Neonatal and Perinatal Medical Malpractice Attorneys
- Over 40 Years of Experience
- More Than $3 Billion Won for Our Clients
- Thousands of Lives Changed
During the birth of a baby, parents give their full trust to doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers, but the consequences of a catastrophic birth injury can last a lifetime—for both baby and family.
When malpractice may have contributed to a serious injury to a newborn, parents need to know that proving medical negligence against a doctor or hospital is never easy—which is why they will need an experienced medical malpractice firm to take legal action.
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Meet the Medical Malpractice Division
Howard Janet is one of the nation’s top plaintiffs’ medical malpractice attorneys and has uncovered medical mistakes other lawyers have missed, recovering record-breaking results throughout much of the country. He is the author of multiple books, including Navigating a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit, Representing Plaintiffs in Medical Malpractice Cases (lead author) and Patients’ Rights and Doctors’ Wrongs – Secrets to a Safer Pregnancy and Childbirth (with Dr. Giles Manley).
Ken Suggs has long been considered one of the nation’s premier medical negligence trial lawyers, and served as President of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (now known as American Association for Justice), the leading national plaintiff’s bar association. He is a relentless advocate for his clients.
Dr. Giles Manley, a board-certified OBGYN, practiced medicine for 20 years before becoming a medical malpractice attorney. The value his medical knowledge and experience brings to his clients cases is priceless.
Gerald Jowers represents patients harmed by medical malpractice, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices. He has produced extraordinary results for clients and their families, both at the settlement table and in the courtroom.
What Is Neonatal and Perinatal Medicine?
The moments immediately before, during, and after birth, as well as the hours and weeks post-delivery, are critical for ensuring the health and wellness of a new baby. Medical professionals are responsible for monitoring the health of both mother and the baby during this crucial time when both baby and mother are extremely vulnerable to illness, injury, and infection.
- Neonatal: The 4 weeks after birth, commonly considered the newborn stage.
- Perinatal: The time period immediately before and after birth.
Any errors from medical staff during these two critical periods of time can have serious consequences for the baby and the mother. They must remain alert for potential complications as they arise:
- Noticing and treating sudden drops or increases in the mother’s blood pressure during pregnancy or labor
- Assessing mother and baby to ensure there are no potential complications such as prolapsed cord, ruptured uterus, diabetes, or preeclampsia
- Monitoring the baby’s heart rate and other vitals for signs of fetal distress
- Deciding whether a Cesarean section is appropriate
- Cleaning the patient or surgical field, in the event of a Cesarean, to prevent infection
- Monitoring and controlling a patient’s vital life functions, including breathing, heart rate and rhythm, body temperature, and balance of bodily fluids
- Noticing if the baby is improperly positioned in the birth canal
- Using the appropriate instruments and tools for delivery
- Providing proper medication to the patient
- Providing post-anesthesia care in recovery
What is Neonatal and Perinatal Medical Malpractice?
Severe birth injuries have devastating, lifelong consequences on children and their families. The birthing process subjects both mother and baby to a great deal of stress, which can lead to oxygen deprivation or other sources of trauma and injury. Healthcare providers must manage labor and the neonatal stage carefully. Otherwise, long-term damage can result.
The devastating effects of medical errors on a child and family can include permanent brain and nerve damage, which can cause emotional distress and require expensive treatment and continued care throughout the child’s life. The effects might include:
- Cerebral palsy
- Brain damage
- Brachial plexus injury
- Erb’s palsy
- Cognitive impairment
- Spinal cord damage
- Facial paralysis
- Klumpke’s palsy
Mothers can also suffer severe injury and infection if proper care is not taken during the pregnancy and labor and delivery. Often, these types of injuries are the result of some form of medical negligence, in which a medical professional or medical provider did not act within reasonable standards of care. These situations might include:
- Failing to recognize or provide a timely response to maternal hemorrhage
- Failing to treat abnormal maternal blood pressures during pregnancy or labor
- Neglecting to conduct specialized tests during pregnancy
- Misreading of tests conducted during pregnancy
- Using vacuums or forceps improperly during delivery
- Failing to properly manage diabetes during pregnancy
- Failing to respond to severe dehydration at birth
Maternal medical care must also be provided appropriately after the birthing stage. In fact, more than half of maternal deaths recorded in the United States occur the day after delivery.
