One of the most frightening things that a person can experience is discovering that their baby has been injured during childbirth. When this happens, they are faced with many questions and no good answers. They do not know how their child might end up suffering as a result of the injury. They do not know how they will be able to afford medical expenses that could result from the birth injury. They do not know whom to blame.
A birth injury can leave parents fumbling around in the dark, looking for answers to these questions. Meanwhile, an obstetrician may be worrying that a medical malpractice lawsuit is in their future. Before anyone else is looking into the situation, the obstetrician will likely look at the cause of the birth injury themself. They will try to figure out whether they missed something that could have prevented the injury or not.
Sometimes No Action Is Taken
In many birth injury cases, parents will not pursue any legal action against their obstetrician. This can happen for a variety of reasons. One reason is that the birth injury might be mild and heal up quickly. If the costs are not high, and the injury fully heals, parents are most often just thankful that their baby is okay and would prefer to move on rather than get entangled in any legal mess.
Another reason that parents may not bring legal action is that they’ve developed a relationship with their obstetrician. They don’t want to cause harm to their obstetrician for a mistake they made.
They could also believe that the birth injury was unavoidable. Even if the doctor’s actions directly led to the accident, parents may be under the impression that there is nothing that could have been done differently. This last possibility is especially prevalent if the injury occurred while the baby was in the womb rather than during childbirth.
Other Times Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Are Filed
Of course, in many other instances, legal action is brought against the obstetrician. Sometimes legal action is taken because parents truly believe that their doctor did not properly perform their job. They may have clear evidence to back this up, or it may be more associated with a feeling they have about their doctor.
In other cases, the parents don’t necessarily think that their obstetrician was at fault. However, they are simply desperately seeking some way to pay for the medical bills they now face as a result of their child’s injury.
The Financial Side
Determining responsibility for a birth injury claim can be difficult. Fortunately for parents, a qualified birth injury lawyer knows exactly what to look for when investigating your case. When a doctor faces a medical malpractice lawsuit, they are not necessarily going to lose their medical license, even if they lose the case. Most doctors will face a medical malpractice lawsuit at least once in their career.
The lawsuit is simply about expenses and has no direct correlation to disciplinary measures. The majority of malpractice cases never even see a courtroom. Most of the time, these cases are settled outside of the courtroom, and the insurance for the doctor or the hospital or clinic where they are employed will cover the costs.
The Professional Side
Any disciplinary action is settled by a separate body as the result of an independent investigation. When a doctor is accused of medical malpractice, their state’s medical board may open an investigation into the complaint. Even when the medical board does determine that a doctor is guilty of medical malpractice, they are unlikely to lose their medical license over a single instance.
Instead, they will merely receive a warning and a write-up in their file about the incident. When the doctor has a history of malpractice complaints, they could end up losing their license. This is also possible in cases where other evidence comes to light that makes the case of medical malpractice seem like a mere symptom of a bigger threat posed by the doctor. For instance, if a colleague attested to the doctor being drunk at work.
Some patients may shy away from bringing a lawsuit because they are not particularly litigious and don’t want to harm the doctor unnecessarily. However, if a patient believes that a doctor’s action directly resulted in a birth injury, they should consider a lawsuit. Not only could a lawsuit potentially help them to pay for their child’s medical costs, but it could help to reveal a dangerous doctor and protect potential future patients from the same fate.
About Katherine Webre
Katherine Webre is a passionate writer with years of experience in legal. She has dedicated her career to represent the most vulnerable among us, children who have suffered severe injustice.
Beyond legal action, Katherine also takes up the pen to raise awareness and inform audiences about birth injuries. By sharing her expertise, she hopes to empower people to act against any prejudice and works as a collaborative editor for Birth Injury Lawyer.