Several unknowns surround the event of birth. While parents want to know everything they can know including the possible weight of the baby and the gender, multiple unknowns remain in the big picture.Sadly, the parents of 1 out of every 9714 babies find out about the prevalence of medical malpractice the hard way. We comfort ourselves during times of uncertainty by believing that these “happen to someone else.” However, we are just as susceptible to such accidents as the would-be parents living two doors down.
Many parents believe that they can eliminate or at least reduce the risk by being careful, opting-in for genetic testing of the fetus and going in for regular USGs. The sad reality is that no one can eliminate the risks even with daily testing. Some congenital disabilities only show up after 24 weeks of pregnancy. Even today’s medical science does not arm the parents or the attending OBGYN to ensure the complete safety of the baby during the delivery procedure.
However, there are times when the baby and the mother suffer pain, trauma and permanent injuries due to the negligence of the attending doctors and nurses. Situations like these call for medical malpractice lawsuits. If you have been a victim to similar circumstances, you should find out if your situation qualifies as medical malpractice. A team of experienced lawyers will tell you that birth-related medical malpractice can be of different types, including –
Around 28,000 infants suffer from birth injuries each year in the US. Typically, two major types of birth injuries can affect a child during their birth – a lack of oxygen in the brain and brain trauma. These injuries can occur due to the negligence of an obstetrician or any other doctor present during labor and delivery. Other medical professionals like nurses and anesthesiologists can also be responsible for similar injuries in the infant.
The improper use of forceps or vacuum devices for the removal of the fetus can lead to permanent physical (brain) injuries during delivery. The negligence of the medical professionals to monitor the heart rate and other vitals of the mother and child can lead to several challenges. There have been instances where the doctor had failed to induce labor or perform a cesarean section in the event of dangerous vaginal birth leading to physical injuries to the mother and child.
Cerebral palsy is one of the severe birth injuries that can arise due to the permanent injuries the infant’s brain can sustain due to a lack of oxygen to the brain. Factors like premature delivery, traumatic brain injury and delivery mistakes can lead to cerebral palsy.
Situations like these give the suffering parents the chance to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the medical professionals responsible. Kernicterus and Erb’s palsy is less typical conditions in infants that are reasons for malpractice lawsuits against OBGYN and medical staff in the US.
Injury to mother
During the delivery, both the mother and the infant require assistance and care from the medical professionals. Upon the lapse of attention, both individuals are in danger of sustaining injuries. A mother can claim medical malpractice in the event that the doctor’s carelessness has caused her physical pain, emotional stress, and trauma.
There have been cases in the US, when the lack of enough attentiveness and care has resulted in seizures during delivery, or the death of the infant due to the mother’s high blood pressure. Conditions like pre-eclampsia that may arise from the negligence of the medical professionals involved giving the mother the right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
In addition to the physical discomfort, pain, and injury, the parents can sue for the suffering and emotional distress resulting from the baby’s injuries. To know more about emotional injury damages visit http://birthinjurymalpracticelawyers.com.
A wrongful birth action stems from a doctor’s negligence to warn the parents of a newborn about his or her congenital disabilities. In most of the existing wrongful birth lawsuits, parents would have opted for the termination of pregnancy or dilation and extraction, had they known about the genetic or congenital disabilities.
Such claims usually have a few factors in common –
- The absence of genetic testing or negligent genetic testing before the conception of the fetus
- The failure to detect the presence of physical and/or mental impairments during the early stages of pregnancy
The lawsuit claims damages that cover the cost of treatment, medication and educational therapy. Wrongful birth lawsuit damages typically cover the costs of the child’s disorder. Most states allow the parents to file wrongful birth claims. However, most of the same states do not allow the child to sue for “wrongful birth.” According to the experts in birth injury laws, when the child sues, it is to claim the damages for “wrongful life.”
The number of lawsuits per year is increasing steadily. In fact, last year, over 17,000 medical malpractice lawsuits saw the light of the day. All birth-related injury lawsuits are complex, emotional and lengthy. Unless you have the assistance of an experienced medical malpractice attorney, you might find it difficult to gather the evidence necessary to file and win the lawsuit. When it comes to medical malpractice cases, it is always better to proceed with complete preparation since most doctors in the state already have expert attorneys to defend them.
Unlike other trots cases, most states require the plaintiff to notify the defendant with an advance notice to sue. Additionally, the plaintiff requires a certificate of merit. He or she needs to submit the claim to a panel of medical and legal experts for assessment before taking the case to court. It is must for the plaintiff to participate in attempts of mediation without litigation. Although it is quite easy to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in the US, it is not as easy to win them.