When Are Medical Professionals Responsible For Birth Injuries?
While some birth injuries occur because of unforeseeable or unavoidable circumstances, many only happen because of a medical professional’s mistake. Legally, this is known as the concept of medical negligence.
When a birth injury occurs because a medical professional failed to follow the accepted practices of his field, that medical professional may be considered medically negligent.
What Is Negligence?
Negligence is the main building block for any medical malpractice claim. Establishing negligence usually involves gathering medical evidence and the testimony of a medical expert in the same field as your healthcare provider.
Common forms of medical negligence which result in birth injuries include:
- Mistakes while using delivery tools like forceps and vacuum extractors
- Failing to order a c-section that could have prevented an injury
- Failure to diagnose and treat maternal health conditions that affect the child
- Failure to identify and treat fetal distress
- Prescribing medication that harms the developing baby
- Failure to monitor health of developing baby, including oxygen levels
Don’t worry if you’re not sure how your baby’s birth injury occurred. These cases require a detailed review of the medical facts by an established medical professional and a legal review by an experienced Kansas birth injury lawyer.
The Costs Of Raising A Child With A Birth Injury
Medical advancements have made it possible for children with severe birth injuries to live comfortably. However, most families lack the financial means to provide the full support their children need. Medical malpractice lawsuits are often the only way these families can keep up with these expenses.
Some of the expenses families of children with severe birth injuries can expect to face include:
- Extensive medical treatment (doctors appointments, surgeries, medication, etc.)
- Adaptive devices (wheelchairs, braces, prosthetics, etc.)
- Handicapped-accessible vehicles and home renovations
- Hired personal daily care-takers
- Physical, occupational, speech, and other therapies
In Kansas, a medical malpractice lawsuit can provide financial compensation for these economic expenses, as well as non-economic damages like pain, suffering, and loss of quality of life.
Kansas Medical Malpractice Laws
When considering a birth injury lawsuit, it may be helpful to familiarize yourself with Kansas medical malpractice laws. However, don’t feel like you need to fully understand these laws. They can be quite complicated, and how they apply to your case may depend on a variety of unique circumstances. An experienced Kansas birth injury lawyer can help you understand your legal rights in layperson’s terms.
Statute Of Limitations
Each state has their own statute of limitations, which is a time limit for filing a lawsuit. It can be difficult to determine when this clock starts running, and again depends on the unique circumstances of your case. Birth injury cases are especially complicated.
Taking legal action immediately after discovering a birth injury is the best way to ensure that you file your claim within this deadline.
Medical Screening Panels
In Kansas medical malpractice cases, both sides have the option to request a medical screening panel. The court also has the option to order one of these panels, even if neither side requests one. These panels include one healthcare provider selected by the plaintiff, one selected by the defendant, one jointly selected by both sides, and a court-appointed lawyer.
The panel’s job is to establish whether the defendant followed the accepted medical standard of care in their field, and whether the injury was caused by medical malpractice.
In the vast majority of malpractice cases, testimony from a medical expert is necessary to establish negligence for the jury. It’s extremely important to find a birth injury lawyer who has connections with medical experts in your doctor’s field.
Kansas is one of many states to limit the amount of financial compensation you can receive in a medical malpractice lawsuit. This limit is only set for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, disfigurement, loss of quality of life, and other subjective damages with no set dollar amount.
Economic damages, such as medical bills and lost wages, are uncapped.
Should We Talk To A Lawyer?
Yes – it’s nearly impossible to win a birth injury malpractice lawsuit without the assistance of an experienced Kansas birth injury lawyer. A reliable law firm will help you gather medical evidence, find medical experts to testify on your behalf, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you through all aspects of the legal process.
These lawsuits serve two primary goals – they help families recover the financial support they need for their children, and demand accountability from negligent medical professionals. If your family is in this situation, we’d be happy to help you plan for your financial future in a free consultation.
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