Proving a Neonatal and Perinatal Medical Malpractice Case
In order to hold a medical professional or hospital legally at fault for neonatal and/or perinatal medical malpractice, the legal/medical malpractice team will need to prove that malpractice occurred. In doing so, our attorneys must be able to establish the critical four factors of a medical malpractice case:
- There was a duty of care. Duty of care means medical professionals have a legal duty to provide care that is within accepted medical standards. This means care that is equal to what other medical professionals with similar training would have provided in a similar situation.
- A medical professional breached that duty of care. When healthcare workers fail to act as others would in the same situation, they have breached their duty of care.
- The breach of duty of care caused injury. The legal/medical team must be able to demonstrate that the breach of duty of care led to the perinatal or neonatal injury.
- The injury resulted in damages. Damages are the medical expenses, pain and suffering, need for physical therapy or other necessary care, and other legally calculable consequences of the injury caused by medical negligence.
Expert medical testimony will be required to prove that your healthcare provider breached their duty to offer the accepted level of care. In fact, most jurisdictions require a certificate or affidavit from an expert medical professional willing to testify there are reasonable grounds to show medical malpractice or medical negligence in order to file a claim at all. The exact requirement for a certificate or affidavit of a qualified expert varies across jurisdictions and states.
How Are Neonatal and Perinatal Medicine Medical Malpractice Cases Resolved?
Medical malpractice cases are complex, and they are unique to each victim. While some cases may not reach every step in the typical process, the most common steps include:
- Sending a demand letter. Before filing a lawsuit, your medical malpractice attorney may contact the doctor or hospital first. A demand notice seeks compensation without the need for a trial by explaining why the doctor is responsible for your child’s injury and how much compensation will be needed as a result.
- Building a case. Should the hospital or doctor refuse the demand letter, you’ll move to the step of filing a lawsuit. This will require gathering all information relevant to the malpractice, allowing your attorney to establish basic facts and determine a value for your case.
- Filing a lawsuit. At this stage of litigation, your lawyer will file the case in the designated court of law. It will be sent to the defendant, who will have a specific number of days to respond.
- Entering the discovery phase. This phase occurs when you and the defendant exchange information to build the case on both sides, including medical records, hospital bills, and depositions.
- Negotiating a settlement. After you and the defendant have both prepared your cases, you’ll meet to discuss a possible settlement in order to resolve the dispute. If a settlement is reached, neither side is declared a winner, but the defendant agrees to pay compensation for your damages. If the case does not reach a settlement, the lawsuit moves on to a trial, where it will be decided by the court.
Additional injuries may be in the form of a medical complication or the need for follow-up medical procedures and treatments, such as corrective surgeries, rehabilitation, and medications. Damages available in malpractice cases against medical professionals include:
- Compensation for lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity due to the inability to work
- Loss of spousal support or companionship resulting from the negligent act
- Loss of quality of life and inconvenience due to the malpractice
- Payment of related physical therapy and other medical bills
- Pain and suffering associated with the negligent act
- Related emotional distress and mental anguish
Birth injury verdicts and settlements depend on the extent of injury, additional injuries, and the extent of negligence. Experienced medical malpractice firms understand the legal actions necessary to maximize the value of the case and how to increase the likelihood of receiving financial compensation that can improve the care and quality of life of those who have been harmed.
How Can Janet, Janet & Suggs Help?
At JJS, we know how emotionally and financially overwhelming life feels after a birth injury. That’s why we’re here not just as your legal representative but also as compassionate support and counsel during such a difficult time. We care about our clients, and we fight tirelessly to pursue the justice they deserve.
For more than 40 years, our team of medical malpractice attorneys has advocated on behalf of families who have been harmed during the birthing process. We’ve won cases including $33.5 million in a delayed C-section verdict, $24 million in a failure-to-diagnose verdict, and many more. We’re here to empower and support you with the resources and education you need to navigate your case and your family’s future.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation to learn more about your rights and legal options.