Almost nothing can be as devastating as being told your just-born bundle of joy has suffered a birth injury. The only horror worse than that fate is believing that a delivery room healthcare professional made a mistake and hasn’t owned up to it. Regardless of either scenario, both are equally tragic. The child’s parents, friends, and family can only think of what could have been done, and there is a legal recourse to this inexcusable mishap.
Parents who feel they’ve been wronged in the labor room and are uncertain who to turn to can contact a Miami birth injury lawyer. They have the experience to ensure you get the justice and compensation you deserve.
Difference Between Birth Defects And Birth Injuries
Before we dive into justice and compensation, it’s critical to understand the difference between an unavoidable tragedy and a medical mistake. Despite both being sad events, there’s only legal recourse for one of them. In some circumstances, the line between injuries and defects can be blurred. It’ll be up to your legal team and the medical experts to determine which side your case is on.
Birth defects are health conditions that occur while the child is still developing in the womb. These abnormalities could develop at any time during the nine months of development and often remain undetected until birth. They’re not due to a doctor’s error of judgment and don’t fall under the umbrella of medical malpractice. Common birth defects can include:
- Congenital heart defects
- Down Syndrome
- Spina Bifida
- Cleft palate
Birth injuries, on the other hand, are avoidable and result from a medical error. Although most births in Florida occur without issues, there are still a number of them that, due to a negligent act, a birth injury is incurred. Birth injuries are preventable and are caused by medical neglect. Examples of birth injuries are:
- Brachial Palsy – This birth injury is caused when the newborn’s brachial plexus is injured. This medical condition is typically caused during labor when the infant’s head and shoulders are pulled in different directions. The damage won’t allow the infant to rotate or flex one or both arms.
- Facial paralysis – This condition causes the infant to be unable to move some or all of the muscles of the face. This type of birth injury can be caused by the improper use of forceps to assist the infant through the birth canal.
- Cerebral Palsy – Cerebral Palsy is a condition that several different medical mistakes can cause. Some causes include birthing staff not recognizing fetal distress or improper use of forceps. This condition severely affects bodily movement and muscle coordination.
Birth Injuries And Legal Recourse
If you suspect your child has suffered from a medical mistake, you can file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Florida. You have the legal right to file a lawsuit and seek compensation for a whole list of damages, not just those to cover medical bills. If a birthing staff member caused your child injury, filing a lawsuit could also help prevent them from injuring another child. Here’s how to do it.
Hire a Medical Malpractice Attorney
A birth injury lawsuit falls under the category of medical malpractice. This type of lawsuit is far too difficult and complex to file without the experience and savvy of an experienced medical malpractice lawyer. There could be multiple parties who acted neglectfully, and each will have to be named in the lawsuit. This should only be attempted by a lawyer with experience handling birth injury cases.
You’ll have the burden of proving that medical neglect occurred and caused your child to sustain life-altering injuries. To do so, you’ll need to produce a mountain of evidence to prove that a medical mistake occurred and caused harm to your child. The gathering of evidence is often a time-consuming task. The Florida statute of limitations for medical malpractice is a mere 2 years, so starting the process as soon as possible is critical.
Obtain an Affidavit of Merit
Florida law requires that the plaintiff obtain a sworn statement from a similarly trained medical professional whose opinion is that a medical mistake did occur to prove medical malpractice. This document must state that the medical expert has carefully reviewed the plaintiff’s case and agrees that those involved with the medical error did fall short of providing the expected standard of care.
Birth Injuries And How To Seek Justice: The Bottom Line
On that special day when a new life enters your world, it’s an inexcusable tragedy when a medical mishap happens. If your child has been the victim of a birth injury, you have the right to seek justice and compensation. Working with an experienced medical malpractice attorney is the best way to receive both.