Obstetricians are responsible for ensuring the safe delivery of infants, but unfortunately, lapses in judgment and other mistakes can result in a baby being injured prior to or during birth. Statistics indicate that approximately 1 in 33 U.S. babies is born with a defect; some defects are caused by genetics, while some can be attributed to a physician's negligence during the pregnancy or delivery. If the parent of an injured baby wants to file a claim against their doctor for negligence, it is important to file within the statute of limitations.
Understanding the Statute of Limitations
This legal term means that an injured party has a specific period of time during which they can make a claim against the responsible party, after which they would be barred from filing any lawsuit. Different types of injuries have their own limitations that are set by the state, and the time limit varies between states. For example, in Maryland, the parent of an injured baby would typically have five years from the time their infant was injured to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the responsible doctor. In Indiana, parents would have only two years from the time of the injury to make a claim for themselves and only until the child is 8 years old for a birth defect malpractice suit on their child's behalf.
If you suspect that a doctor's mistake led to a preventable injury during pregnancy or birth, it's important to consult a birth defect attorney who is knowledgeable about the statute of limitations for your state because each state's personal injury laws are different. Once the statute of limitations expires, you become ineligible to file a claim and recover compensation for your losses, so make sure you have a professional's guidance to ensure that you don't miss your limited window.
In some cases of medical malpractice, an injury inflicted by a negligent doctor does not become apparent right away. You may not learn about your baby's defect for months or even years after birth. For example, tools used during an emergency delivery surgery may have scraped your baby's eye, and you don't notice that your child has vision problems until he or she is a toddler. For cases like this, many states have exceptions to the statutes of limitations. Instead of starting the window of time on the date that the injury occurred, the time period might start on the date that the injury is discovered. Each state has its own laws for latent injuries that lead to medical malpractice lawsuits, so it's important to consult an attorney to understand what time limit applies in your case.
To learn more, contact a birth defect attorney.Share
21 January 2021
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