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Birth Injury Attorney Seattle
Birth Injury Attorney Seattle

Birth Injury Attorney Seattle

If your child has suffered a birth injury in Seattle, Lehmbecker Law's compassionate and experienced attorneys are here to help you seek the justice and compensation you deserve.
36
Years in Business
1000+
Of Cases Won

Seattle Birth Injury Lawyers Assist Families Throughout Washington State

At Lehmbecker Law, our team of birth injury lawyers is committed to assisting families across Washington State who have been impacted by birth injuries. With deep knowledge of medical malpractice and personal injury law, we understand the complexities of these cases and the profound effect they can have on families.

Our attorneys work tirelessly to help families receive the compensation they deserve for medical expenses, ongoing care, and emotional distress. Whether navigating settlement negotiations or pursuing litigation, Lehmbecker Law stands as a strong advocate for the rights and well-being of injured children and their families.

Birth Injury Statistics

Between 2020 and 2022, Washington saw about 166,997 babies born. The state recorded an infant mortality rate of approximately 4.4 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2022, positioning Washington 39th among U.S. states in terms of infant mortality rates, according to data from WiseVoter.

While these statistics reflect broader health outcomes, they also underscore the critical importance of quality prenatal and neonatal care to prevent serious complications and deaths that may stem from birth injuries.

Birth Injuries vs. Birth Defects: Understanding the Difference

When it comes to the health challenges a newborn may face, it's important to distinguish between birth injuries and birth defects.

Birth injuries typically occur during the labor and delivery process and are often preventable. These injuries can result from physical pressure during birth, such as when a baby's oxygen supply is interrupted or when forceps or vacuum extraction tools are improperly used. The effects of birth injuries may be temporary or permanent, affecting a child's development and quality of life.

Birth defects, on the other hand, generally develop during pregnancy and involve malformations of body structures. These can be attributed to genetic factors, environmental exposure, or certain maternal health issues. Unlike birth injuries, birth defects are not caused by trauma during delivery but by issues that arise before birth.

Common Types of Birth Injuries

Birth injuries can vary in severity and impact on a child's life. Knowing the common types can help parents identify potential issues early and seek appropriate legal and medical assistance. Here are some of the most frequently encountered birth injuries:

Brachial Plexus Injuries (Erb’s Palsy)

These injuries involve damage to the brachial plexus, the network of nerves near the neck that influences the arms and hands. They often occur during a difficult delivery, such as with a breech presentation or prolonged labor, resulting in loss of movement or weakness in the arm.

Cerebral Palsy

This group of disorders affects muscle movement and coordination. While not always the result of birth injuries, cerebral palsy can be caused by brain damage due to lack of oxygen during labor or mechanical trauma during delivery.

Fractures

Commonly, fractures during birth involve the clavicle or collarbone but can occur in other bones as well. These typically happen during complicated deliveries or when tools like forceps or vacuum extractors are used.

Caput Succedaneum

A significant swelling of the soft tissues of the baby's scalp can develop as the baby travels through the birth canal. The swelling usually decreases after a few days but can be alarming.

Cephalohematoma

This refers to bleeding between the skull and its fibrous covering, usually caused by pressure during birth. It may not be noticeable immediately but can cause a raised area on the baby's head that appears within the first few days of life.

Perinatal Asphyxia

This occurs when the baby does not receive enough oxygen before, during, or just after birth, which can lead to hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy and other severe complications.

Intracranial Hemorrhage

Bleeding under one of the cranial bones or within the brain itself is often due to trauma during delivery. It can have serious consequences depending on the location and extent of the bleeding.

