A medical malpractice case is a civil lawsuit brought against a doctor, hospital, or other healthcare provider. A birth injury case is one type of medical malpractice case usually brought by the parents of the newborn because a child was born with health problems that should reasonably have been prevented. Preventive measures include proper diagnosis before delivery, proper surgical technique during delivery, and proper monitoring of the child after he/she is born. Medical malpractice cases can also be brought by the parents if the child suffers a wrongful death due to the health provider’s negligence.
The four basic elements of birth injury malpractice
Experienced Tennessee counsel will work to prove the following if your child is born stillborn or is suffering:
- There is birth injury. Injuries may be catastrophic requiring around the clock medical care. The injury may permanently affect the ability of your child to function or enjoy life. The injury can also be temporary which means it will heal with treatment. Birth injury malpractice includes:
- Cerebral palsy
- Shoulder dystocia
- Brachial plexus injury
- Erb’s Palsy
- A head or brain injury
- Deprivation of oxygen
- Some other verifiable injury
Injury can also include the lack of informed consent.
- The health provider owes a duty of care. Physicians take the Hippocratic Oath which requires that the doctor practice according to specific ethical rules. These rules include doing no harm, respecting confidentiality, and treating the patient to the best of the doctor’s abilities. While not a law, the oath does create a duty of care for doctors and other health professionals on behalf of their patients. Physicians, hospitals, and other providers owe this care only to people they are legally responsible to treat – normally by an initial agreement to provide services. If a doctor voluntarily treats someone, the doctor is required to do a good job. In birth injury lawsuits, it’s usually clear that a doctor-patient relationship exists due to the performance of exams, tests, the delivery, and other services.
- The health provider was negligent. In medical malpractice cases, negligence is a failure to meet the medical standard of care that other doctors with the same education and experience would have provided under similar circumstances. Normally, birth injury negligence is proved through the testimony of other physicians including OBGYNs. In essence, negligence is the failure to follow best practices of the respective medical field.
- The final piece of the negligence puzzle is to show that the health provider’s negligence is what caused the birth injury or death. There needs to be a link between the negligence and the injury. The insurance company and lawyer for the doctor may try to argue that the injury was caused by some other event, such as an accident.
At Bailey & Greer, PLLC, our Memphis birth injury lawyers understand the complexities of medical malpractice claims. We work with independent OBGYNs, hospital professionals, nurses, technicians, and other healthcare witnesses to help prove the elements of your claim. We fight to get compensation for your child’s short-term and long-term medical care, the baby’s suffering, and the damage to your son or daughter’s quality of life.
To talk with a compassionate but tough advocate, please call us today at 901-475-7434 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We represent clients in Memphis, Jackson, West Tennessee, and all surrounding areas.