An Overview of Birth-Related Medical Malpractice
Birth-related medical malpractice includes wrongful birth, wrongful pregnancy or any situation in which a doctor or hospital staff member acts negligently and causes injury to the mother, child or both. It is important to know your rights as a victim of birth-related medical malpractice and that you may be entitled to compensation. Here, the Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys at the Law Offices of Peter Angelos detail birth-related medical malpractice and what it encompasses.
What is Birth-Related Medical Malpractice?
Birth-related medical malpractice can be defined as an injury sustained to a mother, child or both during the delivery process as a result of negligence. There are three main types of birth-related medical malpractice situations that can occur—birth injuries to the mother or infant, wrongful birth and wrongful pregnancy. All three types of birth-related medical malpractice claims are subject to different requirements for legal action as well as different types of damages that can be collected.
What Type of Injuries Can Occur?
In an act of negligence, a doctor delivering a baby may accidentally injure the mother, child or both during the delivery process or afterwards. While birth injuries are indeed uncommon, they can be traumatizing or even life-threatening and therefore victims of birth injury can collect damages.
Some examples of medical malpractice that can cause injury to both the mother and child include the failure to control excessive maternal blood loss after delivery and the failure to properly monitor the child’s oxygen during and after delivery. If an injury to the mother occurs during or after delivery, the mother can file a claim for the negligence of her doctor or attending physician. The mother can also file for emotional injury if she experienced pain and suffering due to her or her baby’s injuries. If an injury has occurred to the newborn due to medical negligence, the parents can file a lawsuit on behalf of their child. The parents can ask for both general and special damages—general damages include the cost of suffering, including both mental and physical suffering, while special damages include economic-related issues such as lost wages or medical expenses.
What is Wrongful Birth and Wrongful Pregnancy?
In a wrongful birth claim, parents can claim that their doctor failed to inform them of any possible or imminent mental or physical birth defects and that, if they had been properly informed of possible birth defects that could occur, they would have avoided or ended their pregnancy. The claim can be based on negligent genetic testing that the parents received before pregnancy or the failure to detect birth defects during the beginning stages of pregnancy. Damages that are available for a wrongful birth claim can include the costs necessary for the child’s birth defect as well as other medical expenses or therapy. In addition, parents who are victim to wrongful birth can collect compensation for emotional pain and suffering.
Wrongful pregnancy occurs when parents have tried methods to avoid pregnancy, such as abortion or sterilization, and still become or remain pregnant due to negligence on behalf of their doctor. During wrongful pregnancy litigation, the parents can seek damages for any harm caused by the unwanted pregnancy, even if their child is born healthy. The damages that can be recovered during a wrongful pregnancy lawsuit vary depending on the state and specific situation.
Talk to a Medical Malpractice Attorney at The Law Offices of Peter Angelos About Birth-Related Medical Malpractice
While rare, birth-related medical malpractice can be terrifying and life-altering, and victims deserve representation to recover the damages they deserve. That is why the Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys at The Law Offices of Peter Angelos have decades of experience providing legal counsel for victims of birth-related medical malpractice events including injuries sustained to the mother or infant, wrongful birth and wrongful pregnancy. If you are a victim of birth-related medical malpractice and seek representation, contact the medical malpractice attorneys at The Law Offices of Peter Angelos immediately.