Having your child injured by a medical professional is a devastating experience. Medical professionals are not perfect, however, parents should be able to confidently place their trust in them for the benefit of their child’s health. Not only might your child live the remainder of their lives with a preventable condition, but you also will have to endure the emotional trauma. Even if you do not expect it to happen to you, you need to be aware of your options as to what you can do to address the situation, and your legal rights regarding such an event.
If your child has been injured due to the actions of a pediatrician, this incident falls under the umbrella of “pediatric malpractice.” This is a type of medical malpractice specifically involving infants and children. Any medical professionals can be held accountable, including doctors, nurses, and everyone in between. Although you may not be looking for a dollar amount, the compensation you receive from holding these individuals accountable can set you and your child on a path to healing.
Your Rights in a Pediatric Malpractice Case
Under a medical malpractice claim, you are entitled to compensation for any medical expenses (including long-term treatment) and emotional trauma caused by the incident. The most common causes of pediatric malpractice are misdiagnosis or neglect to diagnose, failure to diagnose, or delayed diagnoses. All these instances can result in your child being given the wrong treatment or no treatment at all. All the while, their symptoms may be worsening and causing greater complications with their overall health.
Keep in mind that some states require you to provide the doctor notice that you have filed a claim. If this is difficult for you, seek the help of an attorney and they can guide you through the process while avoiding further trauma.
You Can Take Your Case to Court
If any of these have occurred, it is within your rights to bring the case to court. In many states, you must file a medical malpractice claim within six months to two years according to the state’s statute of limitations. If you cannot produce a full case with valid documentation within this time, your case will be dismissed no matter what. Many times, this time limit begins on the date of the incident, however, this factor may differ according to your state.
Review from an Expert Panel
In some states, before you are given a trial, your case must be reviewed by an expert panel. They will review all the evidence of your case and hear arguments from various parties, along with testimonies from experts in the field concerning your child’s condition and the related medical practices. Although they cannot award compensation for damages and do not replace an actual trial, your case may be strengthened by support from experts before your trial.
You Can Receive Limited Compensation
Although you are eligible for financial compensation for your child’s injuries or illness, there is a limit to what you may be awarded. This restriction applies only to “non-economic” damages such as psychological or emotional trauma. Still, there are only a small number of states that have capped the amount you may receive for physical injuries such as chronic illnesses or disabilities.
No one should have to endure such an incident alone. If your child sustained an injury from pediatric malpractice, get in touch with a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to start your and your child’s journey toward healing.