Medical malpractice in the delivery room can cause serious medical consequences to the baby. One of these consequences is cerebral palsy, which is a permanent neurological disorder that hinders overall muscle coordination and body movement. Unfortunately, medical malpractice is responsible for 1 in 10 babies born with cerebral palsy. If you and your baby are an unfortunate victim of medical malpractice that led to cerebral palsy, you can file a medical malpractice case against the hospital in order to receive monetary compensation that will be needed to cover future medical expenses. Here are 3 types of evidence that you'll need.
Prenatal Care Records and Medical Records of the Labor and Delivery Process
Just because your baby was born with cerebral palsy, this does not necessarily indicate that medical malpractice occurred in the delivery room. The fact of the matter is that you and your personal injury lawyer will need to prove that the medical professionals made unreasonable and preventable mistakes that directly caused your baby to have cerebral palsy. To prove this, you'll need several types of medical reports.
To prove that your baby was developing healthily when in the womb, you'll need to make a request for your prenatal care records to be sent to your personal injury attorney. These reports will indicate whether the medical professionals failed to detect or treat infections that caused the cerebral palsy during the pregnancy. Medical records of the labor and delivery process are also necessary, as they can be very telling. In particular, the data recorded by the fetal heart rate monitor is an important piece of evidence to get, as it can show signs of fetal oxygen deprivation and distress during delivery. If the monitor shows signs of these issues, it's crucial that the medical team responded swiftly and appropriately.
Witness Statements from Those in the Delivery Room
Generally speaking, in most case scenarios, the father, family members or close friends will be in the delivery room to provide support. These witnesses can provide testimony as to what the doctors did or did not do. Even if you were alone, your personal injury attorney may be able to convince and request a nurse who was present in the room to testify on your behalf regarding what did or did not happen. First-hand accounts of what happened in the delivery room can provide further insight as to whether mistakes were made.
If you'll be relying on witness statements to back up your claims, your personal injury attorney will want to vet your witnesses in order to make sure that they are reliable. An attorney will also help prepare the witnesses for when they will be asked to take the stand.
Expert Testimony Backing Up Claims You've Made
While you'll want witness testimony that can provide a first-hand account as to what happened in the delivery room, you'll also want to strengthen your case by hiring an expert to testify on your behalf. Keep in mind that medical experts do not come cheap. The median hourly fee for a medical expert to review medical reports and the circumstances that surround your baby's diagnosis is around $350, and the median hourly fee for their testimony will cost you about $500.
A medical expert can tell the judge exactly what your doctors did that caused your baby to have cerebral palsy. The expert can also provide some insight as to whether the mistake made was unreasonable and preventable and whether the quality of medical care you received falls short of the standard. Expert testimony will be the last nail in the coffin needed to prove your case.
Babies born with cerebral palsy require long-term supportive care services, and the average lifetime cost per person is estimated to be about $921,000. Filing a medical malpractice case against the hospital can provide you with the monetary compensation that you'll need to handle and deal with the long road you have ahead of you. Talk to a lawyer like Roberts Miceli LLP for more advice.