There are some common issues in birth injury lawsuits. They include:
- Poor prenatal care
- Poor monitoring
- Inadequate treatment or response to test results
- Failure to test based on risk
- Labor and delivery negligence
If your child suffered a birth injury in any of the ways above, you could be eligible to recover damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit. An attorney can help you hold the responsible party or parties liable and secure compensation you deserve. To see how a birth injury lawyer can help you, schedule a free case evaluation today: 800-916-7333.
Common Issues in Birth Injury Lawsuits
All successful birth injury lawsuits have the same basic pattern:
- A healthcare provider failed to uphold their industry’s standard of care;
- This failure caused an injury to occur; and
- The plaintiff incurred damages because of the injury
The specific way in which the provider did not uphold the standard of care can vary from case to case. They might include:
Poor Prenatal Care
If a mother receives poor prenatal care, her chances of having complications during childbirth rise dramatically. A difficult childbirth increases the odds of injury both to the child and the mother.
Doctors and medical staff have a duty to provide high-quality care to expectant mothers in the months leading up to the birth.
Childbirth is a delicate process for not one but two lives. The practitioner and their staff have a duty to monitor both the mother and child closely during the delivery. This gives them the best chance to spot any emerging medical issues before they become major emergencies or cause long-term impacts.
Birth injuries often occur because of an oversight or error that a practitioner could have prevented with better monitoring.
Inadequate Treatment or Response to Test Results
Expectant mothers undergo many tests throughout their pregnancy. Once they go into labor and the delivery process begins, more tests follow. Doctors and lab technicians must administer these tests correctly and exercise diligence in reading the results and responding to them. Any slip-up during this process can lead to injury.
Failure to Test Based on Risk
Doctors can prevent many types of birth complications and birth injuries by performing the right tests on the expectant mother. If the mother is at risk for certain complications because of her genetics or lifestyle, the doctor needs to recognize this and order appropriate testing. Doing so allows the doctor to confront any issues proactively.
Labor and Delivery Negligence
Finally, negligence during the delivery itself leads to far too many birth injuries. There is no excuse for a doctor or medical staff member not being completely focused during childbirth. But it happens, and when it does, birth injuries often result.
How to Prove Medical Malpractice in a Birth Injury Lawsuit
To prove medical malpractice in a birth injury lawsuit, we must show three elements:
- A breach of the standard of care
- A cause-and-effect relationship between the violation and the injury
- Damages you incurred because of the birth injury
Violation of Standard of Care
First, we must demonstrate that the doctor or healthcare provider violated their standard of care, which all medical professionals must provide their patients. The specific rules of this standard vary among different healthcare fields. Generally, a healthcare provider must behave the way a reasonable person with the same education and training would behave in a given situation.
To show that the person who caused your child’s birth injury violated their standard of care, we must show that a reasonable person would have acted differently, leading to a better outcome.
Second, we must demonstrate that the provider’s failure to uphold their standard of care caused your child’s injuries. To show this cause-and-effect relationship, we lean on evidence like medical records, hospital records, statements from other physicians, and expert witness testimony.
Third, we must list all the damages you incurred because of your child’s injury. These may be economic damages, which involve actual financial loss (e.g., medical bills, time away from work, etc.), or noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering.
The Newsome | Melton legal team focuses on birth injury medical malpractice cases. If you or your child suffered an injury during childbirth, we can help. Our medical malpractice attorneys hold doctors, medical staff, and hospitals liable, and we recover damages for our clients.
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