What is the “Standard of Care” in an Illinois Birth Injury Claim?
If you are a parent of a child who was injured or who died during birth, you may be desperate for answers. Birth injuries typically include injuries that an infant suffers in utero, during labor and delivery, or shortly after being born. Minor birth injuries such as scrapes or bruises clear up in a few days and do not affect the infant long-term. Other birth injuries lead to life-long disabilities and medical complications. While some birth injuries are unavoidable, others are the direct result of medical negligence. When determining whether a birth injury was caused by the negligent or wrongful actions of a medical professional, courts use the “applicable standard of care.”
Medical Mistakes and Birth Injuries
Medical professionals are human. They make mistakes. However, physicians and other medical professionals are held to a very high standard when it comes to patient care. If a medical mistake is egregious or results in preventable harm to a patient, the mistake may not be excusable. Many parents of children who have suffered or passed away because of a birth injury wonder if the doctor or the medical facility at which their child was born is to blame. The answer to this question is often hard to determine. Medical malpractice attorneys gather evidence from a range of sources when investigating suspected or alleged malpractice. They often consult with medical experts to determine if a doctor or hospital’s conduct deviated from the norm.
Components of a Medical Malpractice Claim
There are four components to a medical malpractice claim:
- Duty of care: This means that there was an established doctor-patient relationship.
- Breach of duty of care: The doctor failed to meet the medical standard of care.
- Causation: The doctor’s breach caused the patient harm.
- Damages: The patient incurred damages, or losses, because of the harm.
Often, the question of liability in a birth injury case comes down to whether or not the doctor adhered to the applicable standard of care. This standard is defined as the type and quality of care that a medical professional of similar training and position would have provided under similar circumstances.
Some instances of medical malpractice are obvious. A surgeon who leaves a scalpel in a mother’s abdomen after a C-section has clearly violated the applicable standard of care. However, it is often much more difficult to determine whether a doctor’s decision or conduct breached the standard of care.
Contact an Orland Park Birth Injury Attorney
A doctor, surgeon, or other medical professional commits medical malpractice if he or she makes a mistake that violates the applicable standard of care and this mistake leads to a patient’s serious injury or death. If your child was harmed because of a birth injury and you suspect that medical negligence may have contributed to the injury, contact Schwartz Injury Law. We can help you investigate the circumstances of the birth injury and determine whether or not any malpractice has occurred. If medical malpractice has occurred, you and your family may be entitled to financial compensation. Call 708-226-9000 today and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced Will County medical malpractice attorney from our firm.