Ann Arbor Birth Injury Lawyers
Medical malpractice attorneys for babies, representing clients in the Ann Arbor area and throughout the country
Ann Arbor hospitals are known for their expertly-trained staff and dedication to patients. However, the medical professionals working at these facilities may still make mistakes. Unfortunately, in cases that involve unborn babies and newborns, these errors can seriously impact development and lead to permanent disabilities. If your child suffered a birth injury (any type of harm that occurs shortly before, during, or after birth) and now has a disability such as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), cerebral palsy (CP), or intellectual impairment, we may be able to assist. The attorneys at ABC Law Centers help parents pursue justice for their children and obtain settlement money to cover the many expenses associated with raising a birth-injured child:
- Medical bills
- Possible loss of income (if parents miss work in order to provide care) or payment for professional caregivers
- Home and vehicle modifications (for example, to accommodate a wheelchair)
- Assistive technology
- Specialized recreation and education opportunities
We are one of the only law firms in the world that exclusively handles birth injury litigation. This unique focus means that our birth injury attorneys have a thorough knowledge of the complex medical aspects of these cases and a large network of experts to collaborate with. Partners Jesse Reiter, Rebecca Walsh, and Euel Kinsey are currently recognized among the best medical malpractice lawyers in America by U.S. News and World Report. Our multi-million dollar settlements, legal awards and honors, and testimonials further attest to our success.
Our office is located in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, but we have served many clients in the Ann Arbor area and will happily travel to meet with you. If you have any questions while reading through this page, feel free to contact our Ann Arbor birth injury attorneys in any of the following ways. There is no obligation or charge involved; in fact, the entire legal process is free unless we win your case!
Free Case Review | Available 24/7 | No Fee Until We Win
Phone (toll-free): 888-419-2229
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Types of birth injuries
A number of obstetrical complications, medical mistakes, and scenarios can cause birth injuries if not handled properly. In this section, our Ann Arbor birth injury attorneys list a few of the more common injuries and medical mistakes they handle.
- Birth asphyxia: Birth asphyxia, or oxygen deprivation around the time of birth, can result in a form of brain injury known as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) and a wide variety of permanent conditions/disabilities. Many of the complications listed below can cause birth asphyxia.
- Birth trauma: Birth trauma, or a traumatic birth injury, involves excessive force/pressure during the delivery process. This can cause a variety of injuries, including permanent brain damage. Many of the complications that cause birth trauma can also cause birth asphyxia.
- Nuchal cord: This occurs when the umbilical cord is looped around the baby’s neck. Nuchal cords occur in roughly 10-29% of pregnancies, and most are not serious and become unwrapped on their own (1). However, some can cause the cord to become compressed, which significantly decreases the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the baby. In addition, the cord can be so tight around the neck that it impinges on the baby’s neck vessels, leading to decreased oxygen flow to the brain.
- Umbilical cord prolapse: This occurs when the cord travels down the birth canal before the baby. Umbilical cord prolapse occurs in about 0.16-0.18% of live births (2). When this happens, the cord can become compressed between the baby and the mother’s pelvis. The pressure on the cord can cause blood flow to the baby to slow down or stop. Cord prolapse is an obstetrical emergency, and when it happens, the baby must be delivered immediately (usually by C-section).
- Placental abruption: This occurs when the placenta separates from the uterus, which can cause bleeding in the mother and a decreased supply of oxygen-rich blood to the baby. It can have life-threatening results for the mother and the baby, and usually requires an immediate C-section delivery (3).
- Preeclampsia: This condition is characterized by maternal high blood pressure (hypertension) that begins during pregnancy. When preeclampsia occurs, blood flow to the baby can decrease, which may cause birth asphyxia and a variety of other birth injuries.
- Post-term pregnancy: When a baby is in the womb past their due date, postmaturity syndrome may occur. This results from the placenta beginning to deteriorate, resulting in uterine and placental insufficiency. This means that the baby may no longer receive an adequate supply of oxygen-rich blood.
- Chorioamnionitis: Chorioamnionitis is an infection and inflammation of the placenta and fetal membranes. It can progress to villitis, or infection and inflammation of the part of the placenta that is involved in gas and nutrient exchange. These conditions can cause premature rupture of the membranes (PROM), which can trigger premature birth. A baby who is born prematurely may have underdeveloped lungs, and is at higher risk of oxygen deprivation and a number of other birth injuries (4).
- Meconium aspiration syndrome (MAS): This is when the baby breathes meconium into the lungs around the time of birth. Meconium is a mixture of amniotic fluid and the baby’s first stool. When a baby inhales (aspirates) meconium, it can result in severe respiratory distress and breathing problems after birth, which can cause oxygen deprivation.
