The most difficult problem that arises when determining the extent and cause of a birth injury
is that many birth injuries are confused with birth defects, and vice versa. When a baby first comes into the world, any problems with the birth or with the delivery can be misconstrued, either intentionally or unintentionally. An unscrupulous doctor who makes a mistake either during prenatal care or during the delivery may tell the mother that the problems are defects rather than injuries.
When a problem occurs during or before the delivery, and the attending doctor could have fixed or prevented it, a birth injury settlement is often assessed for the mother of the child, depending on the specific injuries. Not only with the mother be compensated for medical bills associated with the injury, but also for pain and suffering.
When a baby is born with an injury, it might be difficult to first ascertain the problem. As I said before, many birth injuries are mistakenly or intentionally passed off as birth defects, which result either from genetic makeup or by the mother during her pregnancy. When a child is born with injuries or problems, the mother should obtain a second opinion from another doctor to help determine the cause.
A birth injury occurs either during or after delivery, and is caused by the actions of the medical staff. A settlement can be claimed if it is found that the doctor was negligent in performing reasonable prevention techniques or if he is found to have committed malpractice. Birth injuries that arise from unpreventable circumstances will not leave the mother elligible for recourse. Common birth injuries include head injuries and brain damage due to lack of oxygen.
A birth defect, on the other hand, is usually caused by something that happened prior to pregnancy, or at least prior to delivery. This can include the maternal consumption of drugs or alcohol; genetic defects; use of a harmful prescription drug; or the mother’s use of a spermacide or morning after bill that failed to work.
In order to win a birth injury settlement, the baby’s family must be able to prove that medical personnel failed to administer adequate medical attention; in other words, the baby or the mother received substandard care. Injuries that result from something known to be a reasonable risk of childbirth are exempt from fault.
To establish credibility in a birth injury lawsuit,the mother’sattorney willbe faced with the challenge ofconsulting witha medical expert who is qualified in the same area of medicine as the doctor who treated the mother and child.The expert will give his or her opinion of the standard level of care that shouldhave been administered, and then explainthe difference between that standard and the actual care that the mother and child received.The attorney will also speak with other medical personnel who might have been present at the time of the birth and can give testimony to the actions that the defendant took.
In birth injury lawsuits, it is difficult to prove that the actions taken by the defendant were in the fact the cause of the injury sustained. For example, a child born with brain damage due to lack of oxygen may be the result of improper use of the vacuum, while it could also be caused by a problem prior to delivery. This is one of the challenges that a legal team faces when pursuing a birth injury settlement.
In most cases, birth injury law suits that are won generate large amounts of compensation. The healthcare provider found responsible for the injury will be liable not only for medical expenses and extended care, but also for pain and suffering for both mother and child. The physician might also be charged with medical malpractice in the same case, and as a result be barred from practicing medicine at all. Jail time might also be served in addition to a large fine.
Birth injuries are tragic occurances, and anyone whose child has been born with an injury should consult with an attorney immediately. Even if no one was at fault, it is best to have the situation investigated to determine if the mother is able to seek legal recourse.