Settlements May Be an Option in Medical Malpractice Birth Injury Cases
Not all medical malpractice cases go to court. However, that option remains should settlement negotiations be a wash out.
“When dealing with birth injuries, such as Erb’s palsy, the usual cause of this affliction is improper treatment by the doctor. That might include his or her failure to understand a C-section needs to be done because of the baby’s size, not delivering the baby properly in shoulder dystocia cases and/or using too much pressure on the baby’s head or shoulder during delivery,” said Christopher Mellino. Mellino is a Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer and wrongful death lawyer of the Mellino Law Firm LLC, in Ohio.
“In cases like that, the family has every right to seek compensation from the medical professional who caused the bad outcome. Does the family have to go to court to obtain compensation? Not necessarily. They may be able to reach a negotiated Erb’s palsy settlement – compensation that may be received if the palsy is the result of medical negligence. The settlement amount depends on the severity of the palsy and the details of the case,” Mellino said.
In many cases handled by a Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer, they ensure the situation they are dealing with amounts to medical malpractice before proceeding. This is because not all bad outcomes with a doctor are medical malpractice. This is one of the primary reasons it is vital to discuss a potential case with an experienced Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer.
“We evaluate whether the doctor failed to estimate the baby’s weight before delivery, to diagnose or treat any gestational diabetes, to treat any other complications or conditions as a result of the pregnancy, to tell the parents about the risks associated with delivering a large baby or not ordering a C-section when necessary, and whether or not they used more force than necessary or resorted to inappropriate delivery techniques. All these things may have a hand in whether or not the baby is born with Erb’s palsy,” Mellino said.
During settlement negotiations, the plaintiff must prove that medical malpractice or negligence caused or contributed to the damages the baby sustained. To do this, the plaintiff needs clear and compelling evidence to obtain a settlement.
“This is my job,” said Mellino. “During negotiations and/or in court, I prove, on behalf of the plaintiff, that there was a doctor-patient relationship; that the doctor did not follow acceptable and reasonable medical standards and that the negligence in not following protocol resulted in birth injuries.”