For most mothers-to-be, pregnancy and the birth process can be wonderful and exciting experiences. Bringing a new life into the world is surely one of the greatest gifts we as humans can give to the planet – and ourselves.
However, unfortunately, accidents and injuries can and do happen during the birth process, which often leads to long-term developmental, physical or mental problems in either the child or mother. Seeking compensation for medical malpractice is a long, drawn-out and ultimately complex procedure so you should seek legal advice if you’ve fallen victim to a medical accident.
The common areas of malpractice or negligence
Medical accidents during childbirth commonly occur when a doctor, nurse or other medical experts fails to perform their role with due care and attention. This negligence will typically manifest itself in the following ways:
Wrongful or unwanted pregnancy: If a woman falls or remains pregnant despite best efforts to prevent or end a pregnancy, there could be a case for medical negligence. For example, if one (or both) of the parents had sterilization treatment but the female still fell pregnant, they could be entitled to compensation. Other examples include failed pregnancy testing or unsuccessful attempts to abort the child. In some cases, parents could be entitled to compensation for medical expenses or loss of wages incurred from having to raise the child.
Wrongful or unwanted birth: If it is known that a child could be born with defects, medical staff have a duty to tell the parents to let them decide whether to continue with the pregnancy. Likewise, medical practitioners should also inform parents-to-be of any potential condition they might have that could adversely affect a child’s development. Usually, this type of action can be brought if:
- Testing of either adult is found to have been negligent before conception
- Medical practitioners fail to detect and inform prospective parents of any defects present in a child during the early stages of pregnancy. For example, if a child was detected to have cerebral palsy in the womb yet no action was taken to inform the parents, they might benefit from seeking professional advice from someone like Cerebral Palsy Lawyers – The Malpractice Group Law Firm.
Injury to either mother or child: When either the mother or child is injured, specifically through the process of childbirth. Common examples include doctors failing to control blood-loss in the mother during birth or failing to adequately monitor a child’s oxygen intake during and after delivery. The types of claim made include:
- On behalf of the child – If a child is injured during the birth process, the parents can bring a lawsuit on its behalf as its guardians. Both specific and general damages can be awarded (e.g. loss of quality of life, mental or physical suffering, etc).
- On behalf of the mother – If carelessness or negligence causes injury (or even death) to the mother prior, during or after delivery, there may be a case for a claim.
- On behalf of both parents: If a baby is injured during birth, both parents might be able to claim for the emotional pain and suffering experienced as a result
The above are just generalized cases and you may have encountered other, more specific issues. Regardless, if you feel you’ve been subject to bad practices or negligence, you should consult with a lawyer.