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Edwards Kirby, LLP Leaders in Birth Injury

With Over $500 Million Recovered, We Stand Strong to Protect the Rights of Families.

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“Legendary” USA Today
“Exceptionally Talented” NY Times

Raleigh Birth Injury Lawyers

Representing Children & Families Across North Carolina Since 1993

When obstetricians, nurses, and other medical professionals fail to uphold their duty to provide standard care, innocent children and pregnant mothers can be seriously harmed. At Edwards Kirby, we believe in seeking justice for families who are facing life after a birth injury. We believe in helping children get the lifelong care they need to face happier, healthier and more stable futures.

Our Raleigh birth injury attorneys have been particularly noted for their success in handling cases involving malpractice. We won the largest medical malpractice jury verdict in North Carolina history and negotiated the state’s largest birth injury settlement in a case involving medical negligence resulting in cerebral palsy. These are complex cases, but we have the resources and skill to succeed.

To discuss your birth injury case with a competent and caring attorney, call (919) 335-7005. Your consultation is free and confidential.

Testimonials

  • “Got me the maximum payout I could have received through the person at fault's insurance.” - V
  • “I immediately knew they were the right people to represent us.”
  • “Thank you for your work, your knowledge, and your professionalism!” - J. L.
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Case Results

  • $ 23,300,000 Brain injuries suffered at birth, including cerebral palsy and spastic quadriplegia.
  • $ 10,000,000 Child suffers birth injury after delayed C-section.
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  • Inner Circle of Advocates
    This is a rare and exclusive legal honor limited to the top 100 attorneys in the US, and we are proud to have John Edwards and David Kirby included.
  • Best Lawyers In America
    Four Edwards Kirby Attorneys Named to The Best Lawyers in America.
  • U.S. News Best Law Firm
    We are proud to be included in this prestigious list of law firms, selected for both quality of practice and extent of legal experience and skill.
  • SuperLawyers
    This rating service honors attorneys who have achieved a high level of professional achievement and peer recognition. Selected attorneys are included in Super Lawyers® magazine’s list.
  • AV Preeminent
    This highly prestigious honor is reserved for attorneys who are nominated by both clients and peers in a range of categories, including Quality of Service, Legal Experience, and more.
  • American Board of Trial Advocates
    This prestigious organization aims to continuously build upon a foundation of legal ethics and high technical standards for civil trial attorneys. We are proud to have membership in the American Board of Trial Advocates.
  • Legal Elite
    This honor, awarded by Business North Carolina magazine, recognizes the state’s top business and employment lawyers, as selected by their peers in a statewide ballot.
  • American College of Trial Lawyers
    Fellowship in the American College of Trial Lawyers is extended only to the top 1% of attorneys in a given state or providence. Our firm is proud to have members of this prestigious North American organization.
  • International Society of Barristers
    The International Society of Barristers aims to encourage fellowship, ethics, and advocacy excellence. We are proud to have attorneys who are Fellows of the Society, committed to the highest level of integrity and civility.
  • The National Trial Lawyers Top 100
    Attorney John Edwards has been included in this invitation only group of the premier trial lawyers in each state.
  • National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40
    Attorneys Cate Edwards, Winston Kirby and Mary Kathryn Kurth were named "Top 40 Under 40" by the National Trial Lawyers.
  • Lawyers of Distinction
    Attorney Cate Edwards has been selected for this prestigious award after undergoing a stringent evaluation process based on peer recognition, past results, and reputation. Only the top 10% of attorneys in each state are selected to the final list.
Edwards Kirby in a Meeting

Types of Birth Injuries

Cerebral palsy is one of the most severe and recognizable consequences of delivery room negligence, but other permanent or life-threatening conditions can jeopardize either the infant or the mother.

Some other types of birth injuries include:

  • Uterine ruptures from negligent C-section procedures or ruptures of previous uterine scars; the fetus can suffer brain damage if protruding into the abdominal cavity.
  • Kernicterus, a type of brain damage caused by severe jaundice, which can occur if jaundice is not diagnosed or treated properly.
  • Cephalohematoma, or bleeding in the brain, caused by improper use of forceps on the head of a fetus in an instrument-assisted delivery.
  • Fetal distress or trauma caused by the failure to properly monitor vital signs or respond to sudden changes in heart rate or blood oxygen levels.

Common Questions

What's the difference between a birth defect and a birth injury?

Birth injuries, in the context of personal injury lawsuits, are injuries which occur during labor, delivery, or shortly after childbirth. Birth defects, however, are congenital, meaning they are present at birth.

If a mother or baby suffer injuries, their right to pursue legal action will depend on proving the injuries could and should have been prevented had medical professionals upheld their duty to meet the accepted standard of care.

A failure to meet this “duty of care” is negligence, and it can be grounds for legal action. By contrast, birth defects are typically caused by genetic mutations and unknown factors, rather than medical negligence. In some cases, families of children with birth defects may have grounds for claims against other liable parties, such as landowners or product manufactures responsible for toxic exposure, defective products, or unsafe medications.

How do I know if a doctor is responsible for my child’s birth injury?

Generally, medical providers can be held responsible for birth injuries caused by negligence. However, not every situation involving an injury to mother or child means negligence occurred, as doctors are obligated only to act in a manner a reasonably skilled medical professional would have acted under the same or similar circumstances.

Because birth injury cases involve highly technical concepts of medicine and law, determining liability requires thorough investigation and collaboration with medical experts. Edwards Kirby works with expert witnesses who help define the standard of care in a particular situation, assess whether a doctor or another provider failed to meet that standard when treating mothers and newborns, and explain how different steps taken by providers would have avoided injuries and damages suffered by victims.

How long do I have to file a birth injury lawsuit in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, birth injury cases are subject to a statute of limitations – essentially, a time window during which you can file a claim and seek compensation for your damages. If a statute of limitations expires, you may not be able to file a claim or recover damages.

Though cases vary, the statute of limitations in birth injury cases is generally three years from the date of injury. Because some birth injuries are not apparent (or “discovered”) until a child gets older or parents realize they are missing developmental milestones, the statute of limitations may be extended an additional year. However, no claims can be filed beyond four years, even if injuries are not discovered until a later time.

What are some of the most common causes of birth injury?

Birth injury cases can vary widely, and involve a range of injuries, disabilities, and life-long limitations caused by substandard medical care. Though negligence takes many forms, some of the most common causes of preventable birth injuries include:

  • Oxygen deprivation / failures to monitor and identify signs of fetal distress, which can result in permanent brain damage and conditions like cerebral palsy or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy.
  • Excessive force or manipulation, including injuries caused by forceps or vacuum extractors.
  • Failures to diagnose and / or adequately treat risk factors that can lead to complications, including maternal high blood pressure (preeclampsia) and infections.
  • Failures to appropriately or timely treat mothers or newborns, including failures to perform C-sections or therapeutic head cooling.

We Work With Top-Rated Medical Experts to Prove Your Birth Injury Claim

When we investigate a birth injury case, we work closely with top-rated medical experts to determine whether a child's condition was the result of negligent care by the attending physician or obstetric staff. With the help of rehabilitation and economic experts, our Raleigh birth injury lawyers then detail the costs of treatment and care projected over the lifetime of the injured child.

Contact Edwards Kirby, LLP today at (919) 335-7005 to see how we can help you.

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