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Washington Birth Injury Lawyer

Birth injuries can cause significant anguish for the entire family and cost parents thousands in medical expenses and lost wages. A reasonable health care provider can prevent most birth injuries by providing quality care during pregnancy and birth. If you or your child suffered a birth injury, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. Whether you are in Seattle, Spokane, Yakima, or anywhere in between, call us today at (312) 332-2872 to find out how a Washington birth injury lawyer can help you.

Legal Rights if You Have Experienced a Birth Injury in Washington State

When a health care provider’s negligence causes a birth injury, you have the right to pursue economic and non-economic damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Economic damages compensate for financial losses, and non-economic damages compensate for intangible losses, such as pain and suffering.

Punitive damages are unavailable in Washington personal injury lawsuits, but unlike many other states, Washington imposes no limits on the compensatory damages you can receive. Damages in a Washington birth injury lawsuit may include the following:

  • Medical expenses
  • The added costs of caring for the child
  • Special education costs
  • The cost of modifying a home or vehicle to accommodate the child
  • Your lost wages
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of activities previously enjoyed

Birth Injuries Resulting in Death

The law also gives parents the right to pursue damages in a wrongful death action when a birth injury results in the death of the mother or child, such as the following: 

  • Loss of love and companionship
  • Loss of emotional support
  • Destruction of the parent-child relationship
  • Loss of services
  • Loss of financial support
  • Loss of guidance
  • Grief and suffering of the family

In the event of a miscarriage or stillbirth, Washington courts have allowed parents to recover wrongful death damages if the fetus was viable. Our knowledgeable Washington birth injury attorneys can review your circumstances and determine whether you qualify.

Why Hire Our Washington Birth Injury Attorneys?

We are a nationally recognized birth injury law firm with over $2 billion in successful case results since 1992, including numerous record birth injury settlements and verdicts that have made headlines nationwide. With over 400 years of combined experience, our attorneys have developed the most effective and aggressive approach to handling cases. Our financial resources allow us to invest every dollar necessary to go against powerful health care corporations and insurers and win the compensation you deserve.

About Our Birth Injury Lawyers

Our birth injury lawyers in Washington are highly sought-after public speakers and educators regarding birth injury litigation. 

Dov Apfel has over 40 years of experience litigating birth injury claims. A national advocate for children with developmental disabilities, he is well-known by lawyers and judges for his extensive legal, scientific, and medical knowledge. He is the author of a landmark law review article that set the standard for connecting brain damage to medical errors during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. He is also recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in America for medical malpractice and personal injury.

Seth Cardeli co-chairs the American Association for Justice’s Birth Trauma Litigation Group and has more than a decade of experience representing parents and children in birth injury claims. He has lectured colleagues about how to interpret electronic fetal heart tracings and authored multiple articles for legal journals. He is recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in America for Medical Malpractice and a “Top 40 Under 40” by the National Trial Lawyers.

Our Notable Birth Injury Case Results

We have an outstanding record of success across the United States. Below are a few examples of our recent birth injury case results:

$40 million

verdict

for a 19-year-old disabled teen who suffered a severe brain injury during birth because of a delayed C-section delivery.

$20 million

verdict

on behalf of a child who suffered preventable HIE and asphyxia injuries at birth, resulting in permanent cognitive and developmental impairments.

$14 million

verdict

for the family of a child who suffered a brain injury due to lack of oxygen during her birth. The hospital failed to promptly respond to nonreactive fetal heart tracings and did not arrange for a timely C-section.

$11.5 million

settlement

for a child who suffered a catastrophic brain injury during birth.

$6.71 million

verdict

verdict for a child who suffered a crippling brachial plexus arm injury in a breech delivery by an inexperienced resident.

$4.5 million

settlement

for a child who developed cerebral palsy due to an untimely C-section.

Our success has earned us the respect of our adversaries, and we leverage our reputation to maximize our clients’ compensation. We refuse to settle for less than you deserve. 

What Types of Medical Negligence Causes Birth Injuries?

Birth injuries may occur as a result of medical negligence at any time during pregnancy, birth, or the postpartum period.

Medical Malpractice During Pregnancy

A fetus depends on the placenta to block harmful substances and deliver oxygen and nutrients from the mother’s blood supply. If the flow of blood and nutrients is interrupted, the placenta may be damaged, and harmful substances may penetrate it. As a result, the fetus can suffer significant harm or die. 

Medical malpractice such as the following can cause harm during pregnancy:

  • Misdiagnosed gestational diabetes can lead to high blood sugar and excessive growth in the fetus, increasing the risk of shoulder dystocia.
  • Misdiagnosed maternal infections could infect the baby during pregnancy or birth if untreated, resulting in brain damage, organ damage, malformations, miscarriage, or stillbirth.
  • Unaddressed anemia may lead to low birth weight or premature birth, increasing the risk of birth complications.
  • Misdiagnosis of preeclampsia can harm the fetus or lead to premature birth by disrupting the delivery of blood and oxygen to the placenta. This condition may lead to life-threatening complications for the mother, including coma, stroke, seizures, and death.

