Medical professionals who work in obstetrics are expected to work with the safety of the patient and the unborn child as their highest priority. However, too often, mistakes are made out of negligence and carelessness, and the infant and mother are the ones who suffer as a result.
Our St. Petersburg 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 the 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.
What You Need to Prove in a Birth Injury Lawsuit
There is a lot you will have to prove in order to have a valid birth injury claim, one that can lead to you recovering compensation for the damages endured by you or your loved ones. Fortunately, our birth injury attorneys in St. Petersburg can guide you through the process.
There are 4 crucial elements that must all be shown to be true in order to have a valid birth injury claim. These four elements are:
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 an Attorney May Be Able to Help
Proving these four elements is not always as easy as you might think. As a result, you’ll want a Morgan & Morgan attorney by your side during this time. Our knowledge of local and federal law alike pertaining to medical malpractice and, more specifically, birth injury helps us give you a potential advantage, one other attorneys cannot give you.
In addition to our legal expertise, our attorneys perform thorough investigations to build as convincing a case as we can for you. This investigation may 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.
Our St. Petersburg attorneys are experienced settlement negotiators and trial lawyers. Whether the other party’s insurance is willing to settle or we have to take your case to court, we’re prepared.
Contact Morgan & Morgan Today
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.