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Children Injured during Birth Still have the Right to Grow to Their Full Potential

All the months of discomfort and, finally, the labor pains felt by an expecting mother are suddenly turned into the most wonderful of feelings as she gives birth to her baby through the help of caring doctors and other health care providers. Giving birth to a healthy baby, however, can only be ascertained if the doctor, under whose care the expecting mother is, takes good care of her, makes sure that the baby inside her womb is healthy, and delivers her baby in a way that will not cause the baby any injury.

Regular and accurate monitoring of a baby during pregnancy should be properly managed. This means that, from the first tests until the time of birth, a doctor is legally obliged to follow and provide the medical standards of care in order to protect the unborn and his/her mother, as failure to do so can lead to pregnancy complications and/or injuries during birth.

Birth injury, also known as birth trauma, has various causes. It could be delayed birth, oxygen deprivation, or difficult delivery, which happens if the mother’s birth canal is too small, the fetus is in an abnormal position in the uterus (during birth) or the baby is too big. Whichever it is, though, thousands of birth injury cases have been committed and reported in the past, with the majority of these pointing to the same reason – medical malpractice.

It takes only a single mistake from an obstetrician and his/her team to make a baby suffer a lifetime of medical problems; worst, however, are mistakes that cause a baby’s death. The sad reality is, despite their training, doctors and other medical personnel are often guilty of medical negligence, the identified major cause of injuries during birth and the reason behind most of the 28,000 yearly cases reported to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

That injuries during birth are more common than you might believe is one fact that any medical professional will affirm. Any baby can suffer from a bruise or a broken bone during the birthing process; however, these injuries are mild and will heal on their own after a short while. A personal injury attorney may tell you that some injuries, though, are much more serious, causing permanent complications, such as total paralysis of facial nerves (Bells’ palsy) or bleeding underneath the skull (Cephalohematoma) – injuries that are results of the improper use of forceps or vacuum during delivery.

Most hospitals and doctors carry medical malpractice insurance, which is meant to protect them (and, more importantly, the people they hurt) in the event of a medical mistake. Now, a child, whose physical and/or mental possibilities have been gravely affected due to a medical mistake, still has all the right to grow to his/her full potential; however, the cost of surgery, therapies and other medical treatment that may be required are definitely high. Through this medical malpractice insurance, required treatments may just be made possible; thus it is very important for parents to identify if their baby’s injury is or is not due to a malpractice by an incompetent or inattentive medical professional.

Drilling Rig Workers are included under the Jones Act

There are many offshore oil and gas rigs in and around Louisiana, which means that a good portion of the state’s population works as offshore workers. Jobs with drilling operations are often highly paid because they are inherently dangerous. Nevertheless, employers are still expected to take reasonable measures to ensure the safety of their workers.

Unfortunately, many drilling companies continue to cut corners when it comes to compliance with safety regulations. Because there are not enough inspectors to regularly check on the thousands of rigs in Louisiana alone, they rely on employers to police and self-report on compliance. Inevitably, accidents happen that can have serious consequences for the workers.

This is why the Jones Act is such an important piece of legislation. It protects people who work on a vessel or ship as well as offshore workers that work on rigs, barges, drill ship, construction barges, and recreational boats…in other words, anyone who works on any surface that is on the water. The Jones Act is 46 U.S.C. 688 passed by Congress in 1970 and details the liability of operators of any movable structure on water for worker injuries. Since it is a federal law, it applies to all US-based operators.

However, the Jones Act is different from the workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation law is a not fault-based. It does not require the worker to prove that the employer or any person in management was at fault or negligent, or that there was a defect in equipment, machinery, or safety gear. Under the Jones Law, the worker is required to prove negligence in some form on the part of the employer or fellow workers which put the seaworthiness of the vessel in question.

According to the Mokaram Law Firm, claims under the Jones Act can be extremely complicated. It would be fatally easy to make a mistake that would get your negligent employer off the hook. If you believe you have a claim under the Jones Act, make sure that you consult with an experienced maritime injuries lawyer.