What You'll Need to Prove in Your Birth Injury Lawsuit
The birth of your child is always a miraculous experience. Unfortunately, there are rare cases when due to medical negligence, sometimes a healthy baby ends up seriously injured or disabled during the birth.
Between six and eight children of every thousand born in the United States will suffer from a birth injury. If your child falls into this statistic, it might be time to consider a birth injury lawsuit.
Birth injury lawsuits can be difficult, legally and emotionally, so your first step should be getting a consultation. The decision should not be taken lightly. However, a successful birth injury lawsuit can help you provide high quality care and treatment for your loved one.
In this article, we will show you what you need to make your case and get justice for your child.
The Types of Birth Injuries
Unfortunately, there are a number of different ways that infants and mothers are injured during the birthing process.
Two of the most common birth injuries that can be caused by malpractice are cerebral palsy and Erb’s palsy. Both of these injuries will affect a child for their entire life.
Other possible injuries include brain damage, stroke, and serious infection. Mothers are also at risk of birth injuries, including stroke, infection, and preeclampsia or eclampsia.
If you or your child suffered these or any other kind of birth injury, you should consider pursuing a birth injury lawsuit.
The Basis of Your Birth Injury Lawsuit: The Defendant
One of the most important things that many people don’t know when it comes to birth injury lawsuits is that there must be a specific defendant. You can name multiple defendants, whether they are individual doctors or nurses or the hospital itself.
The key thing is that your defendant cannot be vague. It isn’t enough to say that one doctor must have made a mistake. You must be able to say which doctor, or doctors.
Most cases have multiple defendants, which include both the individuals who made the mistake as well as the hospital. The hospital can be sued for damages because of a concept called “respondeat superior” which means that an employer is responsible for any wrongdoing by its employees.
This may sound intimidating, especially if you don’t have a strong medical background. But, this is one major way that your lawyer can help you.
How to Prove a Birth Injury Lawsuit
In order to sue the defendants, you need to prove a few things. First, you must be able to show that your child suffers from a condition that could have been caused by a birth injury.
We say “could have” because many of the damages from birth injuries could also have other causes. For example, cerebral palsy could be caused by medical malpractice, or it could be caused by something outside the doctor’s control, like genetic factors.
Next, you need to show that the doctor had a responsibility to care for your child’s wellbeing. Then, you need to show that the doctor made a mistake or was negligent during the birthing process.
This means that the next evidence you need is to show that this injury was caused by a mistake or negligence by the medical provider. It isn’t enough to simply show that a birth injury occurred; you need to be able to suggest how.
This means you need to show “causation.” Causation means that the doctor’s mistake caused your child’s birth injury.
You do not need to prove causation beyond a doubt. Because of a preponderance of evidence you just need to show that it is more likely that the injury was caused by malpractice than that it was naturally occurring.
So where does the evidence to prove these things come from?
Where To Get Your Evidence
Birth injury lawsuits rely on a great deal of medical evidence to support their case.
This can come from a variety of sources. Ultrasounds that you had done during pregnancy, test results, MRIs: depending on the nature of your child’s injury, there are many possible sources of medical evidence.
Another important source of evidence is expert testimony. Most people in the courtroom will not be able to truly interpret the medical evidence in your case. That is why it can be helpful to have experts testify to the facts of the case.
These experts, such as other doctors, can explain what the medical evidence means. They have the experience to talk about how things happened in the delivery room and what the doctor should have done instead.
They can also talk about the sort of care your child will need in the future, and the costs of this. This evidence can be very important when it comes to deciding on the value of your damages.
What Do You Need To Do?
This may sound intimidating, but you do not need to collect this evidence on your own. Instead, it is up to your lawyer to look after this for you.
Your lawyer will be able to request evidence from the hospital in order to make your case. They know what to look for and who to speak with.
As a new parent, you do not have to worry about any additional stress gathering evidence.
Of course, it is helpful to keep track of whatever medical records you have so far.
Do you have a calendar listing doctor’s appointments? Have you contacted the hospital? Do you have prescriptions for medications?
Any of these things and more could potentially be used to support your case. Your lawyer will be able to give more guidance about your individual case.
Instead, the most important thing you can do is reach out for a case evaluation. In a case evaluation, a lawyer will examine the facts of your case and talk to you realistically about your chances of winning, the time it will take, and the amount you can expect to receive if you win.
Reach out to us today to speak about getting a free case evaluation and to take the first steps towards getting justice.
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