Pittsburgh Shoulder Dystocia Lawyers
Protecting the Rights of Families Harmed by Malpractice
Although birth is typically viewed as one of the happiest moments of many parents’ lives, the truth of the matter is that childbirth is complicated and many things may go wrong, particularly when a careless, inattentive, and/or negligent medical professional is involved.
If your child experienced shoulder dystocia during the birthing process and suffered an injury that a medical professional could have and should have prevented, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against them or their employer. With countless children suffering these injuries every year, you could fight for justice both for your child and for all the other children affected.
At Robert Peirce & Associates, P.C., we have robust experience investigating and building these cases, which gives our clients a strong chance of obtaining justice. However, should you wait, you may miss the opportunity to exercise your legal rights. Don’t wait to get started — schedule a free consultation with a member of our compassionate legal team today. We truly care about helping the wronged families and children whom we represent, which is why we are so successful in our advocacy efforts.
Call our firm today at (844) 383-0565 to schedule a confidential, risk-free consultation with an experienced shoulder dystocia attorney in Pittsburgh.
What Is Shoulder Dystocia?
Shoulder dystocia is defined as when the child’s shoulders become lodged behind the mother’s pelvic bone during childbirth. Fortunately, many cases of shoulder dystocia are addressed promptly and properly, resulting in zero long-term effects; conversely, if a birth team does not recognize and effectively treat shoulder dystocia, the mother and/or child could suffer great injury.
Shoulder Dystocia Complications
Untreated or improperly treated shoulder dystocia could leave a child with the following complications:
- Injuries to the brachial plexus, the nerves in the shoulders
- Brachial plexus palsy
- Cerebral palsy (CP)
- Asphyxiation, or a lack of oxygen
- Collarbone/clavicle fractures
- Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), a type of brain dysfunction
- Full or partial facial paralysis
The mother may also be injured due to shoulder dystocia, such as through:
- Uterine rupture
- Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH)
- Fourth-degree lacerations
Sadly, both the mother and child may suffer an untimely death due to shoulder dystocia.
Shoulder Dystocia Risk Factors
By the time you go into labor, your birth team should have already assessed whether you and your child are at risk of shoulder dystocia.
Common shoulder dystocia risk factors include the following:
- Having an estimated fetal weight of more than 8 pounds, 13 ounces
- Diagnosed with diabetes, preexisting or gestational
- Being pregnant with twins or triplets
- Being overweight
- Opting for oxytocin to induce labor
- Opting for an epidural
- Needing assisted vaginal birth with forceps or a vacuum extractor
- Having an irregularly short or long second stage of labor
- Having a history of shoulder dystocia
Filing a Shoulder Dystocia Lawsuit in Pittsburgh
The state of Pennsylvania has a statute of limitations, or legal deadline, of two years for shoulder dystocia lawsuits. This means that any lawsuit filed after two years from the date of injury will be considered invalid. If the child was the one injured, the statute of limitations does not start running until their 18th birthday; in other words, they have until their 20th birthday to formally file a suit over their shoulder dystocia injury.
It is best to consult a lawyer who is knowledgeable in this legal practice area as soon after the injury as possible. If you are not sure whether medical malpractice played a part in your or your child’s shoulder dystocia-related injury, our attorney team at Robert Peirce & Associates, P.C. will assist you in identifying the primary cause of the injury through in-depth investigation and research.
A few examples of malpractice commonly behind shoulder dystocia injuries include:
- Failing to identify and handle a breech birth
- Failing to deliver an emergency cesarean section (C-section)
- Failing to monitor labor, particularly the second stage
- Ignoring any existing risk factors
- Misusing forceps and vacuum extractors
Take Legal Action to Protect Your Rights
Robert Peirce & Associates, P.C. attorneys have litigated birth injury cases, including those involving shoulder dystocia, for more than 40 years in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. It is an unfortunate truth that malpractice, negligence, and carelessness are all too common in the delivery room — our work is directly aimed at holding these irresponsible medical professionals accountable for their actions so as to protect parents and their children.
Contact Robert Peirce & Associates, P.C. online today. Our Pittsburgh shoulder dystocia lawyers truly care about you and your family.