No one is ever the same after watching the birth of their first child. It is a truly magical moment. And fortunately, most of the 210,000 annual births in Florida will take place with few or no complications. Still, birth injuries happen too often. What would you do if a completely avoidable act of medical negligence or recklessness endangered your child?
If you’re like others, you might feel overwhelmed by the emotions that come with a discovery of a birth injury—doubt, confusion, and fear. On top of that, many people feel guilty about the birth injury even though they are not at fault. So if you or a loved one has recently discovered that a child has a birth injury, it’s important that you speak with a Bradenton birth injury lawyer right away. By filing a lawsuit against the responsible party, you can obtain compensation for your child and put them on the road to recovery.
This article will discuss the main causes and effects of birth injuries. We will also touch on the importance of consulting local birth injury attorneys in Bradenton, Florida.
Understanding the Intersection Between Medical Negligence and Birth Injuries
Most people do not hear much on the news about birth injuries. Yet the truth is that birth injuries are an all too common reality. The CDC estimates that one in every 33 babies (or about 3%) born in the United States has a birth-related defect. And medical malpractice can play a role in almost every kind of birth defect, including damaged heart valves, brain damage, and paralysis.
Common Causes of Birth Injuries
There are several ways that medical malpractice leads to birth injuries. First, medical professionals may commit malpractice by failing to identify emergency medical threats. A common example is when a child suffers brain damage because of oxygen deprivation caused by a kink or loop in the umbilical cord. Some other frequent common medical errors include:
- Failing to give proper medication;
- Incorrect use of medical equipment, like forceps, scalpels, and extractors;
- Inducing delivery too early or too late;
- Failing to test the child for genetic conditions, like Down’s syndrome;
- Using incorrect delivery room techniques;
- Failing to discover or act on potential pregnancy issues, like hypertension and diabetes;
- Improperly monitoring fetal life signs;
- Failing to give an emergency Cesarean section (C-section); and
- Failing to properly care for the baby after birth.
While these are the more common causes, the above situations encompass only a few possible causes of birth injuries.
Birth Injuries Associated with Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice can cause or worsen almost any kind of medical problem. However, several birth injuries, in particular, are associated with medical malpractice. Here are some of the key ones:
- Spinal cord injuries,
- Brain damage,
- Brachial plexus injury,
- Damage to the baby’s skull,
- Shoulder dislocation,
- Nerve damage,
- Cerebral palsy, and
- Sudden death.
Even if your child suffers from a different birth injury, it may be the result of medical malpractice.
How to Prove a Birth Injury Claim in Court
To recover compensation for your child’s birth injury, you need to meet the four legal elements of medical malpractice. These four basic elements are (1) duty, (2) breach, (3) causation, and (4) harm. Prevailing in court requires you to prove all four of these elements. Let’s explore each one in more detail.
The first element of any medical malpractice claim is duty. More specifically, you have to show that there is a unique duty that connects the defendant to your situation. Generally, this element is easy to prove because all healthcare providers have a duty of care to their patients. The law requires them to act in a reasonably competent manner.
Once you have proved that a duty exists, you need to show that the other side breached that duty. To do this, you have to show that the medical provider did not provide the standard of care that a reasonably competent practitioner in the same or similar circumstances would have provided. This definition is a little technical, but a qualified birth injury attorney will be able to walk you through it in more detail.
To prove the third element of a medical malpractice claim, you have to show that the medical care provider’s breach of care was a proximate cause of a birth injury. Even if a doctor made a mistake, you need to show that the mistake caused you or a loved one to suffer.
The law allows you to recover compensation only for actual harm caused by a breach of duty. However, plaintiffs in a birth injury case can receive many kinds of compensation under the law.
Legal Damages in Birth Injury Cases
Under Florida law, plaintiffs in birth injury cases can receive three kinds of damages. These three kinds of damage:
- Economic damages. Economic damages compensate you for objective harms. Examples include medical bills, lost work, and the cost of rehabilitative therapy.
- Non-economic damages. Non-economic damages reimburse for more subjective harms. Emotional trauma, disfigurement, and loss of life enjoyment can all lead to non-economic damages.
- Punitive damages. Courts award punitive damages when the behavior of the defendant medical provider is especially egregious or shocking. These kinds of damages punish the defendant for their outrageous conduct.
When you set up an initial appointment with an experienced birth injury attorney, they will be able to help you understand which kinds of damages you can recover in your case.
Let Our Award Winning Bradenton Birth Injury Lawyer Help You Find Justice
While there are a number of birth injury lawyers in Bradenton, Florida, and the surrounding area, they are not all equal. Some attorneys are fresh out of law school and have little real-world experience. Others have more experience but do not have a good record of winning for their clients. And some attorneys simply have poor reputations. If you want the best outcome in your case, you need to avoid these kinds of lawyers.
If you want the best lawyer to represent you, then choose James “Jay” Horne. Jay is a dedicated Bradenton birth injury attorney with a phenomenal track record. Jay has helped hundreds of clients recover a collective $12,000,000 over the years. On top of that, he was named a Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters in 2022, and he holds Martindale-Hubbell’s prestigious Preeminent rating because of his outstanding legal conduct. Let him deliver the top-notch legal representation you need. Set up a free initial consultation today. You can contact us by phone or online.