If your child was injured during birth through the fault of a medical professional, you need to consult with a medical malpractice attorney who can litigate your child’s birth injury lawsuit. Malpractice causing birth injuries can have devastating effects on your family and you may have a right to recover against a negligent doctor, but before an action can be started here is some important information to know:
1. Statute of limitations
Every state has its own rules for when the lawsuit for birth injuries must be commenced. The statute differentiates between starting an action against a private physician, versus a public hospital or a federally funded facility, like a veteran’s hospital. Furthermore, birth injury lawsuits on behalf of the infant for pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life have a different Claim Negotiation timeframe than the lawsuits on behalf of his parents for loss of services. The time for the infant’s action to be commenced is usually longer than the parents but many lawyers will discourage waiting too long to start the child’s lawsuit for birth injuries, since the defendant may not be available later or the evidence, such as medical records, may be destroyed.
2. Certificate of merit
Birth injury lawsuit is commenced when the summons and complaint is filed in New York. However, failure to file a Certificate of Merit, which is a document where the attorney affirms that he consulted with an expert on this case, together with the summons and complaint, may result in the dismissal. The affirmation goes to show the court that another doctor felt that the action being filed is viable and has merit. It is an expense that the attorney undertakes early on, but the review of the case by a medical expert allows him to better flesh out the theory of liability and make sure that the case is not frivolous.
3. Birth injuries are not always medical malpractice
It is a job of every medical malpractice attorney to be able to prove that the physician departed from acceptable standards of medical care during labor and delivery. However, there are cases when a bad result during the birthing process is not due to malpractice. For example, in cases of hypoxia, which results from lack of oxygen to Accident Changed My Life the infant’s brain, the cause may have nothing to do with negligence. Premature birth, mother’s diabetes during pregnancy and hereditary heart problems can all lead to hypoxia. Thus, before suing a doctor who was in charge of labor and delivery, the attorney must thoroughly investigate the case to establish fault or lack thereof.
4. Damages counsel delineates damages sought
In a birth injury lawsuit common damages being sought are monetary (medical and hospital expenses, loss of income) or non-monetary (pain and suffering, loss of services, loss of enjoyment of life). Trauma sustained by the infant during birth carries not only possibility of long term recovery from physical injuries, but emotional distress as well, as the child grows and faces possibility of ridicule or mean comments about his disability.
A medical malpractice lawyer understands the sensitive nature of a birth injury lawsuit, and work closely with a medical expert can litigate the matter to the satisfaction of his clients.