One of the first lessons of parenthood is that there is a LOT you can't control. You begin to learn this lesson during the birth of your child when you're forced to rely on doctors and nurses to safely bring your newborn into the world.
But medical professionals are human and sometimes they make mistakes.
In this article we'll explore whether you have legal recourse in Texas if a medical professional makes a mistake at the worst possible time.
Birth injuries are often confused with birth defects, but these are 2 different things:
Here are some common birth injuries according to the Stanford Children's Health Hospital:
In addition to the common (and generally minor) birth injuries listed above, there are more serious birth injuries that are less common:
Some birth injuries aren't the result of carelessness on the part of your medical team but are instead the inevitable result of some necessary action. For example, your doctor may need to fracture your infant's clavicle to free the infant from the birth canal before more serious injuries are sustained.
In order to establish a medical malpractice claim based on a birth injury in Texas, you need to prove that:
In a medical malpractice case, the main focus of the lawsuit is generally on what the healthcare provider should have done in a specific set of circumstances. Lawyers for the plaintiff and defendant will attempt to persuade the judge or jury by presenting testimony from experts in the field.
A parent files a birth injury lawsuit on behalf of their injured infant. For that reason, the damages recovered belong to the infant and are generally placed in a trust. An infant in a birth injury case can recover the following damages:
Like a lot of states, Texas places a damage cap on the amount of non-economic damages that a plaintiff can recover. In Texas, non-economic damages (i.e., pain and suffering and emotional distress) are capped at $250,000 for claims against individual healthcare providers and $250,000 for claims against healthcare facilities (Note: these damage caps were passed after the Donna Morrell v. Mary Finke case was decided).
The term "statute of limitations" refers to the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit. If you don't file a lawsuit within this deadline, the defendant can dismiss your case and you'll be prohibited from recovering damages based on the claim.
There are some important exceptions to the statute of limitations.
For instance, the clock to file a medical malpractice claim doesn't necessarily start ticking when the injury is sustained, but rather when the injury is discovered (or should have been discovered).
Birth injury cases can be very complex. Typically, several medical experts are needed to testify as to whether the healthcare provider acted appropriately under the specific set of circumstances. What's more, expert witnesses may be needed to testify as to the appropriate amount of damages.
Fortunately, you don't need to tackle a birth injury lawsuit on your own. Find an experienced Texas personal injury attorney using our free online directory and schedule a consultation today.