Walnut Creek Birth Injury Lawyer
Very few events transform sheer joy into sheer sadness faster and more completely than an unexpected birth injury. Raising a disabled child, or dealing with the death of an infant, are things no family should have to endure. Making matters worse, many families don’t realize something is wrong with their children for several weeks, or even several months, after the delivery.
The dedicated Walnut Creek birth injury lawyers at Venardi Zurada understand the immense costs of raising a disabled child and the immense emotional strain it causes. So, we work hard to obtain maximum compensation in these cases. There’s absolutely no way a family should have to bear these burdens alone. Therefore, what some people might see as “lawsuit lotto” or “jackpot justice” is, to us, not only a fair outcome, but also the only outcome which makes sense.
Duty of Care
All negligence cases, including medical malpractice claims, start with a duty of care. Typically, doctors have a fiduciary duty towards their patients. They must make decisions based solely on what’s best for their patients. Any other concerns, especially something like making money, fall by the wayside. Additionally, doctors must base their decisions on evidence and experience, not their instincts or preferences.
This duty does not begin when the doctor enters the delivery room. Instead, it begins the first time the doctor sees a patient or views a chart. If doctors see red flags, they must deal with them immediately, and not dismiss them as “borderline” hazards.
Furthermore, in this context, the duty belongs solely to the attending physician. Doctors cannot blame their mistakes on nurses, technicians, or other healthcare workers.
In terms of liability, the buck stops with the doctor. But in terms of financial responsibility, the chain keeps going. Clinics, hospitals, and other entities which employ doctors, or give them a place to work, could be financially responsible for damages.
These damages usually include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Our Walnut Creek birth injury lawyers often obtain additional punitive damages as well, mostly because of the high duty of care. Unless jurors award such additional damage, careless doctors would probably not change the way they treat patients.
We mentioned the duty to make evidence-based decisions above. Frequently, that doesn’t happen in the delivery room. In emergency situations, severe hypoxia (lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain) is about five minutes away. Since the pressure is on and the clock is ticking, many doctors fall back on dangerous techniques, such as:
- Episiotomy: In a bygone era, doctors routinely cut the mother’s perineum (area between the anus and genitals) to widen her birth canal. Now, however, medical science has determined that this technique is ineffective and unsafe. Yet many doctors still use it, especially in emergencies.
- Vacuum Extractor: The doctor attaches a metal cap to the baby’s head, attaches the cap to a vacuum pump, and tries to literally suck the baby out of the mother. This dangerous birth intervention often causes permanent head injuries, both inside and outside the baby, assuming it is successful at all.
- Forceps: These surgical instruments resemble oversize salad tongs. A doctor grasps the baby’s head, arm, or anything else s/he can grab, then tries to pull the baby out of the mother. As one might expect, this barbaric tactic, which essentially hasn’t changed since it was first used around 1700, often causes serious injuries.
Also as mentioned, doctors have a duty to address concerns as they arise. They cannot wait until the last minute. So, if a patient has a history of difficult deliveries or there are other warning signs, doctors have a legal duty to take prompt and effective action which minimizes the risk of a birth injury.
Rely on an Experienced Alameda County Attorney
Injury victims are normally entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced birth injury lawyer in Walnut Creek, contact Venardi Zurada, LLP. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.