It can be hard to determine if injuries sustained by a mother or their infant during labor and delivery were avoidable, and it can be equally difficult to determine a liable party. Families impacted by a birth injury could hire an experienced Poughkeepsie labor and delivery malpractice lawyer to help them learn what their legal rights are in a medical malpractice case.

If yours or your newborn’s injury arose from the medical negligence of a care provider you trusted, you may be determined to get justice. By hiring a skilled birth injury attorney, you could hold the negligent medical professional accountable for their actions.

Poughkeepsie Attorneys Must File Proof of Legal Merit Certificate

Under New York Civil Practice & Law Rules §3012-a, the plaintiff’s Poughkeepsie labor and delivery malpractice attorney must file a certificate of merit with the initial complaint filing. If the statute of limitations expires soon, the law might grant the attorney an additional 90 days to file the certificate of merit after the case filing.

The certificate of merit requirement is a part of tort reform to ensure that only valid lawsuits are litigated in court. With the certificate of merit, the attorney is attesting to one of the following:

  • They consulted with a licensed medical practitioner who concurs that there is a valid legal claim based on medical negligence
  • They made three separate good faith attempts to meet with different licensed medical professionals but were unable to obtain a consultation

Examples of Labor and Delivery Malpractice

In labor and delivery, doctors and nurses must be ready to act on a moment’s notice, as the condition of the mother and fetus can drastically and quickly change. These licensed professionals owe a duty of care to the patients they serve. Their duty of care is to prudently treat patients in the same way that other medical professionals of similar training and experience would in the same situation.

If these professionals breach their duty, they place their patients at risk for:

  • Birth injuries to the fetus that could impact the baby for its lifetime, like cerebral palsy
  • Injuries to the mother such as hemorrhaging, loss of fertility, and blood clots
  • Fetal or maternal death

To successfully represent the victim, a labor and delivery malpractice lawyer in Poughkeepsie must show how the medical practitioners’ negligence led to the injury of the mom or baby. The victim’s injuries must have led to compensable damages such as medical bills, lost wages, scarring or disfigurement, and pain and suffering.

Compensation for Labor and Delivery Malpractice

There are different forms of compensation available for both mother and child following labor and delivery malpractice. This compensation can be significant when it comes to a newborn, as the injuries they sustain could require costly medical care for the rest of their life. In fact, the medical costs for both the mother and the child are often central to these cases. These costs go beyond the emergency medical treatment that is required immediately following a birth. In some cases, both mother and child could collect compensation for their future medical needs as well.

Labor and delivery malpractice can also result in long-term or even permanent disabilities. When this happens, a patient may require substantial alterations to their lifestyle, the cost of which can be significant. They can include long-term in-home care, home modifications to allow for motorized wheelchairs or other devices, specialized vehicles, and a variety of physical or cognitive therapy.

There could also be compensation for lost earning potential. This is true for both the mother and the child. While a mother living with complications from labor or delivery malpractice could miss time away from work recovery, infants could lose out on a future career entirely. A successful lawsuit could recoup lost wages and replace the future income a patient will neve earn.

This type of malpractice also has the potential to radically alter a patient’s quality of life. In order to compensate them for these hardships, a personal injury lawsuit could recover damages for the loss of enjoyment of life experienced by a patient. The same is true for compensation that covers a patient’s mental anguish following the significant trauma of a labor or delivery complication in Poughkeepsie.

The Statute of Limitations in a Birth Injury Case

The statute of limitations for minors that have suffered a birth injury is longer compared to other negligence cases. This is because minors—particularly newborns—lack the ability to understand the consequences of a lawsuit. For that reason, they are given additional time to bring legal action. The statute of limitations for a minor following a birth injury is 10 years from the date they discovered the injury. Of course, a parent has the right to pursue legal action on their behalf prior to the expiration of that deadline.

It is important to remember that the statute of limitations differs when it comes to injuries to the mother. While there could be a long delay following a child’s birth injury, the same is not true for any injuries sustained by the mother. The statute of limitations begins to expire immediately for an adult mother, and it lapses entirely after two years and six months from the date of birth.

Managing the statute of limitations can be challenging. Thankfully, this is one of the areas that experienced legal counsel could help with. A dedicated Poughkeepsie labor and delivery malpractice attorney could ensure the mother and child alike adhere to the state’s statute of limitations.

Look for Compassionate Help from a Poughkeepsie Labor and Delivery Malpractice Attorney

After a birth injury, you need the compassionate help of a Poughkeepsie labor and delivery malpractice lawyer. You need an attorney who understands how your or your infant’s injuries could impact the rest of your life.

Your attorney could assist you in determining the liable parties for your injuries, and how much compensation you may be entitled to under New York laws. Call today to schedule your consultation with a lawyer who could tirelessly fight for you.