Becoming a mother or father should be one of the happiest days of your life. But when your son or daughter is injured by the careless actions of an OB-GYN, nurse, midwife, or other healthcare professional, what should be a joyous occasion can turn into tragedy.
Attorney Jay Sheen understands that nothing is more devastating than seeing your precious newborn son or daughter burdened with a serious injury, and will always treat your case with sensitivity and empathy. You may be feeling lost, hopeless, and alone right now, but rest assured that Jay will do everything in his power to help you and your family obtain the closure, accountability, and compensation you deserve.
To set up a free and confidential legal consultation with Jay, call the law offices of Overson & Sheen, LLC at (801) 618-3580. Please don’t hesitate to call any time of day or evening, including weekends. Jay has over 33 years of experience and handles cases throughout the Salt Lake County area, including Draper, West Valley City, West Jordan, South Jordan, Sandy, Cottonwood Heights, and more.
What is Medical Malpractice? Do I Have a Case Against My OB-GYN?
A poor medical outcome doesn’t always indicate that malpractice has occurred. However, if you suspect your baby’s injuries were caused by substandard medical care, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. The only way to determine whether an injury victim has a cause of action, or grounds for filing a lawsuit, is to review the details of what occurred on a situation-by-situation basis.
That being said, there are a few basic elements which are common to all malpractice cases. The injured party, or plaintiff, must prove the existence of several key facts, a responsibility known as the “burden of proof.” These facts are that:
- There was a formal patient-doctor relationship. Doctors have a “duty of care” to their patients, which means they must take reasonable measures to minimize the risk of inflicting preventable death or injury.
- The doctor breached their duty of care. There are many ways a doctor can negligently fail to meet professional care standards, such as using forceps incorrectly, or delaying a C-section without a legitimate medical purpose.
- The medical error was caused by your doctor’s actions or failures to act. It’s important to note that many types of doctors and healthcare professionals can be sued for malpractice, not just the OB-GYN who delivered your baby. Depending on what happened, liable parties might include nurses, anesthesiologists, and others. In a home birth setting, the midwife may be liable.
- Your baby suffered harm as a result of your doctor’s actions or failure to act. Examples of harm include paralyzed limbs, fractured bones, and organ damage.
If all of these elements were present, you may have a case. However, even if you aren’t completely sure, it is vital that you consult with an experienced malpractice attorney before ruling out the possibility. Jay always offers injury victims free initial consultations.
How Doctor, Nurse, and Midwife Negligence Causes Common Birth Injuries
Unfortunately, birth injuries are common in Utah and throughout the United States – and many of them are preventable. According to a statistical brief released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “In 2006, nearly 157,700 injuries to mothers and newborns occurred during childbirth and may have been potentially avoided.” That means approximately 3.7% of the 4.3 million births recorded that year ended in preventable injuries.
Assisting childbirth is a complex medical process, and the smallest mistake can result in permanent complications for the child and/or mother. Some common examples include:
- Doctors who are inexperienced, underqualified, or inadequately supervised for the procedure they are performing.
- Excessive use of physical force during delivery, which is especially common when using vacuum extractors or forceps.
- Excessive dosage of labor-inducing drugs, such as Pitocin.
- Failing to monitor the baby’s oxygen levels and other vital signs.
- Failing to use or sterilize medical equipment properly.
- Making mistakes while performing a C-section.
- Unnecessarily performing or delaying a C-section without a valid medical purpose.
These and other negligent medical errors can inflict severe and permanent injuries during delivery. Some examples of common birth injuries include:
- Bone Fractures
- Brachial Plexus Injuries (BPI)
- Brain Injuries
- Cerebral Ischemia
- Cerebral Palsy
- Erb’s Palsy
- Facial Paralysis
- Intracranial Hemorrhage
- Klumpke’s Palsy
- Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
- Shoulder Dystocia
- Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI)
- Subarachnoid Hemorrhage
- Subconjunctival Hemorrhage
While doctors may be held liable for the preventable infliction of physical injury, Utah does not currently recognize wrongful birth claims, which involve failure to notify the parents of a birth defect.
Rely on a Utah Birth Injury Attorney of Overson & Sheen, LLC
If your infant son or daughter suffered serious injuries because your doctor made a mistake, you deserve answers for what happened. Your family may be entitled to compensation, which can help ensure that your son or daughter receives quality medical care. To set up a free, completely confidential legal consultation, call birth injury attorney Jay Sheen at (801) 618-3580 today.