Though giving birth should be a momentous life event filled with happiness, it can also be nerve-wracking. Expecting mothers put full trust behind their doctor's expertise and experience, literally putting their and their baby's life in the doctor's hands. Often, this trust is well placed and the baby is delivered safely and healthily. Every now and then, though, mistakes are made and the mother, the baby, or both are seriously injured or killed.
A lawsuit stemming from such an incident was recently decided in favor of an injured mother and her brain damaged daughter. There, the mother expressed concerns over giving birth naturally to her 10 pound baby, but was told by her doctor that everything would be okay. Once the mother went into labor, a time came when eight hours passed without labor progression. Despite the delays and the troubling circumstances, the doctor told the mother nothing was wrong and he continued to deliver the baby vaginally.
When the baby became stuck on her mother's pelvis, the girl was deprived of oxygen for more than three minutes. The doctor used forceps to assist in delivering the baby, but the damage had already been done. The mother is now incontinent and unable to work and her daughter suffers from cerebral palsy.
An individual who suffers a personal injury due to Medical malpractice may face a lifetime of hardship. In the case mentioned above, for example, not only do long-term medical expenses compound, but the mother has lost her ability to work along with her wages and the child has lost the ability to have a healthy life free of brain damage.
In an attempt to hold medical professionals responsible and to recover compensation for damages, the malpractice victim can file a lawsuit. By doing so, the victim will attempt to show negligence on the doctor's part along with causation, meaning the negligence caused the victim's injuries. Once these elements are satisfactorily proven, a judge or jury may award compensation.
An experienced attorney can help with this process. The attorney can spur settlement negotiations to avoid costly and time consuming trials and to reach a conclusion that works in the client's best interests. If the case goes to trial, the attorney can aggressively fight to show negligence and attempt to ensure the victim is taken care of by the people who have wronged her.
Source: The Morning Call, "Lehigh County jury awards $4 million in birth injury suit," Peter Hall, Sept. 11, 2013