The birth of a child is one of the happiest occasions in most people’s lives. That joy can turn to anguish, however, if you discover that your baby sustains an injury during birth. While most deliveries occur safely and without problems, around seven of every 1,000 babies born in the United States will suffer from a birth injury.
If your baby endures an injury during birth, you have the right to file a claim against those responsible. There are certain elements that you must prove during your case, however, to establish who is responsible and the details of their actions that led to the injury.
Legal duty of care
According to FindLaw experts, you must prove three elements in your case. First, you must prove that the responsible party owed a legal duty of care to you or your baby. This applies to doctors, nurses, obstetricians, hospitals and other medical facilities. If you have someone with no medical knowledge to deliver your baby, for example, that person does not technically owe you a duty of care because they have neither the training nor the obligation to keep your safety in mind.
Breach of the legal duty of care
Once you establish a legal duty of care, you must show that a breach of that legal duty occurred due to the actions of the responsible party. The idea is that under the circumstances, a reasonably competent person would not perform the same actions as the defendant, or vice versa.
Harm to you or your baby
Finally, you must prove that the actions taken, or not taken, by the defendant led to an injury of you or your baby. It is important to distinguish birth injuries from birth defects. A birth injury specifically stems from incompetence, whereas a birth defect is something that may not be preventable.