Birth-related medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional negligently causes injury to an unborn baby or mother during the delivery process. A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that medical errors are the third leading cause of fatality. According to Childbirth Connection (CC), a nonprofit advocacy organization, approximately 40,000 mothers and babies are negligently injured each year in the United States, but only about two percent of victims sue for medical malpractice. There are several reasons why filing a lawsuit may be the best course of action for victims of medical malpractice.
Settlement or Discovery
Doctors are held to the medical standard of care, meaning they must exercise the degree of care and skill that a similarly-skilled health care provider in the same specialty would exercise in a similar case. In some cases, fault is apparent and the claim will be settled out of court, providing victims with expedient closure.
Other cases must go to trial. A lawsuit may be the only way to determine if the injury is the result of medical malpractice because medical professionals often refuse to turn over information that would prove the negligence occurred. The process of discovery can provide victims with answers to questions they might not have obtained without legal assistance.
Accountability and Compensation
Without the ability to sue, individuals would be at a serious disadvantage in fighting a government entity or the administration of a major corporation such as a hospital. These entities often terminate contact with victims without explanations or offers of compensation. By filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, the corporation is obligated to comply with the legal process.
Children who are injured during birth often require lifelong care, which can be extremely expensive. A birth injury lawsuit may provide the child with the financial support they need. Some argue that liability costs threaten healthcare providers’ livelihood, but this assertion is unsupported by evidence. Obstetricians make some of the highest salaries in the medical profession, and according to a CC maternity liability report, malpractice insurance costs have been decreasing.
Prevention and Deterrence
Medical professionals that go unchecked are more likely to repeat the same behavior in the future. Medical malpractice suits expose them for their wrongdoing, allowing potential future patients to be aware of the risks associated with that particular doctor or institution. Furthermore, a medical malpractice lawsuit may be the push that the negligent medical professional need to improve the quality of their care.
State licensing boards, obstetrics professional organizations and hospital administrators are all responsible for holding medical professionals accountable for medical errors. However, because these organizations rarely take action, a medical malpractice lawsuit may be the best way for a victim to hold medical professionals accountable and receive compensation for their injuries.
New Jersey Birth Injury Lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP Represent Victims of Medical MalpracticeIf you or your child suffered an injury before, during, or after childbirth, contact a New Jersey birth injury lawyer at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP. We have recovered over $550 million for medical malpractice victims and our firm is recognized as one of the region’s top personal injury firms. Our offices are located in Edison, Red Bank, and Toms River, New Jersey, and we represent clients throughout the state. Contact us online or call us at 732-777-0100 to arrange a free consultation.