Birth Injury: Medical Malpractice Claims & Lawsuits
Pregnancy and birth are usually celebratory occasions for many couples; however, medical malpractice that occurs during a pregnancy or delivery may cause irreversible harm to the baby and mother. In the aftermath, it can be difficult to determine whether or not the doctors, other medical professionals and hospital are liable for the injuries, medical costs and damages your family sustains. Deciding to contact a medical malpractice lawyer to handle your claim can be the differentiating factor in whether or not you are fairly compensated for a birth-related injury.
Should I Contact a Lawyer for a Birth Injury?
To help assess the need for a medical malpractice birth injury lawyer, see if you answer "yes" to any of the following questions:
- Did a delayed birth cause injuries to the baby, such as attention deficit disorder (ADD) or Autism?
- Did a lack of oxygen during birth result in serious injuries to the baby, such as developmental delay, cerebral palsy or death?
- Did medical professionals fail to recognize a preventable complication, such as cephalopelvic disproportion, shoulder dystocia or placenta previa, that caused serious injuries during birth?
- Did medical professionals fail to properly manage high-risk birth scenarios, such as advanced maternal age, premature birth or suspected large fetus, that caused serious injuries to the baby or mother?
- Did trauma occur during delivery from the use of equipment (e.g., vacuum extractor or forceps) that caused serious injuries?
- Did a medical professional administer or prescribe the incorrect dose of medication that resulted in injuries?
- Do you suspect your healthcare provider, doctors or obstetrical nurses of negligence that resulted in serious or permanent physical and/or emotional injuries, developmental problems or death?
Note that if birth-related medical negligence or misconduct led to death, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Steps to Take for Birth Injuries or Defects
Seek corrective medical care — If at all possible, try and get corrective medical care to limit the effects of a birth injury. If a death has occurred, contact a lawyer to discuss the possibility of a medical malpractice and wrongful death lawsuit.
Request medical records — Medical records provide a significant amount of information that may be important for a medical malpractice birth injury lawsuit. Obtain copies for reference, or have a lawyer help you.
Document medical expenses — Make sure to document all of the medical expenses associated with the treatment and management of any injuries for reimbursement/compensation purposes. Expenses to document include medical bills, prescription costs and insurance co-pays. Out-of-pocket expenses related to the treatment and management of birth-related medical malpractice injuries may also be reimbursed, so it is always a good idea to keep records of all medical-related expenses.
Contact a local personal injury lawyer — Birth-related medical malpractice claims are typically complicated cases. If a doctor is unwilling to admit to negligence, which they rarely do, then the case usually goes to court with the insurance company providing legal representation to defend the lawsuit. Due to the technical nature of most birth-related medical malpractice injuries, independent experts are often required to prove medical malpractice. For court cases, issuing the proper subpoenas, including subpoena duces tecum for the production of necessary evidence, and taking depositions are important, and typically best handled by a local medical malpractice injury lawyer.
Keep records of all accident-related items — After a birth-related medical malpractice incident, it is important to document the accident, injuries and other related conversations, paperwork and expenses. Maintaining records and keeping everything organized is useful for any claims or lawsuits that result.
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