How Medical Negligence Can Cause A Birth Injury
Some birth injuries occur because of unpreventable circumstances, such as genetics or an untreatable health condition in the mother. In many other cases, these injuries only occur because a medical professional failed to follow the accepted best practices of his or her field. When this happens, these medical professionals may be considered negligent. Establishing medical negligence is the most important part of any medical malpractice claim.
Some common forms of negligence which could lead to serious birth injuries include:
- Conducting a vaginal birth when a c-section could have prevented an injury
- Ordering a c-section too late
- Mistakes while using vacuum extractors, forceps, and other delivery tools
- Failure to diagnose and treat a maternal health condition
- Failure to identify and treat fetal distress
- Prescribing medication with harmful side effects for the developing child
Determining if negligence contributed to a birth injury requires a careful overview of all medical evidence by a medical expert in the same field, with assistance from an experienced birth injury lawyer.
The Financial Impact Of A Birth Injury
Serious birth injuries often require many years of extensive medical treatment. For severe conditions like cerebral palsy, the child may require assistance and medical care for the rest of their life. The costs of these birth injuries are generally unaffordable for most Louisiana families.
Some of the financial costs of raising a child with a serious birth injury include:
- Extensive medical care (doctor’s appointments, surgeries, medication, etc.)
- Occupational, speech, physical, and other therapies
- Adaptive devices (wheelchairs, braces, prosthetics, etc.)
- Hired daily care-takers
- Handicapped-accessible vehicles and home renovations
It doesn’t take long for these expenses to add up and cause serious financial problems for families. This is one reason why it’s so important for families affected by birth injuries to fight for the financial support they need and deserve.
Louisiana’s Laws Regarding Medical Malpractice
If you’re considering filing a birth injury malpractice lawsuit in Louisiana, you may be curious how state laws could affect your case. It can be useful to be aware of these laws, but it’s best to ask for help from an experienced Louisiana birth injury lawyer in order to fully understand how they apply to your case.
Deadline For Filing A Claim
Each state has a deadline for filing lawsuits, known as the statute of limitations. The beginning of this deadline depends on many complex circumstances, and is especially difficult for birth injury cases. It’s best to take legal action as soon as possible following the discovery of a birth injury in order to make sure you meet the statute of limitations in Louisiana.
Patient Compensation Fund
Louisiana handles financial compensation for medical malpractice claims differently than most other states. The state has established a Patient’s Compensation Fund (PCF), which automatically covers medical expenses for state healthcare providers. Private facilities also have the option to join the fund, provided they meet certain requirements.
Financial recovery from PCF healthcare providers is capped at $100,000. Compensation in excess of $100,000 is paid out by the PCF, up to a maximum of $500,000 plus all future medical expenses. These medical expenses are paid directly by the PCF as they occur.
Medical Review Panels
In Louisiana, plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases must file paperwork with the PCF requesting a medical review panel made up of medical experts. This panel will review the evidence of your case and determine if medical malpractice is to blame for your child’s birth injury. This decision can be used in further legal proceedings.
How Civil Courts Can Help Families
In order to navigate the complexities of Louisiana medical malpractice law and stand a chance against powerful insurance carriers and their teams of skilled lawyers, we suggest getting in touch with an experienced Louisiana birth injury malpractice lawyer. With the right support system, your child can lead a rewarding life. But it’s important to take that first step and begin exploring your legal options with a qualified professional.
Our lawyers can help you gather all of the evidence you need for a claim, obtain testimony from medical experts, and represent you in all legal appearances. To find out more about how your family can plan for your child’s birth injury, contact us today for a free consultation.