Timeline for Birth Injury Lawsuits: What You Need to Know


Timeline for Birth Injury Lawsuits: What You Need to Know

A birth injury is often a tragic consequence of medical negligence in the childbirth setting. It can be heartbreaking for parents to witness their baby’s injury at the initial stages and then of course for years following the date the injury occurred.

If you are a parent whose child suffered a birth injury and you suspect a medical error caused the injury, time is of the essence. The timeline of everything that occurs immediately following the birth injury is extremely important. Failure to meet certain deadlines for birth injury lawsuits could mean that you lose your rights to file a birth injury lawsuit. 

The following are three important steps in the timeframe for birth injury claims that you need to take in the timeline and they all should happen in relatively quick succession.

Make Sure the Child is Getting the Medical and Rehabilitative Care They Need

An error that people often make is failing to get follow-up care for their injured baby. Whether it’s because the parent is overwhelmed and feeling stress – or whether it’s out of a distrust of doctors or inconvenience – some people just discontinue seeking medical treatment for their child after the baby’s medical injury. This is a huge mistake. The parent may seek a second opinion, they may change doctors, but they should not skip their baby’s critical follow-up care. Further, the parents should make sure to document and keep track of all out-of-pocket medical expenses. Medical expenses include hospital and specialist copays, pharmaceutical costs, rehabilitation expenses, and any and all purchases related to the medical and rehabilitative care of the child. Extensive follow-up care helps establish the baby’s future care needs for the birth injury case and, hopefully and most importantly, it also helps the child recover.

Contact a Lawyer

The person best equipped to help a parent file a successful birth injury case is an attorney who specializes in birth injury malpractice cases. The sooner the parent contacts this attorney, the more likely they will have a good outcome for their case. Time is of the essence as there is a statute of limitations, which is a law that requires a person to file a lawsuit within a certain time period or else the person will lose their right to sue. In Pennsylvania, they can file a birth injury claim up to two years after the child turns 18 (i.e., up until their 20th birthday). But the parent should never wait that long to consult a lawyer. If their baby suffered a birth injury, they need to contact birth injury advocates as soon as possible to preserve their claims. And while their child’s case doesn’t expire until the child turns 20, the parent’s case expires two years after they knew or should have known that their child’s birth injury was someone’s fault.

Collect and Preserve Evidence

It’s important that the parent maintain a detailed record of all medical reports, diagnoses, treatments, and conversations with healthcare professionals regarding their child’s birth injury. Fetal heart monitoring strips, medical records, intake forms, and lab slips are all examples of crucial pieces of evidence. This is another reason the step “contact a lawyer” is so essential: the birth injury lawyer can, as mentioned above, tell the parent what evidence is necessary and will review and digest all of the necessary information because it is essential to the birth injury lawsuit. The parent’s evidence is essential because it supports the argument that the healthcare professionals’ actions or omissions caused their child’s injuries. This evidence will also help establish the extent of the child’s injuries, detailing every related issue whether it’s physical or emotional.

If your child suffered a birth injury, it’s essential to contact an experienced birth injury attorney in Philadelphia promptly to help you navigate your time-sensitive birth injury claim. To find an experienced birth injury lawyer, contact VSCP Law


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