Parents of a newborn often trust that a doctor will provide them with the medical care that their child deserves. However, a mistake by a doctor or medical staff could result in a child suffering a severe injury like meningitis. When this happens, a negligent doctor should be held accountable for their mistakes. If your child contracted infant meningitis due to the negligence of a doctor, you should consult with an experienced Maryland attorney for infant meningitis caused by a birth injury.
At Bennett & Heyman, we are committed to providing you with the legal representation that you deserve to seek compensation for your newborn’s injuries. Our firm has litigated a variety of birth injury cases, and we are ready to work with you. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your claim, contact Bennett & Heyman at (410) 429-7856. You may also contact us online.
How Medical Negligence Can Lead to Infant Meningitis
Infant meningitis is caused when a newborn contracts a bacterial or viral infection. There are multiple strains of bacteria that could cause an infant to develop meningitis. For example, Neisseria meningitides and Streptococcus pneumoniae are two strains of bacteria that could lead to the illness. It is also important to note that bacterial meningitis is typically more severe than viral meningitis because it requires extensive medical treatment to correct.
Infants are often at a higher risk of contracting meningitis than other age groups. That is why it is important for a doctor to test a pregnant woman to determine whether they were exposed to bacteria that could cause infant meningitis. Specifically, the doctor in charge of the pregnancy should test the mother for bacterial infections between weeks 35 to 37 of the pregnancy.
If a mother tests positive for Group B streptococcus, a doctor should treat her immediately to avoid endangering the child. If a doctor fails to diagnose a mother with an infection that could cause infant meningitis, they could be held liable in a medical malpractice claim.
There are a number of signs and symptoms that can help you determine whether your child developed infant meningitis. For example, if you notice that your child has an unusually stiff neck, this could indicate that they may have contracted infant meningitis. Other signs and symptoms of infant meningitis include:
- Excessive sleepiness
This is not an exhaustive list. As you may have noticed, it could be difficult to assess whether your child has meningitis when looking at the symptoms listed above. As a result, you should consider having your child tested for the condition as soon as possible if you believe they have contracted meningitis.
To learn more about when to file a medical malpractice lawsuit for your child’s birth injuries, continue reading and consult with an experienced Maryland lawyer for infant meningitis birth injuries.
When to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Maryland
If your child developed infant meningitis due to the negligence of a doctor or medical team, our firm could help you pursue compensation for their injuries. When pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit against a doctor or hospital, you should be aware that your claim is subject to the statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations dictates the amount of time that a person has to file a lawsuit against a person or entity that caused their injuries. Every state has implemented statutes of limitations laws for civil cases, and even criminal cases. Note, however, that the statute of limitations for your particular claim could vary depending on the type of claim you wish to file with the court. For example, a case based on product liability may have a separate deadline than a medical malpractice lawsuit.
In Maryland, the statute of limitations for a medical malpractice lawsuit is five years from the date of the malpractice. However, if you did not discover the injury to your child immediately, the filing deadline will change to three years from the date you discovered the injury.
If a potential plaintiff fails to file their lawsuit within the above timeframes, they place their case at risk. Specifically, the defendant in the case can request that the court dismiss the claim for violation of the statute of limitations. If this occurs, the plaintiff may be left without any alternatives to seek compensation for their injuries.
You should also be aware that it is possible for a parent or guardian to file a lawsuit on behalf of their child. However, the filing deadline may vary depending on the age of your child. It would be wise to speak with an experienced attorney if you are concerned about the date the statute of limitations began to run for your claim.
Our Maryland law firm understands the pain a family can experience upon learning a newborn was injured due to medical malpractice, and we are here for you in your time of need.
Work with Our Experienced Maryland Lawyer for Infant Meningitis Birth Injuries
If your child was a victim of medical malpractice, contact a committed Maryland meningitis birth injury lawyer. The legal team at Bennett & Heyman possess decades of combined legal experience, and we are ready to help you litigate against the doctor that caused your child’s injuries. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options, contact Bennett & Heyman at (410) 429-7856. You may also use our short submission form to contact us online.