We place a tremendous amount of trust in our doctors, and generally have faith that their advice is sound and that the care they provide us will help and not harm us. We trust that the procedures they perform will be done with the utmost attention and care to ensure our wellbeing.. But there are times when doctors and nurses fail to give us the care and attention required. When it comes to childbirth, a failure to provide the accepted standard of care can have a lasting and detrimental impact on mother or child, or both.
Establishing Medical Negligence
In order to establish negligence in a case of birth trauma, it will be necessary to prove that a medical professional was responsible for causing the harm. Sometimes, even when a practitioner abides by the standard of care expected of their profession, unforeseen complications or unusual circumstances can arise, causing an injury despite the physician’s best efforts. In order for a case to constitute true negligence, allowing for a medical malpractice claim, the following must be established:
● The doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional owed you a certain standard of care. Unless you are attempting to sue a consulting physician, this should be fairly straightforward. If a medical professional was treating you and/or was directly responsible for your care, then they had an obligation to meet the standard of care expected from that profession.
● The healthcare provider deviated from that standard of care. It is not enough that the outcome of the care was undesirable; you must be able to demonstrate that a competent medical professional exercising reasonable care would have behaved differently under the same circumstances.
● This deviance from the standard of care is what caused the harm. If a medical professional failed to follow the accepted standard of care, resulting in a birth trauma that should have been avoided, you have a case of medical negligence. In order to bring the case to court, your lawyers must investigate and even call upon medical experts to establishthat the doctor, nurse or other professional had in fact, deviated from the accepted standard of care.
● An injury occurred. In order for a case to constitute malpractice, an actual injury must have resulted from the actions of the medical professional.
How Negligence Causes Birth Trauma
No two birth injuries are exactly the same, but certain acts of negligence tend to lead to similar outcomes. For example:
● Improper use of tools can cause broken bones and spinal cord injuries, and can place unnecessarily high levels of pressure on the head, potentially damaging the brain. It can also prolong the birthing process, increasing the risk of injury or permanent damage.
● Inadequate monitoring of oxygen levels can lead to long-term brain damage, developmental delays, or cerebral palsy.
● Failure to perform adequate prenatal testing can allow maternal infections and health conditions of the infant to go undetected, and therefore untreated, causing injuries that were preventable.
● Going through with a traditional birth when a C-section would have been safer can place undue stress on both the mother and the child, heightening the risk of injury and complications.
Legal Counsel You Can Trust in Birth Injury Case
If your child or the child of a loved one suffered birth injuries as the result of negligent care, then you may be wondering where to turn to for help. At the Hershewe Law Firm, PC, our experienced personal injury attorneys are well-versed in cases involving birth trauma. The statute of limitations restricts the timeframe in which a lawsuit can be filed against a medical professional, so we encourage you to reach out to us as soon as possible. To learn more about what we can do to help, contact us today.