When a child’s life is on the line, we can expect doctors and other healthcare professionals to uphold a certain standard within their profession. We’re not asking for ideal obstetricians, or the best physician in the world – just reasonable, competent practitioners who don’t unnecessarily harm our kids. But that’s not always who we get.
Medical negligence is what happens when a doctor’s actions – or failures to act – fall below the standard of care, and a child suffers birth injuries. This concept is crucial to every medical malpractice lawsuit, but winning a case is more difficult.
To secure compensation, every family will need to demonstrate three things:
- A healthcare professional owed the child a legal duty of care
- The healthcare professional violated that duty, acting or failing to act in ways that a similarly reasonable, competent professional would not have
- That violation of the standard of care caused the child to suffer harm
Those three requirements may seem simple, but in practice, a birth injury attorney will need extensive knowledge of both law and medicine to ensure a family’s best chances at success.
Perhaps most importantly, the work of expert medical professionals will be critical. Working in tandem with expert witnesses, an experienced birth injury lawyer will come to define the standard of care that should have been followed during labor or delivery – and identify how the practicing physician, nurse or hospital broke that duty of care.