$48.5 MILLION

Truck Accident Multimillion-Dollar Settlement.

"M.A.," a 30-year-old man, was driving to work in New Mexico. Suddenly a commercial truck veered across the center line and struck his vehicle head on. M.A. died at the scene. The McNeely Stephenson firm was hired shortly after the crash to represent the family of the deceased.

our client results

When a family welcomes a new baby into the world, it’s usually an occasion of joy. Sadly, birth injuries – tragic results of medical mistakes – affect thousands born each year. According to the National Healthcare Quality Report of 2003, birth injuries occur in the United States at the rate of 76 per day, or 28,000 per year.

Is a birth injury the same as a birth defect?
What are some common childbirth injuries?
How do birth injuries happen?
How can an attorney help?

Is a birth injury the same as a birth defect?

No. Birth defects are conditions such as Down Syndrome, cleft palate or spina bifida – things caused by nature gone awry or, in some instances, by the mother’s heath or habits.

Birth injuries are, in most cases, caused by the failure of a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional to provide an acceptable standard of care.

What are some common childbirth injuries?

Included in the conditions which can result from injuries sustained during the birth process are the following:

Cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is caused by a brain injury. Sometimes this occurs at birth, when there is an Interruption of the oxygen supply. According to the United Cerebral Palsy Research and Educational Foundation, 20% of brain damage that results in cerebral palsy occurs during the birthing period. Cerebral palsy affects muscle control, muscle coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture and balance. It can also impact fine motor skills, gross motor skills and oral motor functioning.

Brachial plexus injury. The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that sends signals from the spine to the shoulder, arms and hands. A newborn can sustain brachial plexus injuries when its shoulders are forced down and its neck is forced up, sometimes during delivery or prolonged labor. A brachial plexus injury can result in the inability to use shoulder or elbow muscles, inability to move fingers, or complete lack of movement and feeling in the arm, shoulder and hand. It is estimated that brachial plexus injuries affect 2 to 5 children per 1,000 births.

Shoulder dystocia occurs when the baby’s shoulders become wedged in the birth canal. Pressure used to dislodge the baby can cause this type of brachial plexus injury.

Klumpke’s palsy is a type of brachial plexus injury that causes paralysis of the hand.

Erb’s palsy is a brachial plexus injury to the upper nerves and affects movement of the shoulder but not the fingers.

Brain damage. Anything that interferes with the delivery of oxygen to the infant can cause brain damage. Some drugs given during labor and delivery, such as Pitocin and epidural anesthesia, can cause a drop in the mother’s blood pressure, leading to oxygen deprivation for the baby. Failure to timely proceed with a C-section in the situation of an umbilical cord compression or problems with the placenta can result in lack of sufficient oxygen to the baby, leading to brain damage or developmental delays. Additionally, brain damage may be caused by inappropriate use of vacuum extractors or forceps, which cause cerebral bleeds, contusions and torn blood vessels.

Birth trauma can cause fracture of the clavicle (collarbone), long bone fracture, ruptured blood vessels, ruptured spleen, scalpel cuts, and cranial nerve and spinal cord injuries.

How do birth injuries happen?

In some instances, birth injuries are the direct result of inferior medical care, mistakes made by doctors, nurses or other healthcare providers. The causes range from failure to recognize a dangerous situation to failure to respond quickly to a dangerous situation. A birth injury can result from a lack of training or failure to abide by standard protocols.

How can an Indiana Birth Injury Attorney help?

A skilled personal injury attorney, with the assistance of experts, will be able to scrutinize the medical records and events surrounding your child’s birth to determine whether his or her birth injury resulted from medical malpractice. Success in a birth injury lawsuit rests on the ability to show that the medical provider’s actions fell below a reasonable standard of care.

The expenses of caring for a child who sustains a birth injury can be astronomical, extending over the entire course of his or her life. The CDC estimates that the lifetime cost of caring for a person with cerebral palsy is $1 million. The cost of care for a child with a brain injury can quickly drain a family’s resources. A lawsuit can provide funds which will ease this burden and guarantee adequate and effective treatment for a child who has developmental delays or physical handicaps caused by a medical mistake during labor or delivery.

real-life cases

“B.K.” was driving on a two-lane road one Sunday afternoon with his mother in the front seat and his brother and sister-in-law in the back seat when his life was forever changed. B.K. was struck head on by D.C.

D.C. had spent the day drinking with a friend and had stopped at a restaurant less than five miles from the point of the accident where D.C. had been served several drinks. D.C.’s blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit.

As a result of the terrible wreck, B.K. received devastating injuries, which included multiple broken bones, facial fractures, and loss of vision. B.K.’s mother, brother, and sister-in-law were all killed in the accident.

As one would anticipate, D.C. had virtually no insurance. Stephenson, through his thorough and detailed investigation, was able to prepare claims against the restaurant and those that provided the alcohol.

Stephenson pursued dram shop claims against those responsible CASE SUMMARY

D.H. was a competitive bicyclist who was riding in preparation for a cross-country fundraising ride. In the spring of 2010, D.H. was riding across an old steel-grated deck bridge in Shelby County when he hit a hole in the bridge and flipped over the handlebars of his bike. The impact to the bridge decking caused severe injuries to his face, teeth, tongue, and elbow.

Through the investigation, they were able to learn as early as 1998, the bridge inspection reports showed the bridge in question needed to be replaced. The county never authorized additional inspections. The county obtained $844,000 in funding for the replacement of the bridge in 2000, but the Historical Society and adjacent property owners wanted the bridge repaired rather than replaced.

This crash could have been avoided if the inspectors and county had done their jobs. CASE SUMMARY

Our client (“D.W.”) was a front-seat passenger in a vehicle that was struck by a UDF truck making deliveries. D.W. received broken arms and legs, as well as internal injuries. Stephenson was retained by D.W.’s personal counsel to prepare and try the case. Discovery determined that the UDF driver had multiple driving violations. Stephenson retained numerous experts to show the jury the devastating effects of the injuries. Before trial, the defendant’s company stated that a jury in a small southern county in Indiana would never return a verdict for $1 million in this case.

The defendant was correct; the verdict was twice that amount. CASE SUMMARY

Attorney Mike Stephenson, Proven Advocate.

Mike Stephenson, a partner with the Indianapolis firm of McNeely Stephenson, has been successfully litigating personal injury cases in Indiana since 1981. He has the experience necessary to seek justice from the medical establishment and malpractice insurers. If you are worried about your child’s birth injury, hand the worry over to Mike Stephenson and let his firm’s resources back you up. Call 1-855-206-2555 or use our online form.

Updates
Personal Injury Lawyer
May 21, 2018 / Vehicle Accidents
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