As a parent, few things in life are as traumatic as learning that your new baby may be subject to severe or permanent damage due to a birth injury. Conditions such as cerebral palsy and Erb’s palsy can have life altering consequences and it is natural to want to hold the hospital and physicians liable for your new baby’s life sentence.
However, in holding people responsible, there must be a determination as to whether the condition is due to malpractice (which would lead to a birth injury) or a genetic or physical malady, which would suggest a birth defect.
Such a key question requires the investigation and opinion of a qualified medical expert. Essentially, the physician must be able to testify to how the condition may have been caused and must clearly show how the lack of reasonable care employed by the physicians who may be responsible for harming the child.
It is also important to note that negligence does not always come at the time of birth. A physician could be seen as being negligent by not properly monitoring the pregnancy or by failing to advise the patient about drugs taken during the pregnancy that could adversely affect the fetus. Examples include drugs given to mothers to prevent miscarriages or to fight nausea. Either way, it must be shown that the physician’s actions deviated from the recognized professional standard of care for treating pregnant women and monitoring developing fetuses.
If you have questions about whether your doctor can be held accountable through a medical malpractice action, an experienced lawyer can help.