Does My Child Have a Medical Malpractice Case?
To bring a lawsuit against your child’s doctor for medical malpractice, there are some legal aspects you should know.
If your child suffered an injury or medical condition and you believe a doctor or other medical professional played a role, you may be wondering if you have grounds for a pediatric malpractice or birth injury lawsuit. For parents, the legal process can be extremely overwhelming. Understanding the specific requirements for a medical malpractice claim involving your child is an important step toward asserting your rights. Continue reading for more information about the legal aspects of pediatric malpractice lawsuits and what you need for a successful claim for damages.
Components of a Pediatric Malpractice Lawsuit
There are several critical components in the vast majority of medical malpractice lawsuits, including pediatric malpractice and birth injury claims. The first part is negligence and then second is injury. We will delve into each of these below.
In the realm of law, negligence refers to a party’s failure to take reasonable care. As it relates to pediatric malpractice and birth injury specifically, a doctor must have deviated from the accepted standard of care in a given situation in order to be found negligent. Although the standard of care depends on the specific situation, the medical community recognizes a certain standard for diagnosis and treatment that pediatricians and other doctors must uphold. If the majority of doctors in a given set of circumstances would provide treatment with a certain level of competency, this represents the standard of care. Failure to provide care at this level constitutes negligence.
As one might expect, negligence can manifest in a variety of ways. Common examples of negligence in the treatment of infants and children include:
- Errors during labor or delivery
- Inadequate neonatal care
- Failure to diagnose or treat a medical condition
- Medical misdiagnosis
- Failure to monitor an infant or child’s condition
- Medication errors
- Anesthesia errors
- Surgical errors
In many cases, there are multiple negligent parties in a child or infant medical malpractice case. Some of the parties who may have been negligent in the treatment of your child include: a pediatrician, obstetrician, anesthesiologist, radiologist, nurse, surgeon, lab technician, emergency medical technician (EMT), or and hospital. Hospitals can be negligent for unsterile environments or tools, inadequate safety protocols, failing to immediately address a patient in an emergency situation, or failing to monitor a patient in their care.
The term “injury” encompasses a vast array of injuries, conditions, and complications. The key is that your child suffered some physical harm or trauma as a result of the healthcare provider’s failure to uphold the standard of care. In other words, the negligent medical care of your child resulted in harm. Harm can refer to a brain injury such as hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), a condition such as Cerebral Palsy, complications resulting from failure to diagnose meningitis, and many others.
How to Prove a Child’s Medical Malpractice Case
In order to win a medical malpractice lawsuit involving your child, you must successfully show the following:
- The standard of care in your child’s care,
- The way the doctor failed to provide the standard of care; and
- The harm your child suffered as a result of the medical negligence
Notably, you must demonstrate the way that harm may have been avoided if the healthcare provider had acted in accordance with the standard of care. In other words, there must be a direct relationship between negligence and injury to prove your case.
Speak with a New Jersey Pediatric Negligence Attorney
Developing a comprehensive and compelling pediatric malpractice or birth injury claim is an extensive and highly complex process. It requires extensive investigation, consulting with expert witnesses, and a depth of legal knowledge and skill. When facing the challenging road ahead, it is highly advisable to enlist an experienced pediatric malpractice attorney. Contact us today at 866-708-8617 or fill-out our online contact form to discuss your child’s specific case. The consultation is absolutely free.
We have several office locations, including Newark, NJ, and Manhattan, NY. Our practice spans Bergen County, Essex County, Morris County, Passaic County, Middlesex County, Hudson County, and throughout the New Jersey and New York area.