Who is responsible for birth injuries?
June 19, 2018
When your child suffers injuries as a part of the birth process, you may have grounds to file an injury or medical malpractice claim. Of course, this depends on the circumstances that lead to the injuries. While parents aren’t always able to avoid all birth defects or injuries, it is very possible that your baby’s injury was avoidable and only occurred because of the negligence of some other party.
However, it is not always simple to determine who bears responsibility when the unthinkable happens and your infant suffers harm. To determine who is liable, it is first necessary to determine how the injury occurred. In some cases, an infant may be unavoidably injured while passing through the birth canal. It is not always feasible to mount medical malpractice claims after birth injuries occur.
If you have concerns about your child’s birth injuries and believe a medical malpractice suit is in order, you must understand what New Jersey laws deal with negligent medical care. Once you have a clearer idea how to move forward, you can keep your rights and priorities secure.
Doctors and hospitals
In most birth injury claims, the obstetrician or midwife who provided prenatal care to the mother and child or who performed the delivery faces the greatest scrutiny. If the actions of a doctor or midwife contributed to your child’s injury, it is very likely that he or she bears some degree of liability and may be named a defendant in your claim.
It is also very likely that the hospital where the injury occurred bears liability, especially if a doctor employed by the hospital caused the injury. As we’ve discussed here before, hospitals typically are liable for the actions of their employees, but that is not the only way in which a hospital may be responsible for a birth injury.
If your child suffered an injury because of poorly-maintained medical equipment or due to lax sanitation standards, the hospital may bear liability for failing to maintain proper facilities.
If a pharmaceutical company does not properly warn you of risks inherent in the use of their product — and that lack of proper warning leads to injuries for your child — you may consider naming that company as a defendant in your claim.
Typically, as long as a pharmaceutical producer properly informs the prescribing doctor of the risks of a product, the responsibility for prescribing a certain medication falls to that doctor. However, if you find that a drug manufacturer did not issue proper warnings about potential side effects, if their product caused your baby’s birth injuries, the pharmaceutical manufacturer may bear responsibility.
Building a birth injury claim takes time and attention to detail. You must ensure that you include all the issues at hand and the laws that apply to them. If you are serious about your claim, be sure to use all the legal tools and guidance you have to create strong protections for your child’s rights and well-being.