The impending birth of a baby is a special occasion. Mom, dad, and the entire family is excited to welcome the little one into the world. Yet, both pregnancy and delivery are complicated. Even a perfect pregnancy can result in a difficult delivery. If mom or baby is hurt during the process, can a birth injury lawsuit be filed on their behalf? Here’s what you need to know about birth injury lawsuits.
A Birth Injury Isn’t the Same as a Birth Defect
A birth injury is something that happens to either the mother or child during the birthing process. It can result in either a temporary or permanent injury. Examples of a birth injury include failure by the doctor to recognize that the mother has preeclampsia, failure by the medical staff (including nurses and aides) to properly monitor the mother and the baby, failing to perform an emergency cesarean, and improper use of delivery devices such as a vacuum or forceps. Another way that a birth injury may be caused is if the mother took a prescription and presumed that it was safe for her baby because the doctor and pharmacist knew she was pregnant.
However, a birth defect isn’t a preventable occurrence. A birth defect, such as cleft lip or palate, isn’t something that was caused because the mother and baby weren’t properly assessed and monitored. Birth defects are caused by issues such as genetics, illegal drug use, and even the age of the mother. Sometimes, birth defects happen and we don’t really have an explanation.
Yet, there are some conditions, such as cerebral palsy, which may be caused by either a birth injury or it could be a birth defect. In this particular situation, it takes the assistance of an experienced birth injury lawyer to help parents get the information and testing they need to learn whether their child was injured because of the negligence of another person.
A Birth Injury Lawsuit Relies on Negligence
For a birth injury lawsuit to be successful, the plaintiff must prove that someone who was involved in the care of the mom or the baby was negligent in some way. For example, if the mother goes to see the doctor because she’s sick and tells the doctor that she’s pregnant, the doctor should prescribe something that is safe for her and her baby. Both the doctor and the pharmacist filling the prescription have an obligation if they know that the patient is pregnant. If the woman takes the medication and her unborn baby is harmed, the first thing to consider is whether the doctor and the pharmacist committed malpractice. Similarly, the hospital staff assigned to the mother and baby during the birthing process have certain responsibilities. What they do (or don’t do) will be compared against common practices by other professionals in the field to determine if they were negligent and if that negligence caused a birth injury to either the mother or the baby. Those are just examples. Depending on the potential cause of the birth injury, your lawyer will be responsible for developing a plan to determine if negligence occurred.
Birth Injury Lawsuit Consultations
Goldwater Law Firm has dedicated a large portion of their practice history to helping victims of birth injuries get the compensation that they need. Birth injuries can be extremely serious and can affect your family for years to come. From increased medical expenses to special needs, you could be entitled to compensation. Goldwater Law Firm provides free consultations to families who are affected by birth injuries. To learn more about your potential birth injury lawsuit, call us or complete our contact form.