Injuries During Childbirth Can Be Devastating And Catastrophic
Medical malpractice injuries are always devastating. Rarely is an injury caused by a doctor minor or trivial. But injuries caused by a failure of a doctor or medical health professional to act, or which are caused by a medical professional’s negligence, are made even worse at childbirth or in the neonatal care units.
Childbirth is Inherently Risky
Today, we take for granted that childbirth is an easy and problem-free medical process. And certainly, the safety of childbirth has increased exponentially as medicine has advanced. In our modern society, when proper medical attention is given, childbirth is usually a problem-free event.
But childbirth is still a very risky procedure, where the slightest error can result in lifelong disability for a child. And that’s a child that is not otherwise born with a separate medical problem, such as a heart disease, a brain injury, or being born prematurely. Children also can be born with injuries that they sustain through the natural process of childbirth. If these problems aren’t avoided, recognized or properly dealt with by medical professionals, they can become lifelong medical problems.
Damages Can be Enormous
When mistakes happen at or just after child birth, the damages can be tremendous. That is because the victim is so young.
When someone that is, for example, 25, is involved in an accident, there are some natural limitations on damages. For example, if the person cannot work, the lost wages end at 65, 70, 75 or whatever age it is anticipated that the person will no longer be able to work. That’s about 20-30 years of lost wages.
The person may be of older age, where additional followup surgeries may not be practical.
But a newborn has his or her entire life ahead of him. The newborn, if injured so severely that his or her income level will be affected, could have 40-45 years of what would otherwise be fully working years, diminished or eliminated by the injury.
Care During Childhood
Unlike an adult, the infant will also have at least 18 years where he or she will need in-home care. Even a healthy child needs adult care and supervision. A child that is injured at birth may need special schooling, modification to the home, special caretakers or the parents may need additional help caring for the child.
The child may be a candidate for surgeries or procedures that an adult would not benefit from. Additionally, we don’t know what technologies may arise in the child’s life. Twenty, 30 or 40 years is a long time in medical advancement. A child injured at birth by malpractice may need to be compensated to pay for these future treatments.
Further complicating things is that kids develop and heal at different rates. We often don’t know how or if a child will recover, and if so, how much. The assumption must be little or no recovery, to make sure that a “worst case scenario” is planned for.
When you take into account how many medical professionals may be involved in the care of a newborn who is born with medical problems, malpractice cases for newborns can be very complex.
Call the Clinton personal injury attorneys at Fox Willis Burnette, PLLC, for help today if you are injured as a result of medical malpractice or any kind of medical error.