The birth of a child is typically a joyous time for parents who are excited to welcome a new addition to their family. However, not all births go according to plan and the newborn suffers irreversible injuries. In these cases, the parents may be faced with ongoing medical bills and lifetime of professional care for their injured child. Below is an overview of personal injury law and how it may help parents obtain compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit. If your child suffered a birth injury and needs ongoing care, it may benefit you to speak with an experienced lawyer for advice.
Medical Malpractice Claims
If your child was harmed due to negligence on the part of your doctor, hospital or labor nurses, you may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit to obtain compensation for their injuries. Some of the most common scenarios that lead to birth injuries in newborns include:
- Negligence During The Birth Process
To deliver a healthy baby, it takes dedication and professionalism on the part of doctors and nurses. The baby should be monitored during the birth process and the attending medical professionals must anticipate problems and solve them quickly. Some mistakes that can lead to birth injuries in newborns include:
- Failure To Perform A C-Section Quickly
- Failing To Recognize Signs Of Fetal Distress
- Delayed Diagnosis Of Complications
- Improper Care After Birth
In some cases, babies are born healthy and suffer injury while being cared for in the pediatric ward or neonatal unit. Some examples of these birth injuries include:
- Failing To Diagnose Infections
- Administering Medication Improperly
- Failure To Follow Doctors Orders
Medical facilities must ensure their patients receive the highest quality of care. If they fail to do so and your child is injured during birth or shortly after, you may have a medical malpractice case. Hospitals may fail to meet the appropriate standard of care by:
- Overworking Physicians
- Scheduling Too Few Nurses
- Failure To Supervise Medical Staff Properly
- Improper Staff Training
Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit may allow you to recover certain damages, if it is found that your doctor, hospital or nurses were negligent in caring for you or your child during the birth process. Some damages you may receive include:
- Physical Therapy
- Speech Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Hospital Bills
- Doctor Visits
- Cost Of Transportation To Doctor Visits And Therapy
- In-Home Accommodations For Your Child
- Special Education Fees
- Mental Health Counseling
- In-Home Nursing Care
- Emotional Distress
- Medical Devices
- Pain And Suffering
In order to receive compensation for your child’s injuries, you must be able to prove the medical professionals who cared for them was negligent and caused their birth injury. However, this can be difficult to accomplish with certain medical conditions such as cerebral palsy, which can be caused during the birth process or an inherited condition. The forms of cerebral palsy include:
Ataxic cerebral palsy affects coordination and balance. It also causes trouble with depth perception.
This affects the child’s coordination and causes uncontrolled movements.
Spastic cerebral palsy is characterized by jerking movements that are impossible to control. This is the most common type of cerebral palsy.
Because cerebral palsy can be caused during the birth process or it can be a genetic condition, it is often difficult to prove in a medical malpractice case. For this reason, it is important to have an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side.
How Can A Lawyer Help?
Hiring a lawyer can benefit you in a variety of ways in a medical malpractice case. Some things your lawyer can do to help you include:
- Discover Evidence
- Speak With Eyewitnesses
- Talk To Medical Experts
- Negotiate With Insurance Companies
- File A Lawsuit In Court
- Represent You At Trial
Medical malpractice cases can be complex, so for this reason it is a good idea to have an experienced lawyer represent you and your child. Hiring a lawyer can greatly increase your chances of obtaining a fair settlement for the injuries your child suffered due to the negligence of medical professionals.
Statute Of Limitations
The law allows a certain period of time for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. While certain professions such as lawyers and accountants have a 3 year statute of limitations, it is shorter for doctors. The statute of limitations for medical professionals is typically 2 and 1/2 years from the date of the injured child’s birth. However, this can change in certain situations which is why it is best to consult an attorney.
If your child has suffered a birth injury, it may benefit you to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Hiring a lawyer with medical malpractice experience is the best way to deal with an already difficult situation. If your child’s injuries are extensive, you may be faced with years of medical bills and in home nursing care. It is important to act quickly, to be sure you file your lawsuit within the statute of limitations. Failure to file before the time limit runs out, will most likely cause your claim to be dismissed.
Contact a personal injury lawyer today for advice in your child’s birth injury case. Since the laws regarding birth injuries and negligence are complex and difficult to decipher, hiring a lawyer is your best chance of obtaining a fair settlement. It can also be a great source of comfort to have someone knowledgeable looking out for your child’s best interests, so you can focus on moving ahead in the future.