When you’re child has been injured during birth, it can be devastating. Your hopes and plans for the future can impacted in ways that you never expected. You trusted your healthcare team and expected them to do their jobs to the best of their ability. While you’re focused on the care and recovery of your baby, you may also be wondering if you should sue for medical malpractice.
It’s estimated that five in every 1,000 babies born suffers a significant birth injury. And, many parents of these children have filed medical malpractice claims and birth injury lawsuits against doctors, nurses, and hospitals. The question is do you have a viable case?
To prove that negligence caused your child’s birth injury, you will have to show:
Duty – By agreeing to deliver a baby, healthcare providers accept the legal obligation to care for the mother and the baby safely and within the generally accepted standard of care. If the care provided was below established standards, this could be a case of breach of duty.
Causation – The breach of duty would also have to be shown to have caused harm to the baby. A pre-existing condition, such as a birth defect, is not cause for a medical malpractice case. However, if the injury was caused by a healthcare provider’s actions, or lack thereof, liability could be proven.
Damages – The negligence or the breach of duty has to show some amount of injury. If a doctor didn’t follow hospital procedures, but the baby was born healthy, there is no claim. However, if the action caused complications, these may possibly be a case.
If you feel that you and/or your child has suffered damages due to the negligence of a healthcare provider, it’s important to find a medical malpractice lawyer specializing in birth injuries who is both knowledgeable and experienced. This is a highly complex law specialty that often results in costly, lengthy cases that involve insurance companies and aggressive defense attorneys.
The best medical malpractice attorneys who handle these types of cases understand the impact on both parents and the child. A birth injury can be life-changing for the entire family and can lead to many years of significant medical costs. This is why it’s crucial to carefully choose an attorney with medical malpractice experience who you are comfortable with.
When meeting with an attorney you are considering for your case, be prepared to provide specific details related to your case. They will need to know the facts. Just because an attorney wants to accept your case doesn’t mean you have to work with him or her. Take your time making a decision, and ask questions so that you understand exactly who will be taking on the case and the amount the attorney will take if there is a settlement or award.
You are your child’s primary legal advocate. When there has been a preventable birth injury, it’s important to get the best legal team on your side.