How Do You Prove Medical Negligence in a Birth Injury Lawsuit in Maryland?

If medical malpractice hurt your child during delivery in Maryland, you can sue for compensation. However, to recover damages due to malpractice, you must first prove malpractice occurred.

To prove medical negligence in a birth injury lawsuit, you will need evidence. Commonly used evidence in these claims includes medical records from birth, medical records from after birth, and witness statements from eyewitnesses and experts alike. Furthermore, if your case goes to court, you must meet the standard of proof and show that it is more likely than not that medical negligence caused your child’s birth injury. If you settle your claim out of court, you will not need to prove negligence, but you will need enough evidence to convince the defendant to settle at a fair amount. Because of this, quickly investigating birth injuries and gathering evidence is crucial, even if your lawsuit ultimately settles out of court in Maryland.

For a free case review from our Maryland birth injury lawyers, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras now at (410) 694-7291.

What Evidence Can You Use to Prove Medical Negligence in a Birth Injury Lawsuit in Maryland?

Proving that negligence caused a birth injury can be challenging, depending on the victim’s injuries and the evidence from the birth. Common evidence used in these claims includes a victim’s medical records and statements from those present at a birth in Maryland.

Medical Records from Birth

The most important evidence might be the injured child’s medical records. Along with the mother’s medical information from birth, these documents might note if a child was born with injuries or certain conditions. For example, if a doctor uses considerable force during extraction, they might fracture an infant’s collarbone. This type of birth injury should be recorded when your child is assessed immediately after their birth.

Medical Records from After Birth

If medical professionals do not run the proper tests to catch or diagnose common birth injuries, especially after a difficult delivery, parents might not notice injuries until later. In such cases, the child’s records from visits with their pediatrician and then in the future with eventual specialists could help prove their birth injuries.

Some birth injuries totally heal, while others cause permanent damage. For example, cerebral palsy, a common birth injury in Maryland, could cause vision, hearing, and speech problems, among other difficulties. If your child needs long-term care for birth injuries due to negligence, give our lawyers copies of medical records from that treatment as well.

Witness Statements

In addition to medical records, witness statements can help victims and their families prove medical negligence in birth injury lawsuits. Witness statements could come from various sources, depending on the case. For example, if another medical professional or person in the room witnessed a doctor use excessive force during delivery, fail to monitor the fetus’s heart rate, or otherwise breach their duty of care, they could testify in your claim.

Proving that medical negligence caused your baby’s birth injury can be challenging, as some birth injuries might also be congenital conditions. A common example of this is cerebral palsy. While cerebral palsy might be due to negligence during delivery, it might also be developed in utero. While you cannot diagnose cerebral palsy during pregnancy, there are risk factors. Medical experts can review your records from pregnancy and medical professionals’ conduct during delivery and testify regarding their opinion of whether negligence caused your child’s birth injury.

What Standard of Proof Applies to Maryland Birth Injury Lawsuits for Medical Negligence?

When you file a birth injury lawsuit, you do so with the goal of proving the defendant’s fault. To prove fault, you must meet the standard of proof as it applies to civil claims in Maryland.

As the plaintiff, the burden is on you to meet the standard of proof, which is a preponderance of the evidence. When victims meet this standard, they have effectively proven that a defendant is more than likely negligent and is liable for their damages.

To meet the standard of proof, your lawsuit must establish four elements. The first is that the defendant owed the victim a duty of care. Hospitals and doctors owe their patients a duty to act with reasonable care and in accordance with medical norms. During delivery, the doctor not only owes you a duty of care but also owes your child one as well.

The second element is that the defendant breached that duty of care. To prove this, we must show and explain what the defendant did specifically that injured your child. For example, if your child’s collarbone broke during delivery, we might show that the doctor used forceps unnecessarily and improperly, hurting your child. This is where the third element of causation comes in, as it is not enough to show a medical professional acted negligently; you must show that their negligence directly caused your child’s injuries.

Finally, our Baltimore birth injury lawyers must prove you incurred damages due to medical malpractice. To do this, we will need records confirming your various losses from a birth injury, such as any medical care your child has received up to this point and any medical care they might need in the future.

Can You Settle a Birth Injury Lawsuit Without Proving Medical Negligence in Maryland?

Not all birth injury claims go all the way to a trial in Maryland. If you settle your case out of court, you will not have to prove the defendant’s fault. However, to be successful in settlement negotiations, you must have enough evidence to leverage against the defendant.

We can prepare your case for the possibility of a trial from the get-go, even if you ultimately settle out of court. The defendant or defendants in your case may not offer a fair settlement at first. To get them to increase their offers, our lawyers can negotiate and leverage evidence against them. While settlement negotiations are informal in the sense that the two sides reach an agreement together, you still have to convince the defendant to settle at a fair amount, which typically requires evidence in Maryland.

Call Our Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Maryland Today

Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras’ Parkville, MD birth injury lawyers for a free case assessment at (410) 694-7291.