Injuries sustained during childbirth can cause long-term effects to a newborn. Many issues are outgrown eventually, but some injuries are permanent and cause ongoing disabilities that will likely affect your child for the rest of their life.
Many childbirth injuries are not caused by random chance or by unavoidable mistakes, but rather by injuries that the baby suffers during the birth procedure. If your child was injured during delivery in Philadelphia, you may be entitled to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor and the hospital that injured your child. For a free legal consultation and to learn more about filing a birth injury claim, call the Philadelphia childbirth injuries attorneys at the Reiff Law Firm today at (215) 709-6940.
Suing a Doctor for Injuries During Childbirth in Philadelphia
Your baby could suffer serious injuries if your doctor’s care is not up to the standards that it should be. While no doctor goes to work hoping to cause injuries to their patients, many doctors may make mistakes or cause complications by accident, through inattention, or through misuse of medical tools.
Many childbirth injuries are caused by doctors failing to make the proper decisions at the proper time. Delivering a baby is a difficult task and requires a lot of waiting to see how things turn out. However, it is up to the doctor to make timely decisions to react to emergency situations. If your baby has their umbilical cord wrapped around their neck or they are in a breech position, your doctor might need to order an emergency C-section. Similarly, if the baby gets stuck in the birth canal during the delivery, your doctor may need to act quickly and use forceps to affect a delivery. If your doctor fails to make these decisions – or makes these decisions even though they are not medically advisable – your baby could be injured.
Your doctor is also required to use the proper care and skill when handling your baby and performing a delivery. This means that they should not press too hard on sensitive areas or cause other problems by injuring the child with mishandled forceps, dropping the baby onto the floor, or crushing the child’s skull. Many of these injuries sound harsh, but they are indeed potential injuries that could occur in the delivery room.
If your doctor did commit these kinds of errors during your child’s birth, you may be entitled to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against them. These lawsuits can recover compensation for the damages you and your baby face because of the doctor’s mistakes.
Proving Medical Negligence in a Childbirth Injury Case
If your doctor was responsible for your baby’s injuries in Philadelphia, you may need to prove your case in court before you can get compensation. Most cases are resolved out of court through negotiations with the defendant doctor’s lawyers and medical malpractice insurance team. These parties will often settle claims, paying you damages without objecting to the case in court and fighting the case before a jury. However, if they are unwilling to admit fault and pay the damages they owe you, your lawyer may need to prove your case to a judge and jury to get you the compensation you need.
When proving a medical malpractice case, the core of the case will usually be built around the concept of negligence. In negligence lawsuits, the victim must show that the at-fault party owed them a duty, and they failed to uphold that duty, which caused the victim’s injuries and damages. In a childbirth injury case, the duty is essentially their duty to provide reasonably sound medical advice and care during the delivery.
To prove what your doctor should have done differently, your lawyer will often call on a medical expert. In fact, in Pennsylvania a medical expert is a necessary part of the case, and an expert needs to certify the claim before the courts will even hear the case. Your expert can testify as to what your doctor did wrong and how they should have handled the care differently. This kind of testimony usually comes from their training and experience performing similar procedures, which gives the medical expert specific insight into what the proper care should have looked like given the information and options your doctor had at the time of the injury.
You will also prove your case by producing testimony and evidence about the child’s injuries, the events leading up to the injury, and the care that followed the injury. In many cases, the other medical professionals – other doctors and nurses in the room – can be called to testify truthfully to what went wrong during the procedure. Doctors who provided second opinions or treated the injuries can testify as to what harm was done and what the ongoing care needs and prognosis will look like.
In many cases, you can claim damages for the medical bills your child faced because of their childbirth injuries as well as future damages the child and your family will face. If your child suffers from cerebral palsy, brain injuries, spinal injuries, or other childbirth injuries that will affect them for the rest of their lives, they could require ongoing medical care, therapy, damages for lost wages and disability benefits, and compensation for the pain and mental/emotional suffering of the injury.
Call Our Philadelphia Childbirth Injury Attorneys for a Free Consultation
If your newborn was injured during their birth because your doctor made mistakes or errors in the delivery room, you may be entitled to compensation. Your child’s road to recovery may be intense, and the cost of medical care, future lost wages, and pain and suffering can be substantial. Do not accept any payments or settlements from your doctor or their medical malpractice insurance company before speaking with an experienced Philadelphia childbirth injury lawyer. Call the Reiff Law Firm today at (215) 709-6940 to schedule a free legal consultation and learn more about your potential claim.