safety, that worker could be held liable for any injury that child may suffer. A general negligence claim could also be filed against either a negligent daycare worker or a secondary worker. Should any of these negligence claims be validated, it is likely that parents or guardians will not only receive fair restitution, they will also likely see those responsible for the child’s injury brought to justice.
Daycare Child Abuse and Vicarious Liability
A daycare worker’s employer can be held vicariously liable when one of their employees is accused of suspected child abuse at a daycare facility. There are many cases when it is surprisingly difficult to ascertain the owner of a daycare or other childcare facility’s true identity. Some daycare centers are privately owned. However, others are owned by corporations or other business entities. Those entities may take steps to conceal their ownership of such a facility, and thus attempt to escape liability if allegations of abuse are levied against their company. If a corporation owns a daycare center, it will probably have an extensive amount of money at its disposal to craft a very formidable defense. They will hire a stellar defense team, formed with the sole purpose of defending their client’s interests. The defense will not be concerned at all with the injury your child has suffered and the trauma you and your family have experienced. Make sure you are as well-armed as the defense by calling on the legal expertise of the daycare abuse attorneys at our Law Office.
You can just about guarantee that whether the daycare facility is independently owned or part of a huge corporation, it will have insurance coverage of some kind. It is just as likely that the insurance company will play a large role in any litigation that may result from a daycare child abuse injury. These insurance providers have extensive experience in dealing with such cases, and, whenever they can, they will attempt to reduce or flat-out deny claims against their policies in order to protect their assets. It does not matter in the least how badly a child and his or her family need compensation for injuries the child has suffered. When faced with this level of opposition, a plaintiff in a daycare child abuse case simply must call on the assistance and expertise of a trial-tested lawyer – one who is intimately familiar with the strategies insurance companies use in order to guard their profits. The attorneys with our Law Office have successfully fought every major United States insurance company, proudly developing a reputation as a law firm that works solely in its clients’ best interests. Because of that reputation, we have carefully cultivated over the last 20 years, many insurance companies and defense attorneys choose to offer sizeable out-of-court settlements rather than risk a much greater amount of money by tangling with us in a courtroom. If your case has to go to trial, we will be well-positioned to defend the rights of both you and your child.
Why You Should Initiate Legal Action in a Daycare Child Abuse Personal Injury Case
Parents or guardians of a child who suffers daycare abuse should pursue litigation in the form of a personal injury lawsuit for two reasons. Number One, the purpose of a civil lawsuit is to hold responsible parties accountable for the negligence that led to the abuse of a helpless child and to deliver justice. By undertaking legal action, the liable parties can be identified in a public forum as committing one of the most heinous acts possible, and this behavior can be eliminated so that no other child or family will ever again have to experience the pain and trauma of abuse from those parties. Many times, the need of parents to see justice served is the main motivating factor for pursuing legal action against the person or entity responsible for their child’s suffering.
In addition, another goal of a personal injury lawsuit is to ensure that affected children and family members are fairly compensated for the damages they have incurred in such a case. There are many ways in which financial losses can occur. Many times, damages include any past or future medical expenses that may arise from the injury that goes toward treating the child’s pain and suffering, mental or emotional distress, and improving his or her overall health. Other costs could be incurred due to impairment or disfigurement. Judges or juries can decide to award punitive damages to plaintiffs in a daycare child abuse case should they deem the occurrence of the abuse severe enough. Such an award would possibly cripple the offending facility financially to such an extent that it may have to cease operations.
Again, however, while the pursuit of compensation is many times not the prime motivation for legal action, it remains a necessary component of any personal injury litigation. That compensation can help guarantee a family will not have to struggle financially along with the struggle they are already experienced in trying to help their child get through an incredibly difficult time emotionally. Such an experience can, unfortunately, last a long time and require years and years of either physical or emotional therapy.
How Our Law Office can Help
Should your child and family suffer the devastating effects of daycare child abuse, do not hesitate to get your child immediate medical attention and then contact the proper law enforcement and child protection agencies. After you do so, begin to consider any legal options you might want to pursue and call the daycare abuse attorneys with our Law Offices toll-free for a free and confidential consultation.
