Birth Injuries and Medical Malpractice
One of the hardest facts to swallow may be the number if infants that are injured by the very medical professional that have been entrusted to care for them. Medical malpractice often occurs while a pregnant woman is in labor or in the process of delivering their new baby. The results of the underlined malpractice can be devastating. Medical malpractice that occurs during the birthing process can sustain injuries that will affect the children in question for the entirety of their lives. Physical and cognitive injuries that result in poor quality of life and in serious cases these injuries may leave the newly born child totally dependent on around the clock medical care, thus affecting the parents and immediate family financially and emotionally.
Fortunately for patients, the legal system has developed procedures and rules to help determine who should be liable for injuries sustained while receiving medical care, known generally as “medical malpractice.” Medical malpractice liability can occur due to a flawed diagnosis, improper treatment, or even treating a patient without proper permission. The particulars of the law may differ from state to state but for the most part, people that are injured due to medical malpractice are able to recover some form of compensation for both their economic and non-economic losses. Examples of a economic loss would be medical expenses, non-economic losses could be damages that range from pain and suffering, loss of opportunity, lost income and loss of quality of life. When it comes to these types of losses it is imperative that you contact and retain a professional and experienced medical malpractice attorney to represent you and your family. The Law Offices of Jones Brown has the experience and professionalism that you are searching for so contact us today by CLICKING HERE and getting to know us.
Medical Malpractice Defined:
Medical malpractice for the most part is defined as any act or omission by a physician during treatment of a patient that deviates from accepted norms of practice in the medical community and causes an injury to the patient. Medical malpractice is a specific subset of tort law that deals with professional negligence, but remember that laws will differ from state to stste so consult with your attorney about the specifics of your state law.
There are two main components to most medical malpractice cases: figuring out who was at fault, and then proving that fault legally. Medical malpractice liability is not limited to just doctors: it can also apply to physicans, physician assistants, nurses, orderlies, and others who provide health care services. Even hospitals and pharmaceutical companies can be found liable for malpractice.
The other main thrust of a medical malpractice suit is proving fault. Most medical malpractice cases contend that a medical professional was negligent in treating a patient. To legally establish medical negligence, an injured patient must prove that a member of the medical staff has failed to provide an adequate and acceptable standard of care, or when they make a preventable medical error.
Victims, must keep in mind that it is important to understand that not every mistake made by a nurse or a doctor qualifies as malpractice. Doctors are not expected to be perfect, and there are many situations in which there are varying diagnoses or courses of action that could be pursued that all fall within the appropriate standard of care. Standard of care can be defined as: the level and type of care that a reasonably competent and skilled health care professional, with a similar background and in the same medical community, would have provided under the circumstances that led to the alleged malpractice.
If you have the suspicion that medical malpractice resulted in the injuries you and your family sustained during a pregnancy or delivery it is important that you contact a reputable attorney immediately. The time limits for filing a medical malpractice claim differ from state to state, and you do not want to miss out on possible compensation you so desperately need due to a statute of limitations.
Common Medical Malpractice During Pregnancy, Labor, and Delivery
There is not a stage of pregnancy care that is not important, and the possibility for mistakes (medical malpractice) to occur exist from the time that a woman becomes pregnant. A medical malpractice claim could be made if your physician to failed to order a pregnancy test when a woman presents with certain symptoms or before beginning a course of treatment that could potentially cause harm to a fetus in the womb.
Examples of Birth Injury Medical Malpractice:
- Cerebral Palsy
- Erb’s Palsy (also called Brachial Plexus Palsy)
- Brain swelling or hemorrhaging
- Skull fractures or other bone damage
- Nerve damage
- Brain damage due to lack of oxygen (hypoxia) caused by umbilical cord compression or strangulation.
- Failure to diagnose a dangerous health condition in the mother
- Misuse of instruments such as forceps or vacuums
- Failure to monitor fetal vital signs
- Failure to order a cesarean section when necessary
- Failure to monitor maternal vital signs during delivery
- Failure to monitor and control fetal oxygen levels
Victims Have Rights: Protect Them
Birth injury medical malpractices cases are complex and complicated and they often involve significant amounts of money. With a birth injury the range and longevity of care that may be needed is the very reason that you should contact an attorney. The insurance companies are NOT on your side. They have one mission: Deny claims and settle claims for the least amount of money possible. It is so important for people who believe that they or their newborn were injured by the negligence of a medical professional to take steps to ensure that their legal rights are protected. First of all NEVER accept a settlement offer from anyone before you speak to an attorney. Once again, with the amount of money involved and amount of care that may be needed in the future, you need an experienced professional attorney that has experience in dealing with these types of complex cases. Second, NEVER discuss your case with any doctors or the hospital. Statements that you may make to the at-fault party (doctor or hospital) could be used against you at a later date, thus damaging your case and possibly affecting the outcome and amount of compensation that you may be awarded.