A birth injury is defined as an impairment of a newborn’s body function or structure due to an adverse event that occurred during birth. Birth injuries can range from major permanent injuries to minor conditions.
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. There are many types of claims, including failure to monitor the fetus appropriately during the birth process, inappropriate use of delivery devices, and delays in performing emergency procedures, such as C-sections. If the damages are severe, they could lead to significant, long-term harm to a newborn.
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 which cover costs and loss of income claims, including hospital and other medical bills, lost wages, and rehabilitation. Such costs are often significant in birth injury cases because the baby’s future potential suffering and future lost wages are taken into consideration when assessing the claim.
Therefore, birth injury lawsuits would cover compensation for medical bills, therapy or counseling and psychological treatment. Compensation for these costs is extremely important to ensure that the child has sufficient financial resources for long-term medical care and other future expenses.
Your attorney would be able to advise you on whether any medical negligence is involved, and whether there is a strong basis for the claim, taking into account the severity of damages.
Birth injuries can be emotionally distressing as they can have a drastic impact on the lifestyle of the baby as well as family members. Due to the complex nature of birth injury cases, it is highly advisable to consult an experienced medical malpractice lawyer.
How do I know if medical malpractice caused my injuries?
- Medical malpractice is when a doctor or a medical professional, such as a nurse, acts negligently and harms the patient. In order for a doctor to be considered responsible, a doctor-patient relationship must have existed, and the doctor must have been negligent in treating you. In legal terms, this is referred to as a “deviation from the standard of care.”
- 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.
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 cannot file 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 involves explaining the procedure clearly, and making sure that all the potential risks were communicated to the patient in an understandable manner. However, even if the risks were explained to the patient, the patient may still have an opportunity to file a claim, depending on the specifics of the case and went wrong.
How much time do I have to bring a claim against a hospital?
- In every state, there is a “statute of limitations” that usually ranges between 1-3 years. This refers to the amount of time a patient has to bring a claim after the incident occured. After this time period 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.