Suffering an injury during what is meant to be one of the happiest times of your life can be devastating, even if both you and your child eventually recover. If you or your infant suffered an injury due to negligence or malpractice, you may have a legal case against those that were at fault. Knowing who to sue is key to creating a successful case. The following is a list of the entities and providers that could be held liable for your birth injury.
The attending providers include anyone that was attending or providing care during the birth. Generally, this includes the physician or midwife, nurses, assistants, anesthesiologist, and any other specialist that were necessary during the birth. This doesn't mean that everyone that attended your birth is liable. For example, if the anesthesiologist failed to recognize an allergy to a certain anesthesia but gave it to you anyway prior to a surgical birth, then they can be held liable for your reaction since they were negligent. The attending physician is not to blame in this case. It's important to know every provider that attended to you during the birth and what their responsibilities were so you know where the negligence lies.
The Hospital or Birthing Center
Both hospitals and birthing centers can be held liable for malpractice negligence, either on their own or in conjunction with the medical providers they employee. Using the above example, if the anesthesiologist had previously had their license revoked, but the hospital failed to check up on the validity of the license, both the anesthesiologist and the hospital can be sued.
In some cases, though, only the hospital or center may be considered negligent. A birthing center that is understaffed or operating without the requisite number of skilled medical employees onsite can be considered negligent if there wasn't sufficient care available to avoid or treat your injury.
Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Companies
Those that manufacture the medications and supplies used to treat you before, during, and after birth aren't usually liable for any birth injury. Instead, it is up to your physician to prescribe drugs and devices properly and give thorough information on use, otherwise they are responsible for malpractice in a problem occurs. There are rare exceptions, though. For example, the company can be held responsible if a device doesn't perform properly, such as walking aid giving out during a labor walk around the hospital halls and leading to an injury.
Contact a local malpractice attorney (such as one from http://www.snyderwenner.com) if you need more information on putting together your own birth injury malpractice claim.