Every day, hundreds of expectant parents in Dorchester rely on the guidance of medical professionals through pregnancy, labor, and the delivery of their children. Unfortunately, medical negligence may lead to serious birth injuries, which might cause challenges for these families. When a newborn suffers an unexpected injury at birth, families are often faced with many difficult questions regarding how they could financially support their child and how the injury may have been prevented.
If your family has been affected by a birth injury, it could be important to seek legal guidance from a well-practiced Dorchester birth injury lawyer. If your child’s injury at birth was caused by medical negligence, a knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney could help you seek financial compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit.
In birth injury lawsuits, plaintiffs need to establish—usually through the use of expert testimony—that the healthcare professionals attending the labor and delivery process acted in a way that was inconsistent with the accepted medical standard of care. It must be shown that the doctors, nurses, or other specialists in question did not conduct themselves in the way a reasonable specialist in a similar situation would have.
Potential plaintiffs should also be aware that medical malpractice claims in Massachusetts must be reviewed by a special tribunal—made up of a judge, a physician, and an attorney—that would determine if the evidence presented, if thoroughly substantiated, is enough to raise a question of liability, or whether the outcome complained of by the plaintiff is an outcome of an unfortunate medical result.
The findings of the panel may be admissible at the time of trial. Should the panel find against the plaintiff, a $6,000 bond must be paid by the plaintiff to pay the defendant’s costs if the claim fails at trial. The court may increase the costs if it sees fit.
Every jurisdiction across the United States places limits on the time plaintiffs may have to file a legal action. In Massachusetts, medical malpractice actions in cases of injury or death must be brought by a plaintiff or by their Dorchester birth injury lawyer within three years of the date the claim accrued, according to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 231 §60D.
An exception to the three-year deadline may occur in cases where the plaintiff did not reasonably know that medical malpractice was even involved. If the discovery rule stands, the lawsuit may be commenced three years from the date on which the injured victim had sufficient notice that the defendant’s medical treatment caused their injuries.
An experienced Dorchester birth injury lawyer is familiar with these deadlines and could help a plaintiff file their lawsuits on time.
Certain state legislatures have imposed caps on the amount of damages that plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases may receive. Should a jury in Massachusetts find a person liable for medical malpractice, they are instructed to award plaintiffs over $500,000 for damages such as pain and suffering, loss of familial relationships, and the like.
However, there may be exceptions in cases that involve a temporary or permanent loss of a bodily function, deformity, and other similar circumstances. When any of these circumstances apply, a birth injury attorney in Dorchester could argue for the cap on the amount of financial compensation available to the plaintiff to be lifted.
Recovering financial compensation for a birth injury caused by medical malpractice might be a difficult process. It may involve adhering to the requirements of complicated and specific state laws, finding reliable medical experts to testify in court, and gathering critical medical evidence.
If your child has suffered a preventable birth injury that caused a serious medical condition or death, an accomplished Dorchester birth injury lawyer could make a clear determination about whether you have a meritorious claim. Do not leave your child’s livelihood to chance—call today to schedule a consultation and discuss your case with a knowledgeable attorney.