For parents that suspect that negligence may have contributed to their child’s birth injury, it is important to consult with an attorney. According to various estimates, only seven percent of births on average involve a birth defect. Other injuries might well be the result of negligence. Accordingly, an investigation can help to determine whether a condition is a birth defect or a birth injury.
Like a personal injury claim, a medical malpractice lawsuit alleging a doctor’s negligence must prove certain legal elements. A duty of care must have existed between the plaintiff and defendant. This is generally presumed in any doctor-patient relationship. Next, a plaintiff must show that the defendant breached that duty of care, and that the breach caused injury to him or her. A successful showing of these elements establishes liability. The task of determining the appropriate amount of compensation to award a plaintiff for his or her injuries then remains.
Although the elements of a medical malpractice claim are easy to list, their application is not. Many medical malpractice or birth injury claims involve complicated facts. Expert opinion may help a jury to rule out genetics, heredity, or other factors outside of a doctor’s control. Experts can also explain to a jury the typical care that should have been provided to the mother.
In a personal injury or medical malpractice claim, there is no objective standard. Rather, the quality of care must be evaluated according to the level appropriate to the profession, using a reasonableness standard. The jury has the task of determining whether the care provided to a patient fell below the professional level of care in the field. To learn more about the strategies we offer in developing a medical malpractice lawsuit, check out our firm's website.