Doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals make mistakes. Long hours, hectic schedules, and simple inadvertence are usually to blame. Nevertheless, these are not valid excuses considering the gravity of their duty to provide medical treatment and monitor infants during births and pregnancies. According to the Center for Disease Control, about one third of babies are born with a birth defect. Unfortunately, many of these defects can be prevented by competent medical intervention.
There are generally two broad types of medical negligence that can lead to birth defects. The first kind is direct negligence by injuring the mother or infant during delivery, such as failing to control blood loss or failing to monitor the baby’s oxygen levels before and after delivery.
In these situations, a mother can file a professional negligence claim, also known as a medical malpractice claim, against the doctor for any injuries the doctor caused her including medical expenses, pain and suffering damages and any related costs. If the infant is injured by malpractice the parents, as legal guardians of the child, must bring a lawsuit.
Examples of types of cases that could lead to a malpractice claim for direct injury include deciding to deliver the infant prematurely, failing to diagnose and treat a high risk pregnancy that results in harm to the infant or other failures before, during, or after delivery.
Additionally, in some cases parents of children born with birth defects can also recover for the doctor failing to diagnose the defects. These lawsuits are known as wrongful birth cases. This occurs when the parents can show that a doctor knew or should have known that a child would be born with birth defects and that if the doctor told the parents, they would have either avoided the pregnancy or terminated it. Usually these cases stem from failure to perform or give accurate results of genetic testing prior to conception, or warn parents when signs of the defects appear at the early stages of pregnancy.
Parents are entitled to compensation for the special costs of raising a child with birth defects in wrongful birth cases. These costs can include medical expenses, costs to educate the child, and pain and suffering for raising a child with birth defects.
Too many cases of professional negligence go unreported every year. If your child has been harmed by the carelessness or negligence of medical personnel, contact an experienced Palm Beach County birth injury attorney right away. The attorneys of the Law Offices of William E. Johnson, P.A. handle medical malpractice cases and can get you the justice and compensation you deserve. To learn more about our Palm Beach County birth injury lawyers, contact our offices for a free case evaluation at 561-832-4848. Our offices serve West Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, North Palm Beach, and all of South Florida.