If you’ve recently given birth to a child with a serious birth injury, it’s important to plan for the future and get your family the financial support you need. If a medical error or negligence lead to your child’s condition, your family could seek damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
- Our lawyers focus on Arkansas medical malpractice law.
- We have over forty years of trial experience.
- We’ve helped families recover millions in compensation.
If you have questions about your child’s birth injury, we can help. Contact us today for a free consultation.
We understand how state medical malpractice laws apply to birth injury cases and how insurance companies operate. We’re prepared to help you and your child get all the support you need.
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In an average year, between 37 and 38 thousand Arkansas women give birth. The large majority of these deliveries are completed with minor or no complications and a healthy infant who can return to their family’s home within a matter of days.
Fighting Back After A Birth Injury Diagnosis
However, each year, a handful of children are born with serious birth injuries – many of which are preventable. Nationwide, about 7 out of every 1,000 births involve a serious injury to the child. If we consider this in terms of Arkansas’ population, that means about 266 children are born with injuries each year.
While this may not sound like a big number, the families who are affected by this problem often face a variety of financial and personal hardships. It’s especially frustrating when the injury is a result of something preventable, such as a doctor’s error. When this happens, families have the option to seek financial compensation through medical malpractice lawsuits.
Arkansas Medical Malpractice Laws
If your family is looking into your options after a birth injury, you may be wondering what Arkansas state law says about medical malpractice lawsuits for birth injuries. Some key laws to keep in mind include:
Time Limit For Filing A Lawsuit
In every state, there’s a time limit for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit – this is known as the statute of limitations. Determining when this date begins can be complicated, especially for birth injury cases. It’s usually best to speak with a lawyer about the details of your case in order to determine when your time limit might have started.
For any medical malpractice case, it’s crucial to take legal action as soon as possible. This gives you the best chance of securing the financial compensation your child needs so that he or she can recover as fully as possible.
Is There A Cap On Damages?
Unlike many other states, Arkansas has no limit on the dollar amount of damages you can recover in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
In other states, damages may be limited to the higher of two options: either a fixed amount (such as $100,000) or the injured person’s life expectancy multiplied by a set smaller amount (such as $8,000).
Determining how much financial compensation you qualify for is extremely complicated and relies on many unique factors. The only way to get a rough idea of how much you could recover is to have your case thoroughly reviewed by an experienced Arkansas birth injury lawyer.
Payments For Future Damages
While there is no cap on damages, there are rules governing damages that exceed $100,000. For payments larger than $100,000, either party has the option to request that the damages in excess of $100,000 be paid in periodic payments, instead of by lump sum.
Common Forms Of Medical Negligence
Medical mistakes made during pregnancy monitoring, labor, delivery, or any other stage of the childbirth process can have devastating consequences.
Defining Medical Malpractice
Any time a medical professional deviates from the accepted practices of other competent professionals in his or her field, that doctor may be considered medically negligent. When this negligence directly leads to a patient’s injury, that patient could have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Some of the most common forms of medical negligence which can lead to birth injuries include:
- Improper use of vacuum extractors and forceps
- Pulling too hard on a stuck limb (such as a shoulder)
- Failure to diagnose or treat maternal or fetal health conditions
- Failure to order a medically necessary c-section or ordering one too late
- Prescribing medication with harmful side effects
In most cases, it may not be obvious how your injury occurred or if it was the result of medical negligence. You’ll need to have the details of your incident reviewed by an experienced medical expert. A resourceful birth injury lawyer should have contacts in the medical field and can also provide you with much-needed legal assistance through the process.
Financial Consequences Of A Birth Injury
While raising a child with health complications from a birth injury is just as rewarding as raising a healthier child, the financial consequences are real. These damages are also recoverable in a successful medical malpractice lawsuit. Specifically, you could recover compensation for:
- Lost wages from staying home to take care of your child
- Medical expenses (doctor’s appointments, surgeries, medication, etc.)
- Handicap-accessible renovations (ramps in your home, vans with wheelchair seating, etc.)
- Adaptive technology (i.e. prosthetic limbs, braces, wheelchairs)
- Personal care-takers
- Physical, occupational, speech, vocational, and other therapies
For severe and permanent conditions like cerebral palsy, lifetime costs can exceed $1 million. It’s important to take legal action and seek the full compensation you deserve so that your child can live as comfortably and happily as possible with their condition.
How Our Lawyers Can Help
If you’ve given birth to a seriously injured child in an Arkansas hospital, you probably have many common questions. You may wonder if your child will be able to enjoy a happy and fulfilling life, how you’ll afford all of the support he or she needs, and how this injury will affect you and the rest of your family.
Fortunately, you’re not alone in this fight. We’ve helped families from all over the United States recover the financial assistance they need for their children. We understand the common concerns you may have, and we also know how to solve them.
Our Arkansas birth injury lawyers are prepared to guide you through each step of your medical malpractice lawsuit and help you secure the full financial compensation your family needs. To find out more, contact us today for a free consultation.