Giving birth to a child can be an exciting and daunting experience. You trust that the doctor delivering your baby has the skills and competence to handle this monumental event. Unfortunately, situations occur where a child may be injured during birth, possibly warranting medical care for the rest of his or her life. How do you determine whether the doctors and nurses involved in the birth were at fault?
In Ontario, doctors are held to a certain standard of care and when that standard is breached, the delivering doctor (or assisting medical staff) may be found negligent & liable for damages.
At Wallbridge Wallbridge Lawyers, we examine four criteria which must be proven in any successful lawsuit against a doctor for medical malpractice: the duty of care, breach of that duty, causation and harm.
Duty of Care
The first step of the test is to determine whether the doctor or assisting medical staff owes you a duty of care. Generally, anyone involved in helping to deliver your child accepts that they owe a duty of care to you and your baby in accordance with the generally accepted standard of care.
Breach of Care
In this step, you must first establish the generally accepted standard of care for the circumstances the doctor or assisting medical staff faced with your specific delivery. This is achieved by calling other medical experts as witnesses. Once the standard of care is established, the court must determine whether your specific doctor or medical staff breached this standard.
The standard of care includes, among other things, matters such as responses to abnormal fetal monitoring, the timing of emergency caesarian sections and the ability to make difficult decisions when the delivery is complex.
If the court finds that the doctor breached the standard of care, the court must then determine whether that specific breach actually caused the birth injuries in question. It may be that the child had pre-existing medical conditions, in which case, the doctor may not be found liable. If however, the doctor’s failure to recognize and treat issues caused or worsened the defects, the doctor would likely be found negligent.
Even if the court finds that the doctor was negligent, there must be actual harm resulting to you or to your child. If there are no health issues as a result of the doctor’s delivery, there are no damages. Sometimes, it may be agreed that a child has health issues as a result of the birth, but there may be disagreement about the nature and the amount of care that he or she needs.
Contact Wallbridge Wallbridge Lawyers for Your Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
If your child has suffered birth injuries in Timmins, Sudbury, New Liskeard, North Bay, Ottawa or at any medical facility in Ontario due to suspected negligence by a doctor or medical staff, call one of our lawyers for a consultation. We can assess whether you have a case.
Even in cases where the negligence of the doctors and the medical staff is clear, it is important to speak to a lawyer to understand the true value of your case before agreeing to settle. Otherwise, you may relinquish your rights to receive proper compensation and settle for a lesser amount than you need to adequately care for your child.
A medical malpractice claim is serious and can be stressful – we can alleviate that stress by answering your questions. Contact us at 1-866-856-6197 or firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a meeting today. Our personal injury lawyers in Timmins, Sudbury, North Bay, New Liskeard and Ottawa would be happy to review your claim.