Child birth injury lawsuits in Ohio follow many of the same rules as medical malpractice claims. Special considerations must be taken, however.
The biggest similarity between Ohio birth injury claims and medical malpractice claims is that a one-year statute of limitations applies. In both types of cases, the plaintiff must present convincing evidence that negligence on the part of the health care provider, hospital, or clinic named as the defendant/respondent led directly to an injury or wrongful death.
Negligence during labor, delivery or the first few hours after birth can take many forms. The most basic type of negligence by an OB/GYN, nurse or neonatal team member is failing to meet an applicable standard of care. Attending to a mother who is in labor and delivering a newborn are very routine procedures. Even when complications occur, standard procedures exist for responding to and resolving the problems.
For instance, a newborn risks developing cerebral palsy when its supply of oxygen is restricted. If this happens because the umbilical cord wraps around the baby’s neck, the birthing team has a list of options for freeing the baby. A Columbus birth injury attorney will check to see if best practices were followed.
Along the same lines, many babies get stuck in the birth canal. Turning a breach, freeing shoulders and properly using forceps are routine practices. Errors can leave irreversible injuries and lifelong disabilities or lead to avoidable deaths.
The biggest difference between claims for birth injury compensation in Ohio and for medical malpractice damages involves when the clock starts on the statute of limitations. When parents seek birth injury compensation in Ohio, they have exactly 12 months from the date of their child’s delivery to file a claim.
Ohio also gives a child who suffered a birth injury the right to seek compensation on his or her own behalf if his or her parents did not do so. However, the child cannot file an insurance claim or civil lawsuit until he or she reaches the age of 18 or becomes an emancipated minor. The statute of limitations remains one year, but the clock runs from the child’s 18th birth until his or her 19th birthday, or from the date on which the emancipation order takes effect until exactly 12 months after that date.
As a practical matter, preparing and submitting birth injury claims in Ohio does not differ all that much from pursuing a car insurance claim. Notice must be delivered to the medical malpractice insurance company for the negligent health care provider or health care facility. If the insurer refuses to offer a fair and just settlement, filing a lawsuit in a state district court becomes necessary.
Partnering with a caring and experienced medical malpractice attorney will make it easier to succeed with a childbirth injury lawsuit in Ohio. Cases often turn on the testimony of experts, and a dedicated plaintiff’s lawyer will have the connections and resources necessary to ensure that negligent providers do not “win” a case simply because they brought in the most-impressive-sounding individuals to testify.
If you believe you have grounds for seeking birth injury compensation, reach out to an attorney in the Columbus offices of Agee Clymer & Portman. We offer free consultations to potential clients, and we can come to you if heath concerns or other considerations make visiting us impractical.
Schedule an appointment online or call us at (614) 678-3318.