Can I Still File a Birth Injury Lawsuit If My Child Was Born a Few Years Ago?
Here at Peter Angelos Law, our team receives queries every week from parents who are unsure of their options following a birth injury. One of the most common questions we hear is "can I still file a birth injury lawsuit if my child was born a few years ago?".
The answer to this question is that it depends on the length of time that has passed since the incident. In most cases in Maryland, parents can file birth injury lawsuits within three years of the incident. There are several exceptions, however, with the main one being the discovery rule, which extends the time limit to five years.
The discovery rule allows parents to bring a birth injury lawsuit against a negligent medical provider when their child's injuries have not been discovered for some time. In this scenario, a parent will have five years from the incident and no longer than three years from the date of the discovery. The claim must be within the five-year period.
If you are unsure of where you stand regarding your child's birth injury, contact a member of our team immediately. We can help you understand your options and provide a free initial case evaluation. If you want to proceed, we will take your case on a no-win-no-fee basis, allowing you to pursue your case with confidence and hold those responsible for your child's suffering accountable.
Peter Angelos Law - Holding Maryland Medical Providers Accountable for Over 50 Years!
When a child is injured through the negligence of the providers responsible for their care, it is unacceptable. Whether your child has suffered cerebral palsy, Erb's palsy, brain damage, or another type of injury, you have every right to be furious and want to seek compensation.
Besides the trauma of watching your child suffer an injury that was preventable, you may be concerned about medical expenses and lost income if you need to take time off work to care for your child.
Fortunately, when a child is injured during pregnancy or birth, and the injury occurred because of the negligence of a medical provider, you may bring a claim against those responsible. This claim, known as a birth injury lawsuit, is a medical malpractice lawsuit and allows you to pursue the recovery of your damages and compensation for the pain and suffering you and your child have endured.
For birth injury cases, you need a team of attorneys with significant experience. Cases against medical providers usually involve fighting against a team of skilled and aggressive attorneys. Medical insurance companies will fight every claim viciously, as birth injury cases are known for their high-value compensation payouts.
With Peter Angelos Law as your chosen law firm, you will have legal representation from a law firm with a fierce reputation for winning cases. Many of the insurance companies of the state know us by name and will be wary of entering trial proceedings against us.
Call us today to discuss your case at 410-705-2405.
Statute of Limitations in Maryland
In Maryland, the statute of limitations plays a crucial role in determining the timeframe within which a plaintiff must file a medical malpractice or birth injury claim. Understanding the birth injury statute and the importance of the statute of limitations is essential for victims and their families.
In Maryland, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases is typically three years from the date the injury was discovered, or within five years from the act or omission that caused the injury, whichever comes first.
This same statute applies to birth injury claims, which often involve injuries to newborns caused by medical negligence during the labor and delivery process.
The statute of limitations is necessary for several reasons. First, it ensures that evidence in medical malpractice lawsuits remains relatively fresh and reliable. Over time, witnesses' memories may fade, and critical documents or records could be lost or destroyed. The statute of limitations helps to preserve the integrity of the legal process by encouraging prompt action from birth injury victims and their families.
Second, the statute of limitations serves to protect medical providers and healthcare institutions from the burden of defending against old claims. It provides a sense of closure and finality, allowing medical providers to continue their practice without the constant threat of litigation from incidents many years prior.
The Four Elements of a Birth Injury Case
As well as ensuring that your case is within the statute of limitations, an experienced birth injury lawyer will also need to evaluate your case to understand if it was indeed negligence that caused your child's injuries. In a medical malpractice claim involving the negligence of a healthcare provider, there are four important elements that need to be examined and proved.
Duty of Care
For a medical provider to be negligent under the law, they must have owed the victim a duty of care at the time of the incident. A duty of care is a legal duty or obligation to act in a reasonable manner when doing otherwise could lead to the harm or injury of another person.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to prove a duty of care exists, particularly with work accident cases and other personal injury cases. However, with medical malpractice cases, it is much easier. This is because all medical providers automatically assume a duty of care to their patients.
This duty is to act as a reasonable medical provider would in the same circumstances. Your medical providers owe you a duty of care that includes providing adequate fetal monitoring and care during your pregnancy, and a duty to act appropriately during your delivery.
