You have been waiting to meet your daughter for nine months. The birth of your child was the most joyous moment you’ve ever experienced.
The birth was long and difficult, for both you and the baby. But, after what seemed like an eternity in labor, it was finally over and you had brought a new life into the world.
It seemed like there was too much activity in the room, with the nurses and the doctor moving and talking too fast for you to keep up with in your exhaustion. Something was wrong. Something didn’t go right during the birth.
While most pregnancies and births proceed without complications, there are times when thing can go wrong. Sometimes the situation is completely unavoidable and is the result of a genetic anomaly. Sometimes the harm is avoidable.
Maybe your doctor prescribed you the wrong medication during your pregnancy, or the attending doctor failed to recognize and respond to signs of trouble during the birth. Knowing if the injury or defect was avoidable or unavoidable is the first step in determining if you have a medical malpractice case.
In situations where due and reasonable care could have prevented an injury to your child, it is important to understand that both you and your baby have legal rights.
Birth defects occur from when something goes wrong with the pregnancy before birth or during a time prior to pregnancy.
There are multiple factors that can cause birth defects. For example, the condition might be inherited. It can also be caused by drug use, both illegal and prescribed medications. Even drugs that were developed to initially aid in pregnancy have been found to possess compounds that cause birth defects.
Injuries occur when there is a complication during the birth process. They can happen due to a doctor’s improper use of medical devices, such as forceps, or from poor technique. Injuries range from harm caused by a lack of oxygen to very severe head injuries.
Some injuries are unavoidable and can still result even though the doctor has performed the delivery in a skilled, competent, and reasonable manner.
Do you have a case?
In order to prove a medical malpractice case, you will have to provide evidence that your medical provider failed to treat you and your child in a reasonable and adequate manner prior to and during the birth.
You will need to prove that your doctor’s care was below a generally accepted standard of medical care. This usually requires the testimony of a medical expert that is qualified in the same field as your provider.
Birth injuries and defects can sometimes be avoided. If you doctor has failed to perform his or her duties in a reasonable and competent manner, you have the right to pursue a claim for medical malpractice.