Giving Birth Legal

Things To Remember Legally If Your Doctor Made A Medical Mistake When You Gave Birth

In most cases, we expect our doctors to provide a reasonable standard of care especially when it comes to birth-related matters. However, there are times that your doctor can be negligent in performing proper medical treatment. If that happens, can you file a lawsuit against your doctor? If you’re thinking about your legal rights, below are the things to remember legally if your doctor made a medical mistake in your birth:

Things To Remember Legally If Your Doctor Made A Medical Mistake When You Gave Birth

When Does Birth-Related Medical Malpractice Occur?

Several birth-related medical malpractice cases happen nowadays. In fact, it’s even more difficult when you’ve experienced the medical malpractice by yourself. The emotional stress, pain, and suffering may become so unbearable that you only want justice for your misfortune. However, what is meant by birth-related medical malpractice  and when does it occur?

  • Remember that birth-related medical malpractice occurs when your doctor performs negligent acts, and as a result, the same causes the following:
  1. The acts bring injury to the child or mother at the time of delivery or birth.
  2. The acts result in wrongful birth where the parents failed to avoid or end the pregnancy as they haven’t known any of the birth defects.
  3. The acts cause wrongful pregnancy where the attempt of the parents to end the pregnancy is a failure.
  • If you think the medical mistake committed by your doctor in your birth has something to do with the examples mentioned above, a legal action to be filed in court can be a remedy to recover compensation for the damages.
  • You also have to take note that each medical malpractice claim has its legal procedures to follow before you can validly bring a lawsuit in court. That’s why it’s important for you consult an attorney to help you in your medical malpractice case.

Baby in hospital

What Are The Things To Prove In A Birth-Related Medical Malpractice Lawsuit? 

If you want to prevail in a birth-related medical malpractice case against your doctor, you must prove the existence of the following elements:

  1. Duty: When we’re talking about duty, it usually refers to the relationship between the patient and the doctor.
  • In medical malpractice cases, it’s the duty of the doctor to provide medical treatment that meets standards. The delivery of the healthcare must meet the reasonable care expected from medical practitioners.
  • However, it must be noted that duty only arises when there’s an established relationship between the patient and the doctor. When there’s an existence of the patient-doctor relationship, the doctor will be held accountable for any medical mistake they’ll be committing.
  1. Breach of Duty: Once you’ve established the duty of care on the part of the doctor, you must now show that they breached that duty.
  • At this point, you have to present your evidence to demonstrate that the doctor has indeed breached that duty by committing negligent acts in your birth.
  • Testimonies from medical professionals and records of violations of the medical procedures can be considered as reliable evidence to prove a birth-related medical malpractice case.
  1. Proximate Cause: Proximate cause in medical malpractice lawsuits means that your doctor’s negligence is directly related to your injuries.
  • For a birth-related medical malpractice lawsuit to prosper, it must be shown that you’ve sustained injuries as a result of your doctor’s acts of negligence. An example of this is when your doctor has made a medical mistake in your birth, and you have the injuries to show for it.
  • Keep in mind that proximate cause may be a critical element to prove because the doctor can invoke various explanations as to why the injuries happened.
  • The defense lawyer can argue that the doctor did nothing to directly cause your injuries or that the medical mistake was not because of their negligence.
  1. Damages: Damages are considered the final element to prove in medical malpractice cases.
  • For this final element to be accounted for, you must prove that you’ve had injuries. As a general rule, you as the plaintiff can recover both economic and non-economic damages depending on the extent of injury you’ve incurred because of the malpractice. The following are damages you can be entitled under the law:
  1. a) Medical care costs
  2. b) Lost earnings
  3. c) Physical disability
  4. d) Emotional stress
  5. e) Pain and suffering

What To Do When Your Doctor Made A Medical Mistake When You Gave Birth? 

If you’re certain that a birth-related medical mistake has been made by your doctor, below are the things you can do legally:

  • Contact the doctor involved: Before you institute a legal action against the doctor, it’s smart if you try to settle things out of court with the doctor. There are instances that doctors accused of medical malpractice are open to the possibility of correcting the mistakes on their own rather than going through the long and complicated process of court litigation.
  • Get an attorney: When you’ve done everything to amicably settle the dispute with the doctor, but the same has still failed, you can bring a birth-related medical malpractice lawsuit in court to make the doctor legally liable for the mistake they’ve made regarding your birth.
    • In hiring your attorney, make sure that they have the experience to handle medical malpractice cases similar to yours.
    • Try to inquire about their areas of expertise so that you’ll have greater chances of winning the case.

Birth-related medical malpractice cases can be tiresome on your part. If you’re a victim of medical malpractice, we hope that the examples emphasized above can provide you with an idea as to the things to remember legally if your doctor made a medical mistake in your birth.

Disclaimer: This article only provides general information as to the legal aspect of birth-related medical malpractice. It is not, however, a substitute for actual legal advice as to the legal nature of subject matter. If you want to understand the legal process involving a birth-related medical malpractice case, make a consultation to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible.


About The Author 

Rachel Green hopes to impart a decades’ worth of her experiences as a law writer in the form of knowledge through her work where she writes on law topics the common reader may find useful. Rachel brings sunshine to the room with her witty banter and jokes. Whenever she has the time, Rachel also loves walking Bruce, the family dog.


 

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5 comments

  1. I’ve always wondered what the process involves.

    It is something that I hoped would never happen to me or someone I care about. Having to deal with the emotional and physical stress and pain is already such a burden, than having to deal with the legal process of it all.

    Thank goodness I had a wonderful gynaecologist. I couldn’t be to choosy because with my medical aid I had to use a doctor that is on the Discovery Keycare list of doctors. I only had two or three options.

    And with me being older than 35, there were certain precautions and procedures that was very important to consider with my pregnancy.

    He made sure that I know about all of them and he guided us every step of the way.

    • I am also on the Discovery KeyCare range, and I must say that I am really happy with the medical aid. I don’t like the fact that you have to get a doctor’s referral to see a specialist, but that is a small price to pay for a great medical aid. Glad your gynecologist is some one you can trust. I was also so lucky fortunately..

  2. I had an unusual case when I went into labour with my third child. I suffered from labour pains for 12 hours and as was the case with me they had to rupture the sack as my water did not break. Within a few minutes I was in excruciating pain and started to push. The nurse on duty refused to believe I was ready to deliver the baby until I told my husband to see that the baby’s head was already out. When he shouted for her and told her she and her colleagues rushed me from the ward to the delivery room and as they transferred me from the ward bed to the delivery bed my son fell out of me and landed on the delivery bed. The doctor breezed in at that time to proudly announce that I had a son.

    Fortunately my son is fine but neither the hospital nor the Gynae took responsibility.

  3. That’s just awful @saaleha. Havind a baby is a wonderful experience and I know I was so nervous before the time. Having to deal with incompetent nurses and doctors who should be there taking care of you, is just unacceptable!!!

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