The birth of a child should be a joyous time but sometimes outside circumstances can replace the joy with pain and worry. If negligence by a medical professional caused injury during pregnancy, labor, or delivery the family may be entitled to compensation from those who are liable.
Injury to Infant During Birth
As guardians of the child, the parent’s must file suit on behalf of the baby. They may ask for compensation for both general and special damages. General damages include pain and suffering as well as loss of enjoyment of life. Common birth related injuries include broken bones, traumatic brain injury, nerve damage, and cerebral palsy.
Parents have one year after their child’s 18thbirthday to file suit, if the suit is not filed before that date the Statute of Limitations may prevent filing.
Injury to Mother During Childbirth
The mother can bring a claim for medical malpractice if the doctor’s negligence caused her injury prior to or during birth. This could include a failure to note high blood pressure and diagnose preeclampsia leading to seizure during delivery, or failure to control excessive blood loss, or many other issues.
The parents may also be able to sue for the emotional pain and suffering experienced because of their newborn’s injury.
Doctors have a responsibility to inform their patients of any risks or complications involved with the pregnancy, including any issues that the child may have after birth. If there is proof the doctor failed to diagnose or inform of potential risks or birth defects that would have led to the parents terminating the pregnancy, they may have grounds to file suit. Damages in a wrongful birth suit may include the costs of caring for the child with birth defects, medical treatment, and mental distress. It’s important to note that a court generally will not compensate for the ordinary costs of raising a child, damages will only include costs that are directly related to the defect.
Parents may sue for wrongful pregnancy if they took measures to avoid pregnancy such as sterilization, pregnancy testing, or abortion – but those methods failed due to negligence of the medical professional.
The mother or child does not have to be injured in order to pursue a wrongful pregnancy claim, the parents sue for medical expenses and lost wages.
Birth-Related Injury Lawyer
If you or your child were injured due to the negligence of a medical professional contact an experienced personal injury attorney today. Our attorneys at McCoy, Hiestand & Smith have more than 50 years of combined personal injury experience and are ready to fight for you.