How Can Medical Negligence Cause A Birth Injury?
It’s extremely important for nurses, doctors, and obstetricians to consistently follow the accepted methods of their field during each aspect of pregnancy, labor, and childbirth. Even a temporary lapse in judgment has the potential to cause a devastating birth injury. Over 99 percent of the time, these professionals do their jobs well. But sometimes, medical errors cause avoidable birth injuries.
There are numerous forms of medical negligence common to birth injury cases, including:
- Mistakes involving assisted delivery methods, such as forceps and vacuum extractions
- Complications caused by a vaginal birth which could have been prevented with a c-section
- Failure to identify and respond to maternal health problems, like preeclampsia (high blood pressure)
- Failure to respond to signs of fetal distress, like oxygen deprivation or low body temperature
- Prescribing a medication with harmful side effects for the mother or developing infant
If you believe your child’s injury may have been caused by medical negligence, you’ll need to have the evidence of your case reviewed by both an experienced Tennessee birth injury malpractice lawyer and a qualified medical expert.
Common Birth Injuries & Related Expenses
While some birth injuries clear up with minimal medical treatment, others have the potential to cause permanent and debilitating physical and cognitive disabilities, such as:
Raising a child with severe birth injury complications requires extensive support. Some of the expenses families of birth injury victims can expect to face include:
- Ongoing medical treatment, including doctors appointments, surgeries, medication, etc.
- Occupational, physical, speech, and other therapies
- Handicapped-accessible vehicles and home renovations
- Daily care-takers
- Adaptive devices, such as wheelchairs, braces, and prosthetic devices
The related expenses of raising a child with a birth injury are beyond the budget of most Tennessee families. This is why we suggest exploring your legal options as soon as you can. If your child’s injury only occurred from medical negligence, a birth injury malpractice lawsuit can provide the financial support your family needs.
Tennessee Medical Malpractice Laws
Families who are considering a birth injury lawsuit are often curious about how their state’s medical malpractice laws may apply to their case. We’ve summarized some of Tennessee’s medical malpractice laws below, but you’ll need to speak with an experienced birth injury malpractice lawyer in order to understand how they might influence your family’s case.
Deadline For Filing A Lawsuit
In each state, there is a law known as the statute of limitations, which sets a deadline for filing a lawsuit. Determining the statute of limitations for a birth injury case can be difficult and depends on unique circumstances of your case. This law is one of many reasons why it’s best to take legal action as soon as possible following a birth injury. Our Tennessee birth injury malpractice lawyers can help you better understand how the statute of limitations applies to your case.
Caps On Damages
Tennessee limits the amount of financial compensation you can recover in a medical malpractice lawsuit. This limit only applies to noneconomic damages (like pain and suffering) and is set at $750,000. However, there are exceptions for “catastrophic injuries”, which have a maximum cap of $1,000,000.
Affidavit Of Merit & Requirements For Expert Witnesses
In Tennessee medical malpractice cases, the plaintiff’s lawyer must file a document called an affidavit of merit within 90 days of filing a medical liability claim. This affidavit must contain a statement that the lawyer consulted with one or more medical experts and that there is a “good-faith” basis to believe that medical negligence contributed to the injury.
Expert witnesses must be licensed to practice medicine in Tennessee, specialize in a field that is relevant to the case, and must have practiced in that field during the year before the injuries occurred. The court has the option to waive these requirements if no such expert can be found.
How Can A Lawyer Help After A Birth Injury?
Filing a successful medical malpractice claim is much more difficult than it is for other personal injury claims. It’s important to find a reliable birth injury lawyer with experience in Tennessee birth injury malpractice cases. Our lawyers understand how to meet the requirements of state laws, how to provide sufficient evidence and medical testimony, and how to win court victories and settlements. We’re proud to help families of birth injury victims in Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, and throughout the rest of Tennessee.
We understand the uncertainty, frustration, and anger you may be feeling after your child’s injury. We’re prepared to help you better understand your legal options in a free consultation, and will only require payment if and when we help you secure financial compensation. Get in touch with us today to begin fighting for the financial support your family needs after a preventable birth injury.