The birth of a child should be a cause for celebration. However, many of these events are marred by medical malpractice. When a birth injury occurs, both the child and their mother could face severe medical complications, some of which could be permanently disabling or even life-threatening. If you have experienced any such incident in North Florida, a Gainesville, FL, birth injury lawyer is the ideal resource to consult.
The team at Spohrer Dodd has a strong record as a leading choice for legal counsel in the northeast part of the state, especially for complex medical malpractice cases. Our team takes a client-centered approach to all medical malpractice claims we accept, helping our client make informed decisions about their options for legal recourse and guiding them through all manner of difficult legal proceedings.
A birth injury claim is a type of medical malpractice claim, and while these cases fall within the scope of personal injury law, there are specific rules you must follow if you intend to file any type of medical malpractice case in the northern part of the state. You will need the help of an experienced Gainesville, FL, birth injury lawyer to succeed with your case, and you have a limited time in which to secure legal counsel and begin filing your claim.
Success with any medical malpractice case requires proof that the defendant failed to meet the plaintiff’s standard of care for the situation. The standard of care is the accepted extent of treatment a patient should receive for a given medical condition. Doctors and other healthcare professionals may stray from the standard of care only when a patient’s unique medical issues prevent them from following the typical course of acceptable treatment.
Birth injuries can occur in various ways, including:
These are only a few possible examples of birth injuries in Gainesville, FL, that might lead to medical malpractice claims. If you are unsure whether you qualify to file such a claim, it is imperative that you speak with a birth injury lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your options for legal recourse.
After proving that the injury was the direct result of a medical professional’s negligence, you can begin building your birth injury claim. Your Gainesville, FL, birth injury lawyer can help obtain an affidavit of merit from an appropriately qualified medical professional who can clearly explain how the defendant breached their professional duty of care and caused the injury.
You must also show the full scope of the damages you and your family suffered from the incident. Your claimable losses may include compensation for medical expenses, such as the cost of correcting the injury and providing ongoing rehabilitative care to the victim in the future. If a parent must stop working to care for their injured child, the family may also seek compensation for lost income and lost earning capacity.
Birth injuries are not only physically painful but also psychologically traumatic. If a child develops any type of disability, it can drastically change the parents’ lifestyles and standard of living for the foreseeable future. Florida law allows the plaintiff in a medical malpractice case to seek compensation for pain and suffering, but this aspect of their case award is capped by state law.
You have a very limited time in which to file a medical malpractice case after an injury or after the discovery of an injury. Additionally, you cannot proceed directly with filing a medical malpractice suit against a defendant. First, you must file advance notice of your claim with a Notice of Intent to File Suit at least 90 days before you actually file the claim with the court. This notice must be accompanied by an affidavit of an expert.
An affidavit of expertise is a written statement from a medical professional that explains how the defendant in a medical malpractice suit breached their patient’s standard of care. The writer of the statement must have the same board certifications as the defendant. The affidavit must clearly explain what the defendant did wrong, how their actions constitute medical malpractice, and the extent of damages resulting from the incident.
Your Gainesville, FL, birth injury lawyer can help accomplish these preliminary requirements of your case, meet the procedural deadlines enforced by state law, and guide you through the proceedings ahead of you. Most of the medical malpractice claims filed end in private settlements. After sending your Notice of Intent to File Suit to the defendant, their counsel will likely reach out to you to arrange for settlement negotiations.
Spohrer Dodd will do everything we can to settle your case quickly, if possible, but we are fully prepared to represent you in the courtroom if necessary. We have the professional resources and experience needed to handle the most challenging medical malpractice cases, and we are ready to put this experience to work in your impending birth injury claim. The sooner you reach out to our team, the more time we can have to compile your case.
A: If you can prove that a birth injury resulted from medical malpractice, the defendant faces liability for all additional medical expenses your family incurs for treatment of the injury, including the cost of all necessary future medical care for the victim. The plaintiff may also seek lost income and lost future income if the injury requires a parent to remain at home with an injured child, and the plaintiff may also seek pain and suffering compensation.
A: Pain and suffering compensation aims to provide financial compensation for the victim of medical malpractice that reflects the physical pain and psychological distress a defendant caused. However, state law limits non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases, even if a plaintiff has been permanently injured by a defendant’s actions. There are separate caps on non-economic damages for claims against single practitioners and claims against healthcare organizations.
A: A medical malpractice claim is subject to a two-year statute of limitations, which begins on the date an injury occurs or when a victim discovers harm done to them by medical malpractice. Because the effects of some birth injuries on a child may not be obvious until later in life, the statute of limitations in these cases applies to the date when symptoms first became noticeable. In some cases, parents have until their child’s eighth birthday in which to file their claim.
A: Technically, no, there is no law that requires you to hire legal representation for your impending medical malpractice case. However, hiring the right attorney to represent you can significantly improve your chances of success with your claim and your chance of maximizing your recovery. Your attorney can help identify the party or parties responsible for causing your injury and meet all procedural requirements for your claim.
A: Most of the attorneys representing medical malpractice claims accept these cases on a contingency fee basis. When you have a contingency fee agreement with your attorney, they collect a percentage of your final case award as their fee only after they win. If your attorney is unable to obtain compensation for you, there is no fee. Always take time to review an attorney’s billing policy before agreeing to their representation.
The attorneys at Spohrer Dodd have years of professional experience in complex medical malpractice cases behind us, and we know how traumatic a birth injury can be for any family. If you believe that you have grounds for a medical malpractice suit in the northeast part of the state, we can help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a Gainesville, FL, birth injury lawyer you can trust with your case.