The birth of a new baby should be a happy time for every family. Unfortunately, sometimes things go wrong during delivery that can harm the child. This may be because of a birth defect the child was born with due to genetics or it may be due to something that occurs during the delivery because the doctor delivering the baby was negligent. If the parents of the baby believe the birth defect occurred at the fault of the doctor, there may be grounds for a medical malpractice suit. To win a birth defect case, the family will need to prove the following things.
1. The Physician was Negligent
When a person is a patient of a physician, that physician is legally required to provide the best of care possible. The type of care is compared to how other doctors in the same medical field would or have treated the same condition. For example, if a baby is in the breech position before delivery, the doctor is expected to do whatever necessary to ensure the delivery is still safe. The physician may be able to get the baby to turn to the correct position before being delivered or there may be a need for an emergency cesarean section to ensure the child is delivered safely. If the physician continued to allow the baby to be born in the breech position, and this caused a birth defect to occur, this would be considered negligence by the physician.
2. The Birth Defect Was Caused by the Physician's Negligence
Another issue that must be proven is that the birth defect is a direct result of the negligence of the physician delivering the baby. The birth defect was not caused by genetics or any other illness that developed right before delivery. It happened specifically because the physician made a mistake or did not provide proper care before, during or shortly after the delivery.
3. The Birth Defect Caused Damages to the Patient
There is also the burden of proof that the birth defect causes the baby and/or his family to suffer damages, such as financial damages, physical damages or emotional damages. For instance, if a baby suffers brain damage because his oxygen is cut off too long during delivery, this would be considered physical, emotional and financial damages. The child may never be able to enjoy a happy normal life and the parents will always be financially responsible for his long term care.
If a family has a legitimate birth defect case against a physician, they deserve to be compensated fully. The child may never be completely healthy and the physician should be held responsible for the damages he has caused. Contact a birth defect attorney to learn more.