Giving birth to a new baby should be one of the most joyful moments of your life. However, in 7 out of every 1000 births in the United States, that joy is tarnished by birth injury. A birth injury is any type of injury incurred by the mother or the baby during or immediately after childbirth. In most cases, a birth injury is caused by the negligence of the medical team attending the birth. That’s where a birth injury lawyer comes in. They can help you to prove the doctor’s negligence and secure damages to help you cover the additional financial burden of treating the birth injury. So, how do you prove a birth injury? Let’s take deep dive into the process!
What is Medical Negligence?
The first step is understanding what medical negligence is. In simple terms, medical negligence occurs when a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional does not provide the expected level of care by underperforming, failing to take action, or taking the wrong course of action. This happens far more than you might expect! When medical negligence occurs during childbirth, the end result could be that the child, or the mother, ends up suffering a birth injury. A birth injury lawyer can help you to file a lawsuit when this happens in order to receive the compensation you deserve.
Proving Medical Negligence Regarding a Birth Injury
A birth injury lawsuit is a type of medical negligence lawsuit, so it will be necessary to satisfy the same conditions you would for proving medical negligence. Your birth injury lawyer will aim to show that:
- The doctor or other medical professional owed you a duty of care as their patient. This essentially means proving the doctor named in the lawsuit was your doctor at the time.
- The medical professional breached their duty of care or failed to meet the expected standard of skill, care, and diligence that the medical professional demands.
- The actions of the doctor or other medical professional directly caused injury to you or your baby. In other words, the injury would have been prevented if they had not taken the steps they did.
This can be a little more complex in terms of proving the birth injury itself. While some types of birth injury are immediately evident at the time of birth, others may not manifest themselves until a few weeks, months, or even years down the line. Some of the common warning signs of a birth injury might include:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Low or irregular heart rate
- Incessant crying and irritability with no apparent cause
- Speech and motor skill development delay
Do I Need a Birth Injury Lawyer?
Suppose your child is suffering from a birth injury, and you are considering pursuing legal action against your medical provider. In that case, you definitely need to enlist the help of a birth injury lawyer. Any type of medical negligence case is highly complex, and it is not something you should undertake without professional guidance. Aside from the complexities of a birth injury case, it is essential to consider your mental well-being too. This is a time when you may be feeling incredibly overwhelmed, especially if your child’s birth injury is going to result in long-term medical treatments. It is important that you are free to focus on caring for your child. Hiring an experienced birth injury lawyer means that you can let them take care of the legal issues and allow you to focus more on the needs of your family.
What if The Birth Injury Goes Undetected?
The statute of limitations on a birth injury is one year from the date of injury. However, many birth injuries are not instantly apparent at the time of birth and may not be diagnosed until a few years later when it becomes clear the child has developmental delays as a result of the birth trauma. Does that mean you cannot pursue a birth injury lawsuit? The answer is no. Although that initial statute of limitations may appear to have expired, there is actually an allowance for injuries that are not discovered immediately. The clock starts to count down on the date of discovery, which is the date the birth injury is diagnosed, not the date the child was born. Even if your child is 2 or 3 years old by the time you start to suspect a potential birth injury, a birth injury lawyer can still help you to file a lawsuit.
Butler, Vines and Babb is a leading law firm in Knoxville, TN, with extensive litigation experience in Medical Malpractice Law, Birth Injury Law, Trucking Accident Law, Personal Injury Law, and Business Law. Contact us today at www.bvblaw.com or call 865-637-3531.
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