When expectant parents hear the news that they’re pregnant, one of the first things they do is meet with a doctor. Unfortunately, sometimes these professionals violate our trust and cause serious injuries. When this happens, the child’s family may wish to file a malpractice claim.
- Our lawyers focus on South Dakota birth injury cases.
- 40+ years experience fighting for birth injury victims.
- Families we represent have recovered millions.
We can help your family find answers and support following a preventable birth injury.
If your family is curious about your legal options following a birth injury in a South Dakota hospital, our experienced malpractice lawyers can help answer your questions.
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When a medical professional fails to do their job effectively, they put their patients at risk. If this happens during childbirth, it could result in permanent injuries which could impair a child’s quality of life.
Birth Injuries In South Dakota
Approximately 7 in every 1,000 newborns in the United States suffer an injury shortly before, during, or immediately after delivery. This means that in 2015, there were roughly 86 birth injuries in South Dakota.
If you believe your infant’s injury may be the result of a medical mistake, your family may have grounds for a birth injury malpractice lawsuit. Our South Dakota birth injury lawyers focus on these cases and can help your family secure the financial support your child needs.
When Can You Sue For A Birth Injury?
In order to have grounds for a birth injury malpractice lawsuit, your child’s birth injury must have been caused by medical negligence. All nurses, doctors, obstetricians, and other healthcare providers have a duty to follow the accepted standards of care for their professions. When one of these professionals fails to meet the standard of care and causes an injury, he or she may be considered medically negligent.
How To Prove Medical Negligence
If a medical expert reviews the medical evidence of a case and determines that the birth injury could have been avoided by better medical care, the healthcare professional responsible for handling the birth could be held liable for medical negligence.
Here are some common forms of medical negligence that can lead to birth injuries:
- Failure to order a c-section which could’ve prevented birth complications
- Complications caused by delayed c-sections or delayed traditional births
- Failure to properly monitor the pregnancy and prepare for complications
- Failure to identify and treat maternal health problems, like high blood pressure
- Improper use of forceps, vacuum extractors, and other delivery tools
Most parents are unsure of how their child’s injury occurred until they have the evidence of their case reviewed by a qualified medical expert. Our resourceful South Dakota birth injury malpractice lawyers can help you determine if medical negligence is to blame for your child’s birth injury.
Common Birth Injuries In Malpractice Lawsuits
Physical trauma during birth has the potential to cause lifelong physical and cognitive disabilities for vulnerable newborns. While some minor bruising may be expected, sometimes these serious birth injuries only happen because a healthcare provider fails to do their job as safely and effectively as they could.
Our birth injury lawyers frequently see claims for severe birth injuries and complications like:
- Cerebral palsy
- Erb’s palsy
- Brachial plexus injuries
- Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)
- Traumatic brain damage
- Wrongful death
South Dakota Medical Malpractice Laws
Each state has their own set of laws and legal statutes for handling medical malpractice lawsuits. If your child suffered a birth injury at a hospital in Sioux Falls, Rapid City, or elsewhere in South Dakota, you may be curious about how these state laws could impact your claim.
While it’s good to be aware of your state’s medical malpractice laws, they apply differently depending on the circumstances of a case. It’s best to speak with an experienced South Dakota birth injury malpractice lawyer if you want to understand how South Dakota medical malpractice laws apply to your family’s situation.
Statute Of Limitations
The statute of limitations is a state law that sets a deadline for filing a personal injury or medical malpractice lawsuit. Each state has their own deadline for these claims. Determining the date of the statute of limitations is complicated for medical malpractice claims, and especially so in birth injury cases.
If you fail to file your lawsuit within the statute of limitations, you may lose your right to take legal action. This is why it’s best to speak with a reliable South Dakota birth injury lawyer as soon as you can following your child’s birth injury.
Caps On Damages
Many states limit the amount of financial compensation that a plaintiff can recover in a medical malpractice lawsuit. In South Dakota, only noneconomic damages are limited, with a cap set at $500,000. Noneconomic damages include those without a direct dollar figure, such as pain and suffering and loss of quality of life.
Economic damages, such as medical expenses and lost wages, are uncapped in South Dakota.
Requirements For Medical Expert Testimony
In most medical malpractice cases, both sides will call on the testimony of medical experts. South Dakota has four requirements for medical expert testimony in these cases:
- The medical expert’s specialized knowledge will help the jury better understand the evidence
- The expert’s testimony is based on enough facts or data
- The testimony is based on reliable principles and methods, and
- The expert has applied these principles and methods to the specific facts of the case
How A Lawyer Can Help You Win Your Claim
In order to file a successful birth injury malpractice lawsuit in South Dakota, you’ll need to gather medical evidence, find medical experts who are willing to testify on your behalf, meet all of the legal requirements of the state’s malpractice system, and either present evidence effectively in court or come to a settlement agreement with an insurance provider and their lawyers.
As you can probably guess, this is almost impossible to do without the guidance of an experienced South Dakota birth injury malpractice lawyer. Our local lawyers have decades of experience in these cases. We understand what it takes to build a successful and convincing case for a jury. If you’d like to find out more about your family’s legal options and began planning for your financial future, contact us today for a free consultation.