Complicated pregnancy risk factors, such as babies weighing over 8 pounds can result in birth injuries. Typically, a birth injury is an impairment of a newborn’s body function or structure due to an adverse event that occurred during birth. Birth injuries can range from minor conditions to major permanent injuries, or even worse, premature death.
The good news is that new mothers can file claims and seek compensation if the injuries on their newborn babies are a result of negligence. Birth injury claims are cases filed against physicians and other medical providers, hospitals, clinics, and other facilities that acted negligently and caused harm to a newborn. But how do you go about this process? Here is a quick guide.
What Causes Birth Injuries?
Various factors can culminate in birth injuries that attract legal indemnification, including:
- Failure to monitor the fetus appropriately during the birth process
- Inappropriate use of delivery devices
- Delays in performing emergency procedures, such as C-sections
Compensation usually includes non-economic as well as economic damages. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment caused by a medical error.
Economic damages are compensatory awards that cover costs and loss of income claims, including hospital and other medical bills, lost wages, or even rehabilitation expenses. Typically, the baby’s future potential suffering and future lost wages are considered when assessing the claim.
That said, birth injury lawsuit settlements help victims to cover medical bills, therapy or counseling, and psychological treatment. Payment for these costs is important in ensuring that the child has sufficient financial resources for long-term medical care and other future expenses.
Your attorney will advise you on whether any medical negligence is involved, or whether there is a strong basis for the claim, taking into account the severity of damages.
The birth injury lawsuit process can be emotionally distressing as they can have a drastic impact on the baby’s lifestyle and family members. Due to the complex nature of birth injury cases, it is highly advisable to consult an experienced medical malpractice lawyer.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How Do I Know if Medical Malpractice Caused My Injuries?
Medical malpractice is when a medical practitioner, such as a doctor or nurse, acts negligently and harms the patient. For the doctor to be held responsible for negligence, your attorney must prove that a valid doctor-patient relationship existed during the period of the medical error.
If negligence can be proven, damages may be awarded based on the severity of the injuries suffered by the patient, as well as any associated economic loss resulting from the medical error.
What Are Examples of Medical Malpractice?
- Birth injury negligence
- Pediatric malpractice
- Surgical complications
- Incorrect drug prescription
What is Informed Consent for Surgery?
According to the American Medical Association (AMA), patients have the right to receive information and learn about recommended treatments in order to make informed decisions. Physicians need to ensure that their patient is able to understand the relevant information before giving their consent.
For children, parents, as the guardians, must give permission for therapeutic interventions and other medical treatments.
I Signed a Consent Form, Does That Mean I Can’t Sue for a Claim?
No. Doctors do have to ensure that informed consent was provided. However, signing a consent form does not prevent you from filing a claim. A consent form explains the procedure clearly and ensures that all the potential risks are sufficiently communicated to the patient. However, even if the risks were presented to the patient, the patient might still file a claim, depending on the case’s specifics and what went wrong.
How Much Time Do I Have to Bring a Claim to a Hospital?
Every state has a “statute of limitations” that usually ranges between 1-3 years for birth injury lawsuits. This refers to the amount of time a patient has to bring a claim after the incident has occurred. After this window expires, the injured party loses the right to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit.
If you believe you have suffered an injury due to a medical error, it’s important to speak to a medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible to learn about your legal rights. An experienced attorney will help prove negligence, as well as play hardball with insurance companies to ensure that you get fair compensation.