Giving birth is usually a safe process when you’re working with a competent medical team. Unfortunately, due to medical negligence, sometimes birth injuries occur, and somebody needs to be held responsible for this. You and your baby are especially vulnerable during the process of birth, and if complications are improperly treated or ignored, then the consequences can be dire.
Ask a Lawyer: Who Is Liable for Birth Injuries?
While there are times when a birth injury is a pure accident and no one’s fault, most of the time, an injury during birth is the fault of a negligent caregiver. This may be the doctor in charge of your birthing team or another individual.
You can sue the medical professional who was directly responsible for the injury, but a more senior professional overseeing them can also be held accountable and made liable for the injury occurring. Your Baltimore birth injury lawyer can help you determine who was at fault and who you can sue for compensation.
What Kind of Compensation Can I Get After An Injury During Birth?
If you suffered an injury during birth due to negligence, then your compensation may be quite low compared to what your child would get if they were injured. You can sue for emotional damages, medical costs, and any future medical care you may need. However, if it’s your child that suffered the injury, then the settlement will be higher.
Your child may be left with a lifelong disability, so there are numerous things you can add to your claim. Your child’s future emotional trauma, future medical care, current medical care and testing, future accommodation needs, and even loss of income due to your child’s inability to work in the future may all be added to their settlement. This can result in a settlement of millions of dollars.
Who Pays Out My Settlement After an Injury During Birth?
The physician who is liable for the injury is generally the one who pays out. However, you don’t get the funds from the physician directly. Instead, their insurance company pays out.
The hospital may have insurance to cover the costs, or it may be the doctor’s private practice’s insurance if they have a private practice and are simply doing some work at a hospital they’re not an employee of. As it’s an insurance company that pays you, you can be sure that you’ll get the full value of the compensation you’re promised.
Is It Difficult To Get the Liable Party To Pay After a Birth Injury?
Doctors don’t want to damage their reputation, so if they were genuinely negligent, a good doctor will own up to this and encourage the insurance company to pay out. In many cases, you won’t even have to go to court for this. Your attorney can negotiate with the insurance company to determine and win an appropriate settlement.
In rare cases, a doctor may not want this incident on their record, so they’ll do everything they can to skirt liability. In these cases, your attorney can open an investigation, and the paying insurance company will open an investigation on their side, to determine if this is a true case of medical negligence and to determine whether or not the physician was liable.
What Is Medical Negligence?
There’s a certain standard of care that medical professionals have got to adhere to, and if the physician who caused your injury didn’t meet those high standards, then they were negligent in their care. Basically, if the injury wouldn’t have occurred if a more competent doctor was caring for you, then the doctor who’s liable for the injury is seen as having been negligent.
What If My Child’s Injury Isn’t Found at Birth?
If you later discover an injury on your child that is then diagnosed as an injury that occurred during birth, then you have three years from the time of discovery to file a medical malpractice claim. It won’t always be obvious who is liable in these cases until an investigation occurs.
What If My Child Doesn’t Notice the Injury Until They’re an Adult?
If your adult child has been told they have a condition or injury that was likely caused during birth, then they also have three years to file a claim. Most of the time these injuries will be discovered while your child is still a minor, though, and if you don’t file a malpractice lawsuit, then your child can do so any time between their 18th and 21st birthday.
In simple cases, the person liable for injuries during birth is the person whose negligence directly caused said injury. Sometimes several physicians may be liable, and in other cases, the case is more complex and will require an investigation to determine liability. Your attorney can advise you based on your specific case.