Some of the most traumatic, horrific types of medical malpractice cases are those involving birth injuries. The stark reality is that a birth injury can have a profound and life-long impact on a newborn child. If you have found yourself facing a situation involving a birth injury and your child, you undoubtedly want to find out more about your legal rights, about the legal rights of your child.
Determining Who is Responsible for a Birth Injury
A key task associated with a birth injury malpractice case is determining the parties that are responsible for the negligence and malpractice. In many cases, more than one party might be deemed responsible for a birth injury. The attending physician is highly likely to be the primary responsible party in a birth injury case. However, other healthcare providers involved in the labor and birth may also be liable or responsible for injuries.
Assuming the birth took place in a hospital, the medical center itself is also likely to be a responsible party. A growing number of births are taking place in other locations currently, including births involving midwives. If that is the case, a midwife can be identified as a responsible party as can the center at which the birth took place.
If an OB-GYN was involved in the earlier stages of a pregnancy, but not in the delivery, he or she might be held liable or responsible for injuries. For example, if the OG-GYN was negligent in missing a diagnosis that could cause delivery- or birth-related problems that could have been avoided, that failure arguably contributed to the birth injuries.
When to Pursue a Birth Injury Lawsuit
In the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, a person typically must file a medical malpractice lawsuit within two years of the negligent act that caused injury. In the case of a birth injury, there is another alternative. A lawsuit can be filed within two years of the date of the injury. However, it can also be filed two years after the child that is the subject of the birth injury reaches adulthood, or 18 years of age. In some cases, waiting permits the ability to better ascertain the nature and extent of a person’s birth injuries over time.
Retain a Skilled Birth Injury Lawyer
A key strategy to employ in a birth injury malpractice case is retaining an experienced lawyer. The first step in hiring a skilled birth injury attorney is the initial consultation. Through an initial consultation, a prospective client can obtain a thorough case evaluation. You will also be able to obtain answers to your questions about your case. Generally, a birth injury malpractice lawyer does not charge a fee for an initial appointment with a potential client.
As an aside, if the case is brought while the subject child is still a minor, a parent or guardian pursues a claim or lawsuit on behalf of the child. The parent would be the person seeking to schedule an initial consultation on behalf of the child.