Victims of Medical Malpractice: How to File a Personal Injury Claim for Birth Injuries Sustained by A Mother or Child
If you recently went through traumatic labor and have reason to believe that you or your baby’s birth injury could have been avoided, then you may be a victim of medical malpractice. This occurs when a doctor’s medical error or failure to perform his duty led to harming a patient. Mothers with birth injuries may file for what is called a “personal injury claim” or “medical malpractice claim”. If it was the baby harmed, parents or guardians can bring the malpractice lawsuit forward in his stead. Below are the benefits of filing and the requirements needed to be an eligible filer.
Medical Malpractice Claim: Benefits and Eligibility
Going through the legal process may be time-consuming for you, especially when you have a baby to take care of. But there are two main benefits of filing a birth injury claim. First, you can have the doctor or the health care provider held liable to cover your medical expenses. Second, you prevent future medical malpractice suits and save other parents from both the legal trouble and emotional pain of having their babies injured. You may always hire a birth injury lawyer to help move your case forward if you wish to go after the liable party, while still giving priority to caring for your baby.
Filers for injury claims will need to show the following:
1. Proof of Doctor and Patient Relationship
If you are to sue a physician, your attorney will need you to prove the doctor-patient link to establish that the medical professional has a duty of care towards you or your loved one. This means that the doctor agreed to treat you and that you employed his services.
2. Proof that the Birth Injury Was Due to Medical Error
This is known as the principle of causation. Ask yourself, was the doctor negligent or skillful during the procedure? A medical expert can check whether a physician’s actions followed the state’s medical standard of care or deviated from it. If there was indeed medical negligence, the next step is proving how this directly leads to the injury. A medical record is a good resource. This will show what exactly happened from labor and delivery through birth and usually includes electronic fetal heart monitoring readings, or evidence for fetal distress.
3. Proof that the Patient Suffered Harm
You must be able to point out what specific injury resulted from a healthcare provider’s careless actions. Different types of harm patients suffer from include physical pain and suffering, brain injuries, mental trauma, and loss in wages or earning capacity due to the injury.
Medical malpractice claims are not uncommon. In fact, there are various situations that support filing a claim for damages due to medical errors. Here are some examples of malpractice cases:
- Deciding to deliver a baby prematurely, leading to brain damage or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy that is not genetic
- Medication error leading to complications or paralysis after administering anesthesia
- Leaving a sponge inside the mother after a cesarean operation
- Failure to fully inform a parent of the side effects and risks of taking a
- Failing to properly diagnose the mother or baby’s condition
- Giving the wrong treatment or giving the correct one but performing it incompetently
- Failure to perform a doctor’s duty of informed consent
Overview of the Claims Process
At the beginning of filing a personal injury case, the plaintiff (the person bringing the lawsuit) and his legal representation must gather all necessary documents to prove eligibility. Then, a medical expert’s testimony must be requested to determine if it was indeed a medical practitioner’s departure from the standard of care that caused the injury for the plaintiff. This support for causation will only be given after all relevant data and medical records have been reviewed. After ward, the defendant (the doctor who allegedly performed the medical error) will be given an opportunity to hear the plaintiff’s causation arguments.
Seeking Justice for Medical Malpractices
Going through birth trauma is a tough experience, especially for mothers who need to remain strong as they focus their attention on their newborns. Sometimes, this becomes the reason to avoid going through the laborious process of claim filing. However, if parents wish to get justice for what they have experienced, they can always ask a personal injury attorney to handle the matter for them. Hiring malpractice lawyers through a reputable personal injury law firm not only eases the process of claiming penalties for damages but also serves as victims’ additional support through the traumatic experience.
Still deciding if your experience falls under medical malpractice? Ready to file a claim?
Contact reliable law firms specializing in personal injury law such as Zolman Law. Call us now at our Arizona or California offices and get a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys to help you navigate through your case.