Was that birth injury a result of medical malpractice?

Birth injuries can have a great impact on a mother and child's life. In some cases, these injuries are the result of another's negligence.

The term birth injury is a broad one that can include injuries to a mother or child that occur during childbirth. A medical malpractice claim may exist when these injuries are the result of medical professional's negligent or reckless action.

What are some examples of birth injuries?

Birth injuries to an infant can include a broken clavicle, nerve damage and brain damage. Injuries during the birthing process that can impact the mother include hemorrhage. Bleeding issues seem like something that should have been resolved decades ago. In many cases, simple interventions can greatly reduce the risk of serious injury due to bleeding. One option is the use of an injection that is estimated to cost only one dollar. Unfortunately, serious complications resulting from maternal hemorrhage continue to be an issue. A recent piece in The Washington Post delves into the prevalence of postpartum hemorrhage, discussing the results of a study that reviewed 193 hospitals in 21 countries and found 20,000 women suffered from this life-threatening complication.

What causes these injuries?

Postpartum hemorrhage can result from a rupture of the cervix, tear in the birth canal or improper separation of the placenta. Injuries to the infant can result from a lack of oxygen.

At what point do these injuries result in legal action?

First, it is important to note that every case is unique. Anyone that believes they may be a victim of a birth injury is wise to seek legal counsel. Your attorney can review your situation and counsel you in the best course of action.

However, those who believe they may be victims can benefit from a broad understanding of how the process generally works. If a victim believes that a medical professional did not intervene to provide needed care and this failure resulted in injury, a claim for negligence may exist. This claim requires the victim establish four elements: duty, breach, causation and damage. The first element, duty, is generally met whenever there is a patient/doctor relationship. The second, breach, requires showing that the physician or other medical professional failed to meet this duty; that the actions taken were below an accepted level of care. Third, that the breach resulted in the injury and finally, that the injury resulted in actual damage. This could be established with a showing of medical bills and other expenses that directly result from the injury.

It is also important to note that birth defects are potentially actionable. Birth defects are distinct from birth injuries as a defect is something that is present before birth. This could result from genetics or from getting prescribed a medication that was inappropriate for a pregnant woman.

Again, victims of birth injuries or birth defects are wise to consider their legal options. Injuries and defects can lead to great expenses, and a monetary award can help cover these costs. Contact an experienced birth injury accident attorney to discuss your options.