Experienced Birth Injury Lawyer In South Carolina Who Knows How To Win
Obstetricians and nurses are trained to make sure the birth of a child goes smoothly. They should understand how to act quickly if they see signs of distress. If they fail to act quickly, the consequences can be grave. The infant can lose oxygen quickly and suffer brain damage, leading to cerebral palsy and other life-altering conditions.
The birth injury attorneys McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC take such cases very seriously. Injuries to babies and mothers during labor and delivery can cause lifelong medical and emotional problems, and medical malpractice is often to blame. Most birth injuries are preventable when doctors follow standard treatment protocols. Failure to respond quickly to changes in fetal heart monitor tracings, shifts in a baby’s position or other warning signs can result in injury to both the mother and the infant.
McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC provides an experienced legal team and a host of medical resources for its clients. To schedule a free consultation, contact the South Carolina injury attorneys at McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC. Our Columbia, Sumter, Rock Hill and Anderson office locations represent clients throughout North and South Carolina.
Birth Injuries, Trauma and Legal Action
McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC represents clients in many types of birth injury cases, including:
- Cerebral palsy
- Forceps injuries / disfigurement
- Vacuum extraction injury
- Abrupted placenta
- Undiagnosed preeclampsia (high blood pressure)
- Erb’s Palsy (caused by excessive traction, usually due to Shoulder Dystocia)
At McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC, our birth injury lawyers consult medical experts in reviewing a doctor’s or hospital’s actions and decisions and identify departures from standard procedures and diagnostic protocols. Reviewing medical records and interviewing hospital staff, we expose failures on the part of nurses and other healthcare personnel that led to a breakdown in communication, affecting when a diagnosis was made or when preventative action was initiated.
Consulting economic impact analysts, healthcare planners and pediatricians, our birth injury lawyers determine the costs you and your newborn will face as a result of physician negligence. We present expert testimony and financial estimates related to the need for special education, medical equipment, future medical treatment, nursing care and loss in quality of life.
- What is cerebral palsy?
- What kind of damages may be available to victims of birth injuries?
- How long do I have to file a lawsuit?
- How do I pay attorney fees?
Cerebral palsy is a term used for a number of motor conditions with symptoms that include poor reflexes, poor motor development, lack of coordination, involuntary spasms, difficulty walking and speaking, bone and joint deformities and learning disabilities. The symptoms can range from mild to severe; those with moderate to severe cases may need around-the-clock care, expensive medical devices and home modifications, as well as special education.
Birth injury is a leading cause of cerebral palsy; if a baby remains in the birth canal too long, the baby’s brain is deprived of adequate oxygen, which causes brain damage. It is important to note, however, that there are multiple causes of cerebral palsy. Other causes include but are not limited to brain hemorrhaging, infection, toxic exposure and premature birth.
In addition to paying an intense emotional toll, families must also face a large financial burden when dealing with cerebral palsy. The South Carolina injury attorneys at McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC understand what families face when a child has cerebral palsy. We work closely with clients to determine the cause of the injury. From there, we assess the long-term cost and work toward gaining favorable settlements.
Parents and children are entitled to financial compensation after a birth injury as the result of medical malpractice or negligence. Children born with injuries may require specialized treatments and long-term care, sometimes for the rest of their lives. This can place incredible financial burdens on families and a birth injury lawsuit can provide necessary compensation, including:
- Medical bills, rehabilitation and long term care
- Special education needs
- Specialized household modifications and equipment
- Lost future earnings
Birth injury lawsuits can also provide for non-economic damages, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
South Carolina law provides for a three-year statute of limitations for birth injury, negligence or medical malpractice against private parties or charitable entities. The statute begins to run on the date the injury was discovered or reasonably should have been discovered, not to exceed six years from the date of injury.
If your claim is against a state hospital or state governmental institution, you will have one year to file a verified claim to extend the statute of limitations against the state entity to three years, or if no verified claim is filed against the state entity, the statute of limitations is two years. If the claim is against a federal governmental entity (for example, the veterans administration or one of their hospitals or doctors), you have two years to file an administrative claim called a Form 95 to institute an action. The government then has six months to accept or deny your claim and you will have six months from the date of denial to file the lawsuit in the matter. In South Carolina, there is a preliminary action that must be filed before the summons and complaint, which is called a notice of intent to file a medical negligence action.
It is always best to pursue a birth injury or medical malpractice case as soon as possible, even if the statute of limitations period has not yet run. This is because evidence and witnesses are lost and may become less credible over time.
<Back to Top>
How do I pay attorney fees?
At McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC, we represent victims of birth injuries on a contingent fee arrangement. This is a contract that provides for your attorney to receive fees out of the proceeds of a settlement or verdict. If your case does not settle and you do not obtain a verdict after trial, you will not owe us any attorney fees. Contact our South Carolina injury lawyers for more information and to schedule a free consultation.