When Can You Sue For A Birth Injury In Georgia?
In order to sue a healthcare provider for a birth injury, you must prove that at least one form of medical negligence contributed to your child’s injury. Doctors, obstetricians, nurses, and other healthcare providers have a duty to work within the accepted medical standards of their field. If one of these healthcare providers fails to meet this duty and an injury occurs, they could be considered negligent and may be held liable for damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Some examples of medical negligence that often lead to birth injuries include:
- Errors using forceps, vacuum extractor, or other delivery tool
- Failure to order a c-section that could have prevented an injury
- Completing a c-section too late
- Failure to identify and treat a maternal health condition
- Failure to diagnose and treat fetal distress
- Prescribing medication with harmful side effects for mother or child
Establishing medical negligence is a complex process, which requires the assistance of a medical expert and a lawyer with experience in Georgia birth injury malpractice cases. If you believe your child’s injury may have been preventable, consider speaking with a lawyer about the details of your case. Our birth injury law firm can put you in contact with a medical expert who can examine the evidence and validate your claim.
Georgia Medical Malpractice Laws
In the U.S., medical malpractice claims are governed by state-specific laws. It can be helpful to be aware of which Georgia malpractice laws apply to your case, but circumstances surround birth injuries are complicated. You can find out more about your legal rights in a free consultation with a birth injury lawyer.
What Is The Time Limit For Filing A Claim?
Georgia has a time limit for filing a medical malpractice claim, called the statute of limitations. Determining the start of this time limit is complicated, and can vary depending on when the injury occurred, when it was discovered, the nature of the injury, and the age of the victim. Cases involving minors are more complex, especially those involving birth injuries.
Filing your claim within this time limit is absolutely crucial. In order to stay safe and make sure you don’t miss the deadline, your should take legal action as soon as you can following the discovery of a birth injury.
Medical Expert Affidavit
If you’re planning to sue for malpractice, Georgia law requires you to submit a report from a medical expert, which gives their opinion that at least one act of medical negligence caused your child’s birth injury. The medical expert must be someone in the same field as the healthcare provider who allegedly caused the injury.
Do Georgia Malpractice Claims Have Damages Caps?
Georgia used to be one of many states with a cap on the maximum amount of damages you can recover in a medical malpractice claim. This changed in 2010, when the Georgia Supreme Court rules that these caps were unconstitutional. Today, there is no limit on the amount of financial compensation you can recover in a birth injury malpractice lawsuit.
The Costs Of A Serious Birth Injury
Along with creating a variety of personal difficulties both for the child and their family, birth injuries have several direct financial consequences. The support children with severe birth injuries need involves several expenses, such as:
- Regular doctor’s appointments
- Handicap-accessible home renovations
- Handicap-accessible vehicles
- Daily personal care-takers
- Adaptive devices (e.g. prosthetic devices, wheelchairs, braces)
- Occupational, speech, vocational, and other therapies
These expenses can quickly add up and become unaffordable for most families. Severe permanent conditions like cerebral palsy require an average of over $1 million of expenses over the lifetime of the child.
How A Lawyer Can Help
With American medical technology as advanced as it is in 2017, it’s normal for families affected by birth injuries to wonder how the injury may have been prevented. This isn’t easy to figure out on your own, but can be done with the assistance of a Georgia birth injury law firm and their contacts in the medical field.
When negligence is to blame, it’s important to hold the negligent healthcare provider liable for your child’s injury. Medical malpractice lawsuits can do this, and also provide the financial support so many of these families and children need.
If you’re worried about legal fees, don’t be. We understand how financially stressful a birth injury can be. That’s why we offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis (which means you pay nothing unless we help you win). To find out more, contact us today to speak with one of our experienced Georgia birth injury lawyers.