There is a long list of people who may owe a legal duty of care for an umbilical cord birth injury. If a medical professional or facility failed to provide an acceptable standard of care to the baby at any time during the pregnancy, labor, or delivery, they may be considered guilty of medical negligence. They could be identified as a liable party in a birth injury medical malpractice claim or lawsuit.
The list of people and facilities who owe a legal duty of care for an umbilical cord birth injury may include:
- The obstetrician monitoring the pregnancy
- The staff of the medical practice monitoring the pregnancy and the clinic where they worked
- The doctor delivering the baby
- Any of the medical care professionals assisting with labor and delivery
- The hospital where the delivery took place
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Understanding “Duty of Care” in Your Umbilical Cord Birth Injury Case
All doctors and other medical care professionals owe their patients a duty of care. This means they must:
- Use their training, experience, and skill to diagnose and treat the patient, providing the appropriate medical care based on the circumstances
- Practice proper medical care and avoid making careless mistakes and doing anything that could cause more harm to the patient
To meet these expectations, the doctor will need to follow all accepted protocols and processes to prevent mistakes and injuries.
Failure to provide a proper standard of care could support a medical malpractice case. In fact, proving a birth injury claim requires you to show that the doctor failed to provide the necessary standard of care but had a duty to do so.
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The Hospital May Be Liable in Some Umbilical Cord Birth Injury Cases
There are some situations where the hospital may be held liable in a birth injury case. This is because they employ staff members who owe a duty of care to patients.
In some situations, you may be able to build a case against the hospital or another medical care facility. These situations include cases when the hospital:
- Is vicariously liable for the negligence of one or more of their employees
- Has a culture of carelessness and negligence
- Hires or retains a doctor or other staff member despite evidence of their previous negligence
It is important to note that most doctors are not hospital employees. Instead, they are independent contractors who have access to practice at a certain hospital. This means the hospital is not vicariously liable for their medical negligence, but administrators may be considered negligent if they knew about the issues and allowed the doctor to have continued access anyway.
Proving the Defendant Owed a Legal Duty of Care
When a medical malpractice case goes to trial, it is necessary to prove four things to show medical negligence occurred:
- The defendant owed the patient a legal duty of care.
- The defendant violated that duty.
- The patient suffered injuries as a result.
- The patient suffered financial losses in addition to injuries.
In general, proving the first of these factors is the most straightforward. When a doctor or another medical professional treats a patient, they owe them a duty of care. If you can show that the doctor treated the patient, monitored the patient, or was attending during the patient’s stay, the duty of care may be assumed.
There should be enough evidence in your child’s medical records to establish who was involved in their care. Rarely, you may need additional proof to show a duty of care. This could occur if the negligent doctor was called to consult on the case or their input was taken into account, but they never saw the patient directly.
Our legal team can help you assign liability as a part of developing your claim. This will include identifying the parties who owed your child a legal duty of care and acted negligently despite it.
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Moving Forward with Your Umbilical Cord Birth Injury Claim
If your baby suffered an umbilical cord birth injury and now has related complications or conditions, contact a birth injury malpractice law firm near you for a consultation today. Some possible complications of these injuries include:
- Cognitive delays
- Cerebral palsy
- Vision loss or deafness
- Learning delays
- Organ damage
There are time limits for filing this kind of suit, although these limits depend on your location and other factors. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), most states offer medical malpractice victims between one and seven years to file a lawsuit. However, many have rules in place that toll these deadlines for minors.
Speak with a Team Member About Your Child’s Birth Injury
The Birth Injury Lawyers Group will review your case for free today. Call (800) 222-9529 to get help now. We can explain your rights, explore your options, and answer your questions about the birth injury medical malpractice claims process.