What can I do if my baby was injured at birth by the hospital?
Filing a legal claim resulting from a birth injury is a very complicated legal issue that is always defended vigorously by the negligent respondents. Always remember that there will be multiple respondents in almost any birth injury case, and the most aggressive of those with legal input could be the malpractice insurance provider.
This occurs for a variety of reasons by each negligent party, including public relations and the view of the facility or physician within the particular community. All hospitals and birthing facilities are landmarks in the community where they are established, and many people rely on their expertise when having a child. Time is always of the essence when a child is being born, and many expecting parents prefer the closest hospital even in metropolitan areas.
Take a Silent Inventory of the Situation
The problems with filing a claim against a hospital or medical professional concerning a birth injury actually begin when the hospital informs the parents that there is a medical problem. Damage control begins immediately, because of the litany of problems that can arise even beyond malpractice lawsuits.
Bad diagnosis or prognosis is among the legal concerns, especially when the birth injury will have long-term implications in the functional ability of the child throughout their lives. Hospitals and medical professionals will have ample opportunity to present the medical problems in subdued terms, and often this is done during the first information delivery process.
Birth Injury vs. Birth Defect
While it is difficult to not be emotional when a child is in peril, it is also important to maintain your composure while dealing with the situation. One of those situations can involve whether a diagnosis is a birth injury as opposed to a birth defect. There is a significant difference between the two, even though the medical facility will normally attempt to convince the parents otherwise. Birth defects will also have underlying biological indicators that support the birth defect claim, while injuries often happen and manifest as isolated medical problems.
Sometimes, these problems don't become recognizable until the child is considerably older, so reporting the potential birth injury as soon as possible is paramount. Statute of limitations concerning the amount of time that has elapsed before the claim is filed can be a serious and argumentative issue in a court proceeding. Gather as much documented or witnessed information as possible, and deliver it to a birth injury lawyer so that they can evaluate your case as diligently as possible based on their prior experience with cases involving similar injuries. Do not always readily accept what the medical treatment facility is saying concerning the medical condition.
Concerning Late Developing Cases
Many times, a birth injury is not noticed by the hospital at the time of birth, or maybe not communicated to the parents because they think the child may outgrow a condition. This happens more often than people realize, and parents should always be on the lookout for developmental problems in their children when they were born under unusual circumstances or mishandled by the staff while being monitored immediately after being born.
Injuries can easily occur beyond the birthing process, even for babies that are injured during the actual birth. This can result in developmental disorders, such as cerebral palsy, because the infant's skull is not fully developed at the time of birth. This situation is much more common than most people realize and parents may not understand the medical associations.
Having an experienced birth injury attorney who deals with similar situations daily can make a major difference in identifying the medical problems accurately. It is never a good idea for the parents of a child who may have been injured at birth to attempt handling a malpractice suit alone.
These are complicated and highly contested cases that are difficult to win, often because of the professional latitude that the court system allows the medical profession. Doctors are considered experts in their particular medical field, especially specialists, and their medical testimony carries the most respect of any profession in the courtroom.
Always get a birth injury attorney who is experienced in representing birth injury cases and understands how to craft a cogent argument in your favor in order to receive effective presentation to the court.