If you’re considering a birth injury lawsuit, you are already getting familiar with the complexities of the process. Rather than celebrating the birth as you should be able to, you may be questioning the treatment you received and searching for someone to hold responsible for your family’s suffering. You may suspect medical negligence and wonder how to prove it. Your birth injury lawyer has answers about what’s necessary for proving fault and how to get you the compensation you deserve.
Ask a Birth Injury Lawyer: How Can You Prove Fault?
Birth injury lawsuits fall under the scope of medical malpractice law as a specific form of personal injury cases that arise from medical negligence. Whether your birth injury lawsuit falls in the broader category of medical malpractice or the more specific category of wrongful death, precise elements must be in place to prove fault. Only if the fault is sufficiently proven can you hope to get the compensation you deserve.
If you want to prove fault, you must successfully establish the existence of a doctor-patient relationship, that negligence occurred, that the negligence directly caused the birth injury, and that the birth injury led to specific damages. Essential actions must be taken to successfully prove these elements.
Existence of Doctor-Patient Relationship
You must be able to pinpoint who was at fault for the injury and that the provider – in many cases, a doctor – had an established relationship with you. You cannot sue someone who was not directly involved in your medical care, so you need to be certain about the relationship between you and the person you are holding responsible for your treatment.
To establish that someone was negligent and at fault for the injury, you have to show that they treated you and your baby in an incompetent manner and below the acceptable standard of care. To prove negligence, your attorney needs to know where and how they deviated from what is medically reasonable and what treatment is normally administered in similar cases.
Negligence As the Cause of the Birth Injury
Once you’re able to show the presence of medical negligence, you have to prove that the negligence specifically caused the injury. Birth injury is not always due to medical negligence and can depend on many other factors such as maternal health, prenatal care, and genetics. Additionally, sometimes a doctor can be negligent but still not directly at fault for the injury.
Even if you suspect a birth injury, you must be able to show the specific damages that resulted from that injury. A birth injury can be heartbreaking, costly, and time-consuming. Damages you sue for include physical and mental pain, medical bills, and lost time or money from work. The compensation you may receive depends on the severity of your child’s injury and the subsequent damages.
Now that you know what needs to be proven when establishing fault, you need to know what to do to gather the evidence that proves it. You must be sure that you proceed according to specific state laws surrounding medical malpractice. Your birth injury lawyer in Baltimore will ensure you follow these steps efficiently and lawfully.
Getting the Birth Injury Assessed
If you suspect that your child suffered a birth injury or that birth injury caused your child’s death, you need to consult with a physician. Your doctor will conduct an assessment and administer any relevant tests to give you a diagnosis and determine the cause and severity of the injury. Second opinions can be helpful from a legal and medical perspective to ensure your child gets the treatment they deserve.
Gathering Documents and Medical Records
Conducting a thorough investigation of everything that happened before, during, and after delivery is another part of proving fault. To build your case, your lawyer needs to determine precisely when and where the birth injury occurred, how it could have been prevented, and who is at fault for the injury. Gathering documents such as medical records and hospital bills is vital for building your case.
Gathering Expert Witnesses
Building your case includes gathering depositions from people who were present during the birth (and injury) and from medical experts. Expert witnesses are essential in providing testimony that shows how and when the doctor or healthcare provider violated the standard of care and caused the injury. Birth injury lawsuits rely heavily on expert testimony, and your lawyer will help you get the best experts.
As you now know, the process of proving fault in a birth injury case has many components, all of which are necessary to create a solid case. When your birth injury involves negligence, you need to gather specific types of evidence that proves it so you can establish fault. To get the process of proving fault started, talk to an attorney who can help you navigate this difficult and complex process.