Childbirth often causes injury to a child as a result of the natural trauma sustained by a fetus during the fetus’s travel through the birth canal, for instance, or as a result of the pressure sustained by a fetus during the mother’s labor contractions. Other injuries may be caused by medical malpractice, however, which can occur during the mother’s pregnancy as well as the labor and delivery stages of her child’s birth. Medical professionals who assist in the care and treatment of a mother during her pregnancy or in the delivery of her child may be found legally responsible for injuries caused to a child as a result of their negligent care or treatment.
If your child sustained a birth injury and you have reason to believe that the injury was caused by medical negligence during your pregnancy, labor, or the delivery of your child, you may be entitled to compensation through legal action for the damages your child has suffered as a result. The Killino Firm’s Miami, Florida, birth injury/birth trauma attorneys have extensive experience with birth injury cases and can help you obtain the compensation to which you are entitled from the individuals and/or entities responsible for your child’s birth injury. Contact The Killino Firm at 305-559-6340 for a cost-free evaluation of your case and more information about your legal rights and options.
Legal Liability for Birth Injuries Caused by Medical Malpractice
Obstetricians, other physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals may be responsible for birth injuries caused by medical malpractice. In addition, the clinics, hospitals, and other entities that employ such medical professionals may be found liable for the childbirth injuries caused by their own negligence or by the negligence of their employees.
Liability for Birth Injuries Caused by Negligent Medical Care during Labor and Delivery
Children often sustain birth injuries as a result of the negligence of medical professionals who assist in the labor and delivery stages of children’s births. Medical negligence, or malpractice, is the failure of a doctor or other medical professional to provide the degree of care owed to a patient during the professional’s care or treatment of the patient. When doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel assist in the delivery of a child, these professionals have two patients to whom they owe this duty of care: the mother and her as yet unborn child. The failure to exercise reasonable care for the safety of either mother or child may be considered a breach of the duty of care and result in the negligent medical professional’s liability for any childbirth injuries determined to have been caused by the professional’s negligence or malpractice.
Malpractice during childbirth can occur in myriad ways. The failure to timely recognize and appropriately handle childbirth complications such as nuchal cord, umbilical cord compression, or problems with the mother’s placenta may result in asphyxiation injuries such as cerebral palsy (CP) or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). The failure to properly manage a fetus’s breech presentation may also result in birth injury to a child. In some cases of breech presentation, for example, the timely ordering of a Caesarean section (C-section) may be required to prevent serious injury to a child or to save the child’s life.
Childbirth injuries may also be caused by the improper use of delivery assistance devices such as forceps or vacuums. Brachial plexus palsy injuries, including Erb’s palsy, may occur as a result of negligence of medical personnel assisting in a difficult delivery.
In any of these circumstances and others, the medical professionals (who can include midwives) who have negligently caused a child’s birth injury while assisting in the delivery of a child may be held liable for the damages suffered by the child as a result in a medical malpractice action. In addition, the hospitals and other entities that employ such individuals may be held vicariously (indirectly) liable for the birth injuries caused to a child by the negligence or malpractice of their employees.
In some cases, a hospital in which a child is born may also be found directly liable for a child’s birth injuries. This can occur, for example, when a hospital has failed to implement and enforce adequate policies and procedures for childbirth, failed to maintain equipment or to dispose of broken or defective equipment, or when a hospital has been negligent in screening, hiring, training, and/or retaining medical professionals whose negligence is found to have caused a child’s birth injury.
Liability for Birth Injuries Caused by Negligent Medical Care during a Mother’s Pregnancy
A child’s birth injuries can also result from negligent medical care during the mother’s pregnancy. An obstetrician’s failure to diagnose and adequately manage a mother’s diabetes, weight gain, or high blood pressure, for example, may lead to subsequent birth injuries of her child. The failure to timely diagnose and handle nuchal cord or placental abruption during a woman’s pregnancy can also lead to serious birth injuries of a fetus and resulting liability on the part of the negligent medical professionals responsible for the mother’s care and treatment during her pregnancy. In addition, the clinics or other entities that employ these negligent medical professionals may also be found indirectly liable for the birth injuries caused by the professionals’ negligence and directly liable for birth injuries caused by the employers’ own negligence during the woman’s pregnancy that is found to have been causal of her child’s subsequent birth injury.
If your child suffers from any type of birth injury and you believe that the injury was caused by medical negligence during your pregnancy or the labor and delivery stages of your child’s birth, The Killino Firm’s Miami, Florida, birth injury/birth trauma attorneys can help you obtain the compensation you and your family deserve. Contact The Killino Firm at 305-559-6340 for expert and experienced assistance with your child’s birth injury/birth trauma case.