Pediatric Medical Malpractice: Filing for Compensation

Sep 29, 2022 | Parenting

Medical professionals owe a duty of care to their patients. Injuries resulting from a deviation from the set standards of care might constitute negligence, which can see the medical professional facing a medical malpractice lawsuit.
According to experts, the most common type of medical malpractice is misdiagnosis, with surgical errors and poor medical treatment following second for children under 17. Like medical malpractice lawsuits involving adults, children who suffer injuries due to a doctor’s negligence are eligible for compensation.

Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Are Complicated

The chance of succeeding with a medical malpractice lawsuit without a lawyer is almost zero. The dynamics of a medical malpractice lawsuit can be pretty complicated even for the most skilled injury lawyers because of the quality of evidence required to prove a case. With that being said, you will want to work with a lawyer with knowledge in medical malpractice when filing your child’s medical malpractice lawsuit.

A quarter of all medical errors involving children are made by obstetricians in the delivery room. Unfortunately, delivery-related errors can result in a lifetime of disabilities for a child or even death.

“No parent should experience the pain of losing their baby because of human error,” says medical malpractice lawyer Arren Waldrep of Price Benowitz Accident Injury Lawyers, LLP. Delivery errors can result in cerebral palsy and brachial palsy, often resulting from damaged nerves due to factors relating to extended labor.

To succeed with a medical malpractice lawsuit, you must prove negligence through evidence. Often you may require hiring a medical expert to analyze your child’s medical records to prove negligence. You would also need to have them appear in court as a witness to your case. If the medical malpractice results in physical signs, it would be best to keep photo and video files of the injuries, which you can use to add weight to your claim.

Statute of Limitations and Statutory Caps

It is essential to know your state’s statute of limitations if you intend to file a claim. The statute of limitations outlines the time frame within which you can legally sue for medical malpractice. Most states have a three-year window from the time you suffered damages to the time you file a claim.

However, it is best to confirm what the law states in your state of residence to ensure compliance. Allowing the statute of limitations to expire means you automatically lose your chance to sue for damages suffered by your child.

Another important factor when calculating the value of your claim is statutory caps. Some states limit the level of compensation you can recover from a medical malpractice lawsuit. So you may need to check if caps apply to your state.

Recoverable Damages

Recoverable damages in medical malpractice lawsuits involving children are similar to other injury claim lawsuits and often include economic, non-economic, and in the extraordinarily rare circumstance, punitive damages.

Economic injuries are injuries with a definite financial tag like hospital bills, the cost of medication, and loss of potential wages. Non-economic injuries include loss of life’s enjoyment, disfigurement, and disability, which may not have a definite monetary value.

Punitive damages apply under rare circumstances, such as intentional medical malpractice. While a parent may collect economic damages from a lawsuit involving a child, non-economic damages can only be collected by the child when they are of age.

Under some circumstances, the parent can file for pain and suffering if the predicament of their child results in psychological problems that affect their health.

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