As an expectant mother, your foremost wish is to deliver your bundle of joy safely when the time comes. Unfortunately, sometimes this wish doesn’t come true due to medical mistakes, doctor’s negligence or malpractice, or faulty hospital rules. These factors can lead to profound injuries or death of the infant or mother.
When this happens, you need to file a lawsuit against the hospital or medical personnel responsible for the injuries–this is why you need to find a good birth injury attorney in South Carolina, such as those at Strom Law, to help you get justice for you and your infant. Even with a qualified attorney by your side, it’s important to understand existing birth injuries laws in South Carolina to be able to file a successful lawsuit and get the compensation you deserve.
What Is Birth Injury Law?
Birth injury law is a subsection of the law concerning medical malpractice that deals with personal injury cases emanating from a failure to prevent or respond to serious maternal complications, including maternal or fetal bleeding, umbilical cord problems, fetal anoxia (insufficient oxygen), fetal distress, cesarean sections, infections, expectation of a large infant and related problems, and other birth-related issues.
Birth injuries can also stem from incompetent medical personnel, improper administration of forceps or vacuum extractors, and careless prenatal handling. Incompetent prenatal care includes misdiagnosis of the mother’s medical conditions; misdiagnosis of an infant’s birth defects; failure to detect an ectopic pregnancy, and misdiagnosis of a contagious disease that might affect the infant.
These malpractices can result in injuries or death of the infant or mother. Generally, there are two main types of birth injuries: anoxic brain injury (brain injury), which occurs when the medical practitioner fails to properly monitor the infant or fails to order a C-section promptly; and dystocia, which occurs when the physician or medical practitioner fails to aid the infant down the vaginal canal during normal delivery, resulting in different types of complications like palsy, vaginal or cervical injuries, and more.
When these complications happen, the family of the affected infant or mother should file a lawsuit seeking compensation and ensuring that the appropriate legal actions are taken against the negligent hospital and medical personnel. To succeed in this kind of lawsuit, you have to hire a qualified birth injury lawyer. Fortunately, qualified attorneys at Strom Law are ready to help you find justice for and get the birth injury lawsuit settlement you are owed.
Who Should Be Held Liable for Birth Injuries?
A birth injury claim might include several respondents, including the negligent hospital, doctor, nurse, anesthesiologist, pharmacist, and other medical assistants. It can also include any pharmaceutical company involved. Nurses, anesthesiologists, and other medical assistants who helped the doctor during delivery are also liable for any commission or omission that results in birth injuries.
The hospital also becomes responsible for any birth injuries that occur from careless policies or negligence of any staff. In short, the hospital is deemed to be the employer of the incompetent or negligent doctors and medical assistants, thus becoming vicariously liable for these actions or inactions. However, the hospital can only be held liable for its employees’ mistakes if they occur within the range of their employment.
The pharmaceutical company becomes liable for birth injuries if the injuries are caused by an unsafe prescription drug. It’s the responsibility of the drug manufacturer to ensure that their drugs are safe when deployed as intended.
For instance, the pharmaceutical company is expected to warn physicians and pharmacists adequately of any drug that could harm the infant or the mother before or during delivery. Failure to issue this warning makes the pharmaceutical company liable for any injuries caused by the drug.
Determining Birth Injury Settlement Amounts
If it’s established that you or your infant suffered injuries during birth, you’ll be offered a settlement that the court deems appropriate. Sometimes, the hospital might propose an out-of-court settlement, especially if it establishes that the injuries were a result of its policies, negligence, or actions of its employees. However, it’s important to involve a qualified and experienced birth injury attorney in your out-of-court settlement so that you don’t end up getting duped by the hospital.
A good lawyer should help you to negotiate for your rightful settlement and advise you on the most appropriate legal action to take against the people or institutions responsible for the birth injuries. Your settlement should also involve a life care plan, especially if the injuries are likely to cause long-term problems from you or your infant.