Tampa Birth Injuries Lawyer
There are dozens of hospitals in or near Tampa, providing residents with a wide variety of healthcare choices and attracting some of the most renowned physicians in the country. Unfortunately, doctors and other providers sometimes make errors in healthcare provision.
When an error results in a patient’s injury, they or their family can seek compensation for the expenses and the impacts of the injury. This is true even for the smallest of patients: those injured before, during, or just after birth.
Birth injuries can result in permanent disabilities and necessitate a lifetime of medical care. If your child suffered an injury during the birth process due to the negligence of a physician or other healthcare provider, an experienced Tampa birth injuries lawyer from the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys can help you understand the medical malpractice claims process and the type of compensation that can be available for your claim. We can also tell you about the services the Fernandez legal team can provide to assist you with your claim.
Why Choose Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys?
The Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys is a leading personal injury law firm in Florida that has garnered over $100 million in jury verdicts and negotiated settlements on behalf of its clients. For over 25 years, the Fernandez legal team has focused solely on personal injury claims to provide an array of services to assist the injured throughout Florida in obtaining the compensation they need. Our attorneys have been consistently recognized as “Super Lawyers” by our peers.
Having a local attorney whose services are easily accessible is a powerful and important option when you’ve been injured or have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence. We provide free case evaluations at our Tampa office, conveniently located at 2503 W. Swann Ave., Suite 100, just down the street from HCA Florida South Tampa Hospital. We look forward to exploring your legal options with you.
How Birth Injuries Occur in Tampa
As noted by the organization Visit Tampa Bay, from Cuban cigar rollers to African-American musicians, the history of Tampa is racially diverse. While that diversity allows for a dynamic cultural experience for tourists, it can spell trouble for expectant parents.
The Kaiser Family Foundation reports stark racial disparities in the level of care provided to women and infants during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. These disparities include access to prenatal care and treating pregnancy and delivery complications associated with poor outcomes.
Black women, in particular, are three times more likely than white women to die during pregnancy and are also more likely to have birth risk factors, such as preterm labor, that lead to higher infant mortality rates.
The Medical Errors that Cause Birth Injuries
It is not unusual for a child to suffer minor injuries during the birth process, such as bruising. However, there are also several errors that healthcare providers can make during the delivery of prenatal care, the birth process, or the hours following birth that can result in injuries to the infant.
Some of those errors include:
- Failing to diagnose a condition in the pregnant mother or unborn child during prenatal care that, when left untreated, causes harm to the infant
- Failing to perform a cesarean section when laboratory tests or an ultrasound indicate that the procedure is medically necessary to protect the life of the mother or infant
- Failing to adequately monitor the infant’s vital signs during and in the hours following the delivery to detect signs of distress
- Improper use of birthing instruments, such as vacuum suction or forceps
- Improperly pulling on the infant’s head or neck while assisting in the delivery
Common birth injuries resulting from a provider’s negligence include:
- Brachial plexus injuries
- Cerebral palsy and other brain injuries occurring during or immediately after birth
- Bone fractures, such as fractures to the collarbone
- Facial paralysis resulting from the improper use of birthing instruments
- Spinal cord injuries caused by forceful use of forceps
- Injuries resulting from an undiagnosed condition suffered by the mother, such as high blood pressure or gestational diabetes.
Fighting the Insurance Companies for the Compensation You and Your Child Need
Parents of children who have suffered a birth injury due to a healthcare provider’s negligence can seek compensation for expenses and impacts related to their child’s injury by filing a medical malpractice claim against the at-fault provider. If the injury occurred due to a physician’s error, the claim would likely be filed against the physician’s malpractice policy.
In contrast, errors committed by nurses and other hospital staff or that resulted from negligent policies and procedures at the hospital where the child was born are generally filed against the facility’s medical malpractice policy.
Unfortunately, the insurers who service medical malpractice policies in Florida—like most insurers—are typically focused on limiting the amounts of payouts on claims to protect their financial bottom line. Medical malpractice claims are often extraordinarily hard to prove, as those who witnessed the error and can testify about what happened are colleagues and perhaps even friends of the defendant.
