Disclaimer: What you’re about to read is only meant to provide information on what you can do under the law when your doctor had committed a medical mistake in your birth. Everything written here shouldn’t replace professional legal advice. If you have further questions, you should seek the services of a licensed lawyer who knows better how to handle cases involving medical malpractice during childbirth.
Being pregnant for nine months – or less if you gave birth to a premature baby – isn’t easy as you have both your child’s health and yours to worry about. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then that almost every doctor out there takes extra care when delivering a baby. After all, compared to other medical procedures where there’s only one patient’s life to consider, a child delivery procedure has two lives at stake, namely your baby’s and yours. If you believe that your doctor had put your own life in great danger while delivering your baby, you might have considered filing a lawsuit against them. But for you to have even the slightest chance of winning your lawsuit, you would have to establish that your doctor did commit medical malpractice and can be held accountable under the law for making such a mistake that could’ve killed you anytime during your childbirth.
Some Common Mistakes That Doctors Make While Performing a Child Delivery Procedure
Delivering a baby successfully and in healthy condition is a cause for celebration for a doctor given the delicate circumstances surrounding the entire procedure itself. However, as much as your baby’s health is of importance, your own health should be of equal priority as well once your doctor performs a child delivery procedure on you. However, some doctors get so easily carried away by the stress of having to deliver your baby without causing any harm to it that they’re prone to committing these common mistakes:
- Forgetting to perform a cesarean section on you if your baby’s larger-than-normal size is making it hard for you to deliver it normally.
- Responding late after you’ve experienced fetal distress.
- Botching an assisted delivery of your baby by mishandling either the forceps or a vacuum extractor.
- Not giving you epidural anesthesia despite you being in pain during a normal delivery of your baby.
Establishing That Your Doctor Committed Medical Malpractice While Delivering Your Baby
As much as you want to sue your doctor right after they’d put your health at risk despite delivering your baby in healthy condition, you would have to establish first that they did commit medical malpractice while you were under their care. The law provides the following criteria for you to use before filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor who performed a child delivery procedure on you:
- A doctor-patient relationship between you and the doctor you’re suing for medical malpractice had existed while you were giving birth to your child.
To prove that your doctor owed you a legal duty to take care of you during your childbirth, you should first establish that a doctor-patient relationship was set into place by providing evidence of the following:
- You agreed to be treated by the doctor in question.
- You allowed this doctor to perform tests on you to determine how would they deliver your baby as safely as possible.
- The same doctor proceeded to deliver your baby when the incident involving malpractice had occurred.
- The doctor who delivered your baby had committed medical negligence.
A doctor can only be considered under the law as negligent if they had deviated from the medical standard of care that they’re supposed to provide for their patients.
- The medical standard of care is used by the law as a yardstick to determine if a mistake committed by a doctor falls below it or not.
- You would have to seek help from another medical professional to help you lay more concrete proof that medical negligence did happen while your doctor was delivering your baby.
- You were directly harmed by the negligence of the doctor who delivered your baby.
The doctor who performed a child delivery procedure on you might have acted negligently and yet they’d still be off the hook if their actions didn’t have any detrimental effect on you.
- The burden lies on you then to prove that your health situation took a turn for the worse because of the negligence of the doctor who performed the child delivery procedure on you.
- Once you’ve demonstrated that the negligent actions of the doctor who delivered your baby had directly caused injuries on your end, even if your baby didn’t receive any at all, you can file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
- The court who will be tasked to proceed with hearing your case can award you damages as long as the amount you’re claiming isn’t beyond the maximum allowed by your state.
Finally giving birth to your child after carrying it in your womb for a number of months should be a cause of celebration for you. However, the same event in your life can turn into a disaster if a doctor who you trusted to take care of you became negligent to the extent that your health was put at risk because of their actions while they were delivering your child. While you might decide to sue your doctor after what just happened, you would want to know first if they had indeed committed medical negligence that can earn them a potential malpractice lawsuit from you. But as cases such as yours tend to get complex, you would have to ask for counsel from an experienced birth injury attorney who has enough know-how with regards to medical malpractice so that they can walk you through what legal recourse can you take so that the doctor who injured you while delivering your child can be held accountable for what they did to you.
Scott Jeffreys is a promising young law enthusiast that hopes to bring his youthful spirit in his field. He is currently writing for the Dolman Law Group, and tries to add a refreshing modern take to topics on the legal world that people can learn from. Scott enjoys his free time with friends and family, and loves to cook for them.