James P. Howe

  Attorney at Law                                                                                                                                                                                  36 South County Commons Way C6      

Providence, R I  02903      
























       Rhode Island Child Birth Injuries

  Fortunately, most births are joyous events and all goes well. However, about three times in every hundred births, there are serious birth injuries. Not all birth injuries are due to medical malpractice. But if the medical treatment received fell below the medical standard of care and if the malpractice caused the birth injuries, then a Rhode Island Birth Injury Lawyer can establish a case.

When a child has suffered serious birth injuries, the child needs the help of an experienced medical malpractice law firm which has expertise as experienced birth injuries lawyers. All the medical records with details of the childbirth injuries need to be obtained and reviewed. An expert obstetrician needs to review all of the records and the medical literature needs to be reviewed and analyzed. This process could take several months.

When you retain a birth injuries attorney or cerebral palsy lawyer from The Law Offices of James P. Howe, you will be sure to have the most experienced and knowledgeable legal help you can receive. Our birth injuries lawyers have obtained countless verdicts and settlements on areas ranging from forceps injuries, asphyxiation damage, failure to properly c-section, medication errors, improper amniocentesis technique, failing to timely deliver the child, improper assessment of fetal age, and all types of other childbirth injuries.

What exactly is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebal Palsy is a group of disorders which can be characterized by loss of movement or loss of other nerve functions. These disorders are caused by injuries to the brain during fetal development or near the time of birth.

What exactly is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice is negligent or incorrect performance of professional duties. In medicine, the term refers specifically to care rendered to patients by health care providers and institutions. Generally, four prerequisites are necessary to establish a valid claim for medical malpractice:

A provider-patient relationship existed;
Negligent care was rendered;
The patient suffered damage or harm; and
The damage or harm done to the patient was a result of the negligent care.

What are the causes, incidences and risk factors of Cerebral Palsy?

The incidence of Cerebral Palsy is approximately two to four children for every 1000 births. Cerebral Palsy results from injury to the cerebrum (the largest portion of the brain, involved with higher mental faculties, sensations and voluntary muscle activities). Causes can vary from birth asphyxia and trauma, hypoxia (low oxygen) to the damaged areas of the brain, premature birth, or cerebral injury caused by illness or a head injury.

Injury to the cerebrum can result in the loss of nerve functions in widely different areas. The classical finding of Cerebral Palsy is spasticity (decreased muscle tone), which may affect a single limb, one side of the body (spastic hemiplegia), both legs (spastic diplegia), or both arms and legs (spastic quadriplegia). In addition, there may be partial or full loss of movement (paralysis), sensory abnormalities and defects of hearing and vision. With Cerebral Palsy, speech abnormalities are common and seizures may occur. Intellectual function may range from extremely bright to severe mental retardation. Symptoms are usually evident before age 2 and in severe cases may appear as early as three months of age. Cerebral Palsy is a non-progressive type of encephalopathy (injury to the brain) and symptoms directly resulting from the disorder do not worsen.

What can we do to help our child?

Over 500,000 children and adults in the U.S. have Cerebral Palsy. Cerebral Palsy is a lifelong disorder and long-term care may be required. The disorder does not affect expected length of life. And the cost of care for a child with disabilities may be very high. Depending upon the cause, compensation for the care of your child may be available. If you think that your child is entitled to financial assistance or that the doctors or hospital did something wrong, immediately call the Law Offices of James P. Howe for a free consultation at (800) 718-4658.

What help could you be entitled to?

Financial Help
Supplemental Social Security Income - This is a federally funded program that pays monthly checks to children who have been determined to be disabled under federal law. Under the law, you may have assets and income and still have your child qualify for SSI.
Medicaid - This is a federally funded program that can provide extensive medical benefits to disabled children who meet the eligibility criteria. These benefits may even be available to those with substantial incomes if there are extraordinary costs.
Help with Medical Evaluations and Treatment - Neurology, orthopedic, cardiac and orafacial clinics are just a few of the special services available for help with the initial diagnosis or for additional opinions. There is usually no charge to the family for initial diagnostic evaluations. Even beyond the initial visit, financial assistance is available if the family is eligible.
Early Intervention - Children, up to age three, are eligible for early intervention programs with professionals delivering direct services in your home or in their program center.
Preschool Age and School Age - Children, aged three to twenty-two, are entitled to special education services under federal and state laws. These laws guarantee a child with special needs an educational program designed to meet his or her individual needs and to maximize the child's potential. Special education can include speech, occupational and physical therapy services and placement in public or private school programs.
Respite Care - This provides occasional relief from the daily care of taking care of your child. The services are offered by several state agencies and are often provided free. Respite care can provide home-health aides, homemakers and the like, in your own home or twenty-four hour care outside the home in family or group-care settings.
Handicapped License Tag - Parents who transport a severely disabled child may be eligible for handicapped plates on their car as well as an exemption from sales tax and/or excise tax.
Did you know?
If you should pass away without a will, under the law, your child will inherit part of your estate and may no longer be financially eligible for publicly supported programs. By carefully drawing up a will with professional guidance, your child stands a better chance of maintaining
public benefits and a secure future. It is important for you to know if others have included your child in their will. The U.S. Congress passed laws recognizing that the parents can set up a "Special Needs Trust". This Trust will allow continued payments of government benefits.

A true story...
Here is an actual Cerebral Palsy case history. It is an example of just one of the many cases with varying results. If you think your child's Cerebral Palsy could have been prevented, contact us. We can help.

A FEW YEARS AGO, A WOMAN IN LABOR went into fetal distress while at the hospital. This necessitated an emergency c-section. The child sustained seizures and brain damage due to lack of oxygen to the brain and subsequently developed Cerebral Palsy, spastic quadraparalysis, severe mental retardation and microcephaly. At the age of three (3), she is unable to walk, unable to speak and unable to feed herself. Through Early Intervention, she receives hours of physical, occupational and speech therapy. She will never be able to live independently and will require 24-hour supervision for the rest of her life. The parents filed a lawsuit for Failure to Respond to Fetal Distress and Failure to Timely Perform a Cesarean Section against the obstetrician and against the hospital. The obstetrician and the hospital maintained that the fetal monitor strips did not show signs of fetal distress and that the child's injuries were congenital and not related to their actions and inactions. However, all of the records subsequent to the child's birth indicated that the child suffered from lack of oxygen at birth, or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy.

Where can we turn for help?

The Law Offices of James P. Howe understands that protecting a loved one's rights is one of your family's most important responsibilities. Just as significant, our firm understands the law so you receive the best legal representation possible. Together, we have mastered the intricacies of this extremely important area of law. Our firm has the knowledge, experience and passion to help you find out if your health care provider has been negligent. You deserve answers to your questions and to know what options you have. We collect all medical records and conduct an extensive screening process which often requires a review by several obstetrical, neurology, pathology and radiology medical experts. Very often an extensive review indicates that no meritorious case exists, even though the child has severe disabilities. Under these circumstances, the parents owe our firm no fee nor do we require reimbursement of expenses.

Should you require assistance with a Childbirth Injury, please contact us for an immediate free evaluation of your situation. We have dealt with many of these cases and can be an invaluable resource for information and more importantly assistance

Contact us today by Email or call us today at  (401) 788-0600 to speak with someone from our  firm..



James P. Howe Law Offices
36 South County Commons Way C6, Wakefield RI 02879
Phone : (401) 788-0600   Fax: (401) 788-0605

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