You want to protect your child from all harm, but that is not always possible. If your child has suffered a birth injury due to a medical provider's negligence, you may have grounds for a successful legal claim to hold the responsible party accountable and to obtain compensation for medical care for your child.
Before filing a claim, it's important to understand the process. Following are a few essential things to know about determining the cause of a birth injury and mounting a successful claim.
It is important to identify the issue as a birth injury rather than a birth defect. A defect occurs in the womb during conception or formation of the fetus, while an injury occurs during birth. There are multiple ways this can happen, such as aggressive use of forceps or the child suffering brain damage due to lack of oxygen. Generally, for the purposes of a medical malpractice claim, it is necessary for a specialist to examine the facts of the birth to determine exactly what caused the injury.
In some cases, the birth injury may not be obvious right way. There are certain indicators that parents may notice that can help to identify a birth injury. Some common indicators include:
- Skin discoloration
- Poor coordination
- Inactivity or excessive tiredness
- Cerebral palsy
These are just a few of the many indicators. Parents who suspect injuries should take their child to a pediatrician immediately.
Statute of limitations
The statute of limitations accounts for the fact that birth injuries are not always obvious immediately. Parents have two years to file a claim after a birth injury or after the discovery of the injury, up until 10 years after birth. Children may file claims themselves once they turn 18, and they have until the age of 20. Because complex evidence must be collected to build a compelling case, it is critical to begin the process as soon as possible.
For more on these matters, please see Hullverson Law Firm's overview of birth injury claims in Missouri.