Have you or your baby suffered a birth-related injury at a hospital? If so, you may be wondering where to turn and what you can do from here.
Birth injuries caused during the labor and delivery process can be traumatizing and even life-threatening. A serious birth injury that afflicts the newborn can profoundly affect the life of that baby, as well as the baby’s family. Unfortunately, in most cases, such injuries are preventable.
When a family suffers a birth injury, they often suffer significant financial ramifications as they attempt to remedy the harm caused during the birth. The financial toll can be back-breaking.
If you or your baby suffered injuries during the delivery process due to the wrongful or negligent actions of your healthcare provider, you may be entitled to recover compensation for medical malpractice.
At Poulos & Coates, LLP, we are dedicated to shifting the financial burden from the victim’s family to the insurers of the negligent doctor or hospital. Contact us to discuss your potential claim with one of our experienced birth injury attorneys today.
What Is a Birth Injury?
A “birth injury” is any physical harm or damage to a baby or the mother that occurs during the birthing process or immediately thereafter.
In some cases, birth injuries are obvious. In other cases, however, the effects of a birth injury may not present themselves until much later. It is often the case that the first indication that the baby suffered a birth injury is when that child begins to miss developmental milestones, such as walking, talking, and interacting with others.
Is a Birth Injury Different from a Birth Defect?
Yes, a birth injury is different from a birth defect.
Specifically, birth injuries and birth defects are distinct in that birth defects are usually genetically inherited abnormalities in a baby’s DNA. Birth defects are not the result of any trauma during birth.
A birth injury, on the other hand, is an injury that is inflicted solely during the labor and delivery process. Often, the injury is to the child’s brain, and it most often is caused by inadequate amounts of oxygen during labor and/or delivery.
Commonly Reported Birth Injuries
There are many injuries that can occur during the birthing process. Some of the most common birth injuries include:
- Cerebral palsy,
- Erb’s palsy,
- Facial paralysis,
- Shoulder dystocia,
- Brain hypoxia,
- Perinatal asphyxia,
- Bone fractures, and
- Spinal cord injuries.
Sometimes, these types of birth injuries may occur naturally and are not the fault of any one person. However, if a birth injury is the result of medical malpractice, you and your baby may have a claim for recovery.
Whenever a medical provider is negligent during the birth and delivery process, the mother and child can suffer significant trauma. A birth trauma lawyer can help you determine the strength of your claim and what you can do to recover.
How Do I Prove Medical Malpractice in a Birth Injury Case?
Medical malpractice is a form of negligence. To establish a claim for medical malpractice, generally, you have to prove four things:
- The medical professional owed a duty of care to their patient to provide the same level of care that a reasonably prudent medical professional would provide in the same or similar circumstances;
- The medical professional breached their duty of care;
- The victim suffered actual harm or damages; and
- The medical professional’s breach of their duty was the cause of the victim’s damages.
To bring a successful birth injury medical malpractice case, you must be able to prove each of these elements. Thus, it is imperative that you have a knowledgeable and experienced birth injury malpractice lawyer to help you pursue your claims.
What Constitutes a Breach of Duty in a Birth Injury Case?
Proving that the medical provider breached their duty is not always an easy task.
A breach occurs when the healthcare provider fails to act with the same level of care that a reasonably prudent medical professional would have under those circumstances.
Examples of a breach of duty that might occur during the labor and delivery process include:
- Using excessive force during delivery;
- Delaying a C-section for too long;
- Failing to properly interpret fetal monitoring;
- Failure to diagnose and treat an infection;
- Failure to adequately monitor the baby;
- Dropping the baby after birth;
- Choosing an inappropriate delivery method;
- Failure to recognize and treat lack of oxygen; and
- Providing incorrect medication or dosage.
This is just some of the ways a doctor can breach his or her duty to your baby. If you have concerns about whether a medical professional breached their duty of care in your birth injury case, contact a birth injury attorney today.
Causation: A Difficult Element to Prove
Causation is often one of the most difficult elements to prove in these types of lawsuits. You must be able to show that it was the provider’s breach that actually caused the birth injury.
This can be accomplished by establishing that the birth injury would not have occurred if the doctor did not breach his or her duty.
Of course, some birth injuries may be the result of factors entirely unrelated to the quality of care provided by the medical professional.
Proving a claim for medical malpractice can be difficult in even the most experienced hands. Insurance companies attempt to avoid liability by denying allegations made by victims.
A birth injury attorney can help you defend against this tactic and hold the responsible parties accountable for their malpractice.
Is It Really Worth Hiring a Birth Injury Malpractice Law Firm?
In short, absolutely.
The importance of having an experienced birth injury malpractice lawyer in your corner as you pursue your claims cannot be overstated.
An attorney can help you gather evidence, assess your damages, interview experts and potential witnesses, and complete countless other crucial tasks necessary for a successful claim.
Many medical malpractice victims worry about the costs associated with pursuing a lawsuit. But we don’t think that’s something you should worry about as you pursue your legal rights.
That’s why at Poulos & Coates, LLP, we operate on a No Win, No Fee arrangement. This means that you will not pay us any legal fees unless and until we win your case. So don’t wait—contact our team of medical malpractice birth injury attorneys today. We offer free consultations to potential clients, so you know what you can expect before deciding whether and how to move forward. Let’s discuss your case and see what we can do to help you recover.