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Why Babies Suffer Birth Injuries

Clearwater, Florida Birth Injury Lawyers Representing the Rights of the Injured

Each year, a significant number of infants are injured by the negligence of medical professionals whose very job it is to keep them from harm. If medical malpractice occurs while a woman is pregnant, in labor, or delivering a child, the results can be devastating. In many instances, infants who are hurt by medical malpractice sustain birth injuries that affect them for the rest of their lives. In serious cases, these injuries can leave innocent young victims with cognitive or physical disabilities that make their lives much more difficult than they would have been had the errors not been made.

Under Florida law, people who are harmed by medical malpractice are often able to recover compensation for both their economic and non-economic losses. This means that people who sustain birth injuries are able to recover not only for their additional medical expenses, but also damages like pain and suffering, loss of opportunity, loss of quality of life, and lost income. Of course, these types of speculative damages can be difficult to establish, so it is important for victims to make sure they retain an attorney familiar with representing birth injury victims and the relevant law. To speak with one of our Clearwater birth injury attorneys, call us today at 727-451-6900.

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice is a type of professional negligence that occurs when a medical professional fails to abide by the relevant standard of care. In Florida, the standard of care is “that level of care, skill, and treatment which, in light of all relevant surrounding circumstances, is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similar healthcare providers.”

As a victim, it is important to understand that not every mistake made by a nurse or a doctor qualifies as malpractice. Doctors are not expected to be perfect, and there are many situations in which there are varying diagnoses or courses of action that could be pursued that all fall within the appropriate standard of care. Still, many mistakes do constitute malpractice. In addition, it can be difficult for someone without legal or medical training to realize that a mistake has even been made. For this reason, it is advisable for anyone whose child has sustained a birth injury to retain an attorney as soon as possible. Failing to do so could potentially result in missing out on significant compensation for your child’s injuries. In addition, victims should keep in mind that medical malpractice claims must be brought within two years in Florida, so waiting too long to speak to a lawyer could result in your claim being barred by the statute of limitations.

Common Examples of Medical Malpractice During Pregnancy, Labor, and Delivery

All stages of pregnancy care are important, and there are opportunities for medical malpractice to occur from the time that a woman becomes pregnant. In fact, it may even constitute malpractice for a physician to fail to order a pregnancy test when a woman presents with certain symptoms or before beginning a particular course of treatment that could potentially harm a fetus.

Here are some examples of medical malpractice that could potentially lead to serious birth injuries. Note that they can involve affirmative acts or omissions and can take place at any point during pregnancy, labor, or delivery.

  • Failure to diagnose a dangerous health condition in the mother
  • Misuse of instruments such as forceps or vacuums
  • Failure to monitor fetal vital signs
  • Failure to order a cesarean section when necessary
  • Failure to monitor maternal vital signs during delivery
  • Failure to monitor and control fetal oxygen levels

These and other mistakes that doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals may make can result in extremely serious injuries to mothers and newborns. Some of the more common birth injuries sustained in cases of malpractice include cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, caput succedaneum, brachial plexus injury, facial palsy, fractures, serious soft tissue injuries, brain injury, and cephalohematoma.

Victims Can Take Steps to Protect Their Rights

Birth injury cases are usually extremely complicated and often involve significant amounts of money, as many types of injuries leave victims with lifelong complications. For this reason, it is important for people who believe that they or their newborn were injured by the negligence of a medical professional to take steps to ensure that their legal rights are protected. Some of the things that you can do to make sure that you are able to obtain the compensation to which you are legally entitled include are detailed below.

Do NOT Accept a Settlement Offer Before Speaking to an Attorney – If the insurance company handling your case is not contesting liability, it is likely that you have already received a settlement offer. It is critical that you do not accept this offer prior to speaking with an attorney, as doing so will make it extremely difficult to obtain compensation for future losses.

Do NOT Discuss Your Case with the Doctor or the Hospital – Statements that you make to the at-fault party could potentially hurt your chances of recovering compensation. It is best to have an attorney communicate on your behalf.

Call a Clearwater Birth Injury Lawyer Immediately – The single most effective thing you can do to protect your and your child’s rights is to retain an attorney as soon as you can.

The Dolman Law Group: Experienced Clearwater Birth Injury Attorneys

If you or your child was injured at any point during pregnancy or delivery, there is a chance that you are entitled to significant financial compensation. At the Dolman Law Group, we are committed to helping birth injury victims recover for their losses. We understand how to hold negligent healthcare professionals accountable for their actions. We will fight to get you the settlement you deserve and will not hesitate to take a case to trial when it is in our clients’ best interest to do so. To schedule a free consultation with one of our Clearwater birth injury accident lawyers, call the Dolman Law Group today at 727-451-6900 or send us an email through our online contact form.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765
727-451-6900

Clearwater Birth Injuries