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The Importance Of Expert Testimony In Birth Injury Lawsuits

A successful birth injury medical malpractice claim hinges on proving four key elements: the provider-patient relationship, adherence to the medical standard of care, breach of the standard of care, and causation. A strong case requires detailed medical records that link care to injuries, expert testimony, and other evidence.

Medical experts play a crucial role in linking a healthcare professional’s actions (or lack thereof) to your child’s injuries. Experienced Atlanta Birth Injury Lawyers can help you identify and retain qualified medical experts for your case.

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Establishing The Standard Of Care

Medical malpractice claims hinge on four primary elements: the standard of care, causation, damages, and intent. It is the plaintiff’s responsibility to prove all four of these elements through evidence and arguments. For this reason, you must work with an experienced birth injury attorney.

The first step in establishing the standard of care is reviewing medical records and identifying what types of actions or failures a competent healthcare professional would have taken in your situation. This is often accomplished through expert testimony. Your lawyer may engage obstetricians, gynecologists, nurse-midwives, anesthesiologists, and family practitioners to provide expert opinion in your case.

Once the standard of care is established, your attorneys must show that the defendant’s actions deviated from this standard and caused injuries to you or your child. This is called proving negligence or wrongdoing. This involves presenting professional analyses and opinions from your expert witnesses, as well as patient statements and eyewitness accounts. These personal narratives add a human perspective to the case and help your attorneys build a powerful argument on behalf of you and your child.

For example, if an infant suffered permanent brain damage from Group B strep that the mother did not test for or treat, your lawyers could call an expert witness to explain that this infection should have been detected through simple testing and treatment at the appropriate time during the pregnancy. Your lawyers could also cite the medical literature regarding the likelihood of an adverse outcome from untreated Group B strep.

Lastly, your lawyers will need to present proof of the economic and non-economic losses you have suffered and/or your child has suffered due to the defendant’s actions or inaction. This includes medical bills, lost wages and future costs of care. For the future costs of care, your experts will need to offer their estimates and projections for the lifetime of care that will be needed for your child.

After a thorough review of your medical and financial information, your legal team will send a demand letter to the healthcare provider seeking compensation for your child’s injuries. If the healthcare provider does not agree to a fair settlement, your legal team may recommend filing a lawsuit in court.

Proving Causation

In addition to establishing the standard of care and showing that your healthcare provider breached that standard, you must also prove that their actions caused your child’s injuries. Medical experts are essential in this step as well. Your attorney will work with these professionals to review your case and provide a clear understanding of what occurred during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, as well as how your child’s injuries were directly related to that negligence.

Your lawyer will review your medical records and then will request copies of any expert testimony that is being offered in your case. These records provide a detailed timeline of your child’s medical care and are crucial to proving that a doctor deviated from the standard of care and that their actions led to injuries.

A skilled medical malpractice attorney will be able to identify the best experts and secure their services. Often, these professionals will have extensive experience in the defendant’s field and can offer an impartial opinion on whether or not their actions violated the standard of care. However, expert witness qualifications vary by state. In general, these experts must be familiar with the defendant’s field of practice and have teaching or practical experience in that area. Moreover, experts must be able to explain the standard of care in a manner that is understandable by a jury or judge.

Defendants may try to argue that other factors beyond the doctor’s control caused your child’s birth injury. This is why your attorney must be able to present compelling expert testimony demonstrating that the injury was a foreseeable result of the doctor’s actions.

The birth injury attorneys are well-versed in the way healthcare systems function and can use this knowledge to build a strong case on your behalf. We can help you recover the damages you deserve for your child’s injury. This could include past and future medical expenses, lost income from being unable to work, non-economic damages like pain and suffering, and other financial losses. Contact us today to discuss your claim with a member of our team.

Proving Damages

In a successful birth injury lawsuit, a plaintiff must prove the four parts of a claim: a provider-patient relationship, adherence to the medical standard of care, breach of the standard of care, and causation. Crucial evidence includes detailed medical records linking treatment to injuries, the defendant’s employment and disciplinary records, eyewitness statements, hospital policies and regulations, income statements, video evidence, and more. Your attorney will investigate and gather all available evidence to build a compelling case.

Medical experts will provide opinions on whether the healthcare professional departed from accepted practices. Your lawyer will carefully select the most appropriate expert witnesses to strengthen your case. Defendants may also retain their experts to challenge the validity of your claim. This can turn into a battle of the experts in which the judge or jury must determine who has the better case.

Once a medical professional has determined that malpractice likely occurred, the next step is to establish what damages are owed. This can include economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are based on the amount of money needed to pay for future treatment, care, and living expenses. Noneconomic damages are intended to address the emotional and physical trauma caused by the malpractice.

A qualified birth injury attorney can help you obtain the maximum amount of compensation possible. He or she will work with medical and financial experts to determine the impact of the injury on your child’s life. This will include a description of the child’s social, emotional, and financial well-being as well as a calculation of the lifetime cost of care and associated expenses.

If a healthcare provider is found to have committed malpractice, your lawyer will submit a demand letter to their insurance company. This will usually trigger a period of negotiation and if no agreement is reached, the case will go to trial. An experienced legal team will guide you through every step of the process and will fight to protect your rights. If you suspect that your child has suffered a birth injury due to medical malpractice, it’s important to seek legal guidance as soon as possible. Time limits are strict, and the sooner you get started, the better.

Defending A Birth Injury Case

Often, medical malpractice cases are complex and require extensive testimony from experts. Experts are individuals with extensive knowledge and experience in a particular field, such as obstetrics, neonatology, or neurology. They have been vetted for their credentials, and they can explain complex medical concepts to a jury in layman’s terms. Both the plaintiff and defendant may call expert witnesses to testify in a case. The court will decide how much weight to give the testimony of each expert witness.

A key element of a birth injury lawsuit is showing that the doctor’s medical errors caused damages to you or your child. This requires proving the four elements of medical malpractice: duty of care, breach of duty of care, causation, and damages. Depending on the nature of your claim, you will need to provide evidence such as medical records, statements, and testimony from eyewitnesses, imaging studies, and other documentation.

To prove causation, your attorney will need to establish that the doctor owed a duty of care to you or your baby and that they violated this duty by failing to follow the appropriate medical standards during labor and delivery. They will also need to show that the medical mistakes directly and proximately caused your injuries or your child’s birth defects.

Your attorney will review medical records to determine whether the healthcare providers in question followed the appropriate standard of care during pregnancy and delivery. They will then consult with medical experts to establish what that standard of care should be, and how the doctor’s actions deviated from it.

Once your attorney has sufficient evidence, they will file a demand package with the hospital or doctor’s malpractice carrier. This typically includes a statement outlining the facts of the case, a list of documents and records that support the claim, and a dollar amount to settle the case. The medical provider may either ignore the demand or make a counteroffer, which your attorney will evaluate.

Most medical malpractice claims, including those related to birth injuries, settle out of court. The hospital or doctor might want to avoid the negative publicity that comes with a trial. This is also common in cases involving medically negligent treatment that resulted in a death or serious and disfiguring injury to the baby or mother.