What Are The Requirements For Filing A Birth Injury Malpractice Lawsuit?
Birth injury malpractice lawsuits are all about proving that medical negligence caused the injury. Medical professionals can be considered negligent if they fail to follow the accepted medical standard of care for their field.
In other words, if another responsible medical professional with the same qualifications would have prevented the injury by handling your childbirth differently, then the medical professional responsible for your care can be considered negligent.
In order to determine if negligence played a role in your child’s birth injury, you’ll need to speak with a reliable Wisconsin birth injury lawyer who can consult with a qualified medical expert to review the medical evidence for your case.
Types Of Negligence During Childbirth
Some of the most common forms of medical negligence we see cited as grounds for medical malpractice include:
- Choosing to conduct a natural delivery when a c-section would be safer
- Delayed labor and delivery causing preventable complications
- Failure to properly monitor the pregnancy and address problems
- Failure to identify and diagnose health problems in the mother or child
- Misuse of assisted delivery tools like vacuum extractors and forceps
- Prescription errors causing birth complications
Common Birth Injuries Caused By Medical Negligence
These and other medical errors can potentially lead to permanent physical and mental disabilities for the child. These disabilities often require a lifetime of care and support, and the expenses can add up quickly. We commonly see families seek financial compensation for serious birth injuries like:
Most Wisconsin families are not financially prepared for the costs of a serious birth injury. Some common expenses parents of children with severe conditions like cerebral palsy can expect to face include:
- Frequent and ongoing medical care (appointments, surgeries, medications, etc.)
- Personal daily caregivers
- Occupational, physical, speech, and other therapies
- Adaptive devices (wheelchairs, braces, prosthetics, etc.)
- Handicap-accessible vehicles and home renovations
For many families, a birth injury malpractice lawsuit is the only means of providing the financial support their child will need after suffering a serious birth injury.
Wisconsin Medical Malpractice Laws
Before filing a lawsuit for a preventable birth injury, you may wish to familiarize yourself with Wisconsin’s medical malpractice laws. We’ve summarized some of these laws below, but remember that each medical malpractice case is unique. We recommend discussing the details of your family’s situation with an experienced Wisconsin birth injury lawyer if you want to fully understand your legal rights.
Statute Of Limitations
Like all other states, Wisconsin has a law called the statute of limitations, which sets a deadline for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. The date for this deadline varies and may be based on either the date the alleged malpractice occurred or the date the injury was discovered. If you fail to file a claim within the statute of limitations you’ll lose your right to sue, so it’s important to speak with a birth injury lawyer as soon as you suspect that malpractice may have caused your child’s injury.
In Wisconsin, plaintiffs in medical malpractice lawsuits have the option to ask for mediation before filing the lawsuit. Mediation is an opportunity for both sides to come to a settlement agreement without bringing the case to court.
Expert Witness Requirements
In most medical malpractice cases, it’s necessary for an expert medical witness to explain to the jury the medical standard of care and how the defendant failed to meet this standard of care. In rare exceptions, this testimony may not be necessary if the malpractice is obvious, such as a surgeon leaving a foreign object inside a patient.
Caps On Damages
Wisconsin currently limits the amount of financial compensation available for non-economic damages in malpractice cases. Non-economic damages include anything that isn’t easily calculable, such as pain, suffering, and loss of quality of life. This cap is currently set at $750,000, but the law may change soon. In July of 2017, a Wisconsin appeals court ruled that this damages cap is unconstitutional. The decision is expected to be appealed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Taking Legal Action After A Preventable Birth Injury
If your family is considering filing a birth injury malpractice lawsuit, it’s important to find an experienced Wisconsin malpractice lawyer you can trust. Our local lawyers can evaluate your case in a free consultation and determine the best path forward for your family. We’re proud to help families struggling with the consequences of serious birth injuries in Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, and throughout the rest of Wisconsin.
We also work on a contingency fee basis – which means you pay us nothing unless we help you secure financial compensation. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how you can begin planning for your child’s future.