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Can you pursue a lawsuit against a hospital after a birth injury?

A birth injury can be one of the most stressful and painful things a family in Maryland has to endure. In fact, some birth injuries can be so serious that they will affect the child for their entire life. When this happens, victims may want to make sure that they hold all the responsible parties accountable for the injury. Yet, can you pursue a lawsuit against a hospital after a birth injury?

Although every situation is unique, in general, it may be possible in some situations for victims to pursue a lawsuit against the hospital where the birth injury occurred.

In some cases, a hospital may be vicariously responsible for a medical professional's negligence due to "respondeat superior." What this means is that if a worker was a hospital employee, rather than an independent contractor, the hospital may be responsible for the employee's negligence if the employee's negligent act occurred while the employee was on the job.

For example, if a doctor failed to recognize that a cesarean section was necessary, resulting in a birth injury, the doctor and the hospital may in some circumstances face liability for the mistake.

In other cases, the hospital itself may be negligent. Hospitals are tasked with taking due care when hiring and managing employees. For example, they need to ensure their employees are competent and that they adequately manage their employees and properly maintain their medical facilities. Should their failure to take these steps result in a birth injury, they may in some circumstances be sued for negligence.

It is important for victims of birth injuries to receive just compensation. After all, victims may require not only immediate medical care but also significant future care and rehabilitation. These medical expenses can be absolutely staggering, and even victims with medical insurance may find themselves in financial trouble if their insurance does not cover all their medical needs. By seeking compensation from all responsible parties, victims of birth injuries can begin to move on with their lives.

Source: FindLaw, "Responsible Parties in Birth Injury Cases: Who Can Be Sued?" accessed Aug. 3, 2014

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