Birth Injury Accident Lawyer
While the birthing process is – by its very nature – often quite traumatic, it should not ordinarily result in more than minor injuries to a laboring mother. When mother or baby suffer significant injury as a result of the birthing process, it’s time to consider that one or both of them may have received substandard medical care. In the event that it’s revealed that substandard care contributed directly to the physical injuries of mother and/or baby, that situation is likely actionable.
Medical Malpractice – The Basics
As an experienced birth injury accident lawyer – including those who practice at The Cohen Injury Law Group, P.C. – can explain in greater detail, medical malpractice (sometimes referred to as medical negligence) occurs when a healthcare professional and/or healthcare facility fail to provide the level of care owed to a patient per professional standards and that patient suffers physical harm as a result of that failure.
For example, say that a mother has been laboring for hours and a reasonably competent obstetrician would order a C-section to relieve both mother and baby from a developing risk of significant harm. Instead, the attending obstetrician uses forceps and a vacuum apparatus, injuring both mother and baby in the process. This isn’t “just an accident” because “any birth scenario is fraught with inherent risk.” This is an example of medical malpractice. Instead of following a professionally acceptable standard of care for the patients in question, the attending obstetrician provided substandard care and patients were hurt as a result of their decision-making.
Generally speaking, if a physician, pharmacist, lab tech, nurse, or other medical professional and/or healthcare facility engaged in reckless, negligent, or intentionally dangerous actions or inactions and someone is hurt as a result of that conduct, the situation is legally actionable.
A Word About Settlement Offers
If you have already been offered a settlement for the birth-related harm you’ve suffered, please do not sign a single sheet of paper before an attorney has reviewed the terms of the offer. Sometimes, fairly-valued offers are extended to patients both as an act of acknowledgement and in an effort to avoid litigation costs and/or PR problems. In such cases, it may be wise to accept the fairly-valued offer.
However, it is not always the case that offers are fairly valued. Sometimes, those who offer settlements simply hope that those to whom they have been extended are either so desperate for funds and closure or are unaware that they have the power to demand more. As a result, they offer low-ball settlements that are valued at a number far less than what the recipients deserve.
If/when you sign a settlement offer, you’ll likely be signing away your ability to sue in the future. As a result, it is critically important that you have an attorney review your offer and its terms before you sign away such a consequential right. Only if a settlement is truly fair in its value should you accept it.