Probably you have been wondering when does a difficult delivery process tip over into the realm of medical negligence or malpractice causing birth injuries. It isn’t uncommon for parents having a child to experience some challenges during the labor and delivery process. Though some hardships are expected, it is recommended for mothers to understand that some complications may go beyond normal child delivery issues and become medical negligence.
Birth injuries to the infant or mother
Though rare, sometimes medical negligence can result in injuries to the mother or the infant or both during delivery. For instance, the doctor might negligently fail to control maternal blood loss post-delivery or even fail to monitor the infant’s oxygen intake during the delivery process. Brain injury attorney Stewart L. Cohen warns that this is medical malpractice and the victim of such actions may have a valid medical negligence claim.
In case the infant is injured, the law allows you (parents) to file a lawsuit, acting as legal guardians of the child. On behalf of the baby, the parents can ask for both special and general damages. In most cases, general damages refer to the cost of suffering including physical and mental pain, and loss of joy in life.
The child’s mother could file a medical malpractice claim if the medical practitioner’s carelessness resulted in her injuries before or during birth. For instance, if the medical expert fails to take note of the mother rising blood pressure before delivery, and she has a seizure during delivery, the mother might have a valid claim for medical negligence to recover for injuries associated with the seizure. Nearly all birth injuries to either the child or the mother or both result in emotional pain to the parents. Thus, the parents can sue for the suffering and emotional pain they experience because of these injuries.
In instances of wrongful birth, the parents can claim that the medical expert should have issued a timely warning about the baby’s impending congenital disabilities and if these defects were known, the couple would have either prevented the pregnancy or end it. Often, these claims are based on the doctor’s negligence during genetic testing before conception or negligent failure to diagnose physical or mental impairments during early pregnancy.
Often, the damages associated with a wrongful birth claim include the expenses associated with the baby’s disorders, including educational therapy and medical expenses. The guardians can also recover damages for the emotional suffering and pain associated with the childbirth and raising. Many states allow parents to file claims for wrongful childbirth.
Lastly, mothers can file a lawsuit for wrongful pregnancy in case they attempted to avoid pregnancy, either through pregnancy testing, abortion or sterilization but those attempts failed due to the medical expert’s negligence. Even if the child is healthy, the parents can still sue for the harm associated with this unwanted pregnancy and delivery.
The type of recoverable damages varies depending on the state. While most states allow guardians to sue for expenses and probably lost wages, only a few states allow parents to recover damages for pain and suffering in a wrongful pregnancy claim.