When a child is born, it’s one of the greatest moments in a parent’s life. They’ve been preparing and planning for this moment for 9 months, decorating and celebrating the entire time. It’s not just the parents, but the whole family and many friends who come together, eager to meet the new member of the family. The child is loved and cherished before it’s even born. The mother prepares for delivery by learning how to breathe properly and checks in with the doctor routinely. They do their part in ensuring a safe delivery. If by chance something does happen during delivery that seems like malpractice and you are questioning the acts of the doctors you may want to reach out to a personal injury lawyer.
Despite our many preparations, the worst can happen. Many complications can arise during the birthing process that can cause a lot of stress and anxiety on the part of the parents. Injuries to both the mother and the child can happen, many of these injuries that can harm the child for the rest of his or her life. They can be permanent, scarring, and even life-altering, requiring rehabilitation and special care. These should be extra costs that the parents never even thought they would have to deal with when having a baby.
It’s especially difficult when the parents don’t have the type of income that would allow for special care for their child. In this instance, the only way for the parents to get the care for their child that if he or she needs is through a medical malpractice lawsuit. This type of lawsuit will ultimately put the liability of your child’s injury in the hands of the doctors, nurses, and medical facility in which your child was born.
With a lot of these cases, you may not even know that injury has occurred. You may not notice a birth defect caused by long-lasting damage until the child begins to grow and is determined that their development is slowed or even seemingly non-existent. Typically, these types of birth injuries are 100% preventable but are often caused by the negligence of the doctor and/or the doctor’s staff.
What’s not preventable or caused by the doctor is a birth defect. If your child is born with a birth defect, it would matter what doctor you took them to or chose to do the delivery. The defect of happened within the will as the baby was developing. It might not have anything to do with you at all, it’s important not to blame yourself at all if a birth defect does happen. This is a natural occurrence that happens at about 7% of all babies.
Hereditary Birth Defects
The vast majority of birth defects are hereditary and passed down through generations. They can be very minor and cause little complications in the child’s life. You may not have even known that this type of birth defect was in your family’s genes, but it’s there and can show up at any time. In other cases, birth defects can be quite severe. Conditions like severe autism, blindness, or other types of defects can happen, even if they’re rare.
While the vast majority of these types of defects are hereditary and involuntary, some are the result of the environment or choices the parent has made. There is a reason why doctors tell women not to smoke or drink while they’re pregnant. It’s these types of environmental issues that can harm the baby inside of the womb and cause birth defects during its development. These types of defects are preventable and it’s important that the mother follows a doctor’s direction when it comes to how they should take care of themselves.
Birth injuries on the other hand usually happen when the doctor is negligent in their job. Maybe they don’t provide a good enough prenatal care or a condition arises during the pregnancy that they didn’t respond to or take care of properly. There are a lot of different circumstances in which a doctor misses a vital function while delivering. That one vital function can cause an injury or even death of the baby.
In the midst of a medical emergency, the doctor might have to decide to do a cesarean section delivery but fails to do so. They might see that there’s fetal distress going on or they don’t adequately monitor the baby’s health during delivery. They might use tools inappropriately, like forceps, and it causes a brain or head injury. Any of these types of things can happen during a delivery, permanently harming your baby. If this happens, then you can be entitled to file a medical malpractice suit.
How Birth Injury Cases Happen
If you end up wanting to sue a doctor or hospital for your baby’s injuries, then you’d have to have enough evidence to prove that the doctor was negligent in their work. They somehow caused the injury and it wasn’t a defect of some kind. This can be hard to prove, depending on the type of injury the baby has. Did the doctor fail to act reasonably while performing the delivery? Did they breach their duty of care in some way? Did this breach of duty cause injury?
To prove your case, you might have to bring in an expert testimony who would have taken a good look at all your records to see what might’ve caused the injury. They would then be able to determine whether the doctor should be held liable for their mistake(s) that caused the injury. They would also present other opinions as a medical professional about what the doctor or nurse should’ve done differently.
Other types of claims can be brought that you may not realize. For example, if you’re prescribed a medication that caused harm to your baby, you can file for damages. The drug can even cause defects, but if you were still prescribed it by a doctor or advised by a pharmacist, you can claim damages against both them and the manufacturer of the drug. They failed to warn you properly even though they knew you were pregnant. This is the one type of case in which a defect is not hereditary or caused by the mother.