Birth injuries can have long-lasting effects on the child and their family. These injuries are often caused by medical malpractice during labor and delivery, and determining liability is paramount.
Establishing liability for birth injuries is critical for several reasons. It allows families to hold medical professionals accountable for their actions. Medical professionals have a duty to provide a certain standard of care during labor and delivery. They should be held responsible for the consequences when they fail to meet that standard.
Determining liability is also essential for seeking compensation in a personal injury case. Birth injuries can result in substantial medical expenses, ongoing care needs, and lost income for parents who may need to provide care for their child. Pursuing financial recovery can help alleviate the financial burden and give families the necessary resources.
The Role of Doctors in Birth Injuries
Obstetricians play a critical role in ensuring safe and successful deliveries. They are responsible for monitoring the mother's labor and vital signs, making quick decisions if the birth plan changes, and assisting with the delivery. However, when doctors fail to meet the standard of care, they can be held responsible for birth injuries.
Common causes of birth injuries can be attributed to the actions of medical professionals:
- Reckless actions, such as excessive force during delivery, can result in serious injuries.
- Negligent medical errors, such as misdiagnosis or improper medication administration, can also cause harm to the baby.
- Improper fetal monitoring can lead to delayed interventions and complications during labor and delivery.
- Failing to anticipate a difficult birth or perform an emergency c-section can lead to birth injuries.
- Failing to monitor and control oxygen intake during delivery can cause brain damage and other serious harm.
A Doctor's Duty of Care
Legal standards for medical malpractice are based on the reasonable care standard. This means that a reasonably competent physician should be expected to provide care and skill at a level aligning with accepted medical standards. If a doctor fails to meet this standard and makes a mistake that another reasonably competent physician would not have made, it can be considered substandard care and medical malpractice.
Deviations from the standard of care can occur in a variety of ways. It could be as simple as failing to provide treatment that aligns with the duty of care or failing to act in a way that would prevent adverse circumstances from occurring according to accepted standards. In either case, a medical professional's actions or omissions that harm the baby can be medical malpractice.
Causation is also an essential element in medical malpractice cases. To prove that medical malpractice occurred, the plaintiff must establish that the medical professional's negligent actions were the proximate cause of the injuries suffered by the patient. In birth injury cases, the doctor's negligence may result in conditions such as cerebral palsy, Erb's palsy, and post-partum hemorrhaging.
Not all adverse outcomes are the result of medical malpractice. Medical professionals are not held to a standard of perfection, and sometimes harmful effects occur even when a medical professional has provided appropriate care. However, if the actions of a medical professional deviate from the standard of care, and those actions result in harm to the patient, it may be considered medical malpractice, and the doctor may be liable for damages.
Speak with an Attorney About Your Case
In some cases, birth injuries could have been avoided if medical professionals had provided appropriate care and attention during labor and delivery. The role of doctors in birth injuries is significant, and it is crucial to understand the legal standards for medical malpractice and the factors that determine doctor liability.
Doctors are responsible for providing a high level of care to their patients, closely monitoring vital signs, and responding appropriately to any changes or complications that may arise. When medical professionals fail to meet this standard of care, they may be liable for resulting injuries.
Seeking legal help is essential for holding medical professionals accountable and pursuing the compensation necessary to cover medical expenses and ongoing care. An experienced personal injury attorney can help navigate the legal process, gather evidence, and build a solid case to seek justice.
Contact the Law Offices of Keith J. Nedwick, P.C. at (866) 590-8173. We serve the people of Norman, OK.