If you are an expectant parent, the last thought you want to have is the possibility of your child being injured during birth. There are many natural reasons as to why an infant could suffer an injury at birth. However, the cause of those injuries is sometimes due to the negligence of a physician or medical team. If your child suffered a bruising or forceps injury at birth, you should consult with an experienced Baltimore birth injury lawyer. The attorneys at Bennett & Heyman, P.A. are here for your family in your time of need. Our lawyers are here to explain whether you can sue for forceps mark and bruising birth injuries in Maryland.
Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit After a Birth Injury
Birth injuries, including those caused by the misuse of a birth-assisting tool like forceps, fall under the umbrella of medical malpractice. This means if your child suffers a birth injury, such as a forceps injury, during delivery, you can file suit against a medical practitioner. With help from an experienced medical malpractice attorney in Baltimore, an injury lawsuit can be filed against physicians, nurses, other medical professionals, and even the hospital employing these individuals.
To be successful in your lawsuit, you need to show that the injury to your child was caused by a healthcare professional and not naturally caused during childbirth. For example, you may need to show that a bruise was caused by forceps the doctor incorrectly used, instead of sustained while the baby was traveling through the birth canal.
The first fact you need to prove is that you had a doctor-patient relationship with the doctor who was in charge of overseeing the pregnancy. In some cases, a relationship between a patient and a nurse or other medical professional may suffice.
After proving that there was a relationship between the patient (plaintiff) and a medical professional or healthcare provider (defendant), the patient must prove the following four elements to prevail in their case:
- You were owed a duty from the healthcare provider.
- That duty was breached by the healthcare provider.
- The defendant’s actions caused an injury to your child.
- The court can order damages to reimburse the child for their injuries.
Generally, you need to prove all four of these elements if you want to recover damages for your child after a forceps injury. To learn more about filing a medical malpractice claim for a birth injury in Maryland, you should speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
The Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Claims
The statute of limitations is a law that regulates the amount of time that a plaintiff has to file a lawsuit. If you wish to file a medical malpractice claim in Maryland, you generally have five years from the date that your child was injured to file your case, or three years from the date you became aware of the injury. If you do not file your case within the allotted time, you risk the court barring your claim – and being left without a legal remedy. However, there may be some exceptions to the filing deadline depending on the circumstances of your case.
You should know that since your child’s injury occurred at birth, your case may qualify for special filing rules. One of Maryland’s special filing rules states that if a patient is under the age of 11 when they were a victim of medical negligence, the statute of limitations will not begin to run until they reach the age of 11. This means that if your child was injured at birth, you have five years from the date of their 11th birthday to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
While you may have a lengthy amount of time to file your case, it is not always wise to wait until the last minute. There are various benefits to filing your claim as soon as possible. For example, if you file your case sooner rather than later, it will likely be easier to gather and preserve key evidence. You should not assume that evidence you need to file your case will remain preserved indefinitely, as it could easily be lost or destroyed.
Additionally, it may become difficult to track down some defendants if they move or accept positions in other cities or states. Additionally, if there were witnesses present when the injury occurred, their memory could become hazy if you wait too long to file your case.
Baltimore Forceps Birth Injury Attorneys Serving Maryland
If your newborn was severely bruised by your doctor or suffered a forceps injury at birth, you should contact an experienced hospital negligence attorney for help understanding your family’s legal options. The firm of Bennett & Heyman, P.A. is prepared to handle your birth injury claim. To schedule a free legal consultation, contact us at (410) 845-2385, or contact us online.