Birth injuries occur all the time and like many other injuries, when you are a victim, or your child is, you could be entitled to compensation. This, however, is possible only if you can prove that the injuries were indeed caused by the negligence of a medical practitioner.
With the proof that the injuries you or your child sustained resulted from the doctor’s or the hospital’s negligence, you can build your case, go to court, and get compensated. All the same, you also have to know how to go about the entire process. Without further ado, here are some tips on proving medical negligence in a birth injury case.
1. Contact an Attorney
Medical negligence at birth may come in many forms. This could range anywhere from infections to severe allergies, ailments, and even disability. After identifying the injuries, the folks over at the Bertram Law Group website say that the first step towards seeking compensation is establishing medical negligence. This paves the way to navigating the judicial systems until you get the compensation you and your child deserve. From the very first time you realize that you or your baby is a victim of negligence during birth, it is wise to seek legal counsel from a reputed attorney.
The lawyer will advise you on the best course of action and explain the legal consequences of any idea you might have in mind. If you have to go to court, as much as it’s very possible to represent yourself, you have a better chance of winning the claim when you have a professional representing you. That being said, make sure the lawyer whose services you intend to utilize is competent enough to handle your case.
2. Give Proof of Doctor-Patient Relationship
One of the first things you will have to do is bring evidence showing that you and the doctor or the medical personnel you claim to be responsible for your injuries had a professional relationship. The defendant might be a doctor, surgeon, gynecologist, or even the hospital depending on how your attorney advises you. Nonetheless, you will have to show that you were their patient at the time the injury occurred. Proof of this might be in the form of medical records, documents, hospital bills, and other kinds of official documents. Once you have proven that, it is assumed that they owed you certain duties of professional care and that their negligence could have led to your injuries. In this case, the defendant could be held accountable for your injuries or those of your child.
3. Show How They Breached the Duty of Care
After you have proved to have had a professional relationship with the medical personnel or facility, the next hurdle is proving that they breached the duty of care. This means being able to prove that the defendant breached or failed to fulfill certain medical standards according to the specific circumstances at hand, which ultimately led to the birth injury. Any act or omission that a reasonable party would not have done if they were in the same position is what is termed as a breach of duty. Common scenarios considered as a breach of the duty of care may include:
- Failing to diagnose the mother’s infections in pregnancy
- Lacking adequate knowledge in handling birth complications
- Risky or inappropriate birthing techniques
- They didn’t order an emergency cesarean section during delivery
- Misuse of forceps, vacuums, and other tools that assist in childbirth
Any breach of the duty of care by a physician might cause injuries to the baby or trauma to the mother. Proving this could mean taking opinions from different medical experts, statements from eye-witnesses, medical documents, and previous complaints against the same medical personnel or hospital. Make sure to utilize the legal counsel of your lawyer all through.
4. Demonstrating Causation
You should know that it’s very possible to be right that your doctor or whoever the defendant might be breached their duty of care but their actions were not the cause of your injuries. This is why there is this step where you need to link the defendant’s actions to your injuries. Demonstrating causation may require diagnosis, medical records, and a statement from a birth injury specialist. You will find that a common defense in a lawsuit of this kind would be that the mother’s or child’s injuries or defect would have been there even without the defendant’s mistakes. It will be now up to you and your lawyer to prove that the injuries would not have had the defendant not breached his duty of care.
Finally, you will also need to show that the breach of their duty of care by the defendants is what caused you or your child real damage. Some of these would include physical injuries, medical bills, disability costs, emotional distress, and loss of life, among others. Proof should be presented in the form of medical records, photographs, and bills.
The more competent your lawyer is at proving the damages, the more the compensation is likely to be. Follow the simple steps highlighted in this piece to prove the doctor’s negligence during birth.