Most mothers want to do everything they can to protect the health and development of their unborn children during pregnancy. Complications during pregnancy can sometimes arise even when the expectant mothers are considered to be at low risk. If you learn that your infant has suffered from birth injuries, you might encounter some myths about the injury’s cause. In some cases, doctors make statements designed to try to prevent people from seeking legal remedies to support their children who have suffered birth injuries. Here are some common myths you should know about birth injuries and some answers from the attorneys at Raynes & Lawn.
Common Myths & Facts About Birth Injuries
1. Birth Injuries Can Be Genetic
Fact: Birth injuries are not caused by genetics. Instead, genetic conditions can cause birth defects, but they are not the cause of birth injuries. Injuries typically result because of a medical incident before, during, or after delivery. Almost any medical professional who has treated you or your baby before, during, or immediately after delivery can make mistakes that could result in a birth injury. In some cases, a provider might fail to do something that causes an injury or do something incorrectly.
For example, if you have a difficult labor, and your baby is not moving easily through the birth canal, your doctor might use a vacuum extractor or forceps to facilitate your baby’s birth. If your doctor uses these types of instruments improperly, your baby could be injured. Similarly, if you or your baby shows signs of distress that indicate the need for an emergency C-section, failing to perform a C-section might also cause a birth injury.
2. A Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis Always Means A Birth Injury Occurred
Fact: While cerebral palsy can sometimes be caused by medical errors, it can also be caused by other factors. For example, if your baby was deprived of oxygen because he or she was stuck in the birth canal, that does not necessarily mean that your doctor was negligent. Your attorney will review the facts and circumstances to determine whether your baby’s cerebral palsy was preventable and resulted from medical negligence.
3. Certain Birth Injuries Cannot Be Prevented
Fact: You might be told that your doctor could not have done anything to prevent your baby from suffering a birth injury. This type of claim can be partially true or partially false. For example, if your baby showed signs of distress, your doctor could perform an emergency C-section or take other measures to decrease your baby’s injury risks. You and your baby should be closely monitored while you are in the hospital. If any signs of distress arise, prompt action should be taken. Even if proper monitoring could not
have fully prevented your baby from being injured, it might have reduced the injury’s severity.
4. There Isn’t A Point In Filing A Lawsuit Since It Won’t Change My Child’s Outcome
Fact: While it is true that a malpractice lawsuit will not change what happened to your child or the struggles that he or she might face, it can potentially provide you with access to the critical financial resources you need to pay for your child’s medical expenses and long-term treatment needs. Having access to the financial resources you need to provide proper treatment and care to your child might also help him or her to achieve more independence and a better quality of life despite his or her birth injuries.
5. I Can Wait To File A Birth Injury Claim
Fact: Pennsylvania has a general statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims found in 42 Pa.C.S. § 5524(2). Under this statute, you have a deadline of two years to file a lawsuit from the date you learn or should have known that your child suffered a birth injury. This statute can be tolled until your child turns 18, and your child would then have until he or she reaches age 20 to file a lawsuit. However, if you wait too long to file a claim, critical evidence couple be lost. The best approach to preserve your claim is to contact an attorney as soon as possible after you learn that your baby suffered a birth injury.
6. It’s Too Difficult To Prove Medical Malpractice
Fact: While you might think that it is too difficult to prove that your doctor caused your baby’s injury, working with a knowledgeable malpractice lawyer at Raynes & Lawn might help you to gather the evidence needed to win your claim. Your attorney can work with a medical expert to review your medical records and other evidence to build the strongest possible claim. This might help you to recover the compensation you deserve.
About Birth Injury Malpractice
Birth injury malpractice is a type of medical malpractice that happens when a health care provider or hospital engages in negligence and causes injuries and harm to infants or mothers. Medical providers must provide competent care that meets the standard of care expected of reasonably competent providers in the same practice field and geographic area under the same conditions. If your doctor or another healthcare professional provided treatment that fell below the standard of care and injured your baby, it could rise to the level of medical malpractice.
Many different types of mistakes during labor and delivery can result in serious birth injuries. If your child’s injury was caused by a medical provider’s negligence, you might have valid grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
To win compensation, you will need to prove the following elements:
- Doctor-patient relationship
- The expected standard of care
- Treatment that failed to meet the standard of care
- How the injuries were caused by the doctor’s negligence
- Damages resulted from your baby’s injury
Speak To A Lawyer About Birth Injury Medical Malpractice
If you believe that you might have a viable childbirth injury lawsuit, you should schedule a free consultation with Raynes & Lawn as soon as possible. We can help you understand your rights and options. Call us today at 1-800-535-1797.
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