Vermont Birth Injury Lawyer
When doctors and midwives make mistakes during childbirth, your baby could suffer serious harm that could lead to lifelong disabilities, stillbirth, or neonatal death. Negligent health care providers are liable when their carelessness leads to harm. However, birth injury lawsuits are complex cases that require extensive medical knowledge and financial resources. A Vermont birth injury lawyer can help.
- Why Choose Levin & Perconti To Handle Your Birth Injury Case?
- How Can a Vermont Birth Injury Attorney Help?
- Types of Birth Injury Cases We Handle
- What Compensation Can You Recover in a Birth Injury Lawsuit?
- How Long Do You Have to File a Birth Injury Lawsuit in Vermont?
- Local Vermont Resources to Help You and Your Family
- Speak with an Experienced Birth Injury Lawyer Today
Vermont Health care providers are legally obligated to provide a reasonable standard of care during prenatal care, labor, and delivery. Negligent care can result in the baby developing brain damage, nerve injuries, skull fractures, and other complications that could be permanently disabling or fatal.
Vermont has a lower neonatal death rate than the national average, with three deaths for every 1,000 live births in 2021. While this is a vast improvement since 1960 when the death rate was 24 out of 1,000, every infant death is one too many.
The pain of an infant’s death or severe birth injury can be overwhelming. You may be eligible to recover significant damages for your financial and emotional losses if your child has suffered harm from medical negligence at birth. Contact our renowned birth injury lawyers today for a free case review.
Why Choose Levin & Perconti To Handle Your Birth Injury Case?
Our nationally recognized birth injury lawyers have over 400 years of combined experience helping parents get justice against large health care organizations and insurance companies. We are national leaders in birth injury litigation, and we were one of the first law firms in the nation to take on birth injury cases.
Our Nationally Recognized Birth Injury Attorneys
Our knowledge of birth injury litigation is unmatched, and we have a nationwide network of birth injury experts who work for us to strengthen your case. Two of the nation’s leading advocates of children with cerebral palsy and other complications caused by birth injuries are attorneys at our firm.
Dov Apfel is considered a “lawyer’s lawyer” in birth trauma litigation. With more than four decades of experience investigating and litigating birth injury cases, he is also a nationally recognized author, lecturer, and mentor of other attorneys. He has won numerous multi-million dollar verdicts and received the prestigious Dan Cullan Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award from the Birth Trauma Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice.
Seth Cardeli is also a nationally recognized leader in birth injury litigation and the chair of the American Association of Justice’s Birth Trauma Litigation Group. He has mentored other attorneys and even gave a lecture teaching lawyers how to interpret electronic fetal heart tracings. He has over ten years of experience with numerous seven and eight-figure verdicts and settlements on his record.
Our Record-Setting Case Results
Our case results are a testament to the personalized attention and hard work we pour into every case:
- $40 million verdict for a 19-year-old teen who suffered a severe brain injury at birth due to a delayed C-section delivery
- $20 million verdict for a child who suffered preventable hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy at birth and developed permanent cognitive and developmental impairments
- $14 million for the family of a child who suffered a brain injury from lack of oxygen at birth when the hospital failed to respond to fetal distress with a timely C-section
- $11.5 million FTCA settlement for a child born at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Guam who suffered a catastrophic hypoxic-ischemic brain injury from negligent neonatal resuscitation and intubation
- $9 million settlement to the family of a baby who suffered permanent brain damage when a doctor failed to detect maternal meningitis during prenatal care
- $6.71 million verdict for a baby who suffered a crippling brachial plexus when an inexperienced resident mismanaged shoulder dystocia during a vaginal breech delivery
We never leave our clients in the dark about their cases. We keep a strong line of communication until each case is resolved and our client gets the results they deserve. This is what our clients say about our services:
How Can a Vermont Birth Injury Attorney Help?
Birth injury cases are complex medical malpractice cases, and the burden of proof is on you. This challenge is likely insurmountable without the assistance of an experienced birth injury lawyer. You must prove the following elements of negligence to win damages:
- Duty of care: You must prove that you had a provider-patient relationship with the defendant, which imposes a duty to provide a reasonable standard of care.
- Breach of duty: You must prove that the defendant failed to provide a reasonable standard of care.
- An injury: You must prove that your child suffered a birth injury that would not have occurred except for the breach of duty.
- Proximate cause: You must prove that the provider’s breach of duty is the actual and proximate cause of your baby’s injuries.
Proving these elements requires detailed knowledge of medical procedures related to childbirth, injuries, hospital policies and procedures, and the applicable standards of care. Proving your case requires a detailed review of your medical records and a skillful investigation. Large health care organizations typically back negligent health care providers, investing large sums of money into their legal defense, making birth injury claims costly.
In addition to normal filing fees, you must pay for consultations by medical experts and other professionals to prove your case and calculate damages. Before you can even file your claim, you must hire a qualified doctor to complete a certificate of merit verifying your claim is viable.
We are committed to ensuring competent legal representation is available to all birth error victims, regardless of financial resources. We have the resources and legal prowess to fearlessly make the upfront investment for you. You will have no upfront cost, and you owe us nothing unless we win.
Types of Birth Injury Cases We Handle
Our trusted Vermont birth injury attorneys can handle any case involving a birth injury caused by a negligent health care provider. While every case is unique, we have found that the injuries below are among the most common.
Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, or HIE, is brain damage that occurs when blood flow and oxygen to the brain are interrupted during or shortly after birth. Brain damage from this type of injury can be severe, resulting in cerebral palsy, seizure disorders, neurological disorders, and other disabilities. The most common medical errors that can lead to HIE include the following:
- Undiagnosed preeclampsia
- Umbilical cord complications
- Prolonged labor
- Improper breech delivery
- Improper use of forceps or vacuum extraction devices
- Infections shortly after birth
- Unaddressed fetal distress
- Delayed C-sections
- Undiagnosed maternal infections during pregnancy
- Misdiagnosed gestational diabetes with vascular disease
Cerebral palsy is a movement disorder caused by damage to the part of the brain that controls movement. The damage commonly results from oxygen deprivation during birth, often due to the same causes that can lead to HIE.
Brachial Plexus Injury
The brachial plexus is a group of nerves that affects movement and sensation in the neck and arm. If the nerves linked to the upper arm are affected, the condition is known as Erb’s Palsy. Injuries to the nerves affecting the lower arm are known as Klumpke’s Palsy. These injuries affect movement and can cause paralysis of the arm or hand.
Some cases resolve quickly with limited intervention, but this condition can require surgery and, in the most severe cases, can be permanently crippling.
Brachial plexus injuries are commonly the result of a doctor pulling too hard on the baby when shoulder dystocia or breech birth occurs. Broken arms and collarbones may accompany these injuries.
Intracranial hemorrhages are areas of bleeding between the brain and the skull. They can result in serious consequences depending on the location and severity of the bleeding. Intracranial hemorrhages are often the result of improper forceps or vacuum extraction use. Skull fractures accompany some bleeds. The following are the types of intracranial hemorrhages:
- Subgaleal hemorrhage – Bleeding between the scalp and the membrane covering the skull bones
- Epidural hematoma – Bleeding between the inside of the skull and the outer covering of the brain, known as the dura mater
- Subdural hemorrhage – A ruptured vessel between the brain and skull
- Subarachnoid hemorrhage – Bleeding in the space surrounding the brain
- Intraventricular hemorrhage – Bleeding within the spaces in the brain that contain cerebral spinal fluid, most commonly occurring in premature infants weighing less than 3.5 pounds
Intracranial hemorrhages can cause severe brain damage due to bleeding in the brain, intracranial pressure, or blood loss.
Infants born before 37 weeks of gestation are considered premature. The earlier a baby is born, the higher the risk of birth injuries. In fact, 18 of the 37 perinatal deaths that occurred in Vermont in 2021 involved infants born before 28 weeks of gestation. The majority of neonatal deaths were children born at 35 weeks or earlier.
Preterm infants also have higher rates of cerebral palsy and a significantly higher rate of HIE. In some studies, the rate was as high as 73 of every 1,000 live births compared to two of 1,000 births in full-term infants. Premature infants can also develop HIE shortly after birth and bronchopulmonary dysplasia, a lung condition.
Short-term and long-term effects of preterm birth may include the following:
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
- Neurological disorders
- Hearing loss
- An increased risk of necrotizing enterocolitis, a potentially fatal intestinal disorder
- Vision problems, such as retinopathy of prematurity
- Low birth weight
Premature Birth Is Often Preventable
Premature birth often results from medical malpractice during pregnancy. Untreated preeclampsia, unaddressed maternal infections, unsafe medications, and failure by a doctor to detect preterm labor are all potential causes for which a health care provider can be held liable.
Even in cases when premature birth is unavoidable, birth injuries are not always inevitable. Premature birth in and of itself does not mean that the infant is injured or that the infant will suffer an injury. Skilled, attentive fetal monitoring and prompt action during emergencies can prevent many birth injuries in premature infants.
What Compensation Can You Recover in a Birth Injury Lawsuit?
Compensation for birth injuries may include the following economic and non-economic damages:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of a career
- Added costs of childcare
- Specialized education expenses
- Pain and suffering of the child
- Loss of society
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of bodily functions
If the injury results in the infant’s death, parents can pursue damages through a wrongful death lawsuit. These damages may include the following:
- Financial losses related to the death, such as burial and medical expenses
- Loss of love and companionship of the child
- Destruction of the parent-child relationship
While many states limit damages in medical malpractice cases, Vermont has no such limits.
How Long Do You Have to File a Birth Injury Lawsuit in Vermont?
The birth injury statute of limitations in Vermont varies as follows:
- Claims by and on behalf of the parents – Three years after the injury occurs
- Claims by or on behalf of the child – By the child’s 21st birthday
- Wrongful death claims – Two years after the death
If the birth injury is not immediately apparent, the discovery rule extends the time limit to two years after the injury was or should have reasonably been discovered. However, the state imposes a hard limit of seven years after the error, regardless of when the injury was discovered.
Local Vermont Resources to Help You and Your Family
The following organizations provide assistance, support, and resources to families coping with birth injuries:
Speak with an Experienced Birth Injury Lawyer Today
Significant financial compensation may be available if you or your child is dealing with the consequences of birth injuries. Our world-class birth injury lawyers partner with local Vermont birth injury lawyers to help you get maximum results for your birth injury claim. It is important to act quickly before the birth injury statute of limitations expires.
Contact us today for a free consultation.