The birth of a baby is a wonderful thing. Bringing a new life into the world is one of the most thrilling things that a new parent can experience. Tragically, negligent doctors harm many newborns every year. For a new parent, a negligent doctor could cause a lifelong mental or physical disability for their new child. In cases like this, it’s possible to get justice through a medical malpractice lawsuit. These suits can secure a financial settlement that can cover the medical bills of the newborn, and most importantly ensure that the negligent doctor doesn’t get the chance to damage any other babies.
Medical malpractice can take a few forms when it comes to birth injuries. A doctor may fail to recognize issues with the pregnancy, use inappropriate medical devices, not notice the need for a cesarean, or simply not realize whether the baby in the womb is healthy or not before delivering it.
Despite the myriad potential for malpractice while delivering a child, it is still difficult to prove that a doctor committed malpractice in court, because of the distinction between birth injuries and birth defects. Many of the disabilities that are caused by negligent birth injuries are also the result of birth defects, caused by genetics or the actions of the mother while pregnant. For example, cerebral palsy can be caused by a doctor’s failure to get a baby adequate oxygen during delivery, but it can also be caused by a unpreventable genetic defect. A successful medical malpractice case must prove that it was the doctor that provided an unacceptable standard of care to the mother and child.
Regardless of the particular injury or defect that the baby sustained during birth, in order to have a successful medical malpractice case the parents must be able to prove negligence on behalf of the doctor. The single best way to prove this is with testimony from another doctor in the same field as the negligent one. An anesthesiologist or surgeon testifying that their peer provided an unacceptable standard of care is the most compelling argument that can be made in court. From there, it’s more simple to demonstrate that this failure to provide adequate care directly led to the birth injury. Both of these factors, negligence and cause, must be proved in order to win the suit.
If the legal team is able to prove that the doctor was responsible for the newborn’s birth injury, a settlement will be allotted to the baby. Since this settlement is intended to support the child throughout a disability-burdened childhood, it is often given in the form of a trust. Damages can be awarded for a wide range of losses not solely restricted to medical expenses. The negligent doctor could also be charged for emotional stress and future wages of the disabled child. While this cannot fix the injury, it can make it manageable, and ensure justice is done.