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Elements of a Birth Injury Case

Victims of preventable birth injuries have the legal right to hold at-fault health care providers liable for the damages they have suffered, including their economic and non-economic damages. As with any personal injury matter, birth injury cases are hinged on proving negligence and the various elements of a negligence lawsuit.

At The Law Offices of Dr. Michael M. Wilson, M.D., J.D & Associates, our medical malpractice attorneys have extensive experience protecting the rights of families who have fallen victim to substandard medical care. Over the years, we have leveraged decades of combined experience and the unique insight of Physician Attorney Michael Wilson to recover millions of dollars in compensation our clients.

If you believe that you or your child suffered injuries as a result of medical negligence, we encourage you to speak personally with a member of our team, as these cases require personalized evaluation to determine whether you have legal grounds to sue. To help you gain a better understanding of whether you might have a claim, we have compiled a general list of the essential elements in any birth injury case.

The four elements of a birth injury case include:

  • Legal Duty – In order to file a medical malpractice claim for a birth injury that arose during pregnancy, labor, or delivery, you must be able to establish that the party you wish to sue had a legal duty to treat you in accordance to the accepted standard of care. Essentially, this means that there must have been a relationship between you and the doctor, nurse, or medical professional. If a pregnant mother overhears a doctor discussing personal medical advice with another patient, follows that advice, and suffers injury as a result, for example, that mother would not have valid basis for a claim because there was no doctor / patient relationship.
  • Negligence – The second element of a birth injury case involves proving that a health care provider failed in some way to uphold their legal duty. This is referred to simply as “negligence.” Negligence can occur in many different ways when it comes to birth injuries, such as when a doctor fails to recognize signs of fetal distress during labor, when labor-inducing drugs are used excessively or at inappropriate times, or when hospital staff fail to properly monitor mother and baby during delivery, among many others. Medical negligence in any situation means that the health care provider failed to meet an acceptable standard of care that any reasonable medical professional is expected to provide.
  • Causation – Once you have been able to establish that a medical professional failed in their duty to provide appropriate care, you must be able to show that this breach of duty “more likely than not” resulted in your injury. This can be difficult for some families to understand, as there can be many types of injuries that are not preventable and are recognized as inherent risks. However, if you are able to show that negligence occurred and that you or your child were harmed as a result of that negligence, you have satisfied the causation element of the case.
  • Damages – The final element of a birth injury case involves clear and convincing evidence that you, your child, and even your family suffered real damages and losses as a result of the negligence. Damages are an essential part of these cases, as you must be able to show that you suffered losses. In many birth injury cases, families often experience damages that can range from minor injuries to devastating and life-altering losses. These injuries can produce a wide range of damages that include your economic losses caused by the need for additional medical care, the costs of future medical care or medical assistance, lost work wages, lost earning ability, and more. Birth injury cases also take into account the emotional injuries you and your family have suffered, as the civil justice system recognizes that injuries can produce far more than financial losses alone. Examples of non-economic damages can include mental anguish, pain and suffering, loss of quality or enjoyment of life, and more.

During difficult times, our legal team understands that families should spend their time focusing on recovering and planning for the future. This is why we make it a priority to handle all legal matters and legal complexities on their behalves, and to pursue the maximum compensation possible. If you have questions about a birth injury case and whether you have a valid legal basis to file one, our birth injury lawyers are happy to help. Contact us for a free consultation.