Common Causes of Birth Injuries

Birth injuries can result from a variety of factors during the labor and delivery process. Here are some of the common causes of birth injuries:

  • Prolonged or Difficult Labor: Extended labor can stress the baby, leading to complications, such as oxygen deprivation, which can cause serious injuries.
  • Improper Use of Delivery Tools: Forceps and vacuum extractors can aid delivery, but if used incorrectly, they can cause physical injuries, such as fractures or nerve damage.
  • Inadequate Monitoring: Failing to properly monitor the fetal heartbeat can lead to missed signs of distress, resulting in delayed interventions that could prevent injuries.
  • Size and Position of the Baby: A large baby, a breech position, or other abnormal positioning can complicate the delivery process, increasing the risk of injury.
  • Premature Delivery: Premature babies are more vulnerable to birth injuries because their bodies are less developed and more fragile compared to full-term babies.
  • Maternal Health Issues: Conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure in the mother can complicate pregnancy and delivery, increasing the risk of injuries to the baby.
  • Inexperienced Medical Staff: Inadequate experience or training among medical staff can lead to errors in handling complicated deliveries or emergencies.
  • Cesarean Section (C-Section) Delivery: While sometimes necessary, C-sections carry risks of surgical errors that can lead to injuries both for the mother and the baby.

Understanding these causes is crucial for preventing injuries and for identifying potential cases of medical negligence.

Who Is Held Responsible for Birth Injury Medical Negligence?

Determining responsibility for birth injuries, medical malpractice, and negligence involves identifying which parties failed to provide the standard of care required during childbirth. Here are the parties typically considered in such cases:

  • Obstetricians/Gynecologists: These are the doctors most directly involved in childbirth; if they make errors, they could be held liable.
  • Pediatricians: These medical professionals may also be held responsible if they fail to diagnose or treat a birth injury in a timely and effective manner following delivery.
  • Nurses and Midwives: Errors made by these providers, such as improperly using delivery tools or failing to alert doctors to fetal distress, can contribute to birth injuries.
  • Hospitals and Medical Facilities: The hospital or facility where the birth takes place can be held liable for systemic issues such as inadequate staffing and poor training.
  • Anesthesiologists: If improper administration of anesthesia occurs during labor and delivery, an anesthesiologist could be held responsible for any resulting complications.
  • Pharmacists or Pharmaceutical Companies: If a birth injury is linked to a medication that was improperly prepared or dangerous, pharmacists or manufacturers might be liable.

Your legal team will conduct a thorough investigation into the medical records, the practices of the healthcare staff, and the policies of the institution where the birth took place.

Elements of Medical Negligence in a Birth Injury Lawsuit

In a birth injury case, proving medical negligence involves demonstrating several key elements. Here are the primary components that must be established:

Duty of Care

It must be shown that the healthcare provider had a duty of care toward the patient. In the context of childbirth, this duty is inherent, as healthcare providers are expected to deliver a standard of care that is consistent with their professional training and the medical community's standards.

Breach of Duty

This element involves proving that the healthcare provider failed to adhere to the standard of care. A breach might occur through acts of omission (failing to do something necessary) or commission (doing something improperly).

Examples include failing to monitor the fetal heartbeat adequately, improperly using delivery tools, or not responding appropriately to signs of distress.

Causation

There must be a direct link between the healthcare provider's breach of duty and the injury suffered. This means proving that the injury was a direct result of the provider’s actions or inaction rather than a result of underlying medical conditions or other external factors.

Damages

Finally, it must be demonstrated that the breach of duty caused damages. In birth injury cases, these damages can include physical harm to the mother or child, additional medical costs, pain and suffering, long-term disability or care needs and death.

Proving these elements typically requires the testimony of medical experts who can confirm that the care provided fell below the accepted standard and directly caused the injury. Documentation, such as medical records, fetal monitoring strips,, and evaluations, play crucial roles in substantiating the claim.

Available Compensation in a Washington Birth Injury Claim

In Washington State, families affected by birth injuries due to medical negligence can seek various forms of compensation to address the physical, emotional, and financial impacts of the injury.

Medical Expenses

This includes costs for all medical treatments related to the birth injury, both immediate and ongoing. Compensation can cover hospital stays, surgeries, medications, and any future medical expenses, including physical therapy and rehabilitation.