Breach of Duty of Care
In negligence cases, the second element is the breach of the duty of care. For this element, it must be proven that the actions or inactions of the accused breached their legal duty of care to the victim. Often, medical malpractice occurs because the medical providers have deviated from the standard medical practices.
Your birth injury attorneys will examine this element by looking at the actions of a responsible medical provider. They will compare the actions of your medical provider to the actions of a reasonable medical provider with the same training and see if these actions differ.
If the way your medical provider has acted or has failed to act is grossly substandard, this could amount to a breached duty of care.
For this element, your attorney will most likely discuss your case with a medical expert who can help them understand whether the actions of your medical provider were in line with the standard of care they owe you.
The third element to prove is that the breached duty, which involved actions or omissions, directly led to the injuries the child suffered. This can be difficult in normal cases, but in a birth injury case, if a child has been born with an injury, it must have happened during either the pregnancy or the birth.
This means that it should be relatively straightforward for your attorney to prove causation, as they simply have to look at your child's medical records. However, this depends on the type of injury your newborn baby suffered.
The last element that your attorney will need to prove is that the injuries you or your child suffered have directly led to the damages you are attempting to recover in your medical malpractice claims.
Your attorney will need to assess the damages suffered by you and your child in order to calculate a settlement figure for their negotiations. They will examine your economic damages, calculate the value of your non-economic damages, and combine the two, giving them a figure that your case is worth.
You should not be left with the bill for your medical expenses following medical malpractice. In a successful claim, your attorney will work to recover all the medical expenses you have suffered and will suffer in the future. This means accounting for all future care costs.
To do this, your attorney may need to bring in medical experts who can examine the case. Once they know what injuries your child suffered, they can calculate what their long-term treatment may cost. Your child deserves the best possible medical care if they have been injured through negligence, and the settlement should reflect that.
This is one reason your attorney may ask you to wait for several months before you bring your claim. This will allow the true scope of your child's injuries to become apparent. It is also a reason you should never accept a quick-fire settlement offer from the other party.
Once you accept a settlement, you forgo the right to pursue compensation in the future, and that means if you accept a figure too low, you will be left out-of-pocket if your child's injuries are worse than you thought.
Parents will usually have to take extended periods of time off work when a child suffers a birth injury. This often means suffering from lost income and potential future earnings. If this applies to your case, part of your claim should involve seeking the recovery of your lost wages and earning capacity.
You may recover all the wages you have lost and may stand to lose. If you are going to have to give up a career to look after your child because of their injuries, your attorney may pursue compensation for this lost earning capacity.
Your non-economic damages are the ones that your attorney will have to place a value on. These subjective damages often make up the largest part of the compensation awarded.
Pain and Suffering
Damages for pain and suffering encompass the entire trauma, discomfort, and emotional turmoil experienced by the victims. This covers the anguish your child has endured, the potential decrease in life satisfaction resulting from permanent injuries, and the emotional stress experienced by parents as they witness their child's suffering.
Loss of Companionship
In the most devastating circumstances, your child's life might be lost because of the negligence of the medical providers entrusted with their care. In such cases, as bereaved parents, you may pursue justice and seek compensation for the profound loss of companionship you now face.
Contact Peter Angelos Law Today!
Birth injury cases are complex and require the expertise of a compassionate and knowledgeable law firm. Peter Angelos Law is dedicated to helping families navigate challenging circumstances and seek justice for their loved ones.
Our team of experienced attorneys understands the intricacies of medical malpractice law and is committed to advocating for your family's rights, ensuring that you receive the compensation you deserve for the pain and suffering inflicted upon your child.
The sooner you consult with a qualified attorney from Peter Angelos Law, the more effectively we can gather crucial evidence, evaluate your case, and build a strong legal strategy to fight for your family. Our firm is passionate about holding negligent medical providers accountable and supporting families throughout the entire legal process.
As you grapple with the emotional and financial toll of a birth injury, it is vital to remember that you do not have to face this daunting journey alone. The team here, at Peter Angelos Law, stands ready to guide you every step of the way, providing the legal expertise, understanding, and compassion that your family needs during this difficult time.
Call us today at 410-705-2405.