If your child was injured during delivery, and you believe the injury is a result of medical negligence, then you will need to hire a birth injury lawyer in Maryland. An experienced lawyer can gather evidence to prove negligence caused your child’s injuries and will help you navigate the special rules for medical malpractice claims.
Can I Still File a Birth Injury Lawsuit if My Child Is Now an Adult?
In Maryland, the statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is five years from the date the injury occurred or three years from the date the injury was discovered. If you are the parent of a child who was injured during delivery, this means you will usually have until your child is three years old to file a medical malpractice claim for the birth injury.
However, your adult child can file a birth injury lawsuit on their own behalf. According to Maryland state laws, a minor under the age of 11 to 16 has three years from their 18th birthday to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. This means that your child has until they are 21 years old to file a lawsuit for a birth injury. Visit this page to learn more about how to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Differences in Claims
Generally speaking, a parent who files a birth injury lawsuit is seeking to claim damages for all the care the child will need until the child is 18. These damages can include ongoing medical expenses, medical aids, medications, and other economic expenses. The child, on the other hand, will typically seek compensation for damages that incur after the child becomes an adult, as well as the pain and suffering caused by the birth injury.
Ask Your Birth Injury Lawyer in Maryland: What Are Birth Injuries?
Birth injuries typically fall into one of three categories: nerve injuries, orthopedic injuries, and brain injuries. A significant portion of birth injuries are caused by a lack of oxygen during delivery and rough handling, which can harm the delicate bones and nerves of an infant’s body. Birth injuries can be minor, or they can be severe enough to impact the child’s quality of life for several years in the future. Some birth injuries even cause permanent damage.
Common birth injuries include nerve damage, paralysis, facial paralysis, cerebral palsy, brachial plexus palsy, and shoulder dystocia. Some infants may suffer from brain damage or cranial nerve trauma, while others may contract serious illnesses in the hospital, such as meningitis. Sometimes, the mother can also be harmed due to preventable delivery complications.
Who Can Be Held Liable for Birth Injuries?
Medical professionals who may be liable for birth injuries include the doctor who delivered the infant, a surgeon who performed the C-section, nurses who assisted in the delivery, and obstetricians who monitored the pre-natal phase of the pregnancy. Depending on the case, the medical facility may also be held liable for the birth injury, such as if the infant contracted a disease at the hospital because of negligent care.
How Can Your Lawyer Prove a Birth Injury Claim?
Birth injuries fall under the category of medical malpractice. To prove your birth injury claim, your lawyer will need to meet all the required elements of medical malpractice lawsuits in Maryland. These elements include establishing the duty of care, outlining the breach of duty related to negligent actions, highlighting the cause of the injury, and specifying the damages caused by the injury.
The core of your birth injury case will be proving that there is a standard of care that was not met by the physician who is liable for the birth injury. Since a standard of care can be an objective concept, Maryland state law also stipulates that a certificate from a qualified medical expert be filed along with your case.
The certificate of a qualified medical expert is a statement from a physician that identifies the breach in the duty of care that caused the birth injury. This certificate establishes both the negligent action and the injury caused by the negligent action. This expert certificate must be filed within 90 days of filing your birth injury claim; otherwise your case can be dismissed.
The physician who creates the expert certificate must meet a few qualifications. The expert must have clinical experience in the same specialty field as the defendant physician, or must have taught medicine in the specialty discipline within the last five years. The expert may also need to be board-certified in the same specialty as the defendant physician.
A birth injury can have long-term impacts on the quality of life of the child and even the financial stability of the family. A birth injury lawsuit is one way the family can cope with the strain caused by a birth injury. A birth injury lawyer in Maryland can help you and your child get the compensation you deserve for all damages.