Medical malpractice claims include certain types of birth injury lawsuits. The laws of the state where your child was born determine how these lawsuits are handled, but several things are common to all of them.
As soon as you decide to bring a case, your attorney will do so either directly against your doctor, hospital, or any other entity that you believe is accountable for the birth damage of your child. After that, the concerned healthcare professionals would inform their medical malpractice insurance companies about the lawsuit. At that time, the medical malpractice insurer and the medical malpractice defense lawyers take over the defense of the lawsuit.
Which Birth Injuries Are Common?
Birth injuries can occur in many different ways.
Among the most frequent birth injuries are:
- Head trauma
- Damage brought on by an oxygen deficit
- Spinal palsy
- Dwarf Syndrome
What Makes a Birth Injury Claim?
The injured person must demonstrate to be compensated for a birth injury:
- The medical professional had a duty of care to the mother or child;
- While providing care for the mother or child, the medical professional failed to act responsibly or with reasonable caution;
- This failure resulted in harm to the mother or child; and
- Damages were a result of the injury.
The testimony of expert witnesses may establish these components, published medical studies, and the legal concept of res ipsa loquitur, which simply states that the injury would not have occurred at all if someone had not been negligent.
What Follows the Filing of the Birth Injury Lawsuit?
Both sides do discovery after your attorney files the birth injury lawsuit with the court in your location. Each side learns details about the other side during discovery. The opposing party will want copies of your child’s medical records, maybe your medical records, financial records, and other papers, as well as any records for any subsequent pediatric surgery undertaken to treat the injury. Interrogatories, which are questions and responses, will be traded.
Most likely, a doctor appointed by the opposing party will request that your child undergo an Independent Medical Examination (IME) and an MRI if there are any brain injuries. The attorney for the opposition will question several of the parties to the lawsuit (such as the parents and treating physicians) through a procedure known as a deposition.
A Neonatal Injury: What Is It?
Neonatal injuries are wounds a baby receives during or immediately after birth. Neonatal injury and birth injury are terms that are frequently used interchangeably. The distinction between the two phrases is that “neonatal” refers to infants younger than 28 days old. Due to this distinction, birth injuries typically refer to wounds incurred during childbirth, whereas neonatal injuries happen during the first month of an infant’s life.
Both birth traumas and neonatal injuries have the potential to have long-term and/or permanent effects. In particular, neonatal traumas are frequently linked to cerebral palsy.
Other common neonatal injuries include:
- Meningitis that is left untreated or inappropriately treated.
- Circumcisions gone wrong or incorrectly performed.
- Improper resuscitation following a delivery incident.
- Cardiac arrest.
Who Is Responsible for Neonatal Injuries?
Similar to who can be held accountable for medical malpractice, many different parties can be held accountable for a neonatal injury, depending on the details of each injury incidence:
- A doctor or physician, if they were found to have been negligent or committed any type of medical malpractice;
- Nurses and nursing staff, such as through negligent care or handling of the infant; and
- Those in charge of medications or pharmacy matters are some specific examples of parties who may be held liable for a neonatal injury, but this list is not exhaustive.
What Relationship Exists Between Medical Misdiagnosis and Neonatal Injury?
A misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose an infant’s condition would be a frequent liability problem related to neonatal harm. If unchecked and mistreated, this can eventually result in more damage and difficulties and possibly lower the baby’s quality of life. Medical misdiagnosis, which may be grounds for legal action if it causes the patient harm or a further, unnecessary progression of the disease or condition, often refers to a doctor’s failure or delay in accurately diagnosing a patient.
As was already mentioned, medical malpractice and negligence rules apply to allegations of misdiagnosis.
The plaintiff is required to establish each of the components listed below to establish the doctor’s liability:
- The medical practitioner violated their duty of care to the patient;
- This violation was the actual cause of the patient’s visible injuries;
- The violation produced quantifiable losses that might be compensated through a monetary damages award.
Medical misdiagnosis can occur in a variety of various ways and can result in additional mistakes made by the treating physician or other medical personnel.
Here are a few instances:
- Failure to Diagnosis: The doctor entirely fails to identify or correctly diagnose an ailment that already exists. The patient may experience a variety of symptoms, but the doctor may not make the connection between those symptoms and the underlying illness;
- Delayed Diagnosis: The doctor’s negligence is likely to be the reason for the delay in making a correct diagnosis, which may have resulted in further injury;
- Ineffective Therapy: If the doctor has made an incorrect diagnosis, this could lead to ineffective or unnecessary treatment, which could cause more harm; and/or
- Failure to Treat: Despite having made a diagnosis, the doctor does nothing to address it. This might happen, for instance, if they were trying to cure a separate ailment.
Do Neonatal Injuries Have Legal Recourse?
Because they can be linked to developmental problems and lifetime illnesses, neonatal injuries can be very devastating. As a result, monetary damages are typically awarded as part of legal remedies to make up for the victim’s losses brought on by the neonatal injury. These typically include costs for lost earning potential, medical bills, and other expenses related to neonatal injuries, such as time lost from the parents’ jobs to care for their now-injured child.
Given that neonatal injuries happen relatively early in life, such payments ought to account for the loss of future opportunities and income.
A wrongful death claim may be connected to a neonatal injury in particularly severe situations, which may have an impact on the legal remedies granted to the victim’s estate. The amount of damages that may be awarded in a medical malpractice claim may also be subject to state legislation, which is another crucial point to remember.
What Happens in the Majority of Birth Injury Cases?
During the initial discovery stages of information gathering, many instances involving birth injuries are resolved. You will discuss acceptable settlement amounts with your attorney. You have the last say if the other party offers to settle.
The lawsuit is dismissed if a settlement is reached. Your case proceeds to trial if you and the opposing party are unable to reach a settlement amount.
How Soon Must I Bring a Birth Injury Lawsuit?
Statutes of limitation are the terms used to describe the time frames in each state for filing lawsuits. When a child is injured, the statute of limitations is typically extended in many states. In Texas, for instance, an adult malpractice victim has two years to file a lawsuit, whereas a child under the age of twelve has until they are fourteen.
Should I Hire a Lawyer?
The moment you feel something went wrong during the delivery of your kid, you should speak with a birth injury attorney to explore your claim because you only have a limited period of time to file a birth injury lawsuit. You can lose the ability to file your lawsuit at all if you don’t submit it on time.