How Much Does A Birth Injury Cost?
When families hear the news of a birth injury, their first concern is usually how they’ll make sure their child gets all the care they need to recover and live comfortably. Most families are not financially prepared for the economic costs of a birth injury.
The Financial Ramifications Of A Severe Birth Injury
For severe developmental disabilities like cerebral palsy, the lifetime costs can climb into the millions. In some cases, these children may never be able to live independently and may require assistance into adulthood and old age.
Some of the direct costs of a serious birth injury include:
- Regular doctor’s visits
- Adaptive devices (e.g. wheelchairs, prosthetic devices, braces, etc.)
- Speech, physical, occupational, and other therapies
- Handicap-accessible vehicles and home renovations
A birth injury malpractice lawsuit can help account for all of the direct economic costs of a birth injury, and also non-economic damages like pain, suffering, and loss of quality of life.
What Is Medical Negligence?
All medical professionals owe a legal duty of care to their patients. They’re required to follow the accepted practices of their field and do all they can to provide the highest standard of medical care possible for their patients. When one of these professionals fails to meet this duty of care, they can be considered medically negligent. Negligence is the basis for all medical malpractice lawsuits.
To put it more simply – if a doctor, nurse, obstetrician, or other healthcare provider caused your child’s birth injury because they acted in a way another similarly qualified medical professional would not have, they could be considered negligent.
Medical Malpractice Examples
Some common examples of medical negligence in birth injury cases include:
- Complications involving the use of vacuum extractors, forceps, or other delivery tools
- Failing to order a c-section (or ordering one too late) that could have prevented the birth injury
- Failing to diagnose and treat a maternal health condition (such as an infection)
- Failing to identify and treat signs of fetal distress
- Prescribing a medication with harmful side effects for the developing child
It’s normal if you’re unsure whether negligence was at play in your child’s injury. Determining negligence requires a careful investigation by both medical experts and experienced birth injury lawyers.
What Are The Malpractice Laws In Kentucky?
Like all other states, Kentucky has their own laws and legal requirements for medical malpractice cases. It may be useful to be aware of these laws, but it’s best to ask for assistance from an experienced Kentucky birth injury lawyer for meeting all of the legal requirements for your case.
Statute Of Limitations
The statute of limitations is a law which sets a time limit for filing a lawsuit. Kentucky has one of the strictest statutes of limitations, set at just one year from when the alleged malpractice occurred or one year from when the injury reasonably should have been discovered. Determining the date when this time limit begins can be extremely difficult, especially for birth injury cases.
If you’re thinking about taking legal action over a birth injury, it’s best to act as quickly as possible to make sure you file your lawsuit within the statute of limitations.
Medical Review Panels
In 2017, Kentucky passed legislation which requires medical malpractice plaintiffs to file a complaint with a medical review panel before the lawsuit can proceed. This panel must give their opinion that you have a strong case for a lawsuit. This panel will review medical records, hear testimony from medical experts and other witnesses, and be presented with other evidence.
This medical review panel can be skipped if both parties agree in writing. However, a favorable ruling from the medical review panel can be a valuable piece of evidence in court. A resourceful Kentucky birth injury lawyer can help you gather all of the evidence you’ll need to meet the panel’s requirements and file a successful lawsuit.
Expert Witness Requirements
Kentucky doesn’t strictly require you to have testimony from expert witnesses, but you’ll likely need this testimony to win in court. The only exception may be cases where medical negligence is the obvious cause of injury, such as a foreign object being left inside your body which leads to an infection.
While many states limit the amount of financial compensation you can receive in a medical malpractice lawsuit, Kentucky has no cap on these damages. Your compensation reward will be based on both the direct economic costs of your injury like medical bills, plus subjective damages like pain and suffering.
Common Birth Injuries
Medical negligence can cause a wide range of serious birth injuries, including:
Any birth injury caused by medical negligence is eligible for financial compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit.
How A Lawyer Can Help Your Family
In virtually any birth injury case, it’s necessary to have legal counsel in order to navigate Kentucky’s complex malpractice laws, gather sufficient evidence and medical expert testimony for court, and deal with insurance carriers and their teams of highly skilled lawyers. Entire families are affected when medical negligence leads to a severe birth injury. None of them should have to keep up with the financial costs of such an injury on their own.
Our experienced Kentucky birth injury lawyers are prepared to guide you through each aspect of the legal process and help you secure the financial compensation your family deserves. We’re ready to fight cases in Lexington, Louisville, Bullitt County, and throughout the rest of Kentucky. To find out more about how you can plan for your future, contact us today for a free consultation.
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