To recover compensation after a birth accident, you must first prove there was negligence involved. Negligence can come from one physician, a team of physicians, or the hospital’s practices in general. You’ll need a birth injury lawyer in Baltimore to help you prove a duty of care was breached, leading to a birth injury.
Ask a Birth Injury Lawyer in Baltimore: How Can I Prove the Medical Professional Was Negligent?
Consulting Expert Witnesses
Attorneys usually consult expert witnesses during medical malpractice cases. Usually, this is a medical professional with the same knowledge and qualifications as the negligent medical professional. Consulting expert witnesses is often one of the most important parts of a medical malpractice case, as their knowledge is one of the most valuable forms of evidence you have.
The expert will usually testify regarding what should’ve happened during the birth to prevent the birth injury, and they may also discuss how the birth injury could’ve been avoided if the physician who caused it wasn’t negligent. The expert witness may also talk about the standard of care and how the negligent physician did not provide care that was up to that standard. They’ll also explain everything in terms that everyone involved can understand.
Using a Certificate of Merit
Doctors with qualifications in the same field as the negligent physician don’t just act as expert witnesses. You’ll also need a qualified medical professional to sign a certificate of merit, which is legally required if you wish to sue a healthcare provider for malpractice. Having a certificate of merit shows a qualified healthcare provider is knowledgeable on the subject and believes the physician you’re suing was negligent.
The certificate also details numerous aspects of the malpractice case, including the standard of care, how the negligent physician didn’t meet that standard, details of the birth injury, and how the negligent physician could have acted differently to prevent the injury. You must file a certificate of merit within 90 days of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. Your lawyer may help you file the certificate of merit.
Consulting Other Witnesses
Those who were present at the birth will likely be consulted to give statements regarding what happened in the leadup to and aftermath of the injury. You’ll be asked to testify, too. You probably dealt with numerous hospital workers during the birth, and some or all of them may be questioned or asked for statements regarding what happened. Your attorney can help you gather witnesses. Visit this page to contact a lawyer and learn more about malpractice.
Witnesses should be honest when giving their statements, and honest statements from witnesses often help paint a clear picture of what happened during the birth and how the negligence occurred and impacted you. If you’ve filed a lawsuit, then speaking to witnesses who were present at the birth can be particularly helpful, especially at trial, as it’s illegal to lie to the court under oath and serious penalties are applied to those who do.
Using Your Medical Records
In most cases, your medical records may be used to prove that negligence occurred. Your medical records may be examined to determine if something that went wrong during the pregnancy may have contributed to the birth injury. Other elements of your medical records may be taken into account to disprove non-negligence-related causes of the birth injury.
If there are certain tests and treatments missing from your medical records, and these tests or treatments may have helped prevent the birth injury, then this may be used to prove negligence on behalf of the physician throughout your pregnancy. Failure to address abnormal test results may also help prove negligence.
Using Indisputable Circumstantial Evidence
With some forms of negligence, the situation speaks for itself. This is known as res ispa loquitor, meaning “the thing speaks for itself.” Whether or not this is applicable in your case depends on the type of birth injury. One example of where this might apply is if a surgical instrument was dropped inside you during a c-section or left inside you after one, leading to an injury for you or your child. This may sometimes be classed as a surgical error instead.
Using a Background Check
In some cases, your attorney may investigate the negligent physician’s background. If the physician has had previous claims against them before, then it shows repeated potentially negligent behavior. Depending on the details of past claims brought against your physician, finding they’ve had claims made against them before may be helpful for your case. It may be especially helpful if the people who brought claims against the doctor before won their cases.
The hardest part of recovering compensation is proving the medical professional in charge of you was negligent. However, the best attorneys typically have qualified medical experts they can contact to testify regarding your case. Always work with the best attorney you can to give yourself the best chance of recovering damages.