- Macrosomia (large baby): If a mother has gestational diabetes, she has an increased chance of having a macrosomic (very large) baby. Macrosomic babies are more susceptible to traumatic birth, which can include the use of forceps and vacuum extractors. Trauma can cause hemorrhages/brain bleeds, which can cause a lack of oxygen in the brain. Prolonged labor associated with macrosomia also increases the chance of oxygen deprivation.
- Cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD): CPD occurs when the baby is too large to fit through the mother’s pelvis due to large fetal head size and/or a small maternal pelvis. It can lead to many of the same complications as macrosomia.
- Uterine rupture: This is when the uterus (womb) tears open, potentially expelling the unborn baby out of the womb and into the mother’s abdomen. When the uterus tears, the mother may lose a great deal of blood, which deprives the baby of oxygen-rich blood and puts both mother and child at risk. The rupture can also cause the placenta and cord to be cut off from circulation, which also deprives the baby of oxygen. Women who have a vaginal birth after C-section (VBAC) are at an increased risk of uterine rupture (5).
- Abnormal fetal presentation: When a baby is not in the normal position (top of the head exiting the birth canal first), issues such as prolonged labor, head trauma, and umbilical cord prolapse can occur. These complications can cause oxygen deprivation and brain damage. In addition, babies with face presentation can suffer from swelling and fluid buildup in their upper airways, which can cause respiratory distress and oxygen deprivation.
- Delayed emergency C-section: Guidelines from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) state that an emergency C-section must be performed within 30 minutes from the time it is determined to be necessary (6). However, there are many situations in which this is not fast enough, and it is against standard of care to delay an emergency C-section more than is absolutely necessary. In many cases, the decision-to-delivery interval should only be a few minutes (7). Often, physicians spend too much time trying to deliver a baby vaginally, and they do not move on to a C-section quickly enough, or they lack the skill or necessary equipment to promptly perform a C-section. When an indicated C-section is not performed quickly enough, the baby is often left in oxygen-depriving conditions for far too long.
- Severe maternal hypotension (very low blood pressure): When a mother’s blood pressure is low, the blood flowing from her through the placenta and umbilical cord to the baby may be insufficient. This can deprive the baby of oxygen-rich blood. Maternal hypotension is often a side effect of spinal anesthesia.
- Intracranial hemorrhage: Intracranial hemorrhages (brain bleeds) can occur when there is trauma to the baby’s head. This can happen during labor and delivery, especially if delivery instruments (such as forceps and vacuum extractors) are used or the baby’s birth position (such as face presentation or breech birth) is mismanaged. Brain bleeds cause decreased blood flow and oxygen in the brain.
- Uterine hyperstimulation: Excessively strong and frequent uterine contractions can result from improper use of Pitocin or Cytotec. Hyperstimulation can cause the uterus to contract too frequently and strongly. Strong and frequent contractions put continuous pressure on the vessels in the uterus and placenta, which impedes blood flow from the placenta to the umbilical cord and baby.
Ann Arbor hospitals
C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital – also in Ann Arbor – is a pediatric hospital in the University of Michigan Health System (Michigan Medicine). This facility is the state’s only children’s hospital ranked nationally in all ten specialities. As a firm focused on neonatal and pediatric health, ABC Law Centers appreciates C.S. Mott’s mission and has donated substantial amounts to support the hospital (see below).
Our community involvement: Ann Arbor
Over the years, we have made substantial contributions to a variety of projects run by the University of Michigan health system (Michigan Medicine) and other university departments. Most notably, ABC Law Centers president Jesse Reiter established The Reiter HIE Research Fund to support the research of Dr. John Barks, who is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and the Director of the Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine at the University of Michigan. Dr. Barks’ clinical and laboratory work is critical to the development of new treatments for newborns with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). To contribute to this fund, please click here.
Over the years, ABC Law Centers has made substantial contributions to a variety of projects run by the University of Michigan health system (Michigan Medicine) and other university departments. Most notably, ABC Law Centers president Jesse Reiter established The Reiter HIE Research Fund to support the research of Dr. John Barks, who is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and the Director of the Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine at the University of Michigan. Dr. Barks’ clinical and laboratory work is critical to the development of new treatments for newborns with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). To contribute to this fund, please click here.
Other initiatives our Ann Arbor birth injury attorneys have supported include the following:
- The Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Research and Education, which is comprised of neonatologists who care for injured and sick newborn infants, educate future pediatric and neonatology medical professionals, and conduct cutting-edge research in the field of neonatal-perinatal medicine.
