Was My Baby's Injury Due to Medical Negligence?
What a lawsuit needs to establish in a Texas birth injury caseBy Super Lawyers staff | Reviewed by Canaan Suitt, J.D. | Last updated on May 1, 2023
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Tragically, birth injuries remain a serious problem in the United States. If your infant has suffered a birth injury, you may be able to hold the doctor or healthcare provider legally liable through a medical malpractice claim.
“Often, we have to explain that whether clients are even able to sue depends on various factors, such as state law,” says Tom Jacob, a medical malpractice attorney in Austin.
“This is probably the toughest question we get, and we go through a fairly extensive process to determine whether their case is one we can take. It’s important for clients to seek out experienced lawyers because if your lawyer doesn’t do the work upfront, that could mean trouble for your case down the line.”
Birth Injuries and Medical Malpractice
A birth injury lawsuit is an example of a medical malpractice case.
In Texas, medical malpractice claims are generally based on the legal theory of negligence. To hold a physician or hospital legally liable for a birth injury, a plaintiff must be able to prove that the defendant’s negligence, in some manner, contributed to causing the injury. Negligence is failing to act with the level of care that a reasonable person would have used in a similar situation. This is sometimes referred to as the “standard of care.”
In a Texas birth injury case, negligence can come in a wide range of different forms. Some of the most common examples include:
- Failure to deliver the infant in a timely manner, resulting in fetal distress;
- Not ordering a Cesarean section (C-section) when one was required:
- Rough handling of the infant during delivery or improper use of forceps;
- Failure to properly monitor key vital signs of the infant; and
- Medical professionals making other post-birth errors.
These actions can result in serious injuries, including bone fractures, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, brain damage resulting from oxygen deprivation, and Erb’s palsy from brachial plexus injuries.
Medical and healthcare professionals have a legal duty to provide adequate medical care to all of their patients. If any type of injury or medical complications occur because substandard care was offered, then the responsible defendants can be held legally liable through a medical malpractice claim.
“All medical malpractice lawsuits are difficult for plaintiffs, but birth injury cases especially so,” says Jacob. “For example, birth injury cases often require several experts, and that can be expensive if the firm that represents you does not have the financial backing to fight these cases all the way to trial.”
Get Professional Help
Medical malpractice cases are among the most complex types of legal claims. If your baby suffered an injury or any type of health-related complication during the birth, you may not know whether the problem occurred because of a physician’s negligence or if it was unavoidable. This is normal. For this reason, all birth injury claims should be reviewed by an experienced professional.
A Texas birth injury attorney can conduct an investigation into your case and get you in touch with the right medical experts who will be able to analyze what happened and determine if negligence was a factor in causing the birth injury.
If you have any reason to suspect that your infant’s birth injury may have been related to negligence, it is imperative that you seek legal guidance from a personal injury lawyer right away. Many attorneys provide free consultations to evaluate your claim.
“Clients who are in this unfortunate situation have so much to worry about. They worry about their baby’s health, they worry about day-to-day medical care, and they worry about how they are going to keep their job or pay their bills. They’re just trying to keep their head above water, and it’s not easy,” says Jacob. “My birth injury clients are some of the bravest and toughest people I know.”
For more information on this area of law, see our overviews of medical malpractice and birth injury.
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