Medical Malpractice During Birth

Most birth injuries occur during labor and childbirth from the following:

Some errors can deprive the fetus of oxygen during birth. Others can exert pulling or twisting forces that cause severe injuries.

Medical Malpractice After Birth

The risk of birth injuries does not always end at the moment of birth. Babies must undergo evaluation in the moments immediately following birth to quickly assess your baby’s health. The results of the evaluation are expressed as an APGAR score. Babies with a low APGAR score may need immediate intervention. 

Low APGAR scores are more common in black babies. This racial disparity has led some doctors to place less urgency on low scores in black infants, resulting in failures to diagnose and treat life-threatening conditions.

Mothers may also suffer harm as a result of substandard care after birth. For example, our law firm won a $7.62 billion verdict against an HMO doctor who disregarded a mother’s postpartum bleeding concerns, resulting in her death.

How Much Does a Washington State Birth Injury Lawyer Cost?

There is no upfront cost to pursue a birth injury lawsuit through our state of Washington birth injury attorneys. We start with a free, confidential case evaluation to determine whether you have grounds to move forward. If we accept your case, we will invest our own resources into your case costs, including the costs of consultants, medical experts, document fees, court costs, and other expenses. 

You pay nothing unless we successfully resolve your claim and secure compensation. We will collect your compensation, deduct our fees and costs, and pay the balance to you. Our fees are a percentage of your compensation, which we will disclose upfront.

Washington State Birth Injury FAQs

What is a Birth Injury?

A birth injury occurs when the baby is injured before, during, or shortly after birth. The following medical errors may cause or contribute to a birth injury:

  • Erb’s palsy
  • Facial paralysis
  • Skull fractures
  • Broken bones
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Brain bleeds

Some birth injuries, such as cerebral palsy, may not be diagnosed until months or years following birth.

Do I Need a Birth Injury Attorney to File a Lawsuit?

Yes, you will need an experienced Washington birth injury attorney to handle your case. Birth injury claims are complex cases that require knowledge about medical procedures, access to medical records, significant financial investment, and legal knowledge. Without knowledge of the law, you could inadvertently forfeit your claim.

In addition, birth injury defendants typically have the backing of wealthy health care corporations and medical malpractice insurance companies. If you lack legal representation, these powerful companies will know that you do not have the resources to prove your claim, and they will have no incentive to settle with you. 

What is the Difference Between Birth Injuries and Birth Defects?

Birth defects are abnormalities that occur while the fetus is developing, while birth injuries can occur anytime during pregnancy, birth, or shortly after birth. Some birth defects are caused by genetics, but others result from birth injuries. They can occur when doctors prescribe unsafe medications during pregnancy, fail to treat maternal infections, or provide substandard care.

If your child has been diagnosed with a birth defect, a knowledgeable birth injury attorney in Washington can determine whether the condition resulted from medical negligence.

Washington State Birth Injury Laws

Statute of Limitations

The Washington statute of limitations for birth injury is three years from the date of the injury or death. This deadline applies to claims filed by or on behalf of the parents. Children in Washington have until their 21st birthday to file a claim for their own injuries. If the injury was undiscoverable at birth and the statute of limitations has expired or is near expiration, the law extends the deadline to one year after the date you discovered or should have discovered the injury. However, you must file your claim within eight years of the health care provider’s negligence.

Burden of Proof

When you file a birth injury lawsuit, you are the plaintiff, which means the burden of proof will be yours. To prevail, you must prove by the preponderance of the evidence that your child’s injuries resulted from the defendant’s failure to provide a reasonable standard of care. The preponderance of the evidence means that your claim is more likely true than not.

Paid Parental Leave

Under the Paid Family and Medical Leave Program, parents in Washington are entitled to up to 12 weeks of bonding leave during the first year after a child is born. If your child has a birth injury, you may also qualify for paid medical leave, which could extend your paid time off to 16 weeks. 

The amount of paid leave you receive can vary based on local laws. For example, Seattle city employees are entitled to eight weeks of paid leave without having to use vacation time. You can use vacation time to increase the time off to 12 weeks. If you have not accrued enough vacation time to result in 12 weeks of paid time off, the city must provide the difference.

Contact a Birth Injury Attorney in the State of Washington Today

If your child has suffered a birth injury because of medical negligence, you should not have to bear the financial burden alone. A Washington birth injury lawyer can hold negligent health care providers accountable and recover compensation for your financial and emotional losses. 

We represent parents and children throughout Washington, including Seattle, Spokane, Vancouver, Tacoma, Olympia, and the surrounding areas. Contact us online today or call (312) 332-2872 to schedule your free case review.