Children who are born with disabilities or suffer an adverse event early in their development may face a lifetime of hardship. When this happens, families are overwhelmed with a number of questions. One of the most persistent questions is “Why?”
If you suspect that the issues your child is facing are the result of an error on the part of a doctor or other medical professional, you and your family may be entitled to compensation. It is important to speak with an experienced birth injury lawyer about your rights.
Ventura Law has been serving families in Connecticut and New York since 1957. For a free consultation with a birth injury lawyer, please call (203) 800-8000 today.
When Can I Take Legal Action for a Birth Injury?
Your child’s condition is not enough in itself to have a valid birth injury claim. You must be able to prove that the injury is the result of negligence on the part of one or more healthcare providers involved in your and/or your child’s care.
Birth injury claims are a type of medical malpractice lawsuit. To recover compensation, you need to present evidence that the provider committed an error that violates the standard of care.
What Is the Standard of Care?
“Standard of care” is the legal term for the course of action in treating a patient that a competent provider would have taken under the circumstances. In other words, it is how medical professionals are expected to proceed given their knowledge and training and the presentation of the patient.
In a birth injury claim, violations of the standard of care may include:
- Failure to diagnose an infection in the mother that affects the health of the unborn baby
- Failure to monitor the mother and baby during delivery for signs of distress
- Failure to perform maneuvers for easing the baby out of the birth canal
- Failure to perform an emergency cesarean section in cases of distress
- Errors in monitoring and care after birth
Birth injuries may be the result of negligence on the part of multiple providers involved in your baby’s care. Errors are often difficult to identify without thorough investigation by your birth injury lawyer.
How Do I Prove Birth Injury Malpractice?
Expert testimony is crucial for establishing the standard of care (and violations thereof) in birth injury claims and other medical malpractice litigation. To determine, for example, if an OBGYN made a mistake that harmed a patient and/or her baby, it is necessary for an expert with a similar background in obstetrics and gynecology to testify that the doctor’s conduct fell outside the accepted standards of the medical specialty.
In many birth injury cases, proving that an error took place can be difficult. Medical records and other documents are complicated. Your lawyer will hire appropriate experts to review the evidence and assess potential instances of malpractice.
What Compensation Can I Recover in a Birth Injury Claim?
If your child suffered a birth injury due to a provider’s negligence, your family may be entitled to significant compensation. The expenses of a birth injury may persist through the entirety of your child’s life. Your child’s needs may also change over time, resulting in new costs and new challenges to overcome.
With all of this in mind, it is important to contact a birth injury attorney who can calculate all of the damages you may be able to recover in your case.
Your lawyer will enlist experts to evaluate the losses you and your child have sustained, as well as those you may face in the future. Your family may be entitled to compensation in your birth injury claim for damages such as:
- Current and future medical costs, including surgeries, therapies, medications, and more
- Home modifications, such as building an accessibility ramp or installing a stair lift
- Purchase of a new vehicle or modification of your vehicle to accommodate your child
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of society and companionship
Calculating damages in a birth injury case is difficult because many of the losses are yet to come. It is important to work with a lawyer who knows how to gather evidence in support of claims for compensation that look decades into the future.
How Long Do I Have to File a Birth Injury Lawsuit?
Each state has a statute of limitations on medical malpractice claims, including cases of birth injury. Medical negligence claims in Connecticut must be filed within two years, while malpractice claims in New York must be filed within two and a half years.
However, when the victim of medical negligence is a minor, the statute of limitations may be extended. In New York, for example, minors may have up to ten years from the date of malpractice to sue for damages.
Connecticut law does not include a special provision extending the statute of limitations for minors in malpractice and birth injury cases. However, you may have more time to file suit if your child’s injury or condition could not have been reasonably discovered within the two-year statute of limitations. Even if this is the case, however, you have a limited time to take action; medical malpractice claims in Connecticut are barred after three years whether the injury could have been reasonably discovered or not.
All of this being said, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible regarding a potential birth injury case because earlier deadlines may apply in certain circumstances.
Start Building Your Birth Injury Claim
Birth injury cases are emotionally trying. They are also complex due to the medical questions and legal principles involved. It is important to work with an experienced team of lawyers who can help you navigate the uncertainty and complexities of your case.
Ventura Law has been an advocate for injury victims for over 60 years. We are committed to helping vulnerable members of society, including children who suffer injuries due to medical negligence when their lives are just beginning.
For a free review of your case, please call Ventura Law at (203) 800-8000 today. Our birth injury attorneys serve clients throughout Connecticut, including Danbury, Bridgeport, Hartford, and Norwalk, as well as New York.