A birth injuries lawyer knows the common birth injuries, the costs of treating these injuries, and the amount of compensation that is needed to cover the expenses and impacts of raising a child who potentially has profound liabilities as a result of medical negligence.
A birth injuries lawyer can:
- Determine if their child’s birth injuries result from medical negligence. It is important to remember with medical malpractice claims that not every bad outcome is caused by negligence and not every medical error results in injury. To have a viable birth injury claim, an injury, and an error must have caused it.
- Determine the source of liability and the malpractice insurance policy that covers the provider’s negligence.
- Properly evaluate the claim ensures that the claimants receive enough compensation to address past and future medical needs.
- Gather evidence and documentation to prove that the injury resulted from violating the standard of care for pregnant women and neonates and justifying the claim’s value.
- Help the claimant understand how the claim was valued, they can make informed decisions about the settlements offered.
- Obtain a pre-suit affidavit per Florida law requires the claimant’s attorney to seek an evaluation of the claim by a qualified medical expert who determines that the claim is being made in good faith and there is merit to the case.
- File the claim against the at-fault provider’s medical malpractice policy and working with the insurance claims adjuster to negotiate a settlement that fairly compensates the claimant for the expenses and impacts that were or will likely be incurred due to the birth injury.
- File the affidavit and lawsuit within the state’s statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims. In medical malpractice cases, the statute of limitations is generally two years from the date the discovery was made or reasonably should have been made that the child suffered a birth injury. However, if the claim involves injuries to a newborn, the parents have until the child’s 8th birthday to file a claim.
- Attend all pre-trial conferences, hearings, or arbitration on behalf of the claimant.
- Present the case in court.
- Assist the claimant in obtaining compensation for their child’s birth injury.
Many circumstances can toll (extend) the deadline to file a claim. However, because of the complicated and long-lasting medical malpractice claims process, parents of children who suffered birth injuries due to provider negligence must speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
What to Do After Your Child Has Suffered Birth Injuries
If your child has suffered birth injuries due to a provider’s negligence, there are several things you can do to help protect the value of your claim and obtain the compensation you need for your child’s expenses and care.
- Obtaining a free case evaluation with an experienced birth injury lawyer from Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys to determine if you have a medical malpractice claim and to learn more about your legal options. If you decide to hire an attorney, you will not be responsible for paying for their services until compensation is recovered on your claim.
- Avoiding talking with the provider’s medical malpractice insurance claims adjuster without your attorney present. Insurance claims adjusters can use anything you say in your conversation to avoid paying the claim or reducing its value. Your attorney will handle communications with the claims adjuster on your behalf.
- Following all treatment plans to help your child obtain the best outcome possible after a birth injury.
- Keep track of all documentation provided to you about your child’s injury and bills or receipts about expenses you incurred as a result of the injury.
- Focus on caring for your child and yourself while your attorney works on your claim. Most personal injury claims- including birth injuries- are resolved by a settlement. Unfortunately, while settlements are often a quicker way to resolve a medical malpractice claim than litigation, negotiating a settlement in a birth injury case takes far longer than anyone involved would like for it to take. Patience is required in this process.
Trust Fernandez Firm With Your Tampa Birth Injury Claim
Birth injuries can deprive a child of a chance to experience many of childhood’s common joys and tribulations or leave them permanently disabled.
The Fernandez Firm legal team understands the devastation and shattered dreams often accompanying birth injuries. We are committed to ensuring you don’t have to go against the insurance company alone. For a quarter of a century, we have been helping injured people and their families to recover needed compensation for the expenses and impacts of their injuries.
Let us help you determine your next steps in obtaining the compensation you and your family need. For your free case evaluation at our Tampa office, contact skilled personal injury lawyers at Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys or call us at (813) 278-1032.
The Fernandez Firm – Tampa Office
2503 W Swann Ave #100,
Tampa, FL 33609
Phone: (813) 278-1032