Common Ways Medical Negligence Causes Birth Injuries
In order to have grounds for a birth injury malpractice lawsuit, your child’s injury must have occurred because of medical negligence. Anytime an injury occurs because a healthcare professional failed to follow the accepted medical practices of their field, that healthcare professional could be considered medically negligent.
Some specific examples of medical negligence we’ve seen cited in birth injury cases include:
- Failing to identify or effectively treat a maternal health condition, like high blood pressure
- Ordering a vaginal birth when a c-section would be safer
- Conducting a delayed c-section
- Mistakes involving forceps, vacuum extractors, and other assisted delivery tools
- Failing to respond to signs of fetal distress, like oxygen deprivation or a prolapsed umbilical cord
- Using too much force during an obstructed delivery, resulting in nerve damage for the child
Establishing medical negligence is a complex process which requires assistance from an experienced birth injury lawyer, along with a qualified medical expert.
Types Of Damages Available In Malpractice Lawsuits
There are two main categories of damages that are eligible for financial compensation in medical malpractice lawsuits:
Economic damages provide financial compensation for the direct costs of your injury, including:
- Medical expenses
- Adaptive devices (e.g. wheelchairs, prosthetics, braces)
- Personal care-takers
- Handicapped-accessible vehicles and home renovations
- Loss of earning potential
Basically, any birth injury expense that can be verified with a receipt is covered under economic damages. For lifelong conditions like cerebral palsy, your financial award may be based on the expected lifetime expenses of the injury.
The costs of a birth injury are never purely financial in nature. These injuries cause a wide range of difficulties, both for the child and their families. The personal costs of a birth injury are covered under noneconomic damages.
Examples of noneconomic damages in birth injury cases include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Permanent impairment or loss of function
- Emotional distress
An experienced New Jersey birth injury lawyer can give you a better idea of which types of damages apply to your family’s case.
New Jersey Medical Malpractice Laws
Like all other states, New Jersey has their own laws for medical malpractice cases. If you’re considering a birth injury lawsuit, you may be curious about how these laws could apply to your case. It’s good to be aware of them, but it’s usually necessary to speak with an experienced New Jersey birth injury malpractice lawyer to fully understand your state’s laws.
What Is The Malpractice Statute Of Limitations In New Jersey?
Each state has their own deadline for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. Determining when this time limit begins can be complicated, as there are several exceptions that may come into play. If you fail to file your claim within this time limit, you will lose your right to sue for a birth injury.
Taking legal action as soon as possible is the best way to ensure you meet the requirements of the statute of limitations. It’s best to speak with an experienced New Jersey birth injury lawyer immediately following the discovery of your child’s birth injury.
Limits On Financial Compensation
In New Jersey, there is both economic and noneconomic damages are uncapped. In rare cases of extreme negligence or malicious intent, punitive damages may also be awarded. These punitive damages are capped at either $350,000 or five times the compensatory damages award – whichever amount is higher.
If you’re filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in New Jersey, the state requires your lawyer to submit an expert affidavit within 60 days of receiving the defense lawyer’s Answer to your lawsuit. This affidavit must contain a medical expert’s opinion, which says that there is a reason to believe your healthcare provider failed to follow the accepted standards of care for their profession. This expert physician must be in the same field as the healthcare provider you’re suing.
How A Birth Injury Lawyer Can Help Your Family
It’s important for families affected by birth injuries to seek legal guidance from a lawyer with experience in New Jersey birth injury malpractice claims. Our knowledgeable and experienced birth injury lawyers understand what it takes to build a successful lawsuit. We’re prepared to guide your family through each step of the litigation process and help you secure the financial support your child needs to live with their disability.
We understand the financial stress you may be dealing with after your child’s injury. That’s why we’re happy to help you better understand your legal options in a free consultation, and only require payment as a percentage of your final award after the case is over. That means you pay us nothing until and unless we win.
Get in touch with our experienced New Jersey birth injury lawyers today to begin planning for your family’s financial future.