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How Do You Prove Negligence in an Emergency Delivery?

June 18, 2024  ·  By mark

There are many reasons for a pregnancy to end in emergency delivery, and often the mother and baby are both happy and healthy afterwards.

But sometimes, the chaos of an emergency can take the patient off guard. The mother may be less aware of her surroundings and the level of medical care can drop below what is considered an acceptable standard.

In these situations, medical negligence can occur and result in scary outcomes for mother and baby. In some instances, the baby may suffer a birth injury. Birth injuries can range in severity, but can be catastrophic and life-altering—cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, cognitive impairments, paralysis, and more.

So, how can you know if there was negligence at play during your delivery? Read on to find out.

What is Medical Negligence?

The law defines negligence as the failure to act in a reasonably careful way considering the circumstances. Hospitals, doctors and other medical providers have a duty to use reasonable care in providing medical services. When they fail to do so, innocent patients can suffer economically and emotionally.

Negligence may be the result of errors before, during, or after care, resulting in measurable damages like future medical expenses. If you’ve sustained a medical injury as a result of negligence, a claim like this falls under medical malpractice.

Types of medical malpractice that could result during an emergency delivery can include:

So, how can you prove medical negligence?

Most Importantly, Talk With an Attorney

Talking with an experienced medical malpractice attorney is the only way to know for certain whether it’s possible to prove negligence occurred during your emergency delivery. Finding the right law firm to handle your medical negligence claim is crucial.

Success in these types of claims often comes from years of handling complex medical malpractice cases. An experienced attorney will be better equipped to navigate the legal landscape and effectively challenge the defense mounted by doctors and hospitals.

Additionally, a reputable law firm will have established relationships with medical professionals nationwide who can provide critical evaluations of your case. These expert opinions are essential in demonstrating that your medical team failed to meet the required standard of care.

The resources of the law firm also play a significant role. Medical malpractice cases can be costly, requiring substantial investment in expert witnesses and court fees. It’s important to find a law firm that operates on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you win your case, and one that has the financial strength to cover the expenses needed to build a compelling case on your behalf.

Review Your Medical Records

A thorough review of your medical records is essential when proving medical negligence in an emergency delivery. These records provide a detailed account of the care you received and can reveal lapses in care, deviations from standard procedures, and other indicators of negligence. By carefully analyzing these documents, you can identify areas where the healthcare team may have failed to meet the required standard of care.

One crucial aspect of reviewing medical records is constructing a precise timeline of events during the emergency delivery. This timeline helps to pinpoint critical moments where negligence may have occurred. For example, it can highlight delays in medical interventions, questionable decisions made by the medical team, and inadequate responses to complications. By mapping out the sequence of events, you can better understand how the delivery was managed and where potential errors or omissions happened.

Additionally, a detailed examination of the records can uncover discrepancies or inconsistencies in the care provided. This might include missing documentation, incomplete notes, or deviations from established medical protocols. These findings are vital in building a case for medical negligence, as they provide concrete evidence that the standard of care was not upheld.

Reviewing medical records and analyzing the timeline of your emergency delivery are fundamental steps in proving medical negligence. These efforts help to create a clear, evidence-based narrative of what transpired, supporting your claim and increasing the likelihood of a successful outcome.

Trust Your Instincts

When it comes to your child’s health, trusting your instincts is crucial. If you feel that something went wrong during the emergency delivery, especially if your child is missing important developmental milestones, it’s important to listen to your gut. These instincts can be a vital indicator that a birth injury might have occurred.

Parents often have an intuitive sense when something isn’t right with their child’s development. If your baby is not reaching milestones such as rolling over, sitting up, crawling, or walking within the expected time frames, it could be a sign of an underlying issue. These delays might be related to injuries sustained during birth, such as oxygen deprivation, physical trauma, or other complications that could’ve result from negligent medical care.

Pay close attention to any unusual symptoms or behaviors in your child. Difficulty feeding, excessive fussiness, unusual muscle tone, or failure to thrive can also be red flags. Documenting these concerns and discussing them with your pediatrician is essential. If the pediatrician confirms your worries, this information becomes critical evidence that can support a claim of medical negligence.

If you experienced any feelings of uncertainty or concern during the delivery itself, such as feeling that the medical team was not acting swiftly or appropriately, these observations are worth noting. Your perspective as a parent provides valuable context and can highlight areas where the standard of care may have been compromised.

Trusting your instincts not only helps in recognizing potential issues early but also empowers you to take the necessary steps in seeking justice for your child. If you believe that medical negligence during an emergency delivery has led to your child’s developmental delays or injuries, consulting with a specialized attorney can help you explore your legal options. Your intuition is a powerful tool in advocating for your child’s well-being and ensuring they receive the care and support they need.

Did You Suffer Medical Malpractice During an Emergency Delivery?

An emergency delivery is a high-stress time, and it may be unclear to you whether the medical assistance you received was the proper standard of care. If you suffered from medical negligence and you suspect a birth injury was the result, you can start getting answers by asking questions at your child’s doctors’ appointments.

What if you had a checklist of the exact questions to ask? We created this free document for you to track your baby’s development and spot potential issues, then ask questions of your doctor and take notes on what they say. This information will be critical to your attorney if you choose to seek justice for medical malpractice.

Download it today.
Hurley McKenna & Mertz Birth Injury Checklist

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