Proving A Child’s Birth Injury Constitutes Medical Malpractice
When it comes to birth injuries, statistics are more alarming than most people think. Of every 1,000 infants born in the United States, 6 to 8 of them are born with a birth injury. If this is accurate, it means that approximately 1 in every 9,714 people in the United States of America is born with a birth injury.
Some common birth injuries include;
- Broken bones
- Caput succedaneum
- Spinal cord injuries
- Brachial plexus injury
- Intracranial hemorrhage
- Cerebral palsy
- Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)
Some of the common symptoms of birth injuries include;
- An infant requiring CPR at the time of delivery
- Swelling or soft spots on the head
- Floppy or stiff muscles
- Inability to move one side of the body
A birth injury can occur for several reasons. For instance, a birth injury can occur if a baby is born too early or prematurely. A birth injury can also happen if labor is difficult or very long. However, while some birth injuries occur due to no one’s fault, many birth injuries are preventable, meaning they occur due to other people’s negligence. If your child experiences a birth injury due to a healthcare professional’s negligence, your case might be considered a case of medical malpractice.
Witnessing your child suffering because of an injury is the worst thing you can see as a parent, especially if your child’s injury could have been prevented. If your child’s birth injury was preventable, you might be eligible to file a medical malpractice claim against a medical professional or even a medical facility. If you believe you have a valid Florida medical malpractice case, reach out to an experienced Florida medical malpractice attorney to begin working on your case. It’s crucial for you to work with an experienced attorney because proving a child’s birth injury occurred due to medical malpractice is usually not an easy task.
So, how do you prove a child’s birth injury occurred due to medical malpractice? Below are the elements of proof you need to establish that a medical professional or facility is responsible for your child’s birth injury.
Establish the Existence of a Doctor-Patient Relationship
First, you need to show that a professional relationship existed between you and the defendant (either a medical professional or facility). Generally, to prove a professional relationship existed, you need to prove that you were the defendant’s patient at the time of the incident.
If a professional relationship existed between you and the defendant at the time of the incident, it means they (the defendant) owed you and your child a duty of care. A skilled medical malpractice attorney can help you prove that a defendant owed you and your child a duty of care using things such as medical bills, medical records, and other documents.
Establish a Negligent Violation of the Standard of Care
Secondly, you need to prove that the defendant breached their duty of care to you and/or your child. Generally, to prove that a defendant breached their duty of care to you and/or your child, you need to demonstrate that another reasonable and prudent medical professional or facility would have acted differently and avoided the mistake the defendant made in a similar situation. A skilled attorney can help you demonstrate this.
Some common examples of actions that constitute a breach of duty in birth injury cases include;
- Failing to order a cesarean delivery when appropriate
- Prescribing the wrong medication to the mother
- Failing to diagnose a maternal infection during pregnancy
Prove That the Breach of Duty Caused the Birth Injury
The next thing you have to prove is that the violation of a standard of care was the direct cause of your child’s birth injury. This third element of proof is known as “causation.” Usually, medical professionals or facilities argue that a child would still have suffered an injury even if negligence was not involved. Because of this, you need to work with a skilled medical malpractice attorney to prove that your child’s injuries would not have occurred if the defendant had not breached their duty of care to you. Usually, attorneys prove this with the help of expert witnesses.
Prove Damages That Resulted From the Injury
For a medical malpractice case to exist in the case of a birth injury, there must be proof that the defendant’s actions or omissions caused you specific damages. In Florida, damages in birth injury cases can include disability, medical expenses, mental anguish, pain, and suffering, among many more.
Contact a Fort Myers Personal Injury Attorney
If you believe your child’s birth injury constitutes medical malpractice, contact one of our Fort Myers personal injury attorneys at The Law Offices of Marc L. Shapiro, P.A., today at 239-649-8050 to schedule a consultation and discuss your case. If yours is a medical malpractice case, we can help you prove your claim and obtain the compensation you deserve.