Medical experts play central roles in how negligence is proven in an umbilical cord birth injury claim. Almost every state requires input from an expert witness at some point in a medical malpractice case.
As to when an expert becomes involved in a case or what their role is in the case, this varies from state to state. Still, a medical expert’s review of the case can serve as evidence to prove that medical negligence occurred and caused your child’s birth injuries.
Some states require that your lawyer meets with an expert to affirm your case before filing a claim. Others require a sworn affidavit that malpractice is possible. It would be exceedingly rare for an umbilical cord birth injury case to go to trial without one or more experts weighing in.
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The Role of the Medical Expert in an Umbilical Cord Birth Injury Claim
The role of the medical expert in an umbilical cord birth injury case is to help all parties involved better understand:
- The care your child should have received
- What care was actually given
- The injuries your child sustained as a result
Our team can work with our network of experts to identify a practicing obstetrician or other relevant doctor based on the facts of your case. Our legal team will also obtain all relevant records related to:
- The pregnancy, including scans and test results
- The labor and delivery
- Your child’s newborn screenings
- Your child’s development and progress
- Your child’s diagnosis and challenges
The medical expert will analyze these records and piece together where things went wrong. Medical negligence commonly occurs when a doctor or staff member fails to adequately:
- Treat or address
If the medical experts discover that your child’s care team failed to provide adequate medical services at any of these stages of care, it could indicate negligence and liability.
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Experts Provide an Insight into the Expected Standard of Care
The reason why medical experts play such a significant role in how negligence is proven in an umbilical cord birth injury claim is to provide better insight into common medical practices.
You, your attorney, and even the insurance company workers might not have the knowledge and experience to accurately assess the medical errors that occurred. However, a medical expert witness does. This is why many states require that the expert you consult have similar training and experience as the physician accused of negligence.
Medical Experts Can Review Where the Signs Were
Let’s use an example to understand how a medical expert can help your case:
Imagine your child suffered serious injuries after being born with undiagnosed vasa previa. Vasa previa is a condition where the umbilical tube’s blood vessels cross the internal opening of the cervix. When the cervix opens, the baby loses necessary blood flow and can suffer serious consequences or even death.
When another doctor reviews your child’s records, they will see something you would not have known to look for. At the 20-week anatomy scan, the technician and doctor are responsible for checking the umbilical cord thoroughly. If they failed to identify vasa previa, this could be considered negligence.
This is important because a planned cesarean (C-section) delivery can greatly reduce the risk of injury and death in vasa previa cases. According to Medical Science Monitor, it can increase the baby’s chance of survival from 44 percent to 97 percent.
Other Experts Also Play a Role in Proving Aspects of Birth Injury Cases
The medical expert and other types of expert testimony may also be useful in proving your case. Specialists who can explain your child’s specific diagnosis and medical needs, for example, may support your claim for certain types of damages.
Economists and experts on the cost of medical treatment, care, and support will likely come in to help your attorney determine the future care costs of treating your child’s medical concerns and addressing related issues. This is important because some of these conditions require lifelong medication and monitoring, even if your child lives a relatively normal life.
According to the American Journal of Managed Care, the average care cost for a person living with epilepsy in 2014 was $15,414. However, many factors played into how much it might cost to manage a child’s care based on their specific diagnosis and symptoms. In fact, the average cost of care for uncontrolled seizure activity was $9,399 more than those with stable, controlled epilepsy.
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Speak to the Birth Injury Lawyers Group Today About Your Child’s Case
At the Birth Injury Lawyers Group, our team can help you understand the strength of your case and how you may be able to prove the hospital or doctor is responsible for your child’s injuries. Call us today: (800) 222-9529. We will review your case for free.