How Do You Prove Fault in a Childbirth Injury?
When an expectant mother goes to a hospital to deliver, she only hopes that she and her baby will leave healthy and happy. But that is not always the case.
Sometimes, things such as genetic factors, exposure to medicine, and infections may affect both the baby and mother. Wrong operations, failure to perform a procedure, or monitor the fetus can cause a childbirth injury.
Unintentional childbirth injuries are among the leading causes of infant mortality in the country. While a significant percentage of these injuries are unintentional, others are due to medical malpractice. This means that the assigned physician or other hospital staff involved in your delivery deviated from the stipulated medical procedures.
The cost of childbirth injuries ranges from high medical bills to life-long support, low quality of life, decreased cognitive functions, among others. When this happens, it is possible to hold the negligent doctor for the damages that may extend to the child’s entire life.
If you have been an unfortunate victim of medical malpractice resulting in childbirth injuries, you will need an attorney to help you file a claim and prove fault on the doctor’s negligence.
Your attorney will use four common components of a personal injury claim to ensure you get compensated for the damages on you and your child:
1) Proving a Duty of Care
Every personal injury claim begins with establishing a duty of care that the accused owed the claimant. In this case, you have to prove that the doctor was serving in a professional capacity.
Physicians owe their patients a certain level of quality care that is in line with the medical code. However, for you to prove this, the accused practitioner must have been involved in one way or another in the delivery process. When you visit a hospital and the doctor begins examining you, they are automatically bound by this duty.
Hospital bills, medical documents, and records are some of the ways to prove the duty of care.
2) A Breach of This Duty of Care
Next, you will have to prove that the physician breached their duty of care to you and your child. In other words, they deviated from the acceptable standard of healthcare that was required in that situation.
Establishing this breach might be daunting if you try to do it alone, mainly because of the legal expertise needed. Your attorney will conduct a thorough investigation of the doctor’s actions from when they began treating you, to determine how they could have acted differently than required. For instance, a failure to screen for infections during pregnancy proves physician negligence and breach of their duty of care.
3) Justifying that Negligence Caused the Childbirth Injuries
Some attorneys will refer to this as causation. To prove fault, you need to show that the physician’s provision of substandard care caused the injuries inflicted on you or your baby.
This process is highly technical. Childbirth lawsuit attorneys may rely on a witness statement from medical experts, explaining the causation process. When you successfully prove this, the doctor becomes liable for all the damages you and your baby will experience now and in the future.
4) Proving Collectible Damages
Finally, the insurance company or court will need proof of damages suffered by you or your baby. This process is necessary to avoid people claiming compensation for pre-existing injuries, in the case of a mother.
Your attorney can help you round up all the possible damages you have incurred, including medical bills, special equipment cost, pain, and suffering. They will also account for future collectible damages such as caregiver costs and lost quality of life.