If your child has suffered a birth injury or the after effects of birth trauma, it may take some time following your return from the hospital to determine the extent of the injury. Fortunately, most states have a relatively lengthy statute of limitations on birth injury cases so you can be sure of the extent of the injuries and get a more accurate idea of what is fair compensation. If you are considering filing a birth injury lawsuit, make sure to speak to a lawyer who specializes in medical malpractice in your state. Let’s take a closer look at the statute of limitations in Texas.
What Is a Birth Injury?
A birth injury – also sometimes referred to as a birth trauma – is an injury caused to a newborn child during the birthing process. Many birth injuries are caused by the improper use of equipment or improper handling of the child by medical professionals, and it is considered a form of medical malpractice. Generally, the most significant birth injuries result from poor monitoring of the baby’s well-being during delivery. A fetal heart monitor is used by the nurses and doctors to make sure the baby is not in distress during delivery. Sometimes, however, the health care providers are not watching the monitor closely or are reading it incorrectly, and this can lead to the baby being without oxygen for extended periods of time during delivery. When this occurs, significant brain damage can and often does result.
What Is the Statute of Limitations on Birth Injury Cases?
The statute of limitations – the time limit during which people can file a birth injury suit – varies between states. At least in Texas, the law in this area is very complex. In the state of Texas, both parents and minors may file a birth injury claim with different statutes of limitations on each. Be very careful, however, because missing the time to file will forever prevent you from bringing a lawsuit. It is extremely important that you speak with us as soon as possible if you believe your child has been injured. Children generally have until their 20th birthday to file a claim, but the longer one waits, the harder it is to recover. Also, the Texas Supreme Court has recently ruled that if the parent waits too long to file a lawsuit for their child, the child’s right to file can be lost. Parents have two years from the time of the injury to file a claim for themselves, and there are no exceptions. Parents filing a wrongful death suit for a child who died during delivery have two years from the time of the child’s death.
How Do I File a Birth Injury Suit?
The first step in filing a birth injury suit is to contact a personal injury lawyer who specializes in medical malpractice and birth injuries. The more experience your lawyer has with birth injury or birth trauma cases the better your case is likely to go. An experienced lawyer is more familiar with precedents for your cases and is generally better equipped to successfully argue a birth injury case.
If you are thinking of filing a suit, be sure to save all documents related to your child’s injury. These include receipts of payment, medical records and any statements from the doctor. These documents can all be very important to your case, and getting additional copies of documents that have been lost can be time-consuming.
What Should I Expect from the Case?
If your suit is successful, you can expect a monetary recovery. This money is designed to cover things like medical expenses and pain and suffering.
Contact a qualified birth injury attorney such as those at McGehee ☆ Chang, Barnes, Landgraf as soon as you suspect that your child suffered a birth injury. We can help you determine whether or not you have a strong case and what you can expect if your case goes to trial. Call us at 713-864-4000 to set up a consultation.