What are my rights if my daughter suffered a stroke during birth?

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What are my rights if my daughter suffered a stroke during birth?

She was in the neonatal intensive care unit for 2 weeks afterwards. Needed to see a neurosurgeon for 6 months. She was tube fed while in NICU. The doctor tried force-ably numerous times to lock forceps around my daughter’s head while in birth canal to the point you can see the doctor strain hard. My child is fine now with no defects she is 18 months. Even though she is OK now, is there anything that could be done for her traumatic experience? It’s no doubt the stroke and seizures were caused by the forceps. It was a bloody stroke which I believe is an injury.

Asked on May 24, 2013 under Malpractice Law, Maryland

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Medical malpractice is negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable medical practitioner in the community would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).

You should obtain your daughter's medical bills and medical reports (especially the report from the neurosurgeon which may provide evidence of malpractice if it attributes your daughter's stroke to the use of the forceps by the obstetrician).

Your daughter's claim filed with the obstetrician's malpractice insurance carrier should include the medical bills and medical reports, and especially the report from the neurosurgeon.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your daughter's injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  If the case is settled with the obstetrician's malpractice insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the obstetrician's malpractice insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the obstetrician.  You will need to be appointed guardian ad litem to file a lawsuit on behalf of your daughter.  The lawsuit for negligence must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or your daughter will lose her rights forever in the matter.


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