Medical errors that occur before and during the delivery of a newborn are some of the most tragic and costly medical errors that can occur. There are a variety of factors that help explain this: not only are the mother’s and child’s health in jeopardy during the delivery process, but an injury to a newborn could negatively affect the child for the remainder of his or her life (which could be 80 years or more). When malpractice causes or contributes to a birth injury, compensation for the child and family may be available.
Difficulties in Recovering Compensation in Birth Injury Cases
The fact that a mother and/or her newborn child suffered a delivery-related injury does not always guarantee that the child and the parents are entitled to compensation. A successful medical malpractice case requires proof that the negligent medical professional engaged in unsafe conduct that was unreasonable – that is, unsafe conduct that no other reasonable medical professional would have engaged in under the circumstances – and that the injuries to the newborn and/or parents resulted from negligent conduct.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to tell if the medical professional involved in the delivery acted negligently. For example:
- Perhaps the professional’s decision to wait a few more moments to see if the fetus baby could be repositioned in utero before ordering an emergency caesarean section be performed was justifiable;
- Perhaps no reasonable medical professional could have believed the fetus baby was in distress based upon the test results presented to the professional; or
- Perhaps the medical professional did the best that he or she could to minimize harm to the fetus baby before it was born and to the mother in labor, given the circumstances and complications at the time of the labor and/or delivery.
Other times, however, it is easier to conclude the medical professional acted negligently in the way he or she managed the mother’s labor and delivery. Examples include:
- Medical professionals who are not easily available or who are difficult to get ahold of when the mother goes into labor;
- Medical professionals who do not focus on the mother’s and/or newborn’s health during the delivery but are instead distracted by other matters;
- Medical professionals who ignore or fail to recognize common indicators that the mother and/or baby are in distress and in need of immediate medical intervention.
Who Determines if I Have a Medical Malpractice Case?
It can be difficult for the average individual (especially if he or she lacks a medical background) to know if the cause(s) of your or your newborn’s birth-related injuries are sufficient to bring a medical malpractice case. However, Marjorie Chalfant, RN, JD has the background and experience necessary to help you understand whether the doctor’s actions in your case were reasonable and safe, and what legal rights you may have. Where medical malpractice played a role in your or your newborn’s injuries, Marjorie Chalfant, RN, JD will diligently and aggressively fight to help you obtain the compensation you need to address your and/or your newborn’s ongoing medical needs. Call us at either of The Nurse Attorney, P.A.’s offices at (941) 210-4220 or (941) 254-2401, or contact us using the online contact form.