Who Can Be Held Liable For My Child's Injuries?
How Medical Negligence Leads to Birth Injuries
Unfortunately, many birth injuries are direct or indirect result of medical malpractice. Medical malpractice is a legal term used to describe instances in which doctors, nurses, hospital staff, or any other medical professional or facility fails to uphold a reasonable standard of care. When these individuals or entities fail in this duty, they are considered “negligent.” Medical negligence can lead to an array of complications and injuries, including birth injuries.
Say a nurse fails to properly monitor an infant’s heart rate during labor, causing him to not notice that the child isn’t receiving enough oxygen. This can lead to serious complications, including asphyxiation or brain damage. Similarly, a doctor may turn an infant’s head too far to one side during delivery, causing her to damage the brachial plexus nerves. This could cause the child to suffer severe brachial plexus injury, which may lead to Erb’s palsy, paralysis, or other conditions. In both examples, an act of negligence has occurred. Not only can the nurse and the doctor be held responsible in either situation, the hospital may also be partially liable if, for instance, the fetal heart rate monitor was defective or if the doctor was not properly vetted before being hired.
In any given situation, any of the following parties (or a combination thereof) may be responsible for your child’s birth injuries:
- Medical staff
- Medical facilities
- Pharmaceutical companies
There are countless ways in which negligence can lead to birth injuries. The hospital may improperly file your medical records, a pharmaceutical company may fail to label potential side effects of a drug used during labor, or a hospital may hire a doctor without checking his or her credentials. No matter the particular situation, medical negligence is never acceptable and the liable parties can and should be held accountable.
Determining Liability in Your Case
In order to pursue a birth injury case, you must first show that a medical professional or facility is liable. To show liability, you must prove that negligence played a role in your child’s injuries. As previously mentioned, there are a myriad of ways in which a doctor, nurse, or hospital may act negligently.
Common examples of medical negligence include:
- Failure to diagnose and/or treat a medical condition (including preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, etc.)
- Delayed diagnosis of maternal or infant medical conditions
- Failure to detect or adequately address signs of fetal distress
- Incorrect or improper use of birth tools, such as forceps or vacuum extractors
- Failure to conduct an emergency C-section
- C-section errors, such as lacerations to the child or internal organ damage
- Negligent pre-natal care, such as failure to conduct fetal tests or prescribing drugs that are harmful to the fetus
- Failure to notice or treat apparent injuries at birth, including brain injuries or hemorrhaging
- Failure to treat maternal infections that are harmful to the child
- Botched sterilization, leading to wrongful pregnancy and/or birth
Every situation is unique, and it is impossible to determine who, exactly, is liable in your birth injury case without a one-on-one consultation. If you suspect that your child was injured as a result of medical negligence, schedule a consultation with a birth injury lawyer in New Hampshire. At Abramson, Brown & Dugan, we offer free initial case evaluations for all new and potential clients.
Why Hire a Birth Injury Lawyer?
There are few things as devastating as learning your child is in pain. Knowing that your child’s injuries could have and should have been avoided can make matters worse. This, compounded with the incredibly high costs of medical treatment for immediate care and lifelong conditions, can seem like an insurmountable obstacle. Many parents feel helpless and unsure of what to do. All you want is for your child to be healthy and happy, but the road to recovery can seem daunting.
When nurses, doctors, and hospitals fail to provide parents and children with a safe and reasonable standard of care, they should be made responsible for their negligence. Having an experienced birth injury attorney on your side can help you regain your footing and set you back on the path toward healing. At Abramson, Brown & Dugan, we have helped countless individuals and families navigate the legal process. Our goal is to hold negligent medical professionals and facilities accountable for the damages they cause. In fact, we have won more medical malpractice settlements and verdicts than any other law firm in the state. We understand the ins and outs of this particular area of law, and we are here to act as your family’s advocate and guide every step of the way.
Contact our New Hampshire birth injury lawyers at (603) 323-4622 to learn more about how we can help you with your case.