Medical malpractice is not just wrong surgery or handing out wrong medications. It may also involve birth injuries.
This case was as troubling as it was upsetting for the mother and the rest of the family. The mother was at an Army hospital and in labor. The doctor delayed performing a C-section and, as the result of oxygen loss to the baby’s brain at birth, her daughter was born with cerebral palsy.
There was a midwife present at the birth who urged for a C-section, but the doctor kept insisting that the mother keep pushing. The baby started to display breathing problems shortly after birth and spent more than a month in an incubator. The mother opted to file a personal injury lawsuit but the hospital and the doctor denied they had done anything wrong when the case got to trial. The jury did not agree with the defense’s arguments and subsequently awarded the plaintiff a $6 million settlement.
Birth injuries are traumatic for the baby and the family, as they are often considered life-altering or catastrophic injuries; injuries that will forever change a person’s life. When a child is born with cerebral palsy, they will always need some kind of care for the remainder of their lives. Hence the larger damage awards handed down in case like that.
In order to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, there needs to be negligence present; the kind of negligence that another expert doctor would testify to in court as being below the standards of what other doctors would do. Not performing a C-section in a timely manner and thus putting the baby at risk for birth injuries would classify as medical negligence.
Based on medical negligence being proven, the nature and duration of the injuries tend to dictate the amount of compensation awarded by a jury. In this case, the child would need care for as long as she lived and the award reflected that reality.
If you have been in a situation like this, you need to speak to a highly trained Atlanta personal injury lawyer about your rights, what to expect at trial and what to expect in terms of compensation. These cases are not easy and take time to settle in an equitable and fair manner.
Robert Webb is an Atlanta personal injury lawyer with Webb & D’Orazio, a law firm specializing in Atlanta personal injury, malpractice, criminal defense, and business law. Learn more at Webbdorazio.com.