How Do I Know What Caused My Child’s Birth Injury?
In most birth injury cases, it’s not immediately obvious if medical negligence caused the injury. It’s usually necessary to have the medical evidence and circumstances behind your child’s injury reviewed by a qualified medical expert.
A qualified expert will have knowledge of the medical standard of care in your doctor’s field and be able to determine if a violation of this standard of care caused your injury. If this expert determines that another responsible medical professional could have prevented your child’s injury, your healthcare provider could be considered medically negligent.
Medical Negligence In The Delivery Room
There are several common forms of medical negligence in birth injury cases:
- Conducting a natural birth when a c-section could prevent injuries
- A delayed birth causing preventable complications
- Mistakes involving forceps and vacuum extractors
- Failure to diagnose and treat health problems in mother, such as high blood pressure
- Failure to identify or properly treat signs of fetal distress, like oxygen deprivation
Our attorneys help the families we represent find answers by having their cases reviewed by qualified medical experts. These experts may also testify on your behalf in court. Working with the medical community is a vital part of all medical malpractice lawsuits.
What Are The Medical Malpractice Laws In Vermont?
When considering a birth injury malpractice lawsuit, most families wonder how their state’s malpractice laws could influence their case. We’ve compiled brief summaries of some parts of Vermont medical malpractice laws, but they apply differently to different cases. You can find out more about your family’s legal options by discussing the circumstances of your case with an experienced birth injury lawyer.
Deadlines For Filing Malpractice Lawsuits
Like every other state, Vermont has a law called a statute of limitations, which sets time limits for filing lawsuits. For medical malpractice claims, there could be up to three or four different deadlines. Failure to file a claim within the statute of limitations means you lose your right to take legal action. This is why it’s important to speak with a lawyer in a free consultation shortly following an injury that may have been caused by medical malpractice.
Certificates Of Merit
If you’re filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Vermont, the state requires you to also file a certificate of merit alongside your initial civil complaint. This certificate must state that you or your lawyer has consulted with a qualified medical expert who has done the following three things:
- Explained the medical standard of care that your healthcare provider was required to meet while treating you
- Indicated that it’s reasonably likely that your healthcare provider failed to meet this standard of care, and
- This failure to meet the standard of care directly caused injuries
When seeking legal counsel for a birth injury case, it’s important to find a firm that has connections with reliable and qualified medical experts.
No Caps On Damages
Many states limit the amount of compensation you can receive in a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, Vermont has no limits on financial compensation. Your final award will be determined based on a combination of economic damages (such as medical expenses, lost wages, etc.) and noneconomic damages (subjective things like pain, suffering, and loss of quality of life).
Common Birth Injuries & Related Expenses
Injuries and trauma during birth can result in several serious (and often permanent) health conditions. Some of the most common birth injuries we’ve seen in malpractice lawsuits include:
The most severe birth injuries often require a lifetime of care and support for the child. Some common expenses parents of children with severe birth injuries can expect to face include:
- Ongoing medical care (doctors appointments, surgeries, medication, etc.)
- Adaptive devices (wheelchairs, braces, prosthetics, etc.)
- Personal daily caretakers
- Handicapped-accessible vehicles and home renovations
- Physical, occupational, speech, and other therapies
Most families will struggle to keep up with these expenses on their own. This is why it’s important for families affected by avoidable birth injuries to take legal action. A successful lawsuit will provide financial support for all personal and financial damages related to your child’s injury.
Legal Counsel For Vermont Birth Injury Cases
In order to ensure your family gets the maximum financial compensation you’re entitled to for a preventable birth injury, it’s important to find a lawyer with experience working on birth injury cases filed in Vermont. Our own attorneys focus on helping families affected by birth injuries in Burlington and throughout the state. We’re prepared to make sure you receive appropriate financial to support to account for the personal and financial difficulties your family is facing. To begin exploring your legal options, contact us today for a free consultation.
Further Reading On Birth Injuries