Elements of a Florida Birth Injury Claim | Searcy Denney

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Elements of a Birth Injury Claim


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Elements of a Birth Injury Claim

Florida statute establishes the elements of a medical malpractice civil claim. In order to win compensation, you must prove each element of the claim.

Searcy Denney has been assisting Florida patients injured by negligent doctors for over 40 years. Our lawyers have helped countless families recover damages for their injured babies. Our Florida birth defect attorneys recognize the importance of having the financial means to give your injured child every opportunity in life and we do all we can to make that possible.

Below are the elements of a birth injury claim.

1. Duty of care

Duty of care is established by virtue of the patient-doctor relationship. Your obstetrician, anesthesiologists, delivery nurses and other medical professionals and facilities owe you a duty of care under the law.

2. Standard of care

Your health care providers’ duty of care is based upon the reasonable standard of care expected of a similarly situated professional. For example, your primary care physician is not expected to have the same level of specialized knowledge as your obstetrician. Therefore, she or he might not be able to recommend whether a vaginal or C-section delivery is appropriate. However, your primary care doctor should be expected to know that folic acid is vital to a healthy pregnancy.

To prove standard of care, our medical malpractice lawyers consult with experts in the appropriate fields. At trial, we may introduce testimony of obstetricians who explain to the jury what steps they would have taken in the same situation and in what ways your doctor’s actions deviated from those steps.

3. Breach of duty

Your doctor breached his or her duty if the doctor acted or omitted to act in a manner that deviated from the expected standard of care. An omission might include:

  • Failing to detect fetal distress or oxygen asphyxia
  • Failing to diagnose preeclampsia, diabetes or low blood pressure
  • Failing to assess the risks of vaginal delivery and to recommend a C-section
  • Failing to provide thorough, accurate information about potential birth defects
  • Failing to test for birth defects and serious medical conditions
  • Failing to perform a correct episiotomy to prevent perineal tears

An action that might constitute a breach of duty might include:

  • Excessively tugging on your child’s shoulder during delivery
  • Incorrectly inserting an epidural
  • Inducing labor when inappropriate
  • Prescribing medication that is harmful to the unborn child

4. Causation

Causation refers to the link between the injury and your doctor’s breach of duty. You do not have a valid claim just because your baby was injured during delivery if your doctor did nothing wrong. Likewise, your doctor may have made an error, but you suffered no real harm. To prevail, you must show that the mistake your doctor made directly caused your injuries or our child’s injuries.

Commonly, the defense claims the patient is to blame for his or her child’s injuries or that the injuries were beyond anyone’s control. Our lawyers counter these tactics through extensive research, well-organized arguments, strong evidence and the testimony of experienced expert witnesses.

5. Damages

Damages equal the amount of actual loss you suffered. Economic damages include lost income, medical bills, and future medical care. , disabilities, pain and suffering. Noneconomic damages refer to “human damages from pain, suffering, disability, loss of consortium and other similar damages.”

Recover Damages in Your Medical Malpractice Claim

Learn what you need to prove to win a judgment against the doctors and health care providers who injured you or your baby. Schedule a free consultation with Searcy Denney. To alleviate the burden on your family, our medical malpractice lawyers take your claim on contingency.

Our Fee Promise: No Recovery, You Owe Us Nothing.

A Florida personal injury firm ready to fight for you.

Call us: 800-780-8607free initial consultation

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Searcy Denney 2139 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd.
West Palm Beach, FL 33409-6601
Toll-free: (800) 780-8607
Phone: (561) 686-6300
En Espanol: (800) 220-7006


Searcy Denney The Towle House, 517 N. Calhoun St.
Tallahassee, FL 32301-1231
Toll-free: (888) 549-7011
Phone: (850) 224-7600
En Espanol: (800) 220-7006

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