Having a newborn baby is supposed to be the happiest moment of your life. Unfortunately, at times, due to the negligence of health center staff or doctors, your baby could suffer from irreversible damage that could impact them for the rest of their life. One example of such an incident is outlined in a recently filed lawsuit wherein a Florida couple claimed that because of the negligence of doctors and the attending midwife at Family Health Centers of Southwest Florida, their 3-year-old child will have neurological damage and be disabled for the rest of his lifetime.
Specifically, the lawsuit alleges that but for the staff’s negligence, their child would not have suffered from Erb’s palsy, a birth injury that causes paralysis of the arm and affects one or two of every 1,000 babies born. The lawsuit further alleges that as a result of oxygen deprivation during labor, their child will suffer developmental delays. If your child suffered from a birth injury, it is important to understand what records you need and how much time you have to file your claim.
What is Erb’s Palsy?
Erb’s palsy is a result of a physical injury during delivery. An infant who suffers from Erb’s palsy often loses the ability to move their arm and sometimes their fingers as well. This paralysis is specifically due to injury to a group of nerves that ordinarily sends signals to your arms to cause movement. In the lawsuit referenced above, the parents allege that the midwife that delivered their baby did not use a reasonable standard of care when delivering their baby and employed too much force on the baby’s head during delivery.
What Damages Can I Seek If My Baby Suffered a Birth Injury?
Florida Stat. Ann. § 766.118 provides that if your lawsuit is against a medical practitioner, there is a $500,000 cap on non-economic damages. For a lawsuit against a non-practitioner, the cap increases to $750,000 for non-economic damages. Overall, plaintiffs commonly seek damages for pain and suffering, paid medical bills, and loss of enjoyment of life. In the lawsuit above, the parents sought $10 million for damages for the child and $2 million for each parent. The parents calculated their damages requested based on medical bills paid, therapeutic treatments needed, and pain and suffering that both the parents and child will experience due to the injury.
How Long Do I Have To File My Lawsuit?
Florida Stat. Ann. § 95.11 states that a plaintiff must initiate a lawsuit within two years of discovering the injury or when you reasonably should have discovered the injury, or at the latest, four years after the malpractice occurred. Prior to filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, you must serve the health care provider with notice of your intent to sue and attach an affidavit prepared by a medical professional that supports your claim.
Reach Out to Our Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyers Today
If you believe your baby suffered from a birth injury as a result of negligence of hospital staff members or physicians in Boca Raton, Stuart, or West Palm Beach, you should contact the experienced medical malpractice lawyers at Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith, PLLC to discuss potential avenues of recovering damages from the hospital and physicians today. Contact us for a free consultation.