Parents and patients trust physicians to do their jobs properly. However, doctors are only human, and they occasionally make mistakes or fail in their duties. When an obstetrician makes a mistake, and a baby is injured during delivery, the parents may have a valid claim. When parents want to pursue a negligence lawsuit, they and their child birth injury lawyer in Norwich, CT must prove the following factors.
Duty of Care
The first element to prove is whether the hospital, nurse or physician had a duty of care toward the patient. Typically, by agreeing to deliver a baby, the doctor and all other medical professionals accept the duty to do so within the standard of care.
Breach of Duty
Did the delivery room doctor fail in his or her duty to care for a newborn? To prove the failure, the client’s lawyer must establish a standard of care via the testimony of qualified medical personnel. Doctors only breach their duties if their actions fall below the minimum standard of care.
For a claim to succeed, the physician’s breach must have caused harm to a baby. Prior conditions, such as birth defects not caused by the doctor’s actions, may not qualify. For instance, if a baby suffocates in the womb and doesn’t make it to the hospital, the doctor isn’t responsible. However, if the baby is still alive at the hospital and the doctor failed to recognize the symptoms of oxygen deprivation, he or she could be held liable.
Next, the parents and the child birth injury lawyer in Norwich, CT must prove that the doctor’s breach caused measurable injuries to a child. For instance, if a doctor failed to wash his or her hands (a clear violation of hospital procedures) but the baby was born without complications, there wouldn’t be a claim because the breach caused no injury.
Birth injuries can be severe, and some have lifelong effects for children and their parents. Attorney Stephen M. Reck handles childbirth injury cases, as well as those involving medical malpractice and wrongful death. Call to schedule an appointment or click here to learn more about the firm’s services.