Pennsylvania Birth Injury Attorneys

Pennsylvania is home to highly-ranked obstetrics and neonatal care programs. However, even at top hospitals, medical errors may happen. When a child goes through a preventable birth injury , the impact may last a lifetime.

Understanding Birth Injury

Birth injuries can be devastating and complex. Understanding them fully requires the help of professionals well-versed in the medicine behind the diagnoses.

Birth injuries may not be immediately apparent; sometimes parents begin to suspect that something is wrong once a child has begun to miss key developmental milestones like crawling, making eye contact, rolling over, talking, or learning language. There are three crucial things parents must remember:

  1. Birth injury is often preventable.
  2. The sooner a birth injury is caught, the sooner treatment and therapy can start.
  3. The sooner intervention starts, the better long-term outcome the child will have.

When can birth injuries happen?

There are three periods of time that a birth injury can be suspected. These can be roughly divided into:

  1. During the prenatal period
  2. During and immediately after labor & delivery
  3. During a child’s growth and development

 During the prenatal period

The prenatal period takes place before birth. While not a complete list, the following are common examples of risks and conditions which can be mishandled or not treated in time, leading to a child having a birth injury.

During and immediately after labor and delivery

Some of the most common events during and after labor and delivery that appear in birth injury cases include:

During a child’s growth and development

Sometimes, birth injuries are not evident until the child misses important stages in their development, or begins to struggle in school. The following are a few signs that a child may have experienced an injury at birth:

If any of these events occurred during your child’s development and growth, talking to an attorney who specializes in birth trauma cases can help you understand what happened.

Attorneys at ABC Law Centers have helped advise parents with birth injury cases for over 25 years. We are glad to consult with you and answer your questions, absolutely free.

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Pennsylvania Hospitals and NICUs

There are dozens of NICUs (neonatal intensive care units) located within the state of Pennsylvania. Nearly all babies who sustain any type of birth injury are sent to the NICU for medical care.

Care services and procedures offered through NICUs can include therapeutic hypothermia (a kind of brain treatment that helps minimize brain damage from hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy), supportive services, premature birth care, and breathing assistance. Not all NICUs are equipped to provide all kinds of care, so it’s important to research hospitals individually to evaluate whether they can provide both critical and appropriate care to your child. Level III or Level IV NICUs provide the specialized care that a baby with a birth injury typically needs.

According to standards of medical care, all hospitals, medical centers, and birthing facilities must provide immediate access to emergency labor, delivery, and neonatal medical services. If a given medical facility does not provide these services or facilities in-house, said facility must provide immediate transportation to one that does.

The following is by no means a comprehensive list, but we have compiled a list of several hospitals in Pennsylvania with Level III or IV NICU designations:

Pennsylvania Military Hospitals

Litigating military medical malpractice differs in some aspects from ‘regular’ civilian medical malpractice. If your child had a birth injury at a military medical hospital, it is important to choose a birth injury attorney with experience in litigating both birth injury law and military medical malpractice. We at ABC Law Centers (Reiter & Walsh, P.C.) have attorneys that are well-versed in cases at the intersection of military medical malpractice and birth injury.

Pennsylvania Statute of Limitations (SOL)

Families of children with birth injuries have a certain amount of time to file a case (determined by a ‘statute of limitations’ aka SOL), which varies on a state-by-state basis. Because of these interrelated factors, having a lawyer who focuses only on birth injury is invaluable. It is critical to discuss a potential case with an attorney as soon as possible – in Pennsylvania, parents have two years from the date of the injury to file a claim on their own behalf. For a child injured at birth, parents have until that child’s 20th birthday to pursue a case.

Birth injury cases can take years to litigate. Sometimes, an injury is not evident until a child begins to miss important milestones in their development. It’s important to talk to a birth injury attorney as soon as malpractice or negligence is suspected.

About ABC Law Centers

Attorneys at ABC Law Centers focus solely on birth injury cases and have a network of renowned medical, economic and forensics experts at our side. Our attorneys are consistently recognized for their hard work in the birth injury arena and we have an extensive track record in providing help to families affected by birth injuries. We provide personalized attention to our clients and keep them informed throughout each step of the legal process. We do not charge any fees for the entire legal process unless we win.