There is nothing as precious and meaningful as holding your baby for the first time. Every parent wants to give their child a healthy start in life to grow up to be the best version of themselves. However, your doctor’s negligence at the time of delivery could cause your child to develop permanent disabilities and prevent them from unlocking their true potential. It would be easier to accept that your child was born with a genetic disorder rather than live knowing that the hospital might have done something to prevent the birth injuries. This article will dive into the elements of medical negligence and how you can prove a birth injury was caused by medical malpractice.
Definition of medical malpractice
Medical malpractice is an instance when a nurse or a medical practitioner deviates from the set standards in their profession, causing one to take legal action. The three main characteristics of an act of medical malpractice include deviation from a standard of care, injury resulting from negligence, and proof that the injury resulted in significant damages to the individual. According to the law, professionals that can be held liable under a case of medical malpractice include nurses, physician assistants, surgeons, psychiatrists, physicians, and dentists.
Examples of medical malpractice
Medical malpractice can take on many forms, all of which cause significant harm to the individual who visited the health facility to receive treatment. Common examples of medical malpractice include surgical errors, ignoring or failing to recognize symptoms, unnecessary surgeries or invasive procedures, misdiagnosis, and administering incorrect medication. Premature discharge, misreading test results, or premature discharge also fall under medical malpractice.
Elements of negligence
You need to satisfy four elements to prove that your doctor’s negligence caused a birth injury. First and foremost, you need to prove that the doctor has a duty to care for you and your unborn child. Therefore, you cannot file a lawsuit against a doctor for false advice they gave you at a party. Next, you need to prove that the medical professional violated the set standards of care and that their violation led to a significant injury. Your claim will not be valid if there is a violation but no injury. Last but not least, you need to prove that the injury resulted in significant damages.
Importance of working with an attorney
If your claim is consistent with the elements of negligence discussed above and you have solid proof, it would be best to call a birth injury lawyer as soon as possible. Birth injury cases are extremely complex, and you cannot manage to handle the matter on your own. It would help if you worked with an experienced birth injury lawyer who has experience in the medical field and knows the negligence laws in your state. They will also help you get adequate compensation to cover the costly medical expenses and the lifetime care of a disabled person.
How negligence can cause a birth injury
When it comes to birth injuries, Rh incompatibility, miscalculating the weight of the fetus, and failure to detect its heart rate can be termed medical malpractice. Sometimes, the fetus goes into distress when it cannot handle the process of labor. Fetal distress could develop when the baby manages to wrap the umbilical cord around their neck or when the placenta is not functioning normally. The medical staff could be considered negligent if they fail to deliver the distressed fetus immediately via an emergency C-section. Last but not least, doctors could cause a birth injury by pulling the baby’s head with a pair of forceps, which can cause permanent skull fractures or severe brain injuries such as hematoma.
How to prove negligence as a cause for birth injuries
Now that you know the elements of negligence and how it can cause a birth injury, the best way to prove medical malpractice would be to gather substantial evidence. Your lawyer will ask you to obtain the employment records of the doctors present during your delivery and all your treatment documents during pregnancy and labor. You will also need to gather eyewitnesses who can attest to the malpractice and give an account of what happened.
A key difference between birth defects and birth injuries is that birth defects are genetic and unavoidable, unlike birth injuries, which are the medical practitioner’s fault. If you can prove that your child was a victim of birth injury, you are entitled to full compensation. We hope this article has helped you figure out how you can prove a birth injury was due to negligence.