Medical procedures are both the cause of and the cure for many birth injuries. Mothers rely on trained medical professionals to deliver their babies with care and to know when their unborn baby is in distress.
A negligent doctor or nurse who doesn’t treat a mother or a baby with the appropriate standard of care can cause a birth injury that affects the baby for the rest of their life. Although some birth injuries are unavoidable and caused by unknown complications or genetic malformations, negligence is the sole cause of other birth injuries.
A Phoenix personal injury lawyer explains that, to identify medical malpractice for a birth injury, another medical expert must assess the accident and determine that the medical professional in question caused the injury by not giving the patient the level of care that a typical doctor would.
Types of Negligence That Leads to Birth Injuries
Doctors and nurses can cause birth injuries if they don’t recognize fetal distress during pregnancy and delivery. For example, if a pregnant woman complains of stomach pain, her nurse blatantly ignores her, and her stomach pains result in a birth injury, then the nurse may be held responsible for the injury that results.
Similarly, if a baby loses oxygen during delivery and the doctor does nothing about it, the doctor can be held accountable if the loss of oxygen leads to a birth injury. Other types of negligence that often cause birth injuries include the following:
- Failure to diagnose an illness
- Insufficient prenatal medical care
- Improper use of birthing tools
- Failure to prevent hemorrhaging
- Failure to use emergency C-section
Determining Who to Sue for a Birth Injury
Medical malpractice cases for birth injuries can be complex because you may have to sue the hospital that employs the medical professional responsible for your child’s birth injury. Many states also have a separate process for filing medical malpractice lawsuits that involve notifying the hospital within a certain number of days before moving forward with your case.
You may need to have a medical expert testify in your case to prove that the defendant is guilty of malpractice. In some states, there are caps on the amount of damages you can receive for your losses. Although you’ll likely have your present and future medical expenses covered, your non-economic damages may be limited.
It’s devastating to know that your child has suffered injuries at the beginning of their life because of someone else’s negligence. Speaking to an experienced personal injury attorney can make it easier for you to maximize your claim in court.