It is easy to understand a parent’s panic at discovering that their child has been seriously injured, and may never lead a normal life. It can be even more upsetting to hear that the sustained injuries were due to hospital or doctor negligence.
Parents with children who were injured at birth often times have trouble trying to discover the root cause of these personal injuries being as they are consumed with caring for their child. This can become a full-time job and can prove to be costly as well. Therefore, it is important that you seek legal counsel to represent your and your family’s best interest for birth injury malpractice compensation.
If it is proven that the licensed healthcare provider deviated from the standard process of care and was negligent by causing injury or death, and your child was injured at birth as a result of hospital or doctor negligence, then you may be reimbursed for pain and suffering, and medical bills.
First thing’s first, we must know if you are prepared to file the lawsuit and whether or not it can be proven that you or someone you love is a victim of medical malpractice.
Birth Injury Malpractice Compensation Lawsuits
Birth injury lawsuits are a means to recompense you for the damages done unto your child. It doesn’t matter the injury or its severity, just the fact that someone unable to defend themselves was hurt. These injuries could be a small laceration, a contusion, or more severe injuries such as cerebral palsy or a brain injury.
As stressful as it may seem to file the lawsuit, it is important that you do it despite the cons you think there may be to it. So long as you hire an experienced birth injury malpractice lawyer, the process should be of no stress to you or your family. Remember, the money that can be gained from this can greatly assist you in the future.
A birth injury lawsuit will help you cover damages for:
- Past, current, and future medical expenses;
- Healthcare costs associated with rehabilitation, therapy, counseling, and specialized medical equipment;
- Pain, suffering, and emotional distress;
- Lost wages due to providing care for the disabled child; and
- Loss of enjoyment and companionship.
Keep in mind that it is important to garner evidence against the hospital or doctor that caused the injury to your child. This includes witnesses, any video evidence, documentation, etc. There needs to be clear evidence that they breached the required care of duty.
Birth Injury Compensation
Firstly, know what can be involved in medical malpractice in way of injuries. Along with an improper diagnosis, there are surgery flaws or sudden obstacles, anesthesia errors, and the failure to give adequate attention in postoperative recovery time. There are also prescription medication errors that can have drastic effects on small children. None of these are even taking into account all the psychological damages that can and have been done to both the child in question and the parents of the child. With this in mind, read on for more details.
In cases such as these, it is unfortunate that the amount of damage done cannot be undone. Nothing can fully compensate for the injuries done onto a loved one, especially that of a child.
You can, however, be compensated for those costly medical bills for the injuries inflicted on your child. This includes past medical expenses and future medical expenses. It is easier to be reimbursed for those past expenses, given that the bills are already on file at the hospitals. It is trickier, however, to ascertain the compensation you will receive on those potential future expenses. This is all dependent on what a professional, brought in by the court, will say the possible treatments will be and their cost.
In general, however, when you win your case, expect compensation for:
- Medical costs;
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation expenses;
- Costs associated with in-home care, special education, and therapy; and
- Specialized equipment (if needed), such as wheelchairs, braces, etc.
Statute of Limitations on Childbirth Malpractice
Like with most lawsuits, it is imperative to file your birth injury case as soon as possible, or else risk running through the statute of limitations provided. In some cases, if you do not file within the statute of limitations, your lawsuit will not be allowed. If you are not aware, the statute of limitation is a periods of time in which you can legally file your claim. In South Carolina, the lawsuit must be filed within three years of at the time of the injury/its discovery. If the time period exceeds six years, however, you cannot file the claim.
In cases like birth injury lawsuits, there is a term called discovery time where the statute’s time only starts to tick was the moment the injury is discovered. File as soon as possible, or you could risk losing key evidence.
Medical Malpractice Study Involving Children
A study performed and reported to the Supreme Health Council (SHC) studied children ranging in age from newborn to 18 years old. They reviewed 167 children out of 960 malpractice claims ranging between 1996 and 2000. The results were eye opening:
- 64.1 percent were male;
- Most children ranged from six to 12 years;
- 63.5 percent of the claims were associated with crime lawsuits;
- 59.3 and 31.7 percent applied to hospitals due to diseases and accidents;
- More than half of the reported malpractices occurred in hospitals (63.5 percent) and resulted from non-surgical interventions (58.7 percent);
- One third of the children suffered from infections;
- 57.5 percent of the children died;
- 59.3 percent of the children were autopsied;
- Health staff was found at fault in 46.1 percent of the claims; and
- Causes of deaths reported before and after autopsies were conflicting in 13 of 19 autopsied children (68 percent).
Birth Injury Medical Malpractice Lawyer in South Carolina
The Elrod Pope Law Firm has worked with many birth defect and birth injury cases, and can help you receive compensation for yours. Contact us online or give us a call to schedule a free consultation. We know birth injuries can be stressful, and our experienced medical malpractice attorneys in Rock Hill are here to help.
Thomas E. Pope is a Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, and Medical Malpractice Attorney who practices in Rock Hill, Lake Wylie, and Lancaster, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 31 years now. Thomas E. Pope believes in protecting the injured. Learn more about his experience here.