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D.C. Birth Injury Lawyer

Birth injuries can lead to permanent disabilities and a reduced quality of life for the child and the parents. They are often preventable through competent health care. Wealthy health care organizations and insurance companies often back negligent providers and refuse to pay fair compensation. Our D.C. birth injury lawyers are among the nation’s leading advocates for children injured at birth, with an extensive record of landmark case results. Call us now at (312) 332-2872 for a free consultation.

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Birth injuries occur before, during, or shortly after birth. They typically result from oxygen deprivation, excessive pressure, or other errors by health care providers during pregnancy or childbirth.

According to the D.C. Vital Records Division, the top ten causes of death among infants in the District of Columbia in recent years included birth injuries stemming from maternal complications, premature birth, oxygen deprivation, placenta and cord complications, and maternal hypertension during pregnancy.

Our knowledgeable Washington, D.C., birth injury lawyers can determine whether your child’s injuries resulted from medical malpractice and help you recover substantial compensation from negligent health care providers. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Why Levin & Perconti Is the Best Choice for Your D.C. Birth Injury Case

Our nationally recognized attorneys are pioneers in birth injury litigation with over 400 years of combined experience. Since our establishment in 1992, we have developed the most effective and aggressive approach for each birth injury case.

Dov Apfel

Dov Apfel Headshot Our experienced team of D.C. birth injury lawyers includes Dov Apfel, a national advocate of children and families dealing with cerebral palsy and other neurological disorders stemming from birth injuries. He is the author of hundreds of law articles, including a landmark law review article that set the standard for how attorneys should handle birth injury cases.

He is a graduate of the American University, Washington College of Law in D.C., and has been practicing law in D.C. since 1980.

Seth Cardeli

Seth Cardeli Headshot Seth Cardeli is a national leader in the advocacy for children with birth injuries and their families, with more than a decade of experience obtaining millions in settlements and verdicts for affected families nationwide. He is a mentor to other aspiring attorneys and the author of numerous legal journal articles.

He currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Birth Trauma Litigation Group of the American Association of Justice and has held numerous other leadership positions.

Our Successful Record of Consistent Results

Our birth injury attorneys have won numerous record-setting verdicts and settlements because we refuse to accept less-than-fair compensation. We are unafraid to take negligent health care providers to court because we are confident in our experience, and we are always well-prepared. Our landmark case results include the following:

  • $40 million verdict for a 19-year-old teen severely brain-injured at birth due to a delayed C-section delivery
  • $20 million verdict for a child who suffered HIE and asphyxia injuries at birth, resulting in permanent cognitive and developmental impairments
  • $14 million for the family of a child who suffered a brain injury when the hospital failed to perform a timely C-section in response to nonreactive fetal heart tracings
  • $11.5 million FTCA settlement for a child of active-duty parents who suffered a catastrophic hypoxic-ischemic brain injury at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Guam due to negligent neonatal resuscitation and intubation
  • $9 million settlement to the family of a baby who suffered permanent brain damage after a doctor failed to detect a maternal infection during pregnancy
  • $6.71 million verdict against a hospital after an inexperienced resident performed a vaginal delivery of a breech presentation resulting in shoulder dystocia and a crippling brachial plexus arm injury

Glowing Client Testimonials

Our clients trust us to handle some of the most important, difficult, and sensitive circumstances of their lives, and we are always moved by their unsolicited client testimonials, such as the following:

Testimonials

Financial Compensation for a Birth Injury in Washington, D.C.

Financial compensation for a birth injury may be substantial due to the long-lasting effects of such injuries. You may be entitled to recover economic and non-economic damages for the following:

  • The extra costs of your child’s education
  • Lost wages as a result of your child’s extended hospitalization
  • Lost wages from giving up a career to care for your child full-time
  • Caregiver expenses
  • Medical expenses
  • Your mental anguish

Your child is also entitled to seek compensation for lost future earning capacity, pain and suffering, ongoing medical expenses, and other losses stemming from the injury.

Racial Disparities in Pregnancy Care in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C., has one of the highest pregnancy-related death rates in the nation. In 2018, 36 pregnancy-associated deaths occurred for every 100,000 live births in D.C. This rate was nearly double among the black population at 70.9 deaths per 100,000. Black women accounted for 50 percent of births but 90 percent of all pregnancy-related deaths from 2019 to 2020. Hispanic woman in D.C. holding her baby, looking outside

Women of color throughout the nation face unfair disparities in prenatal care and birth outcomes. We are passionate about exposing discriminatory practices and getting justice for victims of racial discrimination.

Birth Injuries that May Qualify for Compensation in Washington, D.C.

Our passionate and talented Washington, D.C., birth injury lawyers handle all types of birth injury cases that involve medical malpractice.

Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy

Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, or HIE, is brain damage that occurs when the infant’s brain is deprived of blood and oxygen during pregnancy, birth, or shortly after birth. It can lead to delayed development, feeding problems, organ damage, seizures, and death. It can stem from multiple forms of negligence, including the following:

  • Insufficient fetal monitoring
  • Incompetent handling of emergencies during birth
  • Delayed C-sections
  • Improper management of shoulder dystocia
  • Failure to diagnose maternal infections

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy also results from brain damage caused by abnormal brain development during pregnancy or oxygen deprivation during birth.

Malpractice leading to cerebral palsy may include the following:

  • Failure to detect and address fetal distress during birth
  • Failure to foresee and prevent shoulder dystocia
  • Improper maneuvers and excessive pulling during shoulder dystocia
  • Mismanagement of medications during pregnancy
  • Failure to detect maternal infections during pregnancy
  • Inadequate care immediately following birth

Brachial Plexus Injuries

Brachial plexus injuries are stretching and pinching injuries of the nerves in the infant’s upper shoulder and neck. Brachial plexus injuries can cause paralysis or weakness of all or part of the arm on the affected side, depending on which nerves are damaged. Brachial plexus injuries may be classified based on which area is affected.

  • Erb’s palsy – The upper arm from the shoulder to the elbow
  • Klumpke’s palsy – The lower arm and hand
  • Phrenic nerve injuries – The diaphragm, leading to breathing difficulties and sometimes requiring a ventilator

Total paralysis of the arm is possible if all of the nerves are damaged. Some infants heal within days or weeks following birth, but brachial plexus injuries can lead to permanent disabilities.

Brachial plexus injuries often occur as a result of improper maneuvers or excessive pulling when the baby experiences shoulder dystocia. Shoulder dystocia occurs when the head is delivered, but the shoulder becomes stuck inside the mother’s public bone. Shoulder dystocia is often foreseeable and thus preventable.

Head Trauma

The most common cause of head trauma is improper vacuum extractor or forceps use, which may result in the following types of injuries:

  • Skull fractures
  • Intracranial hemorrhages
  • Facial nerve injuries

Intracranial hemorrhages are bleeding in the layers between the skull and the brain. They can cause brain damage from excessive blood loss, bleeding directly into the brain, or excessive pressure between the brain and the skull.

Skull fractures can lead to intracranial hemorrhages or directly pierce the brain if they are severe.

How to Prove Negligence Caused Your Child’s Birth Injury

To prevail in a birth injury lawsuit, you must prove all four of the following elements:

  1. Duty of care – You were the defendants’ patient, imposing a duty on them to provide a reasonable standard of care.
  2. Breach of duty – The defendants provided substandard care or deviated from medical guidelines.
  3. An injury – You or your baby suffered an injury that resulted in financial damages and physical or emotional suffering.
  4. Actual and Proximate cause – The injury would not have occurred but for the breach of duty, and the breach is the actual cause of the injury and

Washington, D.C., Birth Injury Lawsuit FAQs

Below are answers to common questions we receive about birth injury lawsuits.

When medical negligence causes the death of either the mother or the child, the family may have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit to pursue damages for medical expenses, burial costs, and loss of care and support.

The statute of limitations for birth injuries in Washington, D.C., is generally three years for claims filed by the parents. You must file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years of the death in most cases. A lawsuit by or for the child must be filed by the child’s 21st birthday.

If the injury is not discovered until later, the District of Columbia’s discovery rule applies. You generally have three years from the date you discovered or should have discovered the injury to file your claim.

Birth injury lawsuits are complex cases that require intense case preparation, consultations with medical experts, and often multiple court motions. It is common for defendants in birth injury cases to attempt to stall your case, have it dismissed, and discredit your witnesses.

Thus, birth injury cases can take anywhere from several months to a year or longer to resolve. Therefore, it is crucial to choose a birth injury lawyer in Washington, D.C., with extensive trial experience and the perseverance to reach a fair settlement or win a court verdict.

Maternal injuries during childbirth can be devastating. They include severe vaginal tearing, postpartum hemorrhage, incontinence, cardiovascular complications, uterine rupture, and loss of fertility. If you have suffered maternal birth injuries, medical negligence may be to blame, and you have the right to pursue damages.

Our lawyers won a $5.35 million settlement for the family of an 18-year-old mother who died from postpartum cardiomyopathy after the hospital and staff failed to diagnose it.

Contact the D.C. Birth Injury Lawyers at Levin & Perconti

If your child has developed cerebral palsy or suffered another birth injury, you have a right to seek compensation from the negligent health care providers who could have prevented it. The law limits the time you have to file your claim, so now is the time to take action.

Contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced Washington, D.C., birth injury lawyer.