Expecting parents always dream of giving birth to a healthy baby, yet birth injuries in newborns are strikingly prevalent, mainly from medical malpractice. No parent expects to see their newborn child struggling with illnesses and birth-related defects. The idea of your child struggling with health issues the minute they arrive in this world is debilitating and unbearable.
The negligence of doctors and medical staff gives rise to over 25,000 birth injuries annually in the United States alone. It’s hard to imagine the collective agony of thousands of families watching their newborn children suffer due to someone else’s negligence. While some parents end up blaming themselves for the oversight, others take the legal route to press charges.
Birth injuries often result in lifelong disabilities and health effects, resulting in excessive financial burdens for parents. Taking legal action and demanding compensation for the damages is crucial to support your child’s financial stability. Keep reading to explore practical legal ways to cater to birth injuries in newborns.
Understanding Birth Injuries: Types & Complications
Birth injuries occur due to medical malpractice, negligence, untreated diseases, and physical harm caused during birth. Some injuries are minor and disappear with treatment to reduce long-term effects, while others become lasting disabilities. Severe cases of medical malpractice and birth injuries lead to debilitating disabilities and deformities.
It’s crucial to note that medical malpractice happens when the birth injuries of newborn occur due to the negligence of hospital staff. Often, infants suffer minor injuries and bodily harm during delivery, and some wounds heal over time, while others don’t. In some instances, the doctor neglects prompt treatment of a birth-related injury, resulting in lifelong disabilities. If your doctor’s negligence has rendered your child with a lifelong disability, suing for medical malpractice is the only viable solution.
Some common birth injuries include:
- Brain damage or bleeding
- Cerebral palsy
- Injuring the brachial plexus
- Erb’s palsy
- Injuring facial nerves
- Distressing the fetus
- Nerve-related injuries
- Shoulder dystocia
- Bone or skull fractures
- Stillbirth or death
- Strangulation by the umbilical cord
Once you’ve established the cause of the birth-related injury, you can initiate the legal process by consulting a lawyer. It’s wise to engage with an experienced lawyer specializing in birth injuries and medical malpractice.
Navigating the Legal Process
Distressed parents can pursue several legal solutions to demand compensation for their child’s suffering and illness. As parents, the compensation doesn’t matter more than your child’s wellbeing, but it helps afford medical care and attention. Getting compensated for medical malpractice will ensure your child gets quality care to improve life quality.
To take the matter to court, you will have to specify the duty – a legal term that signifies your relationship with your doctor. In legal matters, duty refers to evidence confirming that you engage a doctor for labor and delivery purposes. Once the duty is established, you need to gather credible evidence to demonstrate a breach of duty.
It’s crucial to gather evidence that establishes negligent conduct and malpractice on the doctor’s part. The evidence must indicate how the doctor’s sub-par quality standards, lack of experience, or negligence resulted in the baby’s illness/disability.
Pressing for Damages
Your attorney will guide you about the gravity of the medical malpractice and the compensation you ought to demand. Usually, severe damages and lasting disabilities allow parents to secure substantial damages as compensation. The compensation aims at helping the child overcome the illness/disability with adequate treatment. If the disability is permanent and uncurable, the compensation will help improve your child’s life quality and prospects.
However, before we jump to compensation, it’s crucial to substantiate claims with credible evidence. You must prove that your child doesn’t meet the developmental criteria with relevant medical reports and data. You need to substantiate that the doctor’s actions and negligence caused your baby’s condition. Evidence gathering can seem overwhelming, but it’s crucial to establish causation.
Evidence gathering is crucial to building a solid case of medical malpractice. Your attorney will help you with the process, but you must gather and compile all relevant documents with care.
Generally, you will need the following documents to substantiate claims with evidence:
- Medical records of the pregnancy, delivery, and pre-delivery treatments
- Medical records of the baby’s birth injury and treatment (if treated)
- Employment records of the doctor/medical professional targeted in the lawsuit
- Previous complaints of similar cases from other parents targeting the same medical professional
- Eyewitness testimonies of medical staff, including doctors, nurses, orderlies, and staff members who assisted the delivery
- Expert testimony of pediatricians, nurses, obstetricians, life-care experts, and other relevant experts
Adding eyewitnesses and expert testimonies is crucial to building a solid case. The expert testimonies of medical professionals will lend credibility and legitimacy to your case. The eyewitness testimonies hold more significance as they substantiate your claims with the professionals’ testaments at the scene.
Watching your newborn child struggle with discomfort and disabilities soon after its arrival in this world is unbelievably painful. But you must act promptly and decisively to secure your baby’s best interests. Pressing damages is crucial to obtain compensation to fund your child’s treatment and improve life quality.
The process will come with numerous challenges but engaging with the right attorney can make a difference. Before selecting a lawyer to file your lawsuit, be sure to conduct detailed interviews.