We will carefully listen to all the details surrounding your case, and answer any questions you may have concerning possible legal action. If you choose to pursue litigation, we will help you start the process, and then we will launch a detailed investigation in order to properly assess the next steps to take in the matter.
The attorneys at our Law Office stand ready to assist both you and your family through what is an incredibly trying time. We will work tirelessly to ensure that those responsible for causing this turbulence in your lives will be brought to justice and held fully responsible for their negligence.
Daycare Worker Negligence
Daycare Abuse Liability and Negligence Discussed by Texas Attorney
When it comes to winning daycare abuse personal injury lawsuits, our attorneys have some of the best records in the state of Texas. Our team of knowledgeable and experienced litigators has more than twenty (20) years of courtroom victories.
Our Law Firm has fought for the legal rights of daycare abuse victims. Our ongoing advocacy for the rights of the young is relentless. Read this article to get a better understanding of the rights of your children as it pertains to Daycare Abuse and your possible legal recourse. Call our Texas daycare abuse lawyers today.
In any corner of America, the daycare industry is big business. The industry’s momentum is due partly to the women’s lib movement because women wanted to have their careers, their husbands their big houses with the picket fence, and their children too. Another reason for momentum in the daycare industry is the increase in the cost of living. At one time the husband or man of the house was not just the primary breadwinner. He was the only breadwinner and the woman was a housewife. That was before it took two incomes to do what one income used to do.
When Can An Individual or Individuals Be Held Negligently Liable for Abuse At A Daycare Facility?
In daycare abuse cases the legal guardian or parent of the injured child has a legal right to proceed on behalf of the child who has been injured. What they might not expect is that the burden is on the parents or guardians of the victim to show negligence or abuse took place before a lawsuit against the daycare providers can be filed.
Supervisors who are allegedly negligent get the most complaints. This is the type of complaint that might be filed against any daycare employee who is directly involved with the children or even remotely involved at the daycare such as a van driver, a custodian, the chef, or even a subcontractor that delivers to the establishment. Negligent supervision claims normally are filed when the adult in charge who is responsible for the overall security of the children does not deliver on that obligation.
For some people who are unfamiliar with the law, a misunderstood theory called Negligent Entrustment trips them up. Negligent Entrustment is important to any personal injury case because it means the difference between a lawyer and client getting a favorable judgment with no financial recovery or the lawyer and client getting a favorable judgment and an acceptable financial recovery for the client. Imagine a daycare worker turning her back on toddlers riding tricycles just a few feet away from the see-saw when her cellphone rings. The daycare worker turns her attention to her private conversation and away from the children who are playing dangerously close to the see-saw. Children naturally can sense when there is no adult paying attention. That’s usually when they make their move. As the two older children play on the see-saw the other young toddlers peddle close enough under the see-saw and it struck slightly on the head by a child on the see-saw. Although it could have been worse, the toddler on the trike falls off and onto the ground and starts to scream and cry. Just like dominoes, the cries of one child cause the other children to chime in. In this scenario, the daycare employee was within earshot, but she might as well have been on the other side of the playground because she wasn’t paying attention and a child was hurt in the process.
After checking her employee file it turned out that the negligent employee has been written up several times before for using her cellphone when she should have been giving her undivided attention to her job, which is watching the children. In this case, the worker and the daycare facility can be held liable and be co-defendants in a personal injury lawsuit. That’s because the daycare facility knew about this worker’s less than stellar behavior and failed to make sure the worker didn’t continue her violations. So court documents might charge workers with claims of inexperience, incompetence, or behavior that is unfit for the duties entrusted to them.
Daycare abuse lawyers
Our Texas daycare abuse attorneys have the highest moral and ethical standards. So throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks is not how we operate at our Law Office. We will conduct a thorough investigation and gather evidence to support our claims. Still, any attorney worth his weight knows that the owner of the daycare is a better defendant than the daycare worker because owners have access to enough money to pay any damages awarded. Daycare workers earn only a few dollars more than minimum wage.
