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How Hard is it to Prove Negligence in Birth Injury Cases?

Jan 10, 2022

If a doctor or other healthcare professional does not follow the correct procedures during labor and childbirth, the infant can suffer serious injuries. The child may be left with life-changing injuries that require long-term medical care. This can be devastating for the parents emotionally and financially. They will need to claim compensation and present the necessary evidence to prove their case with the help of a lawyer.

What is Negligence?

In a birth injury case, negligence refers to errors either before, during, or after the delivery of the child.  To start any medical negligence claim, you need to prove three elements:

  • The doctor or healthcare professionals owed you a duty of care
  • They breached this duty of care by failing to follow the accepted procedure in that field
  • These actions caused injury to your child

How Do I Prove I Was Owed a Duty of Care?

To establish a duty of care, you need to show that the party responsible for causing the injuries was your doctor or healthcare provider at the time of the injury. You may be able to prove this through medical records, referrals, or hospital bills.

What are Common Medical Mistakes in Childbirth?

Mistakes that may amount to medical negligence in childbirth include:

  • Prescribing medication with known side effects capable of harming a child
  • Failure to diagnose and treat health problems affecting the mother or child
  • Incorrect or too forceful use of medical equipment or instruments
  • Ordering a cesarean-section too late, causing injury
  • Failing to order a cesarean-section which may have prevented injury
  • Failure to correctly monitor machines for signs of birthing problems

What Evidence Do I Need to Prove Medical Negligence?

To prove a breach of duty occurred, you must collect evidence. This may include eyewitness statements, medical experts’ opinions, hospital documentation, and the doctor’s or hospital’s complaint history. Other evidence that may be used can include your child’s medical records and a birth injury specialist’s expert witness testimony.

Did the Doctor’s Actions Cause the Injuries?

The next element to prove in your case is that action, or a lack of action, on the part of your healthcare provider was directly responsible for the injuries that occurred. Evidence of this may come from medical records or expert witnesses.

Defendants in these actions frequently claim that the child would have had the birth defect or injury in any event. By arguing this position, they are suggesting their negligence made no difference to the outcome. To refute this assertion, your attorney may have to engage a medical expert to give evidence proving the link between your child’s injury and the defendant’s actions.

What Damages Can I Claim?

Medical negligence can cause serious emotional, physical, and financial damage for which you should be compensated. You may claim for:

  • Physical injuries
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental trauma
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Medical expenses
  • Disability expenses

You may prove these losses with medical bills, medical records, or photographic evidence of your injuries. If your child needs ongoing care as a result of the doctor’s negligence, you must acquire proof of the projected costs and file it with the court.

Our Record of Success

To ensure you receive the best possible payout, you need to hire a lawyer with a track record of good settlements. Fieger Law has earned a national reputation for the birth defect settlements and awards we have won for our clients. Here is a small sample of the cases we have successfully handled.

  • VanSlembrouk v. Halperin et al.: A $144.5 million verdict (the largest amount ever awarded in the U.S. for a medical malpractice case)
  • Ewing v. University of Chicago Hospital: $53 million verdict
  • Hollins v. Mt. Sinai et al.: $30 million verdict

An Experienced Birth Defect Attorney Can Build Your Case

We have achieved outstanding results for many more clients throughout the U.S. and are keen to do the same for you.

The Michigan birth injury lawyers at Fieger Law have the skill and the track record to help you get the compensation you need and deserve. If you or your infant have been injured due to medical negligence in Michigan or another state, contact one of our birth injury lawyers to schedule a no-obligation consultation.