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Birth injuries could lead to medical malpractice claims

For most soon-to-be parents in Massachusetts, the months leading up to the birth of their new baby is a time filled with joy and anticipation. Most will leave the hospital with their new, healthy bundle of joy soon after delivery. Unfortunately, some parents experience a more difficult time when their child becomes a victim of a birth injury. In a case where a child is injured due to the negligence of a doctor or other medical care provider, a medical malpractice case may be appropriate.

Some statistics show that approximately five out of every 1,000 births involve a birth injury. This type of injury could be caused by prenatal care or a doctor who does not appropriately assess or respond to a situation. In the latter situation, an injury could be caused by a doctor who does not properly assess a baby's health prior to delivery or perform a Cesarean section when needed. An injury could also be caused by incorrectly using certain devices such as a vacuum or forceps.

In some cases, there may have been nothing a doctor could do to alter the outcome. However, if there was negligence involved that led to the injury, a medical malpractice lawsuit could be filed. In order for such a claim to be successful, it must be proved that the accepted standard of care was not met. To do so, an expert in a similar field must provide details about the appropriate standard of care and how a defendant failed to meet it. Additionally, it must be proved that this failure led to the child's injury.

No parent or child should have to face the consequences of a preventable birth injury. However, if one occurs, there are options available. The care for a child with cerebral palsy, for example, is often expensive, but a successfully argued medical malpractice case could result in an award of damages that would help cover the costs of such care. Additionally, it could help prevent another child in Massachusetts from suffering similar injuries.

Source: FindLaw, "Birth Injury Overview", Accessed on March 9, 2015

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