Pain and Suffering

Compensation for pain and suffering addresses the physical pain and emotional distress suffered by the child and parents. This is especially relevant in cases where the birth injury results in long-term or permanent disability.

Life Care Costs

For serious injuries, there may be a need for lifelong care, which can include professional care services, home modifications, and specialized equipment. Compensation for life care costs helps ensure that the child's future care needs are financially supported.

Emotional Distress

Parents and children may also receive compensation for the psychological impact of a birth injury. This covers therapy and counseling services needed due to trauma or stress related to the injury and its aftermath.

Punitive Damages

In cases where the negligence is found to be especially egregious, punitive damages may be awarded. These are not tied to specific losses but are intended to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar negligent behavior.

Wrongful Death

If a birth injury leads to the death of a child, parents may file a wrongful death claim. Compensation in these cases can include funeral and burial expenses, loss of love and companionship, and emotional distress suffered by the family.

How Long Do I Have to File a Birth Injury Claim in Washington State?

In Washington State, the time limit for filing a birth injury claim, known as the statute of limitations, is generally three years from the date of the injury. However, there are important exceptions and nuances to consider.

Discovery Rule

If the injury was not immediately apparent, Washington State allows claims to be filed within three years from the date the injury was discovered or reasonably should have been discovered. This rule acknowledges that some injuries, particularly those involving minors, may not become evident until some time after the event.

Minors

For children, the statute of limitations is extended. A birth injury claim can be filed at any time before the child’s eighth birthday. This extension provides families with additional time to identify injuries that might not manifest symptoms until several years after birth.

Tolling for Disability

If the person injured by medical negligence is considered legally incapacitated, the statute may be paused until the incapacity ends. This is particularly relevant in cases where the birth injury results in long-term cognitive or physical disabilities.

Why Choose Our Seattle Birth Injury Attorneys?

Choosing the right attorney is critical when dealing with the consequences of a birth injury. Our birth injury attorneys at Lehmbecker Law stand out for several compelling reasons:

Contact Lehmbecker Law Today

Our Birth Injury Attorneys Are Ready to Help

If you suspect negligence played a role in a birth injury, consulting with a knowledgeable birth injury attorney can provide the guidance and representation needed to pursue justice and compensation.

Request Free Consultation

Experience: Our attorneys possess a deep understanding of medical and legal complexities. All aspects of your case will be handled with the highest level of professionalism and competence.

Proven Track Record: With a history of successful settlements and verdicts, our firm has established itself as a leader in personal injury. We have consistently secured significant compensation for our clients, demonstrating our capability and dedication.

Compassionate Representation: We understand the emotional and physical toll a birth injury can take on a family. Our approach is empathetic and supportive, and we are committed to not only being your legal advocate but also providing the emotional support you need during the legal process.

No Upfront Fees or Costs: We offer our services on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not pay any upfront legal fees. We only get paid if we win your case, which aligns our interests with yours and ensures our commitment to securing the best possible outcome for you.

