Should you sue for medical malpractice after a birth injury?
Medical malpractice is a serious concern for many people. Whether you are a patient or the spouse of a patient, medical mistakes can have devastating consequences.
The first thing to know is that there are strict time limits for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. If you don’t file within two years of the date your injury occurred, you may lose your right to sue for damages.
If you are considering suing for medical malpractice after a birth injury, there are several things to consider about your case before going forward with it.
Examples of medical malpractice suits related to pregnancy and birth
There are many different types of injuries that can happen during pregnancy or birth. Examples include:
- Medical personnel wrongly administered a dosage of Pitocin, which led to your mother’s uterus not contracting as it should have.
- The hospital staff left you unattended for too long after giving birth, and the resulting infection may cause lifelong complications.
- Your baby was born with permanent brain damage because medical professionals were negligent in examining your baby’s heartbeat.
- A doctor failed to diagnose a placental abruption, which led to the death of both you and your unborn child in childbirth.
- An obstetrician told you that it was fine for you to go home and try natural remedies before coming back, but this caused complications when labor ensued several hours later.
If you are a victim of medical malpractice, you should contact a personal injury attorney for legal help. Jacoby & Meyers are personal injury attorneys determined to ensure those who went through negligent doctors get justice.
How to file a lawsuit against the doctor or hospital for negligence
If you believe that the doctor or hospital was negligent, then a lawsuit may be an option for you. Medical malpractice suits are usually filed in civil court.
To file a medical malpractice suit, you must show that:
- The doctor or hospital was negligent and committed an act of carelessness. This could be shown with evidence such as the presence of errors on the part of the doctor or nurse or if they failed to follow standard procedures for care.
- You were injured.
- The injury was directly related to the doctor or hospital’s negligence and not something unrelated like a car accident that you had months ago. Medical malpractice suits are usually filed for injuries that occurred at or near the time when treatment took place rather than years later down the line.
- There’s a financial value to the injury. For example, if you have a chronic condition that will now require extensive medical care and treatment, then there’s likely an amount of money that can quantify this loss.
- You were not at fault for your own injuries or those of another person who was injured with you in childbirth.
Types of compensation you can receive in a settlement
There are different types of compensation you may receive if your medical malpractice lawsuit is successful.
Some examples include:
- Money for damages such as all the money spent on doctor visits, hospital stays, medication, and treatments related to pregnancy or birth
- Compensation for pain and suffering that occurred in childbirth at the hands of negligent medical professionals
- Punitive damages to teach the doctor or hospital a lesson and discourage them from repeating this behavior in the future. These are often awarded when severe negligence on behalf of medical personnel led to severe injuries, such as permanent brain damage or death.
- Loss of consortium if your partner was injured during birth.
- Compensation for loss of income and financial support if your injuries mean you can no longer work or are unable to provide the same level of economic stability that you once could
- Punitive damages for emotional distress, such as trauma from a difficult birth experience
A lawsuit is not always necessary when dealing with medical malpractice because some states have a no-fault system, which means you can file a request for reimbursement with the doctor or hospital.
If you are injured during childbirth, it is crucial to understand your options for filing a medical malpractice suit. There are different types of compensation that may be available if your lawsuit is successful. It will depend on factors such as whether or not there was severe negligence present at the time of injury.
Photo by Solen Feyissa