Birth injuries are physical harm or trauma that occur to a baby during labor or delivery. They can range from minor bruises and cuts to severe brain damage and paralysis. Some birth injuries are unavoidable, but others are caused by the negligence of the medical staff.
Medical malpractice is a legal term that refers to a breach of the standard of care that a health care provider owes to you and your baby. In New York, a patient who suffers an injury due to medical malpractice can file a lawsuit against the responsible party and seek compensation for damages.
However, medical malpractice cases involving birth injuries are complex and challenging to prove. They require extensive evidence, expert testimony and legal knowledge.
Limits on when you have to file
The statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases in New York is two and a half years from the date of the injury or the date you discover the injury. However, for birth injury cases, there is an exception that allows parents to file a lawsuit on behalf of their child until the child turns 10 years old.
If you have a valid claim for medical malpractice and birth injury in New York or Pennsylvania, you may be entitled to recover compensation for various things. You can recover for medical expenses, which can include past and future costs of diagnosis, treatment, surgery, medication, therapy, equipment, etc. You can sue for pain and suffering, like the physical and emotional distress caused by the injury and its impact on your quality of life.
You can also sue for your loss of income – including past and future wages and benefits that you or your child have lost or will lose due to the injury and its effects. Loss of consortium also qualifies, which means you can sue for your loss of companionship, affection, support and services that you or your spouse have suffered due to your child’s birth injuries.
And, what can often prove to be the largest compensation category, punitive damages. This is additional compensation awarded to punish the medical providers for their reckless or intentional conduct.