The effects of a birth injury can vary, from barely noticeable to devastating. In the most severe cases, the child requires ongoing nursing care and will never be able to live independently. While not all birth injuries occur due to a doctor or other medical professional’s negligence, many do.
Filing a claim for compensation after a birth injury offers a number of benefits for both the parents and the child. Cost of care, especially after a severe injury, can easily eclipse $1 million before the child even reaches school age.
If you have questions about your child’s birth injury in Kentucky, call the Powell Law Firm, PLLC at 502-242-7000 to schedule a free consultation.
What is a birth injury?
Birth injuries occur in a number of ways. Some are difficult to predict and even harder to prevent. Pregnancy, labor, and delivery is complicated process, and sometimes birth defects or injuries occur naturally despite doctors’ best efforts. In other cases, though, birth injuries are entirely preventable. If the doctor fails to act based on the risk factors for an injury, or if he acts carelessly during the birthing process, the infant can suffer permanent injuries.
Some birth injuries that may occur due to a doctor’s negligence include:
- Cerebral palsy and other conditions resulting from a lack of oxygen to the fetus
- Brachial plexus injuries, such as Erb’s palsy and Klumpke’s palsy
- Injuries caused by misuse of assisted delivery devices such as vacuums or forceps
How can I file a Kentucky birth injury claim?
Birth injury claims typically fall under the umbrella of medical malpractice cases, so you must follow all laws relating to Kentucky medical malpractice when filing these claims. Kentucky, however, has far fewer regulations on this type of claim than many other states. For example, there are no pre-suit notice requirements under Kentucky law. The state also does not require filing an affidavit of merit before filing your claim.
While you do not need an expert witness to confirm the merit of your case before you file, you may need one to build your case of negligence against the liable doctor or healthcare facility. Medical experts may testify that the doctor failed to provide a standard level of care.
These experts are usually licensed physicians working in the same specialty, which is most often obstetrics in birth injury cases. The expert witness may testify about:
- The standard of care in treating your child.
- Whether the doctor failed to abide by this standard of care.
- A connection between the doctor’s actions or inaction and your child’s injuries.
- The child’s prognosis and the effects of the injury.
What is the statute of limitations on a Kentucky birth injury claim?
In Ky. Rev. Stat. § 413.140(1)(e), Kentucky law gives victims of medical malpractice cases only one year from the date of discovering the injury to file a claim against the negligent doctor or medical facility. But when the victim of medical malpractice is a minor, Ky. Rev. Stat. §413.170 puts the statute of limitations on hold until the minor turns 18.
This is good news for parents who suspect their child may have a birth injury. The full impact of some types of birth injuries remain hidden until the child nears school age. Some, in fact, are only discovered when a child fails to meet developmental milestones or cannot keep up with peers in school.
What damages can our family recover in a birth injury claim?
You lawyer will be instrumental in helping you determine how much compensation you need to not only cover your previous injury-related costs, but to pay for all the care your child may need in the future. This could include ongoing nursing care, equipment such as wheelchairs or walkers, and a range of therapies to support your child’s physical, occupational, social, mental, and emotional health. Other types of compensation that you may be eligible to recover include:
- Noneconomic damages for emotional losses
- Pain and suffering
- Psychological damages
How can The Powell Law Firm, PLLC help us recover compensation for our damages?
Birth injury cases are one of the most complex types of medical malpractice claims. Doctors and healthcare facilities usually fight to avoid paying out in this type of claim, leaving victims to fight harder to get the compensation they need and deserve.
With the Powell Law Firm, PLLC on your side, you can worry less about taking on the hospital and focus more on helping your child. We can help you navigate the complexities of a Kentucky birth injury case and secure the settlement you deserve. Call us today at 502-242-7000 to schedule your free case evaluation.