Birth-related medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional provides care to a pregnant woman or newborn infant that falls below an accepted standard of practice, causing injury to the patient or baby. In order for birth-related medical malpractice claims to be successful, it must be proven that the doctor or other healthcare provider was negligent in providing care and that their negligence caused the injury. Here are 6 key things you should know about medical malpractice related to birth.
1. Hire An Attorney
Malpractice lawsuits require a specialized attorney. Medical malpractice cases can be incredibly complex, and having an attorney who understands the legal nuances is essential to getting the compensation you deserve. For example, if your baby was born with a complication and injured during birth, you can pursue a medical malpractice claim to seek compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and other costs associated with the injury. It is important to choose an attorney that is experienced in medical malpractice cases and can provide legal guidance throughout the process. It is also important to note that medical malpractice cases have a statute of limitations, meaning you need to file within a certain period of time after the injury. Contact an attorney as soon as possible if you think your baby has been injured due to medical negligence.
2. Statutes of Limitations
Most states have statutes of limitations for filing medical malpractice lawsuits. These laws determine how long you have to file a claim after the injury or death has occurred. Statutes of limitations vary from state to state, so it is important to check your local laws and consult with an attorney. Additionally, many states also have a statute of repose that limits the amount of time that you can file a medical malpractice lawsuit after an injury or death. If the statute of limitations or the statute of repose has expired, then you will not be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
3. Expectations of Care
Medical malpractice is any deviation from the accepted standards of care that a medical professional would be expected to provide in such circumstances. These expectations depend on the situation and range from ensuring proper hygiene when caring for newborns to providing specific treatments as per standard protocols. If these expectations are not met, it can form grounds for a birth-related medical malpractice case. This is why it is important to understand what the accepted standards of care are in your particular case, as this will help you determine if negligence occurred on behalf of the medical professional.
4. Types of Birth-Related Medical Malpractice
Birth-related medical malpractice can take many forms, including misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose a condition, improper treatment or medication errors, and negligence. One common type of birth injury is cerebral palsy, which can be caused by oxygen deprivation during the birthing process. Other common types of injuries include Erb’s Palsy (nerve damage in the shoulder), brachial plexus injuries (injuries to the network of nerves around the neck and shoulder), asphyxia (oxygen deprivation), or hypoxia (low oxygen supply). It’s important to note that with many of these types of injuries, the effects may not be visible until months or years after the birth
5. Pre-Existing Injuries
Pre-existing injuries can be a factor in birth-related medical malpractice cases, as well. If a provider fails to take into account the pre-existing condition of the mother or infant and it results in injury or death, there may be grounds for a medical malpractice suit. For example, if an expectant mother has diabetes and her provider does not properly monitor her blood sugar levels, this could result in serious complications for both the mother and the baby during delivery.
6. Expert Testimony Can Help Your Case
If you’re considering bringing a medical malpractice claim related to a birth-related injury, it is important to understand the role that expert testimony can play in your case. This type of testimony typically comes from healthcare professionals—such as another doctor or nurse—who can provide insight into the standard of care and whether or not the treatment you received falls short of this standard. Expert witnesses may also be able to explain complex medical concepts and therapies, as well as provide an educated opinion on what could have been done differently to avoid harm.
Birth-related medical malpractice is a serious issue, and it’s important to understand the steps that you can take if you believe that you or your child has been harmed as a result of negligence. While bringing a medical malpractice suit can be complex and time-intensive, having an experienced attorney on your side can help ensure that your rights are protected and that you get the compensation that you deserve. By understanding the basics of birth-related medical malpractice, you can make an informed decision about what is best for you and your family.