New York Birth Injury Attorney Michele Mirman

This video features Michele S. Mirman, a Medical Malpractice attorney based in New York.

Video Transcript:

Michele Mirman:

They may have a child who has suffered a brain injury at birth because the doctors did not act properly or quickly enough during your delivery.

Rob Rosenthal:

If your baby is born with a birth injury, how do you know if someone is at fault, and what can you do about it? Well, that's what we're going to find out right now, because that's what we're going to ask the lawyer.

Hi again, everybody, I'm Rob Rosenthal with askthelawyers.com, and my guest is New York City attorney Michele Mirman, who has over 40 years of experience helping people who have been injured because of someone else's negligence. 

I want to remind you, if you want to ask questions about your specific situation, make sure to go to askthelawyers.com, click the button at the top of the page that says, “Ask a Lawyer”, and it'll walk you right through the easy process right there. 

Michele, good to see you. Thank you for making some time to help us out.

Michele Mirman:

Good to see you too, Rob.

Rob Rosenthal:

So in your experience, when a baby is born with a birth injury, is that always malpractice? Is that always because of someone's negligence or what? Help us out there.

Michele Mirman:

Okay, sure. I'm happy to help you out. So it's kind of a loaded question. When you say birth injury, an injury implies that the child's already been hurt by somebody or something during the birth process or the pregnancy, but we know, of course, that certain children have genetic defects, like cleft palate, sickle cell, and so on that are not caused by any type of medical malpractice or problem during the birth. However, if you had a normal pregnancy and your doctors assured you throughout that time that your baby is healthy, you are healthy, everything's fine, you're doing great, and your child is born with a problem that was never anticipated or thought about, there’s a good chance that your child has suffered a birth injury that’s due to somebody fault, whether a doctor, a nurse, perhaps the institution itself in failing to take care of you, the mom, in the proper way. 

There are hints along the way, of course, like prolonged labor with nobody taking care of you. If you hear that your child has what’s called dystocia, where the shoulder is stuck in the birth canal, that's a good indicator that something's wrong and that your child was hurt because of malpractice.

Rob Rosenthal:

In your experience, what are some of the other birth injuries that often could mean that there was some malpractice?

Michele Mirman:

Well, if you're in prolonged labor and there's no Cesarean section done and your child is born blue or flaccid; if they rush the baby off to the NICU for oxygen, that means that your baby has been deprived of oxygen and something's gone wrong again during the birthing process. So as horrible as that may be, you may have a child who has suffered a brain injury at birth because the doctors did not act properly or quickly enough during your delivery.

Rob Rosenthal:

How can a new parent know whether there has been a medical mistake that has happened? Can they expect the hospital to own up to it and say, “Oh, we may have messed up”?

Michele Mirman:

Unfortunately, that's extremely rare. Doctors and hospitals do not call you in and say, “I've made a mistake.” Instead, you're presented with a child who may have very, very serious injuries and problems, and you're left to try to figure out on your own what happened, and what to do about it. What we do is clients call us, or potential clients call us, we speak to them, we get the medical records for the delivery and the new born records for the child; we find out what exactly is wrong with a child; we analyze the medical records and submit them to experts to review. In New York State you can’t start a lawsuit for medical malpractice until you have an expert review the records. Once we have those determinations that there is malpractice, at that point we will start a lawsuit.

Rob Rosenthal:

Are all birth injuries evident right away or could this be something that may take some time to show up?

Michele Mirman:

No, not all birth injuries are apparent right away. Many are, for example, in Erb’s Palsy, when the child’s shoulder is stuck in the birth canal, the child will have an arm that is useless and a hand that may not move. If a child is oxygen deprived, you will have a child who can have immediate problems. However, some problems take time to show up; many learning disabilities will not show up until the child is expected to read or know their numbers. Other problems won't show up until the child does not reach their milestones. A child's supposed to be able to sit up at a particular time, to roll over at a particular time, and to crawl at a particular time. If your child is not meeting those milestones, there may be something that went amiss or awry with the delivery.

Rob Rosenthal:

Have you seen, in your experience, Michele, that some mothers are more susceptible to this sort of malpractice and birth injury, whether it's certain races or socio-economic status or that sort of thing?

Michele Mirman:

Yes, it's very unfortunate. The CDC has actually done studies about this, and the statistics are that black women and black children are much more likely to suffer medical malpractice than white women; that women in lower socio-economic classes, poor women, are much more likely to suffer medical malpractice and their children are as well, whether it's because of the medical treatment they get in the hospitals and from the doctors, or because the hospitals are not as good as those in better neighborhoods; or because perhaps their prior medical conditions and medical history is not as good, but the result is the same. More malpractice is committed on black moms and babies than on white moms and babies.

Rob Rosenthal:

And what can personal injury lawyers, such as yourself, do for parents who have experienced medical malpractice that may have led to a birth injury? What can you offer them?

Michele Mirman:

Our goal is very, very specific. My intention is to vindicate that parent, and to make sure that child has the right and sufficient care for his or her entire life. When we think about a child's birth injury, we only think immediately about the tiny baby, but that baby doesn't stay tiny. That baby grows and becomes a teenager and an adult. A child with significant brain injuries as a result of medical malpractice is going to need care for their entire life; medical care, special housing, special cars. 

Think about trying to pick up an adult that can't walk for him or herself; they need people to take care of them, and their parents are going to get old; their parents won’t be able to take care of them all their life. So it's our job to make sure that family gets not only all the care that they want from a recovery in a malpractice lawsuit, but to ensure that the child is taken care of all their life.

Rob Rosenthal:

Lots of great information, Michele. It's been a pleasure talking with you. Thank you for answering our questions today. 

Michele Mirman:

Thank you very much. 

Rob Rosenthal:

That's going to do it for this episode of Ask the Lawyer. My guest has been New York City attorney Michele Mirman. Remember, if you want to ask questions about your specific situation, just head over to askthelawyers.com, click the button at the top of the page that says, “Ask a Lawyer,” and it'll walk you right through the process. Thanks for watching. I'm Rob Rosenthal with AskTheLawyers™.

Disclaimer: This video is for informational purposes only. In some states, this video may be deemed Attorney Advertising. The choice of lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.

AskTheLawyers

© 1999-2022 AskTheLawyers.com™

Terms and Conditions / Privacy Policy /
Report an Issue

Legal Disclaimer: This website is for informational purposes only. Use of this website does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Information entered on this website is not confidential. This website has paid attorney advertising. Anyone choosing a lawyer must do their own independent research. By using this website, you agree to our additional Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.