When it comes to daycare owners, they are more likely to drop the ball on follow-through in the hiring process. It’s called Negligent Hiring. As with any growing business, it takes a number of people in different capacities to come together and create a well-oiled machine. So in the haste to fill vacancies owners don’t do their due diligence when it comes to background checks and the like. Just because someone knows his or her craft doesn’t mean they are the right fit for your company, especially if children are your main clientele. If they come in contact with the children at any time they should be checked against any pedophile registries, for any criminal backgrounds and they should have to take a drug test to get hired and be subject to periodic drug testing during their employment. If not the results might be tragic. In the past, daycare owners have realized that employees had criminal backgrounds that include mental illness, child molestation, and rape.
Texas law makes a parent or guardian eligible to file lawsuits on behalf of a minor child, regardless of if the injured child suffered emotional, physical, or sexual abuse or neglect. There are some common theories of negligence that the daycare abuse attorneys look for in every case. If the lawyer and investigators can confirm and prove any of these cases of liability against the daycare owner or workers, then a personal injury lawsuit can be filed. Not only is this legal claim brought on behalf of the wounded youth, but bring a legal claim such as this will send a message to every daycare provider who is sure to hear about the lawsuit and take note. It sends a message that there are consequences to abusive and neglectful behavior against a child in your care.
Choosing a Daycare & Steps to Keep Your Child Safe
Although it’s up to the individual to choose the best caregiver for their child, the Consumer Protection Board says there is a recommended process. Daycare abuse is a fact of life and sometimes the effects can be long-lasting and life-changing. So choose a daycare facility that is:
Licensed by the state of Texas and one that will permit surprise visits by parents or legal guardians of the children at the daycare; then take the liberty of showing up for one of those surprise visits and do a walkthrough of the daycare facility before you sign up your child to attend; Know where the bathrooms are to make sure they are not too far away from the main area where children will be. Ask questions about who monitors the children, who takes them to the restroom, and who will be in contact with them. According to reports, more than fifty (50%) percent of all daycare sex abuse claims are said to happen in the bathroom. A large percentage of sex abuse happens during nap time. So be sure to ask if nap time is monitored and if so by whom. Definitely take note of daycare rules for conducting background checks and drug screenings on employees, including what kind of criminal offenses are acceptable for potential employees.
Find out who will be spending time with the youths in addition to the screened staff, and for how long. In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have to screen employees and our children always would be safe. But it’s not perfect. Research shows that sexual abuse in addition to physical abuse and exploitation occurs because a trusted member of the child’s caregiving team is somehow involved. It might be the van driver, or the custodian, or even a relative. In thirty-six (36%) percent of all abuse cases investigated, children become the victims of sexual molestation at the hands of a family member who is the relative of a staff. Those relatives turn out to be the husband or the son of a daycare worker or owner most of the time. So beware and be certain that your child has limited to no contact with these kinds of people. Ask about how many employees are employed by the daycare facility and how many of them will be near your child. Ask about the discipline policies and how they might address bullying at that age.
Inquire how many employees work at the daycare facility and how many of those employees will be in close contact with your child. Statistics on daycare abuse show that the abuse is usually at the hands of persons not directly involved in the supervision of the child. Insist that your child’s interaction and contact with all other service personnel at the daycare is limited. Statistics on a nationwide study of daycare abuse state that while in daycare facilities, it was the family members of daycare staffers that had easy access to the innocent children. Once you have done your due diligence to make sure your child’s environment is a safe place, engage your child in conversations about his or her daily activities when they return home. Regularly question your child about their day and activities while at the daycare. Listen to their answers and take note of their body language. If there is something that doesn’t feel right or sound right, trust your instincts.
If you suspect that your child is the victim of daycare abuse, contact our Texas daycare abuse lawyers to discuss your case through a free initial legal consultation.