Verdicts and Settlements

Our attorneys have decades of experience to ensure you get the proper treatment for your injuries and compensation for your losses. If you’ve suffered an injury, contact us for a free consultation to learn how we can help you get the financial help you deserve.
Overcoming Negative Police Report
For a Client Wrongly Put at Fault
Lehmbecker Law overcomes a negative police report and secures the client compensation for his medical costs, pain and suffering, and property damage.
$185,000
For a Victim of DUI Accident in Dram Shop Case
Lehmbecker Law successfully recovers damages for a victim of a DUI accident and holds a bar accountable for over serving.
Lifetime Pension Awarded
For a Roofer After 5-Year Fight
Lehmbecker Law reaches a successful settlement for a family whose father was seriously injured.
$6M
FOR A CLIENT INJURED BY A VEHICLE WHILE WALKING
Lehmbecker Law reaches a successful settlement for a family whose father was seriously injured.
$1.8M
FOR A CONSTRUCTION WORKER WHO FELL INTO AN UNPROTECTED SHAFT
We also obtained a lifetime pension from worker’s compensation for this injured worker.
$62,500
For a Client Suffered From a Dog Attack
Our exceptional advocacy leads to a great outcome in a pit bull attack case, securing justice and compensation for the victim.
$45,000
For a Client Suffered From a Dog Bite
Lehmbecker Law secures victory in dog bite lawsuit, delivering justice and compensation to the victim.
$5.75M
FOR A GRANDFATHER STRUCK BY A YOUNG DRIVER
Finding a hidden $5M umbrella policy and making a compelling video from the Grandfather’s family helped us settle this case in less than a year.
$2.0M
FOR A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CLIENT INJURED DURING A HEART PROCEDURE
We showed that the physician performed an unnecessary procedure that seriously injured our client.
$1.75M
FOR A WOMAN WITH A PERMANENT LEG INJURY
The insurance company didn’t believe she was that injured. We convinced them.
$2.0M
for an elderly woman who suffered a shoulder injury that required surgery
After being struck in a crosswalk by a delivery van.
$2.0M
for a young woman who suffered multiple orthopedic injuries
After being struck in a crosswalk by a taxicab.
$2.0M
for our client who suffered permanent cardiovascular impairment
After his surgeon attempted to perform an unnecessary procedure.
$1.75M
for our client who was hit in the front driver’s side of her vehicle
As she was driving straight through a green light in Kirkland, WA.
$675,000
for our client after she was hit by a driver failing to yield
While making a left turn.
$460,000
for our client
After being hit by a driver making an illegal U-turn.
$410,000
for our client when a piece of plywood fell onto his knee and punctured it
While working on a construction site.
$326,900
for our client
After being T-boned by a drunk driver.
$250,000
for our client who was crushed under a wall
While working on a construction site.
$250,000
for our client
After he and his dog were hit by a distracted driver who didn’t see them crossing the street.
$250,000
for our client
After his leg was broken in three places during a construction-site accident that occurred while he was working as a carpenter.
$250,000
for our client
After being hit and run side-swiped on the freeway (uninsured motorist claim).
$192,500
for our client
Who violently rear ended while traveling back to his office in the Seattle area.
$150,000
for our client
After being rear-ended while at a complete stop.
$150,000
for our client
after he slowed down to make a turn and was rear ended.
$150,000
for our client
After being hit twice within one year.
$90,000
for our client
After our client exited a restaurant, slipped on a mossy paving stone and fell, resulting in a broken ankle.
$60,000
for our client
After he was bitten by a dog in the leg while delivering a package.

Trusted by Our Clients

Stars reviews
5 months ago
5
Thank you very much for fighting for me really hard, I know it’s only beginning but I am so happy and satisfied with the results.
Stars reviews
5 months ago
5
Thank you very much for fighting for me really hard, I know it’s only beginning but I am so happy and satisfied with the results.
Stars reviews
5 months ago
5
Thank you very much for fighting for me really hard, I know it’s only beginning but I am so happy and satisfied with the results.
Stars reviews
5 months ago
5
Thank you very much for fighting for me really hard, I know it’s only beginning but I am so happy and satisfied with the results.
Stars reviews
5 months ago
5
Thank you very much for fighting for me really hard, I know it’s only beginning but I am so happy and satisfied with the results.
Stars reviews
5 months ago
5
Thank you very much for fighting for me really hard, I know it’s only beginning but I am so happy and satisfied with the results.

Areas We Serve

We’re proud to work with clients throughout Washington state, including Seattle and surrounding areas. If you can’t make it to our office, we’ll meet you wherever you need us, whether at home or in the hospital.

Bellevue

11711 SE 8th ST. STE. 120, Bellevue, WA
98005

Federal Way

Uptown Square Complex 1066 S. 320th ST., BLDG. K,
STE. F Federal Way, WA 98003

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Seattle Birth Injury Law Firm

Take the first step toward justice for your family. Schedule a free consultation with our firm today, and let us help you navigate your medical malpractice claim.
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