Medical malpractice claims are often a messy affair, but when the claim comes due to a birth-related injury, tempers and emotions flair. The most obvious reason for this kind of claim being such a sensitive one is because of the negligence caused harm to a baby.
However, these claims can be submitted if the mother or child was injured during pregnancy or delivery. On the other hand, parents can also sue for wrongful birth or wrongful pregnancy. Here are all the ins and outs of these queries and how you can file for a malpractice claim.
Birth injuries to the mother
Even with all the medical advances, birth-related medical negligence still occurs. And in such cases, you need a reputed law firm. Hastings Firm in Texas has a long history in aiding victims of malpractice and when it comes to these types of claims, you want someone competent to handle the claim.
Although it is rare for a doctor’s malpractice to harm a mother pre-or post-delivery, it still happens. A mother could claim for malpractice if she was injured in any way during or before the delivery.
If, for example, the doctor failed to detect high blood pressure in the mother, he or she could have missed a condition known as preeclampsia, which could lead to a seizure for the mother. If the baby was injured during the delivery, they could also sue for emotional trauma.
Birth injuries to the baby
When an infant was injured during the birth process, the parents can only act on behalf of the baby as his or her guardian. The parents are then within their rights to sue for both special and general damages.
General damages cover everything from the medical expenses for treatment of the infant to emotional damages, mental and physical pain and suffering and a loss of enjoyment of life.
The latter is often contestable, but only in terms of the settlement amount. The settlement amount for injuries to babies is often extremely high, seeing that the settlement would need to compensate for any future medical costs.
Depending on where you live, parents have the right to terminate a pregnancy if a birth defect is detected. Doctors could be sued by the parents if the doctor did not inform the parents about the defect.
These are highly technical cases and parents can sue their physician when negligent or erroneous genetic testing was done on the parents before the conception. Doctors are obliged to inform and conduct mental and physical impairment tests on the baby during the early stages of the pregnancy.
If these tests were not done correctly, the parents are within their rights to sue. The settlement for these cases often revolves around medical costs for raising a child with impairment. Parents can also sue for the emotional pain and suffering of raising a child with impairment.
If the parents want to sue for wrongful pregnancy, they have to fall within certain parameters. If the parents wanted to avoid pregnancy through sterilization, pregnancy testing or abortion and either one of these methods failed due to negligence, they can submit a claim.
In a wrongful pregnancy suit, the child is of a healthy condition at birth, but the damages that the parents can claim revolve around the cost of raising an unwanted child. Parents can then also sue for emotional pain and suffering due to having to raise a child that they did not plan for.
These are all relevant claims, especially if the parents deliberately avoided falling pregnant, knowing that they would not have the means to support the child.