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What situations would give rise to a birth injury lawsuit?

Few events bring more joy to San Diego residents than bringing a new life into the world. Sometimes, however, the newfound joy is intermixed with tears and sadness at the prospect of the baby suffering from lifelong struggles due to a birth injury. In these cases, medical costs can soar and a parent's only option may be to pursue a medical malpractice claim in order to receive the compensation needed to meet the child's needs.

Birth injuries generally happen when something went wrong during the delivery of a child, as opposed to an event taking place during the pregnancy that results in a birth defect. Birth injuries most often occur when certain factors are present, such as a premature birth or birth by cesarean delivery. Additionally, a larger baby or the shape of a mother's pelvis or birth canal may make delivery difficult. A baby who is not head-first in the canal may also cause an issue, as well as a very overweight mother or the use of devices-such as forceps-during delivery.

Some of these factors are apparent during the pregnancy, while others require special attention by the attending physician. If a doctor fails to notice or respond to the warning signs of possible birth complications and an injury results, the doctor may be held responsible. While some birth injuries are unavoidable, the main question to be answered is whether or not the medical provider failed to give adequate medical care during the pregnancy and delivery.

Medical malpractice claims allow an avenue of financial recovery when an attending healthcare provider fails to perform duties within the general standard of care. This standard is assessed according to that of a provider with similar training and experience. Usually this is set by expert testimony in a trial. Damages awards in birth injury cases generally go to the child, sometimes in the form of a trust. Parents may also receive compensation if the emotional distress they suffered reaches an elevated level.

For those experiencing mixed emotions of joy at a child's birth with fear for what the future holds after an unexpected birth injury, the strain of additional financial responsibilities can be overwhelming. A medical malpractice claim may ease those fears and allow families to focus on learning to adjust to life with their newest member.

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