When preparing for the birth of a new child, the newborn’s health and safety are always the top priorities for parents. Unfortunately, sometimes healthcare professionals cause serious birth injuries through medical negligence. Our Minnesota birth injury lawyers help families in this situation.
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Each year, tens of thousands of families throughout Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Duluth, and the rest of Minnesota welcome a new child into the world. The vast majority of these births occur without any serious issues. However, a small handful of these children are born with serious birth injuries – many of which only occur because of medical negligence. About 7 in every 1,000 U.S. births involve a birth injury, which means that each year, about 488 newborns in Minnesota will suffer a birth injury.
Families in this situation often have many questions, such as how the injury could have been prevented and how they can get their child the help he or she needs. If your family is struggling with these difficult questions, you may be able to find answers through a birth injury malpractice lawsuit.
Establishing Medical Negligence For A Birth Injury Claim
If you’re considering filing a birth injury malpractice lawsuit, you should first be aware of the concept of medical negligence. In order to have a valid claim, your lawyer must establish that your child’s birth injury would not have occurred if it weren’t for the medical negligence of a healthcare provider entrusted to your care.
What Is Medical Negligence?
Medical negligence is a legal term which basically means that a doctor, nurse, obstetrician, or other healthcare provider failed to follow the accepted standard of care for their industry. If another medical expert reviews the evidence of your case and determines that they would have handled your situation differently than your healthcare provider did, your healthcare provider could be considered medically negligent.
Establishing negligence is a complicated process which requires the assistance of both an experienced Minnesota birth injury lawyer and a medical expert in the same field as your healthcare provider. It’s best to meet with a lawyer first, as any reputable birth injury law firm should have connections with qualified medical experts.
Common Forms Of Medical Negligence In Childbirth
There are several ways medical negligence can contribute to a birth injury. Some of the most common forms of negligence we see in birth injury malpractice cases include:
Conducting a vaginal birth when a c-section could have prevented a birth injury
Ordering a c-section too late, resulting in birth complications
Complications involving vacuum extractors, forceps, and other assisted delivery tools
Failing to identify and treat a maternal health condition
Failure to diagnose and treat fetal distress and health problems
Prescribing a medication to the mother with side effects that harm the child
Common Birth Injuries
Birth injuries vary in severity. Some conditions may be curable after only a few weeks of treatment, while others can cause permanent physical and cognitive disabilities that follow a child for the rest of their life.
Some of the most common birth injuries that occur because of medical negligence include:
Regardless of which injury your child is suffering from, you can recover financial compensation as long as medical negligence is to blame. The amount you’re awarded may depend on how severe the injury is, and will take into account both economic and non-economic factors.
Minnesota Medical Malpractice Laws
Before filing a birth injury malpractice lawsuit, you should be aware of the various Minnesota state laws that apply to these claims. You don’t need to fully understand how these laws apply to your case, as your lawyer will be handling all of the legal aspects of your case on your behalf.
Statute Of Limitations
The statute of limitations is a law that sets a deadline for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. Each state has their own time limit for these claims. In Minnesota, this deadline is generally set at four years from the time the injury occurred or was discovered. However, determining when this clock starts running is often difficult, especially for birth injury cases.
If your family is thinking about taking legal action for your child’s birth injury, it’s best to act as quickly as possible to make sure you meet the requirements of the statute of limitations.
Caps On Damages
Many states have limits to the amount of financial compensation you can recover in a malpractice lawsuit. Minnesota is not one of these states, and the amount you can recover is unlimited. The amount you recover will be determined by the jury after they reach a verdict, or agreed upon by your lawyer and your healthcare provider’s insurance carrier in a settlement.
Affidavit Of Merit
In Minnesota, you must file an affidavit of merit with your lawsuit. This affidavit must contain a qualified medical expert’s opinion that your injury was caused by your healthcare provider failing to meet their medical duty of care. You also must submit an affidavit that identifies all of the expert witnesses that will testify at your trial, and details of their testimony.
How To File A Birth Injury Malpractice Lawsuit
After a birth injury, it’s normal to feel a combination of sadness, anger, frustration, and anxiety. While taking legal action may not cure your child’s condition, it can help provide the support they need to live a full life.
As we mentioned above, it’s important to speak with a Minnesota birth injury lawyer as soon as possible following your child’s injury. This ensures that you’ll meet the statute of limitations, and will also help your child receive the assistance they need in a more timely manner.
Contact An Experienced Attorney Today
Our experienced Minnesota birth injury lawyer can help you understand your legal options in a free consultation. If we move forward with your case, we’ll only ask for payment if we help you win, as a percentage of your overall damages. This way, you can focus on caring for your child without any additional financial stress.