Marion County Birth Injury Lawyer
While all medical procedures require expert care and attention from attending physicians, childbirth could have dangerous outcomes if healthcare providers do not adhere to the applicable standard of care. A child born under duress due to negligence may suffer injuries that leave them with a lifelong physical or intellectual disability, not to mention their mother could experience serious harm as well.
In order to successfully hold a doctor or hospital liable for this kind of harm, you may need assistance from an experienced Marion County birth injury lawyer. A medical malpractice attorney who knows the intricacies of these kinds of cases could be a crucial ally when it comes to proving liability and recovering for all associated damages.
Causes and Effects of Birth Injuries
If a Marion County attorney can prove that a doctor’s negligent care led directly to a birth injury condition such as cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, subconjunctival hemorrhage, or bone fracture, they could recover compensation for all losses sustained as a result.
Most birth injuries stem from a mistake made during labors. For example, failing to perform a cesarean section when needed, carelessly using forceps or a vacuum aspirator, or giving a mother an ineffective or dangerous dose of drugs could result in a medical professional seriously harming both mother and child.
Negligent care prior to childbirth could result in an injury or defect later as well. A healthcare provider who fails to provide appropriate prenatal care or does not monitor fetal vital signs during labor and delivery could be held liable for any harm a mother or child suffers as a result. Regardless of when the mistake occurs, negligent care at any time could be grounds for a civil case if the aftermath is a preventable injury.
Proving Liability for a Birth Injury
A birth injury lawsuit falls within the purview of medical malpractice laws in West Virginia, meaning that this type of personal injury case functions a bit differently than a typical claim. At least 30 days prior to formally filing suit, the plaintiff in a birth injury case—or the Marion County lawyer representing them—must present each defendant doctor with a “notice of claim.”
According to West Virginia Code §55-7B-6, this notice must include the plaintiff’s reason for the lawsuit, a list of all relevant defendants, and a certificate of merit compiled by a medical expert in the same field as the doctor being sued. To be valid, the certificate must detail the expert’s familiarity with the applicable standard of care—in this case, care associated with childbirth—and their sworn opinion that the defendant in question failed to uphold that standard.
Once these procedural requirements are met, a plaintiff could recover damages for short-term medical expenses, long-term care costs, and various non-economic harms stemming from the birth injury. It should be noted, however, that WV Code §55-7B-8 sets a damage cap of $250,000 on non-economic damages per incident in most cases, or $500,000 in cases involving catastrophic injury or wrongful death.
Consider Speaking with a Marion County Birth Injury Attorney
Recovering physically from childbirth can be hard enough for a mother and her newborn, but recovering physically and financially from a birth injury could be even more challenging. Medical professionals and organizations try to avoid liability for harming patients under their care. Without professional legal representation of your own, you could be hard-pressed to recover the compensation you and your family deserve.
Increase your odds of success by talking to a skilled Marion County birth injury lawyer about how best to approach your case. One consultation could change your case’s outlook for the better.