Washington Birth Injury Lawsuit

In the United States, it is estimated by some reports that up to 70 children are born every day with birth injuries caused by medical malpractice. While many of these injuries do not leave a lasting effect, others are the cause of serious disorders and conditions that leave the child disabled for the rest of their life. In cases like these, Washington parents have up to three years to file a birth injury lawsuit seeking malpractice charges and retribution.

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations in Washington is more complex than other states. For three years after the injury, parents may file a lawsuit. For a year after the injury was discovered, parents may file a lawsuit. This may be necessary for parents whose children don’t begin displaying the symptoms of their birth injury until after they grow out of the baby and toddler stages.

There is an exception to this statute of limitations; if a foreign object is found to be left or hidden in the body of a child who had surgery because of a birth injury, the parents have eight years to file after the discovery of the object. Additionally, a child may choose to file a lawsuit for themselves after they turn 18 if their parents were not able to file during their childhood.

In the event of an infant’s death due to medical malpractice, a family has three years from the date of death to file a birth injury lawsuit in Washington.

Caps on Malpractice Suits

Washington state law forbids the application of caps in cases where birth injuries caused lasting conditions or disorders. This means that families can seek large amounts that will care for the medical expenses of the child throughout their entire life.

In 2010, an 11million dollar settlement was reached in the case of a child who suffered from cerebral palsy after a brain injury at birth. The injury was caused by miscommunication and a mistake made by an intern that was not caught for nearly a full hour. This mistake led to a serious lack of oxygen that caused a major brain injury.

The Triper Army Medical Center in Washington settled with the family outside court.

Birth injury doesn’t just occur at birth. It can also occur during prenatal care. In 2008, a child was born with a genetic defect that the parents claimed the doctors should have caught and warned them about. The child suffers from extreme mental and physical disabilities due to a chromosome disorder. After a controversial case surrounding the details of the prenatal care, the couple was eventually awarded 50 million dollars by a Washington court in order to care for the child for the rest of his life.

Types of Birth Injuries

Birth injuries come in many types. Some of these, like forceps injuries that result in bruises, do not ever become lawsuits because they leave no lasting symptoms.

Others may be more dangerous. Hemorrhaging, caput succedaneum (a swelling of the scalp), facial paralysis, Cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, fractures and broken bones, or cephalohematoma (a collection of blood under the bones of the scalp) can all lead to lifelong medical conditions such as seizures, delayed mental development, and physical disabilities. These conditions can be expensive to treat, and may result in the loss of the ability to work or lead a normal adult life.

A Washington attorney who specializes in birth injury lawsuits will be able to help determine an estimate of future medical costs, and approach the courts to reach an award or settlement that will help provide for the child’s needs for the rest of their life.

Sources:

 

http://www.pereylaw.com/information-center-birth-injuries/overview/

 

http://www.washingtoninjuryattorneyblog.com/birth_injury/

 

https://www.medmalfirm.com/controversial-lawsuit-comes-close-washington-couple-awarded-50-million-wrongful-birth-son/

 

http://www.birthinjuryguide.org/birth-injury/financial-support/statute-limitations/

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