Wrongful Birth Lawyer Tampa FL
At The Law Offices of Needle & Ellenberg, P.A., a wrongful birth lawyer Tampa FL families depend on understands the sensitive nature of birth-related injuries, disabilities, or doctor mistakes. As our team has seen before, the errors that doctors commit can affect a family and their child for the rest of their lives, and they should be held accountable for how they failed to provide proper medical care. If this is true for you or a loved one, please call our team now for immediate support.
Lawsuits for wrongful birth are often brought forward by parents of children born with disability, against the doctors or other health care professionals who’s error or oversight caused the condition or prevented the parents from making a choice that was right for them. Parents who file a wrongful birth lawsuit usually claim that the medical professional failed to act in some way when testing or treating the pregnant mother, or that their failure had hindered the parents from receiving vital information that they would have used to make choices about conception or carrying to full term. As your Tampa wrongful birth lawyer can explain, wrongful birth cases can entail:
- Genetic testing mistakes, such as failure to interpret results correctly or other lab errors.
- Failure to diagnose birth defects or genetic disorders during the prenatal stage.
- Failure to give informed consent about the condition and all the options that are available to parents.
- Negligence abortion prior to conception or performance of sterilization.
DEFINITION OF A WRONGFUL BIRTH
Doctors have a legal duty to inform patients about risks or complications with pregnancy. For example, if a doctor knows that a baby will be born with birth defects, he or she must notify the mother right away. If a doctor fails to do this, a wrongful birth case may arise. The mother may claim that she would not have carried the child to term if she had known about the birth defects.
TYPES OF WRONGFUL BIRTH CASES
A wrongful birth case is meant to hold doctors accountable for their negligent actions. The lawsuit aims to secure compensation for parents to relieve the financial burden that resulted from wrongful birth. Here are some common types of wrongful birth cases.
- Insufficient prenatal testing. With the modern advances in medical technology, doctors are able to detect birth defects before a baby is born. However, sometimes doctors do not perform all the necessary tests or interpret the tests incorrectly. In this situation, parents can file a wrongful birth claim.
- Genetic diseases. Some mothers may have certain genetic conditions, such as diabetes, that can make their children more susceptible to birth defects. If your medical provider failed to inform you about a genetic condition and your child has a birth defect because of it, you may want to consult a wrongful birth lawyer in Tampa, FL.
3 Types of Birth Injuries That Require Lawyer
Birth injuries can happen in any number of ways during or immediately after your labor and delivery, even if your medical team has worked hard to protect you and your baby from any harm, and that is why people call on a wrongful birth lawyer Tampa FL residents trust. If you or your child suffers from a birth injury, the hospital and its doctors are not always held accountable to provide compensation. In these situations, it’s often necessary to contact an attorney who specializes in birth injuries to be able to seek compensation and help you obtain the best possible care going forward. If you find yourself in this situation, contact an attorney today at The Law Offices of Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. for help with your case.
Cephalo-Pelvic Disproportion (CPD)
CPD happens when the baby’s head is too big to fit through the mother’s birth canal. This can happen because the baby has grown faster than expected or due to a genetic disorder. CPD often happens in early labor, but sometimes it can happen in late labor. When the baby’s head passes through, it is squeezed and a large tear (perineal laceration) occurs on the mother’s labia or perineal skin just below the vaginal opening. The tear may also affect nearby muscles, tissues, and organs and create an open wound that bleeds heavily. A CPD injury can lead to complications with future pregnancies as well as mental trauma for both parents and child.
An intrapartum asphyxia occurs when the fetus’s oxygen supply is depleted because of an interruption in blood flow to the placenta. This can happen for various reasons such as a failure in maternal and fetal circulation, fluid accumulation or umbilical cord entanglement. Fetuses with this condition will generally be prematurely delivered. If not caught early enough, permanent neurological damage may occur and the baby might need lifelong care and supervision due to brain injury or cerebral palsy. A Tampa wrongful birth lawyer would help you find out what legal options are available to compensate you for expenses incurred due to your child’s medical needs.
In short, Erb’s palsy is when babies experience issues with the nerves in their shoulders which prevents them from moving their shoulder. They may still be able to move their hands though. This condition is also known as brachial plexus birth palsy. This injury occurs occasionally during birth when the newborn is being forced downward at a difficult or wrong angle, compressing their shoulder and causing nerve damage.
