For many families, childbirth is a joyous occasion filled with excited anticipation of finally meeting their new child. However, in too many cases, the negligence of a medical provider can turn these joyous occasions into devastation. Negligent Florida medical providers may be liable for the injuries caused by their conduct. Data indicate that almost 30,000 babies are born each year with a birth injury. Additionally, many people are not aware that Florida ranks in the top five states with the highest rates of medical malpractice cases.
Birth injuries can affect both mothers and children, and they often result from negligent actions by medical professionals. Many birth injuries occur because a medical professional fails to follow delivery room procedures, improperly monitors the mother or child, incorrectly doses the mother, improperly uses forceps during delivery, or delays a necessary cesarean section procedure. These actions often cause spinal cord injuries, paralysis, brain damage, or cerebral palsy. Families who want to seek compensation for these complications must be aware of the Florida statute of limitations to avoid dismissal.
Recently, a Florida appellate court issued an opinion stemming from a medical malpractice lawsuit based on a child’s birth injury. In that case, a new mother was told that her newborn needed to be hospitalized after birth because of an infection. After discharge, the woman began to see signs of developmental delays. For over a year, the woman sought medical opinions regarding her child’s condition, but she was largely dismissed by medical providers. Finally, the woman requested the hospital’s medical records, and a specialist indicated that her child likely had spastic cerebral palsy, which often occurs because of a lack of oxygen during delivery. The woman filed a lawsuit against the hospital, and the hospital moved to dismiss the case based on the statute of limitations.
Under Florida law, medical malpractice victims generally have two years from when they discovered the injury to file a lawsuit. However, there are certain exceptions to this statute, and issues often arise in determining when the statute began to run. In this case, the defendants argued that the lawsuit was barred because she brought it two years after she suspected that her child was suffering from a birth injury. The court reasoned that the mere fact that a plaintiff suspects wrongdoing is not sufficient to determine when the statute of limitations begins to accrue. Ultimately, the court reversed the trial court’s finding in favor of the defendant and remanded the case for a new trial.
Are You Looking for a Medical Malpractice Attorney?
If your child has experienced injuries because of a negligent Florida medical professional, you should contact the Law Offices of Robert Dixon. The attorneys at our law firm have significant experience handling complex Florida medical malpractice lawsuits, including birth injury cases. Medical malpractice lawsuits involving birth injuries can have significant and longstanding financial and emotional consequences for families. Our attorneys are skilled at handling the various challenges that these cases present and have successfully recovered substantial settlements and jury awards on behalf of our clients. Compensation typically includes payments for tangible losses, such as medical bills and lost wages, in addition to non-economic damages related to loss of consortium and pain and suffering. Contact our office today at 877-499-4878 to schedule a free consultation with a medical malpractice attorney at our law firm.