Every year, birth injuries occur as the result of medical malpractice in hospitals. It is a known statistic that, of every 1,000 infants born in the United States, 6 to 8 of them are born with a birth injury. This comes out to approximately 1 in every 9,714 people in the United States. There are many different reasons why birth-related injuries occur, some of which should have never happened in the first place and could have likely been prevented!
What is it and When Does it Occur?
These malpractice cases occur when a doctor, hospital, or other medical staff acts negligently. Negligence is failure to take proper care in an act and can lead to a person being held legally liable for any damages they cause. It can apply to the following things: wrongful birth, wrongful pregnancy, or injury to the mother or child during pregnancy or delivery. However, many different rules can apply that will prove what damages you can recover from your specific case.
What Happens if There are Birth Injuries to the Mother or Infant?
If there are injuries to the infant: The parents must bring on the lawsuit, since they are able to act as the guardians of the infant. On behalf of the infant, the parents are able to ask for general and special damages. But what are they? General damages can include the cost of suffering, such as mental and physical pain and suffering.
If there are injuries to the mother: The mother will be able to bring a claim for medical malpractice if the doctor’s carelessness caused her injury prior to or during birth.
What are Wrongful Birth and Wrongful Pregnancy?
Wrongful birth: In a wrongful birth action, the parents will make a claim that the doctor should have warned them about their child’s impending birth defects. In these cases, if the parents would have known about the defects, they could have taken initiative to avoid or end the pregnancy. When it comes to negligence, the genetic testing before the child was conceived could have been negligent, or the failure to detect mental or physical impairments in the early stages of pregnancy.
What damages are typically available? This could include the costs arising out of the child’s disorder like medical expenses and educational therapy. Most states will allow parents to bring wrongful birth claims, even though there can be limits on recovery of damages depending on the specific state at hand.
Wrongful pregnancy: In some cases, parents will sue because they were attempting to avoid pregnancy through processes like sterilization and abortion, but the methods failed due to negligence on behalf of medical staff. In these cases, the child is born healthy. However, the parents sue because there was harm caused by the unwanted pregnancy and birth. Many states will allow parents to sue for costs like medical expenses and lost wages.
Medical malpractice law can be quite complex and involve many different legal issues. Therefore, it is essential to get advice or representation from a lawyer. If you believe you have a claim regarding birth-related injuries that stem from medical malpractice, contact your attorney today. Call WTW for a consultation and review of your case.