Birth should be an exciting, positive experience for a family. Unfortunately, birth injuries do happen in rare circumstances, and these injuries can be hard to accept when they result from the negligence or malpractice of trusted medical professionals. If your infant child suffered an injury as the result of an error or oversight by a medical professional, a Manchester birth injury lawyer could help you explore legal options and potentially file a claim. Contact a seasoned medical malpractice attorney today.
What Are Common Types of Birth Injuries?
Some of the most common birth injuries occur when the baby is somehow delayed in being delivered, and their oxygen flow is compromised. That can cause all kinds of problems with respect to the baby’s development, both physically and mentally. The baby can suffer physical injuries to the muscles or bones from the birthing process if the doctor took inappropriate action. It is also possible for the child to be hurt by a tool during the C-section process. The negligence could also stem from the timing of the birth – either because the doctor did not recognize that the birth needs to happen immediately or they needlessly delay intervention.
Standard of Care for Medical Professionals
Birth injuries can range from the minor, such as a bruised face, to the severe, such as a fractured skull or brain damage. Doctors and other medical professionals have a legal and ethical duty to adhere to a certain standard of care to prevent such harm befalling an infant. Broadly, the standard of care is the appropriate or routine level of treatment that would be expected of a doctor, nurse, or hospital staff member at any hospital.
The condition of a pregnant or laboring mom and her baby can change rapidly. Physicians and their staff are liable for recognizing any warning signs, acting quickly and appropriately, and mitigating any potential problems through the labor and birth process. When a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional fails in this duty, they could be found negligent.
If hospital negligence causes damages to the newborn and their family, the family have the legal right to seek compensation for the sustained damages. A knowledgeable birth injury lawyer in Manchester could help a family determine if their child’s injury was the result of negligence.
How Long do Plaintiffs Have to File a Birth Injury Case?
As outlined in the General Statutes of Connecticut § 52-584, plaintiffs or their attorney have two years to file a civil lawsuit seeking compensation for damages, a window commonly referred to as the statute of limitations. There are, however, notable exceptions to this law.
If an injury was not discovered until a date after the birth and could not have been reasonably discovered sooner, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the date of the discovery. According to the same statute, however, no more than three years may elapse from the date the injury occurred until a lawsuit is filed. If a plaintiff or their lawyer files a lawsuit after the statute of limitations has expired, it could be dismissed from court by a judge at the request of the defendant. An experienced lawyer could help clarify the statute of limitations and work to file a claim promptly.
Expert witnesses are critical and, in birth injury or other malpractice cases, actually required by law. The expert should be a doctor or nurse who has the background, the certifications, the medical credentials, and experience needed in order to give an opinion that there was a breach of the standard of care that caused the injury.
Length of Manchester Legal Cases
Every birth injury case is unique, so it can be difficult to predict how long a particular case will go on. Generally, birth injury cases can last 18-24 months, from the initial filing until a settlement or jury verdict.
Cases that are more complex or have multiple defendants may take longer. It is vital that plaintiffs approach their birth injury lawyer in Manchester with questions about the length or process of their case.
Help from a Manchester Birth Injury Attorney
Birth injuries often cause physical or emotional pain and suffering for newborns and their families. The ongoing medical treatment for a birth injury may also be extremely costly throughout a child’s lifetime.
If you believe the negligence of a medical professional caused your child’s birth injury, a Manchester birth injury lawyer could help you seek compensation. Contact an experienced attorney to explore your legal options.