Lake Forest Birth Injury Lawyer

If you or a loved one experienced an injury related to negligent care during childbirth, you and your family may be facing immense emotional, physical, and financial troubles. If this harm was the result of a medical providerā€™s careless or reckless behavior, you might benefit from speaking to a Lake Forest birth injury lawyer about your right to seek compensation.

Trying to file a malpractice claim of any kind without legal assistance may prove to be overwhelming, especially while your family is trying to recover from life-altering trauma. By enlisting the aid of a compassionate medical malpractice attorney, you could focus on healing while your legal counsel takes the lead on your case.

Common Types of Negligence Leading to Birth Injury

Doctors and other healthcare providers must exercise reasonable professional judgment and care equivalent to what other doctors would provide in a similar situation. This duty forms the basis for the legal theory of negligence, and it applies just as much to expectant mothers and newborn children as it does to any other patient.

Some of the various injuries that can happen during the birth of a child are temporary, but others will have permanent effects on children. When doctors fail to provide proper prenatal care or do not appropriately monitor the health of children during their births, they may be deemed negligent and held responsible for any damages that result.

The most common types of birthing and labor-related injuries include:

  • Erbā€™s palsy and cerebral palsy
  • Brachial plexus
  • Brain damage due to oxygen deprivation or asphyxia
  • Shoulder dystocia

Whether negligence directly led to harm during birth may not always be clear, especially for an underrepresented family. However, a Lake Forest birth injury attorney may be able to assist in evaluating a claim against medical providers and help establish and effectively present evidence of legal negligence.

Potential Damages to Recover

Damages in a birth injury case are typically divided into two categories: special damages and general damages. Specialā€”or economicā€”damages are quantifiable expenses related to the injuries during and after the birth, such as medical bills, loss of future earning capacity, rehabilitation and therapy costs, and expenses related to necessary medical equipment.

General damages, on the other hand, are non-economic in nature and may include loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, and disfigurement. These often make up the bulk of damages awarded in a birth injury case. For any specific case, a skilled attorney in Lake Forest could assess the specifics of a malpractice case involving birth injuries and help an affected family take stock of their damages for an eventual claim.

Limitations to Recovery in Lake Forest

The Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA)ā€”or more specifically, California Civil Code Ā§3333.2ā€”places severe limitations on general damages in any malpractice case. Specifically, MICRA allows for a maximum of only $250,000 in general damages to be awarded. Claimants looking to understand how MICRA may affect their case could benefit from speaking with a knowledgeable Lake Forest birth injury lawyer.

The Time Limit to File a Birth Injury Claim

In California, there is a specific timeframe for filing injury and malpractice claims, including those addressing birth injuries. As per the statute of limitations outlined in Cal. Code Civ. Proc. Ā§340.5, malpractice victims must usually file a claim within three years of the date of the incident that caused their injuries.

One key exception to this rule, however, is when an injury is inflicted on a child under the age of six. In light of this, any claim for an injury that occurred at birth must be filed prior to the affected childā€™s eighth birthday. Barring such an exception, though, a claimant runs the risk of having their claim dismissed once the applicable statute of limitations has expired.

Seek Professional Assistance from a Lake Forest Birth Injury Attorney

For expectant parents, having a child with a severe birth injury may result in severe emotional trauma, as well as expensive and unanticipated medical bills and physical care responsibilities. If you or your child suffered harm during childbirth, a Lake Forest birth injury lawyer may be able to assist you with seeking fair compensation. Call today to learn more about the options available to you.