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Birth injuries don’t just affect the injured child, but their entire family as well. Infants and mothers alike are put in danger by the malpractice of a negligent medical professional, and that negligence can lead to permanent damage and a lifetime of physical, emotional, and financial difficulty for an entire family.
Our Fort Myers attorneys have a complete understanding of obstetrics, and strong relationships with expert medical witnesses that can help us with a thorough, accurate investigation of your claim. Together, we will work to prove you are owed compensation for the injuries caused during childbirth.
Through both litigation and settlement negotiations, our birth injury lawyers have a successful history of recovering compensation on behalf of infants and mothers who were injured at birth. If you or a loved one has dealt with a birth injury, fill out our free, no-obligation case evaluation form to learn more about what your options could be.
Types of Birth Injuries
The delicate and sensitive nature of childbirth means that it is easy to cause an injury in a case of negligence. Some situations which commonly lead to birth injuries include:
- Failure to diagnose a potential complication prior to delivery;
- Failure to perform a timely C-section;
- Failure to examine the mother’s medical history;
- Inadequate monitoring of the mother and child before, during, and after delivery;
- Delayed responses to fetal distress;
- Error in administering anesthesia; and
- Improper use of forceps.
The results of this can be devastating to both the baby and the mother. Some severe birth injuries include:
- Cerebral palsy;
- Brachial plexus palsy, including Erb’s palsy and Klumpke’s palsy;
- Brain damage;
- Spinal cord damage; and
- Wrongful death.
If a medical professional’s negligence directly caused any of these injuries, you may be able to file a claim and receive compensation. Cerebral palsy, for example, is a debilitating medical condition that adversely affects muscle movement, muscle tone, and general motor function, and is caused by damage to a child’s brain before or during birth.
If a child develops cerebral palsy as the result of a healthcare provider’s negligence, the parents may be able to file a claim for any resulting damages, including present and future medical costs, loss of wages and future earning capacity, loss of enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering. Lack of care during the birthing process could also lead to injuries to the mother, including:
- Vaginal tears;
- Ruptured uterus;
- Preeclampsia (pregnancy-induced hypertension);
- Clavicle fractures;
- Sepsis; and
- Wrongful death.
What You Need to Prove in a Birth Injury Lawsuit
In order to have a valid claim that can result in you possibly receiving compensation, your attorney will have to prove that someone else’s negligence was to blame for your or your child’s injury. That proof involves the following four elements:
- Doctor/Patient Relationship: The attorney must show that the healthcare professional that caused the injury had a relationship with the patient. In birth injury cases, any party involved in the childbirth process, including doctors, nurses, and anesthesiologists, has a doctor/patient relationship with both the mother and child. This relationship establishes a duty of care, which is to practice in a manner which protects the patient(s) from harm and to perform as other healthcare professionals would under similar circumstances.
- Breach: The attorney has to prove that the doctor’s decisions and actions were negligent and as a result a breach of the doctor/patient relationship that has now been established. This is often the most difficult element to prove and requires an exhaustive investigation.
- Injury: The attorney must also show that the doctor or other party’s negligence was the cause of the injury the mother and/or child suffered.
- Damages: Lastly, the attorney must demonstrate that the injury caused the patient or family to incur identifiable damages, either physically, financially, or emotionally.
How a Morgan & Morgan Birth Injury Attorney May Be Able to Help
Morgan & Morgan’s birth injury attorneys are uniquely experienced with the specifics and complexities of such cases and are qualified to determine how best to handle your case. They require elaborate investigations into several different factors. This investigation can include:
- Reviewing the child and mother’s medical records;
- Gathering witness statements and accounts of the procedure and surrounding circumstances;
- Reviewing notes concerning the delivery and patient;
- Examining the accused party’s history of providing medical care;
- Exploring the history of other parties who may potentially be liable for damages;
- Consulting experts in the field, including obstetricians and anesthesiologists;
- Combing through the accused party’s description of the procedure with an expert to find any potential omissions, complications, or inaccuracies in the report;
- Reviewing the healthcare facility’s history, looking for previous lawsuits or complaints; or
- Hiring a private investigator.
Using the information he or she collects during the investigation, your attorney will create a claim that seeks compensation for your losses. In doing so, your attorney may engage in settlement negotiations, file a lawsuit on your behalf if no settlement is reached, and re-negotiate for a settlement before trial.
If negotiations are unsuccessful, your attorney will prepare for court by using the discovery period to review the opposing parties’ records and files that may not have been attainable earlier; deposing and questioning witnesses and the defendant(s); preparing you for questioning from the defense attorneys; consulting additional expert witnesses to gather more in-depth insight into your claim; and searching for any weak points in your claim or the defendant’s defense.
Contact Morgan & Morgan
If you or a loved one is dealing with a birth injury, you may be owed compensation. To learn more, fill out our case review form for an evaluation of your case.