Giving birth should be one of the most cherished moments of a person’s entire life. Sadly, many mothers throughout the United States, including here in the Commonwealth of Virginia, have unexpected complications during pregnancy or birth which result in death or injury to the baby or the mother herself. While some of these incidents are unpreventable, others are caused by negligence on the part of the medical staff interacting with the patient. Medical malpractice occurs when a patient is injured or otherwise harmed by a medical professional who fails to perform his or her medical duties proficiently.
If your child suffered injuries at birth in a Virginia medical facility, it is important to work with an experienced Virginia medical malpractice lawyer. Your attorney can help ensure that your rights and best interests are fully protected as you take appropriate action against the provider in question.
When is a Medical Professional Guilty of Malpractice?
In order to prove that medical malpractice occurred, several conditions must be met. First, an established “doctor-patient” relationship must exist between the individuals in question. For example, a person cannot sue a nurse for medical advice that he or she gave casually outside of work just because that person is a nurse.
Next, the medical professional must have been negligent. Put another way, in order for an action to be considered malpractice, the doctor must have caused harm in a way that another reasonably capable doctor would not have. Section 8.01-581.20 of the Virginia Code holds that a medical professional’s care is required to be consistent with “that degree of skill and diligence practiced by a reasonably prudent practitioner in the field of practice or specialty in this Commonwealth” and compliant with the prevailing standard of care. If it can be shown that a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional was not exhibiting this obligatory level of care, they could be considered negligent.
Finally, in order for a medical malpractice claim to be valid, the medical professional’s negligence had to cause some type of injury that led to damages. Damages can include medical expenses, physical pain, mental anguish, future medical expenses, decreased earning capacity, and lost wages.
Birth-Related Medical Malpractice
Birth-related medical malpractice can result in injury to the mother or child, wrongful pregnancy, or wrongful birth. Sometimes a doctor or other medical professional’s negligence causes injuries to the mother or infant during birth. Failing to stem excessive blood loss by the mother after the delivery and failing to properly track the baby’s oxygen levels, both pre-delivery and post-delivery, are two examples of negligent behavior that could cause serious damage. Another example of negligence occurs when a doctor ignores a mother’s hypertension prior to delivery. High blood pressure is a symptom of a very serious condition called preeclampsia, which can cause seizures in women giving birth.
Call a Virginia Birth Injury Attorney
If you or your child has been injured as a result of medical negligence during childbirth, contact an experienced Virginia Beach birth injury lawyer at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp. We will help you understand your available options and work with you in getting the compensation to which the law says you are entitled—just as we did in securing a $2.3 million verdict in a case involving a disabling birth injury to a newborn in Norfolk. Call (833) 997-1774 for a free consultation with a member of our team today. We are ready to go right to work on your behalf
For over twenty years, Mr. Sharp's law practice has focused on serious personal injury claims, including traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury claims. He also handles nursing home neglect cases and medical malpractice claims. Mr. Sharp has counseled numerous clients about the complexities concerning litigation of both pediatric and adult brain injury.
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