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FELA

Every birth injury case is unique, and the reasons for these injuries may vary greatly. Even so, there are a few overarching themes that are found in many cases, and it is important for parents to know why these injuries happen. It can be a very traumatic time, since having a new baby is already chaotic, and parents may need time to really sit back, consider the event and think through all of their options.

Three potential reasons are:

  1. The prenatal care the mother received led to the injury. For instance, some prescription drugs have later been shown to harm a fetus before the baby is born.
  2. The doctor did not assess the dangerous condition properly. In these cases, it may be important to get expert testimony to show that the doctor should have noticed the dangerous condition — like an umbilical cord that gets wrapped around a child’s neck during birth — and that the parents had a reasonable expectation of better care.
  3. The doctor did not respond to a dangerous condition as expected. Even when the doctor knows that the danger exists, he or she needs to respond with proper, approved techniques to alleviate that danger as quickly and safely as possible.

This does not mean that doctors have to be perfect. An umbilical cord could get wrapped around the child and cause injury even if the doctor notices it right away and does everything in his or her power to protect the child. But there is a big difference between a doctor working faithfully to protect a child when it’s not possible and a doctor negligently allowing harm to occur.

Source: FindLaw, “Birth Injury Overview,” accessed May 18, 2018

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