The birth of a baby should be a time of joy and excitement for you and your loved ones, and a physician should be careful and diligent every step of the way to ensure the health and safety of you and your child. When a doctor fails to recognize and act upon any indications that your baby is in distress during birth, this could cause serious injuries to the child.
If your medical provider’s negligence caused harm to you or your baby, a Florida fetal distress lawyer could help you file a claim for damages against liable parties. A birth injury attorney from our firm could help ensure that you and your family are compensated for any medical expenses that have resulted from your doctor’s carelessness.
Causes of Fetal Distress
Fetal distress indicates that a baby’s health is in danger during birth and usually signals physicians to take immediate action. Accepted medical standards require a doctor to know the causes and signs of potential fetal distress, and those who do not could be held liable in the event of an injury to a baby.
Fetal distress can be caused by a detached placenta, uterine tear, or prolapsed umbilical cord. Common causes of fetal distress also occur when a baby is breaching or in an otherwise unusual birth position.
Healthcare professionals have the tools to properly monitor for signs of fetal distress, such as monitoring strips to measure a fetus’s heart rate. Proper monitoring for fetal distress should examine:
- Fetal heart beat during labor and delivery
- Proper development throughout pregnancy
- Oxygen being supplied to the baby during labor and deliver
- Infant position prior to delivery
- Umbilical cord compression
- Positioning of the umbilical cord
If a physician is alert and attentive to the patient and uses their medical resources, they should be able to identify when a baby is in danger and take swift action before any irreparable damage is done.
Warning signs that may indicate fetal distress include a noteworthy change in the baby’s heart rate, a significant decline in the baby’s movement in the womb, a high level of acid in the baby’s blood, and evidence of fetal bowel movements in the mother’s amniotic fluid. Should a doctor fail to notice signs of fetal distress due to negligence, a Florida attorney could help affected parties take legal action to pursue any compensation they deserve.
A medical provider’s failure to address fetal distress could result in severe and lasting injuries to the mother as well as the child. In the most tragic circumstances, it could also lead to death. Babies in distress could be born with brain damage, cerebral palsy, accelerated heart rate, hypoxia, or other serious developmental disorders.
Potentially Liable Parties
There could be several liable parties in a fetal distress birth injury case, including the following:
- Emergency room staff
- Obstetric gynecologists
- Hospital staff
- Laboratories where images, tests, or samples are taken for analysis
Relevant Florida Laws
Florida Statutes §766.202(4) allows eligible parties to sue a healthcare provider whose negligence results in injury to a patient. To obtain compensation for fetal distress in Florida, a lawyer must show that the healthcare provider owed the claimant a medically accepted duty of care, breached that standard of care, and directly caused or worsened the claimant’s injuries as a result.
According to FL Stat §95-11, lawsuits alleging medical negligence must be filed within two years from the date the injury is discovered. When parents are unaware that a doctor’s medical error caused their child’s health difficulties, they may have up to four years to file a civil suit.
Ultimately, a case can be filed no later than the child’s eighth birthday. A Florida lawyer could explain the time limits that may apply to a plaintiff’s particular case in detail and ensure that their suit is filed by the appropriate deadline.
Monetary damages generally represent the ways the child or their family has been harmed or inconvenienced by the physician’s recklessness. Compensation awarded in a successful claim can cover current and future medical costs, emotional distress, mental anguish, loss of companionship, pain and suffering, and past and future lost income.
Contact a Florida Fetal Distress Attorney Now
If your baby’s health was damaged by the negligence of a careless medical care provider, you should contact a Florida fetal distress lawyer for qualified legal advocacy in and out of the courtroom. A lawyer at Domnick Cunningham and Whalen can help ensure that you receive compensation for any costs you have incurred as a result of a physician’s failure to address fetal distress. Call now to set up a consultation with a professional.
Speak to a member of our team today.