When something is wrong with a newborn, the first thing that comes to mind is birth injury malpractice.
“Birth injury malpractice is not to be confused with birth defects, as these are two different things,” explained Christopher Mellino, a Cleveland malpractice lawyer specializing in Cleveland medical malpractice cases in Ohio. A defect is usually something that happened before pregnancy or during gestation, causing something to go drastically wrong with the baby’s health and normal development.
A birth injury refers to something that happened during delivery – say shoulder dystocia – which was a direct result of a botched delivery. These things should never have happened in the first place.
“Most birth injuries are due to a fault of the physician (or other medical staff) who were working as a team to deliver the baby,” said Mellino. If something does go wrong and the personnel provide less than sterling care and skilled medical intervention, the conditions are ripe for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
“When dealing with a birth injury malpractice lawsuit, there are usually four elements that need to be present in order to proceed: proximate cause, injury, breach of duty, and the fact that a duty of care was owed to the patient,” outlined Mellino, a Cleveland malpractice lawyer specializing in Cleveland medical malpractice cases in Ohio.
To show duty of care, the attorney needs to prove the doctor owed the patient a duty to provide reasonable care. “The breach of care aspect is relatively self-explanatory, in that it means the physician didn’t provide the professional/reasonable care anticipated and expected,” added Mellino.
These two elements must result in an injury or death to show there was medical malpractice. This leads us to proximate cause, which means that without the negligent act, the injury would never have occurred. Or, to put this another way, the harm would not have happened if the doctor had not made a mistake.
If someone has suffered the trauma of birth injuries, the best thing to do is to contact an experienced and highly knowledgeable birth injury lawyer. The attorney will assess the case and advise how to proceed to justice.