Parents often do lots of research to find an OB/GYN they trust with their child’s health and well-being. But even good doctors may make mistakes that cause injuries with lasting effects. In these cases, it warrants taking action to get the compensation that the parents and child need. But these cases can be challenging. Secure help from a birth injury attorney in Fort Lauderdale at Montero Law to evaluate your case and take legal action against the doctor’s medical malpractice insurer to recover damages.
How Doctors May Cause Birth Injuries
Birth injuries can include nerve damage, broken bones, severe bruising, blood clots and hemorrhages, head and brain injuries, and neuroskeletal damage. These serious injuries can lead to cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, intellectual disabilities and developmental delays, and disfigurement – all of which may have been preventable.
For example, infant hypoxia occurs when a baby’s brain becomes starved of oxygen, usually – but not always – as it travels through the birth canal at delivery. It may be the result of a doctor failing to recognize signs of fetal distress and therefore not ordering emergency action, like a C-section. Hypoxia during labor and delivery may increase risk of cerebral palsy or another brain disorder that can affect the child’s life.
In other cases, a doctor may improperly use assistive birthing instruments like forceps or a vacuum extractor that are designed to help the delivery team deliver the baby if the child becomes stuck in the birth canal. While minor injuries from these devices are not uncommon, improper use might cause significant injuries like brain hemorrhages, skull or facial fractures, or others.
Other examples of negligence that might cause an injury at birth or that might contribute to development of birth defects are below.
- Improper use of Pitocin (a labor-inducing drug)
- Neglecting to perform certain tests during pregnancy or during labor and delivery
- Insufficient pre-natal testing of mothers for conditions that may harm the baby (HIV/AIDS, etc.)
- Prescribing drugs that could harm a fetus during pregnancy
Use your instincts. If you think something is wrong or recognize an injury, bring your concerns to the doctor. One common clue that something might be wrong with your newborn is a low APGAR test score (Appearance, Pulse, Grimace, Activity, Respiration). The delivery staff should also report any abnormalities or concerns to you.
If you think that medical negligence could be the culprit that caused the injury, then talk to Montero Law about your concerns.
Do you have a valid birth injury case?
Simply being born with an injury or defect does not automatically justify filing a negligence claim against a doctor. You’ll have to prove that the doctor was negligent and violated the standard of care. That is, other reasonable professionals would not have acted in the same manner given the circumstances. For example, if other reasonable doctors would have ordered a C-section after recognizing signs of fetal distress, the doctor violated this standard of care.
Simply proving the child has a birth injury and the doctor was negligent is also not enough. You’ll also have to connect the doctor’s negligence to your child’s injuries. Your lawyer may bring in a medical expert to testify about not only the standard of care, but to establish that the doctor’s actions caused or contributed to the injury and its effects.
Finally, you’ll need to prove the presence of damages. This might include additional medical expenses, care, home modifications, and other expenses or losses related to the injury.
This can all be extremely challenging for parents dealing with not only the birth of a child, but the added complications that birth injuries bring. Talk to Montero Law about your case and what legal action you can take. Call us at 954-767-6500 or use our contact form to set up a consultation.