Kids and Medical Malpractice

Children who are victims of medical malpractice often suffer significant injury or death during the birthing process. Birth injuries are generally caused by something that went wrong during pregnancy or delivery, while birth defects are harms to the child that usually arose prior to birth and were often caused by genetic abnormalities or infection during pregnancy. Some studies have shown that birth injuries occur in five out of a thousand births (0.5%). Most birth injuries occur when a doctor, nurse, or midwife fails to adequately assess or respond to conditions that occur during pregnancy and/or delivery.

To pursue a medical negligence claim for harms suffered by a child, the injuries usually have to be severe if not catastrophic. This is because it takes enormous resources and expense to pursue the claim. Experts have to be hired to review the records and testify that the child suffered harm because the treating physician or other healthcare professional violated the standard of care. The cost of bringing a medical negligence claim can sometimes exceed six figures. In some cases, the cost can go as high as $500,000.

Medical negligence cases involving children include death, permanent brain damage, celebral palsy, Erb’s Palsy, and shoulder dystocia. Because medical negligence cases are often settled or resolved confidentially, there is no reliable database to show the actual number of children who are victims of medical negligence. Many times the negligence goes unreported due to the parents’ unawareness and/or because the child’s injuries are less than catastrophic or severe.

These are just a few categories of accidents that involve children. Of course, there are many others – too many to include in this book. What should be apparent, however, is that children face many different types of risks that can cause serious injury or even death. Parents should be aware of these risks so that proper precautions can be taken to protect their children. Many risks can be drastically reduced or even eliminated just by teaching parents and their children about injury prevention devices, like seat belts and helmets. Other risks of harm can be lowered by properly supervising children and teaching them to watch out for certain risks such as moving vehicles, aggressive dogs, and hazards located inside the home.
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