- C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, which provides cutting-edge pediatric treatment. Jesse Reiter and ABC Law Centers have supported a variety of events and funds, including the Mott Golf Classic and the Charles Woodsen Research Fund. Learn more here.
- The Ataxia Clinic, which is involved in treating ataxia as well as conducting research into the causes of ataxia and developing new therapies. Our donation helped Dr. Vikram Shakkottai and his colleagues. They are researching how changes in cerebellar physiology can affect ataxia disorders, and if ion channel modulators can be used to treat motor disorders. They are passionate about the prevention and treatment of ataxia, as well as working toward a cure.
- Research on artificial placenta technology, which could help very premature babies survive and develop. One of the biggest risks facing preemies is their underdeveloped lungs; they are often unable to provide the brain, heart, and other major organs with enough oxygen. This can lead to brain damage, permanent disabilities, and even death. In a U of M Health Lab Blog, Beata Mostafavi notes that an artificial placenta, “could revolutionize the treatment of extreme prematurity.” Learn more here.
- The Jerry Isler Neuromuscular Fund, which supported the development of Nerve Whiz, a free cell phone app that serves as a diagnostic tool. It allows doctors to note areas of muscle weakness or sensory loss on a picture of a limb. Nerve Whiz then provides a list of the areas of the nervous system that are likely to be involved. Learn more here.
- The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, which houses a multidisciplinary team of experts. According to their web page, they strive “to help every individual maximize functional performance and achieve independence and community integration.” Learn more here.
- The Child & Family Life Program, which aims to reduce stress caused by pediatric illnesses and hospitalizations. They provide a variety of services, such as activity centers, art therapy, and a hospital school program. Learn more here.
- The Epilepsy Discovery Fund, which supports research on a variety of topics, such as the causes of seizures, how to detect seizures early, and the relationship between epilepsy and sleep. Learn more here.
- Reach Out and Read (ROR), which was created in order to combat illiteracy by making it a part of primary care. ROR provides a new book to children from low-income families between 6 months and 5 years old that they can take home with them. Since their beginning in 1997, over 250,000 books have been donated. Learn more here.
- Ronald McDonald House Charities, which provides temporary housing (close to the hospitals) and support to families with sick children, among a variety of other initiatives. Rebecca Walsh, partner and birth injury attorney at ABC Law Centers, served on the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Board of Directors from 2009-2015. Learn more about RMHC here.
- The Michigan Law School Fund, which helps to provide scholarship opportunities for Michigan Law students and supports the Michigan Law faculty. It also enables the law school to run curricular activities such as the Legal Practice Program and the Clinical Law Program.
Trusted legal help for your Ann Arbor birth injury case
The award-winning attorneys at ABC Law Centers have been practicing birth injury law for decades. We have represented Ann Arbor families with children suffering from a variety of serious and permanent cognitive, physical, and behavioral disorders stemming from birth injury.
We have helped children in Ann Arbor and throughout the country obtain compensation for lifelong treatment, therapy, and a secure future. Our birth injury firm has secured numerous multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements that attest to our success, and we will never charge you a fee until we have won your case. In addition, because we know how difficult these cases can be for everyone involved, we always give personal attention to each child and family we represent.
Michigan birth injury lawyer Jesse Reiter, president of ABC Law Centers, has been focusing solely on birth injury cases since he began his legal career in 1987. His cases involve hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), cerebral palsy, neonatal brain damage, and a wide variety of other birth injuries, complications, and instances of medical malpractice.
Free Case Review | Available 24/7 | No Fee Until We Win
Phone (toll-free): 888-419-2229
Press the Live Chat button on your browser
Complete Our Online Contact Form
Here’s an example of one of our five-star client reviews:
“My experience with Jesse Reiter and his staff was amazing. I had been to 2 different law firms regarding my son and was told there was no case. I heard about Jesse and his firm from a newspaper article and thought I would give it another shot. Within 30 minutes of talking with Jesse while he was going over my son’s hospital reports, he told me the[re] was definitely a case. Jesse and his staff never made me wonder what was ‘happening with the case,’ they always filled me in on everything. I felt included. Any questions that I had were answered very quickly. Jesse and his team [became like] an extended family to us. I will forever be grateful for the hard work, dedication and the fight they fought for my son.”
~ Wendy Keane
- About ABC Law Centers
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- The intake process: what to expect when you call ABC Law Centers
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- Peesay M. (2017). Nuchal cord and its implications. Maternal health, neonatology and perinatology, 3, 28. doi:10.1186/s40748-017-0068-7\
- Bush, M., Eddleman, K., & Belogolovkin, V. (n.d.). Umbilical cord prolapse. Retrieved May 3, 2019, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/umbilical-cord-prolapse