Out of all the accidents and claim types that we see in our day-to-day operations, birth injuries and medical malpractice suits are some of the least common and least discussed. But that does not mean they do not happen regularly–according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are over $2 billion dollars’ worth of hospitalizations for birth defects every year. The problem is that many families do not recognize birth malpractice when they see it, or they may not be aware of their legal rights. Either way, Van Law Firm is here to help.
Our experienced birth injury and medical malpractice attorneys have helped numerous families recover compensation for injuries sustained by their children. Our healthcare professionals are invaluable members of our communities, but that does not mean that they are immune from making mistakes, and when those mistakes have a dramatic impact on your family, you have a right to recover proper compensation.
Birth Injury and Medical Negligence Suits: Definition, Examples
Whenever a baby suffers injuries or defects during the birthing process, the parents may then be eligible to file a medical malpractice suit. The actual defendant in such a case will vary depending on the situation, but in order to have a successful claim, plaintiffs must prove that the negligence of the doctor or hospital employee directly contributed to the injuries in question.
Like all suit types, medical negligence claims will vary based on the parameters of the accident as well as the rules and regulations for the specific area of medicine being practiced (for this example, the birthing process). Essentially, the criteria for medical negligence involve an investigation as to whether or not the performance of the healthcare professional fell below or never met the standard of care expected for that procedure. As you might imagine, this involves a lot of evidence review and expert testimony, so it’s always in your best interest to retain an experienced birth injury attorney.
Some specific examples of medical malpractice with regards to the birthing process include:
Occasionally, if a mother cannot fully expel the fetus out of the birth canal, a specialized vacuum will be used to essentially latch on to the baby and pull it out safely. Doctors and technicians are trained in how and where to properly attach the vacuum to the baby, but sometimes mistakes are made, resulting in various injuries including head deformities and cognitive deficiencies.
Unsafe Use of Forceps
Similar to vacuums, doctors also sometimes use tools known as forceps to help extract a baby safely. They are basically a medical version of pliers, and help grab the baby to pull it out. When used properly, they are a great tool that helps reduce numerous birth risks, but improper use can result in serious injuries, most notably nerve damage to the head, neck, and chest.
Hypoxia is an extremely serious condition that happens whenever a child is not getting enough oxygen to their brain, and the side effects usually include severe mental disabilities. Doctors and healthcare professionals are trained to spot and remedy hypoxia as soon as possible. The common causes of hypoxia during childbirth include infections, damage to the placenta, or an entangled umbilical cord. If hypoxia could have been prevented but was not, a birth injury claim may be warranted.
Whenever a complication arises during the birthing process, an emergency Cesarean section (C-section) should be ordered or at least debated. Reasons for doing this can include excessive bleeding, sudden drops in the mother’s blood pressure, placental complications, and more. If those in charge of delivery do not recognize these signals and act quickly, both the mother and the child can sustain serious injuries.
How Can I Determine if Medical Malpractice Occurred?
Due to their complexity and variation, it is important to retain a trusted attorney if you have even a small feeling that your child’s injuries were caused by medical negligence. At Van Law Firm, we’ve utilized a wide variety of resources to argue on our clients’ behalf, including the examination of procedure notes, lists of tools used and unused, electronic fetal monitoring strips, and more.
More importantly, we also have the resources to hire expert medical witnesses to testify as to whether the proper regulations were followed or not. This is usually the single most important piece of evidence that a plaintiff can present with regards to medical malpractice, as their independent investigation into the matter is needed in order to explain to the court what did or did not happen. An expert witness who agrees with your negligence claim is worth their weight in gold.
Contact Medical Malpractice and Birth Injury Attorneys Today
An injury to your child during the birthing process can quite literally affect them for their entire life, and can cause substantial financial and emotional strain for everyone in your family. Make the right decision and call Van Law Firm right away to speak with our award-winning birth injury and medical malpractice attorneys. We will take the time to review all the relevant evidence and get the best medical experts to testify on your behalf. Call our office nearest you to learn more about what VLF can do for you.