For most families, the birth of a newborn is a happy occasion. Unfortunately, however, injury or death to a newborn may occur during the childbirth process. When health care providers cause birth injuries, the consequences can ripple through the baby's life far into the future. Some babies who suffer birth injuries are catastrophically harmed, never becoming the people they could have been and incurring lifelong medical expenses and a need for caregivers. While birth defects are unavoidable and usually the result of genetics, birth injuries are the result of human acts or omissions. Compassionate injury lawyer Mark Hartsoe is dedicated to helping families in the Knoxville area when a child is the victim of medical malpractice.Proving the Liability of Health Care Providers in Tennessee
Health care providers can be held responsible for harm suffered by a child during his or her birth if the parents can prove that the provider failed to follow the appropriate standard of care in treating the patient and the injuries would not have occurred otherwise. Birth injuries are often associated with a difficult delivery, such as when the birth canal is too small or the fetus is too large. Injuries are also more common if the fetus is in an abnormal position before birth.
Some birth injuries include intracranial hemorrhages, fractures, cephalohematomas, nerve injuries, perinatal asphyxia, bone and soft tissue injuries, and cerebral palsy. Certain types of harm are obvious, such as when forceps cause a birth trauma during delivery. In some cases, however, injuries do not occur during the birthing process but before that during gestation because an obstetrician failed to recognize risk factors or conditions that required special treatment, such as gestational diabetes or preeclampsia. It can be challenging to prove what a health care provider should have done differently and to show that certain injuries are the result of inadequate care rather than complications such as a genetic or congenital condition.
To prove a medical malpractice claim against an obstetrician or other health care provider, you would need to establish that the professional breached the relevant standard of care. The standard of care in Tennessee is the generally accepted practices and procedures for medical professionals in the same geographic area with respect to patients with the same condition. This means that it can vary depending on a particular patient's medical history. For example, the standard of care that is applicable when delivering the baby of an older mother with diabetes may be different from the standard of care when treating a teenage mother with no medical health problems.
In addition to showing a breach of the standard of care, you must show that the breach and not some other factor resulted in the birth injury. Your attorney usually will need to retain experts to testify in this regard.
In Tennessee, a birth injury case usually must be brought within a year of discovering the injury or within three years from the date the doctor breached the standard of care. Because of these strict deadlines, it is crucial to consult an attorney as soon as you notice your baby has been harmed, or your claim likely will be barred.Seek Legal Guidance in Knoxville for a Birth Injury Claim
At the Hartsoe Law Firm, medical malpractice attorney Mark Hartsoe represents parents in Knoxville and the surrounding communities whose infants have suffered birth injuries at the hands of negligent doctors, nurses, or hospitals. We have experience establishing the relevant standard of care and pursuing compensation for parents whose children have been hurt by a doctor's error. For a free initial consultation, call (865) 524-5657 or contact us via our online form.