Birth injury in Rhode Island: The basics.

Birth injuries can cause complications that may last a lifetime. Those who believe they are victims may be eligible for compensation.

Advances in medical care have greatly reduced the risk of injury associated with the labor and delivery of a child. However, risks remain. Those who choose to deliver at a hospital are trusting medical professionals to provide needed care and intervention to better ensure both mother and child are healthy while pregnant and after delivering the child. In most cases, medical teams help make the hope of a healthy mother and a child a reality. However, there are instances where negligence can lead to injury.

What are some examples of birth injuries?

Any injury suffered during the labor and delivery process or due to poor prenatal care during pregnancy could qualify as a birth injury. Examples include injuries connected to a failure to intervene when the fetus is receiving an inadequate amount of oxygen, improper use of medical devices like forceps or vacuum as well as a failure to recognize distress in the mother like hypertension or diabetes.

What constitutes a claim for birth injury?

The two most common factors that can contribute to a birth injury malpractice claim involve physician negligence and issues with prescription medications. Physicians are required to conduct themselves according to an acceptable standard of care. Essentially, this means a physician must do what other physicians would do in a similar situation. If a physician fails to properly monitor a patient or does not respond with accepted interventions and an injury results, a malpractice claim is likely available.

It is important to note that physicians are not the only medical professionals that may be liable for birth injuries. In cases involving the use of prescription drugs during pregnancy, for example, a pharmacist or pharmaceutical company may be responsible for any resulting injuries. Pharmacists and pharmaceutical companies are generally required to warn patients of any potential side effects that could result from the use of prescription medications. This includes injuries to a developing fetus.

What is the purpose of a birth injury claim?

Birth injuries can lead to complications that last a lifetime. The infant may require additional medical care, interventions, medications and physical therapy throughout his or her life. These treatments are costly and a medical malpractice claim can help mitigate these expenses.

What is important to know about these lawsuits?

These lawsuits are subject to time limitations based on state law. In Rhode Island, birth injury cases should generally be filed within three years of the injury or within three years of the time the injury would reasonably be discovered.

Those who believe they were injured due to a physician or other medical professional's negligence are wise to seek the counsel of an experienced medical malpractice lawyer. This legal professional will review your case and work to better ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.