The birth of a baby brings immense joy to the parents. If you are expectant, you want your child to be born healthy. But what happens when your little bundle of joy suffers a birth injury?
Birth injury, as the name suggests, occurs when complications occur during the pregnancy or delivery resulting in a disability. If your child has sustained an injury due to medical negligence, you may want to pursue the responsible party for damages. To prove your case, however, you must demonstrate that the defendant was indeed negligent.
Here are key elements you must establish to demonstrate negligence in a birth injury lawsuit.
The existence of a duty of care
The doctor-patient relationship comes with a certain standard of care. As such, the first element you need to prove during a birth injury lawsuit is the existence of a professional relationship between the patient and the defendant. Were you a patient of the gynecologist, obstetrician or the delivery facility at the time of your child’s injury?
Basically, you will need to provide medical records, hospital bills or any other relevant documentation like payment receipts to prove a doctor-patient relationship.
Breach of duty of care
Once you have established the existence of a doctor-patient relationship, you need to prove that the defendant breached their duty of care towards you and your unborn baby. Some of the breaches that may result in your baby’s injury include prescribing the wrong medication to the expectant mother, failing to detect signs of fetal distress during birth or failing to diagnose maternal infections or conditions during the pregnancy.
Proof of injury
Finally, you need to prove that the defendant’s actions or inaction resulted in specific injuries to your unborn baby. These injuries may include brain damage, spinal cord injury or injury to the baby’s limbs. Additionally, you must provide evidence to show that the injuries in question resulted in specific damages such as treatment costs, disability costs and pain and suffering among others.
Your child is precious to you, and so is their health and safety. However, if your child has sustained an injury during birth, it is important that you file a birth injury lawsuit against the responsible party.