When Is Medical Negligence To Blame For A Birth Injury?
In any birth injury malpractice case, your lawyer will be required to prove that the injury was caused by medical negligence. There are three basic premises you must prove in order to establish negligence:
- A healthcare provider owed you a medical duty of care
- The healthcare provider breached this duty by deviating from accepted practices
- The breach of the duty of care directly resulted in an injury
Medical negligence can take many forms in birth injury cases. Some of the most common forms of negligence cited in Massachusetts birth injury malpractice lawsuits include:
- Failure to order a medically necessary c-section delivery
- Failure to identify and treat a maternal health problem
- Failure to identify or properly treat signs of fetal distress
- Mistakes while using vacuum extractors, forceps, and other assisted delivery tools
- Prescribing a medication for the mother that has harmful side effects for the child
In all likelihood, you’re unsure of how exactly your child’s birth injury occurred. It’s not up to you personally to make this determination. In order to determine if negligence was a factor, it’s best to rely on the assistance of both a qualified medical expert and a resourceful Massachusetts birth injury lawyer.
The Expenses Of A Serious Birth Injury
Thankfully, advancements in medical technology have made it possible for children with serious birth injuries to live rewarding and comfortable lives. However, providing a full support system for these kids is a serious financial challenge for most families.
Some common expenses of supporting a child with a birth injury include:
- Frequent doctor’s appointments, surgeries, and medication
- Occupational, speech, physical, and other therapies
- Adaptive devices (such as wheelchairs, braces, and prosthetics)
- Hired personal care-takers
- Handicapped-accessible vehicles and home renovations
Children with especially severe conditions may require one or more of these forms of support for their entire lives. For conditions like cerebral palsy, the lifetime support costs can exceed $1 million.
Massachusetts Medical Malpractice Laws
If your family is considering a medical malpractice lawsuit in Massachusetts, you may be wondering about your state’s malpractice laws. While it’s good to be informed, be aware that it’s difficult to fully grasp how these laws may apply to your case without first discussing your situation with a knowledgeable Massachusetts birth injury lawyer.
Deadlines For Filing A Malpractice Claim
Each state has their own deadlines for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. In Massachusetts, this deadline is complicated because it can be affected by multiple factors, which could result in several different starting dates for the deadline. Determining when this time limit starts and how long it lasts can be especially difficult for birth injury cases, since they involve minors.
Since you won’t be able to file a claim if you miss this deadline, it’s extremely important to take legal action as soon as possible following a birth injury.
Limits On Financial Compensation
In Massachusetts, there is a maximum cap set for non-economic damages (i.e. pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, etc.) in medical malpractice cases.
However, there is an exception to this rule in cases that involve a significant or permanent loss or impairment of a bodily function, disfigurement, and other special circumstances. When these circumstances apply, there is no limit to the amount of financial compensation that can be rewarded in a malpractice claim.
Offer Of Proof
Some states that require the lawyers of medical malpractice plaintiffs to submit proof of negligence before the case can be brought the court.
In Massachusetts, a plaintiff’s lawyer must submit an Offer of Proof to a three-person committee, consisting of a Superior Court judge, a doctor from the same specialty as the healthcare provider the suit is against, and another lawyer. This committee will decide if there is sufficient evidence of medical negligence to allow the lawsuit to proceed.
About Filing A Lawsuit
Recovering financial compensation for a birth injury caused by malpractice is a difficult process. It involves meeting the requirements of specific and complicated Massachusetts state laws, gathering medical evidence, finding medical experts to testify in court, and negotiating with tough insurance companies and their lawyers. In order to ensure your family is awarded the full financial compensation your child needs, it’s best to ask for guidance from an experienced Massachusetts birth injury lawyer early in the process.
Our local birth injury lawyers have decades of experience helping families in this situation provide the full support system their children need. We’re prepared to help families throughout the state, including Boston, Worcester, Lowell, Brockton, and all other counties. If you’re looking for answers, we can help you find them in a free consultation. If we decide to move forward with your case, we’ll only ask for payment at the end of the case if we help you win.
Check out our birth injury FAQ page to find answers to some of the most common concerns families face after a birth injury.