Birth Injury Cases: 4 Elements That Must Be Proven
It is an absolute miracle to be blessed with a newborn baby, and it is a beautiful experience to bring an infant into this world. Unfortunately, there are some cases when this special day can be ruined, such as when a health care professional acts negligently. When a mistake is made during the delivery process, the mother and/or baby can endure pain and possibly suffer a terrible injury. Sadly, this is very common, but you do have recourse if this happens to you. You can speak to a birth injury lawyer at a law firm like Snyder & Wenner, P.C., as you could be entitled to compensation. Now, if you wish to proceed with legal action, there will be four specific elements that your attorney will have to prove.
1. The Presence of a Doctor-Patient Relationship.
The first element that must be proven is that there was actually a relationship between the health care professional and the patient. This is important because you cannot sue someone if there was not a relationship, since that individual wouldn't be liable for your damages. As a general rule, though, when a doctor agrees to deliver your baby (and the rest of his or her staff agrees to assist with the delivery), they are accepting the legal duty to care for you as well as your baby.
Next, it must be proven that negligence occurred – that the health care professional deviated from the accepted standard of care. This is typically done by bringing in experts and using their testimony, showing that another professional of the same caliber would not have made the same decisions under the same circumstances.
The third element that must be proven is causation, which is simply that the negligence directly caused harm to your baby. Again, testimonies may be used, as well as independent medical examinations.
4. Presence of Damages.
Last, but not least, it must be proven that the negligence resulted in actual damages. Birth injuries can often leave you with a large amount of debt due to medical bills piling up, ongoing medical costs, etc. You will be able to use existing doctors' records and potentially even testimonies of medical and financial experts to help prove the value of the damages that you have incurred and will incur.
If you or your child was injured at the hands of a medical professional, it is important that you take action immediately and seek the help of a professional attorney who can fight for your rights.