For most parents and families, the arrival of a newborn is one of the happiest and most exciting times in life. But when the child sustains a birth injury or birth trauma because of medical mistakes, the consequences can be devastating and life changing. According to statistics from Right Diagnosis, each year in the U.S. 28,000 babies – seven of every 1,000 – suffer injuries at birth – injuries that could have been prevented with proper care and treatment.
Parties to a Birth Injury Lawsuit
Generally, the parents or legal guardians of the injured child have the right to bring a medical malpractice claim on his or her behalf, but must do so within a specified amount of time. Michigan’s statute of limitations, for example, requires that a plaintiff file the lawsuit within two years of the alleged negligence or prior to the child’s 10th birthday, whichever comes later. Because of the substantial financial burden associated with the caring for and raising the injured child, most cases are filed shortly after becoming aware of medical errors.
The delivery process usually involves a team of medical professionals, so the defendants to the lawsuit may include the obstetrician and other physicians, nurses, technicians, and the hospital or facility in which the birth took place. Usually, these professionals carry insurance, with the insurers ultimately paying on the plaintiff’s claims.
Damages & Compensation for Birth Injuries
A verdict or settlement in a birth injury lawsuit offers economic assistance for the child’s short- and long-term needs, which can include:
- Medications, doctor and hospital visits, and other medical treatment resulting from the injury
- Counseling, psychological services, and special education
- Residential and custodial care
- Special equipment and facilities, and additions necessary to the home,
- Medically necessary travel
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Compensation for lost wages and earning potential from the time the child is 18 until he or she is 65
Compensation for non-economic damages such as emotional pain and suffering is also available, subject to any caps imposed by state laws.
Medical malpractice that causes injury, trauma, or death of a newborn can be catastrophic, and choosing the right attorney to seek compensation is a critical decision. The attorneys in Sommers Schwartz Medical Malpractice Litigation Group have decades of experience with birth injury cases and a track record for successful verdicts and settlements. Please contact us today – we’re here to help.