Birth injuries are potentially-severe injuries that occur during pregnancy, labor or delivery. They often cause significant impairment and can affect the injured child and his or her family for a lifetime. In some instances, the parents of a child who has suffered a birth injury may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the person or people responsible for the injury.
Birth injury medical malpractice occurs when a medical provider is negligent in treating an infant or mother during pregnancy, labor or delivery. Medical professionals have a duty to meet and provide a uniform standard of care, and they may be found negligent if they give substandard care and that substandard care causes injury to a newborn.
Some examples of possible negligence during delivery are:
- Failure to recognize fetal distress or umbilical cord entrapment
- Failure to monitor or perform proper tests
- Improper use of forceps
- Delay in ordering a medically-necessary cesarean section
If a doctor, nurse or other medical provider was negligent in treating a mother or infant, the individuals as well as the hospital or clinic where they work may be sued in a birth injury lawsuit. If the parents are able to prove the medical providers were negligent they may receive a monetary award called damages. Damages can include compensation for:
- The cost of past and future treatment for the birth injury and any related medical care including surgeries, rehabilitation and specialized home care
- Emotional and psychological distress suffered by the parents as a result of the birth injury
Importantly, some birth injuries occur naturally and are not the result of medical malpractice. Some medical conditions are genetic, and other injuries may be tragic accidents for which no one is legally responsible. If your child suffered a birth injury, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to determine whether you have a medical malpractice claim.