This condition is yet another example of a type of issue that your doctor and birthing team should be prepared to avoid, but they may mishandle the situation, causing your child to be unable to move their own shoulder. If you find yourself in this situation it is best to contact a lawyer for help.
A Tampa wrongful birth lawyer from The Law Offices of Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. has the experience needed to guide you through a case from collecting evidence to getting the compensation you deserve. Contact one of their attorneys today for help!
Just like any other medical malpractice case, wrongful birth claims are fact-specific. Parents have to prove that certain elements apply to their situation. Firstly, they must show that the doctor had failed to warn or diagnose parents of their child’s risk for genetic disorder or disability, or that the provider negligently failed to run testing, or advise parents in a way that would have offered the information they needed about risks for disability and other conditions. Secondly, the parents must prove that the child was in fact born with a certain disability or genetic impairment. Furthermore, the parents must express that if they had known about the genetic impairment or disability, that they would have not carried the fetus to term or conceived. Lastly, the parents have to prove with evidence that there was a failure in meeting the medical standard of care that resulted in extra costs and stress for the family and child.
5 Things You Should Know After A Wrongful Birth
Let’s explore five important things to know following a wrongful birth:
1. Know What Forms of Compensation Are Available
While receiving compensation can’t undo the damages caused by a wrongful birth case, it can make raising a child with special medical needs easier. The most immediate form of compensation available will be covering a child’s medical expenses. This process may include covering immediate medical needs as well as covering future needs, such as prescriptions, surgeries, physical therapy, etc. Besides medical costs, parents can be compensated for factors like special education costs and home modifications to accommodate the disabled child. Parents may also receive compensation for caring for the child once they reach the age of 18.
2. Non-economic Damages Are Sometimes Available
Besides medical, physical therapy, education, etc., it’s possible to be awarded non-economic damages. Non-economic damages are harder to calculate and include factors like pain and suffering, and emotional distress. Parents may have anticipated giving birth to a healthy child only to discover their child has severe defects or injuries caused by a doctor’s lacking prenatal care. This can trigger emotional distress or strain a relationship between two spouses. Additionally, it’s possible to receive compensation for lost wages as many parents find themselves needing to stay at home more to care for their child.
3. There’s a Difference Between Wrongful Birth and Wrongful Life
Wrongful birth cases are filed by the parents, while a wrongful life case is filed by a child. While wrongful life cases are rarer, and many courts are reluctant to provide an award due to the difficulties of calculating the compensation. Wrongful life cases are often filed against the child’s doctor or medical facility where they were born at. However, it’s possible for children to bring a wrongful life case against their parents.
4. The Following Parties Can Be Held Responsible
Wrongful birth cases or life cases are filed against healthcare professionals or facilities. Some of these liable parties can include:
- Sperm banks
- Mental health institutions
While it’s possible in a wrongful life suit to take against a child’s parents, in most cases, these cases can’t be brought against healthcare professionals operating outside of a medical profession. For example, say a pregnant person gets into a car accident, while the other party in the collision might be held liable for a personal injury lawsuit, they wouldn’t be liable for a wrongful life or birth lawsuit since there’s no legal duty when the child’s injuries came from a car accident.
5. What Evidence Would a Parent Have to Provide
To show a wrongful birth or injury was the result of a medical professional or institution’s negligence, a parent might need to show the following pieces of evidence:
- The doctor failed to warn them that their child might have a disability or defect
- The child was born with a defect or disability
- If the parents knew the risk, then they wouldn’t have brought their child to full term
- The other party’s negligence played a huge role in causing the wrongful birth or injury
PURSUING A WRONGFUL BIRTH CLAIM
Like other medical malpractice claims, a wrongful birth claim may involve many complexities and is difficult to prove. That is why it is crucial to have an experienced lawyer on your side. If your child has a birth defect because of a doctor’s negligence, it is in your best interest to consult a wrongful birth lawyer. A lawyer can help you gather the evidence you need to prove your case and identify expert witnesses who can strengthen your claim. He or she will also handle all the negotiations with the doctor’s insurance company and fight for fair compensation.
If your child was born and shortly thereafter diagnosed with a birth defect or genetic condition, due to a doctor failing to meet standards of prenatal care, then you may have a case for restitution. We can imagine the anguish you may be feeling with the news that your child has a condition that you wish you had known about much sooner. Doctors must take all the steps, precautions, and testing necessary so that parents can make choices that are best for them and their family’s future. Call our Tampa lawyer wrongful birth team from The Law Offices of Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. now to see if your situation makes you eligible for compensation.