Medical Negligence During Childbirth, Labor, & Pregnancy
Medical mistakes made during pregnancy, labor, or delivery can cause complications which result in serious birth injuries. Legally, these mistakes may be considered medical negligence.
Proving medical negligence is the most important aspect of any medical malpractice lawsuit. You must establish that a healthcare provider owed you a medical duty of care, that they violated this duty by failing to follow the accepted practices of their field, and that this violation directly lead to an injury.
Some common ways medical negligence can play a role in a birth injury include:
- Failing to order a c-section which could’ve prevented a birth injury
- Ordering a c-section too late, resulting in complications
- Using excessive force while trying to dislodge an infant’s stuck limb
- Mistakes made while using forceps, vacuum extractors, and other tools
- Failure to identify and treat health conditions in the mother or the child
- Prescribing a medication with harmful side effects for the developing child
If you’re seeking answers regarding the cause of your child’s birth injury, it’s best to get in touch with an experienced Michigan birth injury lawyer who has connections with medical experts.
Raising A Child With A Birth Injury
Supporting a child with a birth injury often requires a great deal of time and money. Most families are not financially prepared to handle the costs of these injuries. Some of the most severe conditions can be permanently disabling and may require a lifetime of assistance.
Some common expenses faced by the families of birth injury victims include:
- Medical care – Birth injury victims are often required to regularly meet with doctors, may require multiple surgeries, and are often prescribed expensive prescription drugs.
- Adaptive devices – There are devices available to make life easier for these victims, but they can be expensive. Examples include wheelchairs, prosthetics, and braces.
- Therapies – Children with birth injuries can make great progress by working with a variety of different therapists, including occupational, speech, physical, vocational, and others.
- Home and vehicle changes – Families of birth injury victims often need to make renovations to their homes and purchase new vehicles to make their environment accessible for their child.
- Care-takers – Victims of severe birth injuries often require constant supervision and care, which may be provided either by family members or hired professional care-takers.
Over a lifetime, these costs can quickly add up and may reach millions of dollars.
Common Birth Injuries
Some of the most common injuries seen in Michigan birth injury malpractice claims include:
Any birth injury caused by medical negligence is eligible for financial compensation through a medical malpractice claim.
Medical Malpractice Laws In Michigan
Michigan has a complex set of laws and statutory rules that apply to medical malpractice claims. It’s important to be aware of these laws, but it may be necessary to speak with an experienced Michigan birth injury lawyer in order to fully understand how they apply to your case.
Time Limit For Filing A Claim
Every state has their own time limit for filing a claim – known as the statute of limitations. For birth injury cases, determining when this date begins and ends can be extremely complicated. This is why it’s important to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible following the discovery of your child’s injury. If the statute of limitations passes, you will no longer have the option to file a claim.
Notice Of Intent & Affidavit Of Merit
Before filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Michigan, you must file a Notice of Intent to File Suit (NOI) in writing. This notice must be served to the healthcare provider you’re suing at least 182 days before the lawsuit is filed.
You must also file an affidavit of merit signed by a qualified healthcare professional. This professional must be licensed and practicing in the same field as the defendant healthcare provider. In this affidavit of merit, the healthcare professional must establish four things:
- Define the accepted medical standard of care
- Their medical opinion that the defendant violated this standard of care
- Actions the defendant could have taken to avoid the violation
- How the violation caused your injuries
Any reputable birth injury law firm will be able to contact a qualified medical professional on your behalf.
Cap On Damages
Michigan is one of many states to have a maximum cap set for the amount of financial compensation you can recover in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Non-economic damages are capped at an excess of $440,000. In cases that involve permanent paralysis because of a brain or spinal cord injury, or permanent cognitive development problems, this cap is in excess of $790,000.
How To Take Legal Action
If your family is considering filing a birth injury malpractice lawsuit, you may feel overwhelmed. These cases are extremely complex, and involve litigation with powerful insurance companies and their teams of skilled lawyers. It’s easy to be intimidated by this process.
This is why it’s so important to find a Michigan birth injury law firm with experience in local cases. The right firm will know how to gather the medical evidence you need, have connections with reliable medical experts, and understand how to negotiate with malpractice insurance carriers.
Our Michigan birth injury lawyers have helped countless families in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Warren, Sterling Heights, Ann Arbor, and throughout the rest of the state. We’re prepared to help you make sure your child can enjoy life as fully as possible. To find out more about your rights and begin planning for your family’s future, contact us today for a free consultation.