Obstetricians, doctors, surgeons, and nurses are responsible for bringing new lives into the world safely, properly, and without preventable issues. While complications can arise with any birth, one problem parents cannot – and should not have to – prepare for is the negligence or incompetence of a physician or other medical professional.
If you’ve recently learned your infant is suffering from birth trauma, a neurological disorder, or birth defects and suspect it is due to medical malpractice, call (502) 589-2700 today for a free consultation with an experienced Louisville birth injury attorney.
Louisville Birth Injury Lawyers
Our Louisville birth injury lawyers dedicate their professional lives to seeking justice and financial recovery for injured or wrongfully killed infants in Kentucky. We help parents identify the responsible party or parties- such as the individual doctor, the hospital, or birthing center- and go to bat for them, hopefully preventing similar tragedies and acts of medical negligence in the future.
We’ve provided our legal representation to parents with infants suffering from common birth injuries such as:
Our skilled team of Louisville birth injury lawyers can investigate your baby’s injuries or recent disorder diagnosis using our unique tools and resources to get to the bottom of who or what might have caused the harm. If we find evidence of medical malpractice, such as physician incompetence or improper use of birthing tools, we can file a personal injury claim in Louisville, KY on your behalf. Our Louisville birth injury lawyers take birth injury cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning parents don’t have to pay anything for our services unless we win.
As a parent, it’s natural to ask why you and/or your infant are undergoing any kind of harm, birth injury, or complication. At Meinhart, Smith & Manning, PLLC we encourage you to do just this. Ask your physician why your infant has lacerations, broken bones, brain damage, or other injuries after birth. Ask the hospital why it failed to keep your baby safe. Our Louisville birth injury attorneys will thoroughly investigate their answers on your behalf. We’ll take care of the most difficult aspects of your birth injury case, such as proving fault, so your family can focus on healing.
In our decades of experience as legal representatives, we recognize the most common factor involved in preventable accidents is negligence. Civil law revolves around the legal concept of negligence. If a birth injury occurs, there is a good chance it has a foundation in negligence, or medical malpractice. The acting physician might be negligent in monitoring the mother and child’s vital signs, detecting problems, and taking proper emergency action. A nurse might be negligent in caring for a newborn. A hospital may have failed in fulfilling protocol. Whatever the case, contact our Louisville medical malpractice attorneys for legal advice and assistance in getting fair compensation for your birth injury case.
Maternal death is considered the death of a woman at any time during pregnancy, during the delivery process, or soon after the delivery of the child or fetus. Unfortunately, approximately 700 women across this country die each year as a result of pregnancy or labor complications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In many instances, maternal death is not anyone’s fault. The process of childbirth is hard on a woman’s body, and the stress of pregnancy and labor can overwhelm bodily systems. However, there are times when maternal death should not have happened. If the careless or negligent actions of a medical professional lead to the death of a mother or child, the medical professionals should be held accountable.
Maternal death during childbirth is a family tragedy. Family members will be looking for answers. Not every maternal death that occurs in Kentucky involves doctor or hospital error. However, every maternal death should be meticulously investigated to look for any signs of negligence on the part of any member of the medical team.
If your loved one lost their life during the labor and delivery process, we understand that you are grieving. We encourage you, as soon as you can, to reach out to a skilled Louisville birth injury lawyer who can help you through this situation. These claims, as with any type of medical malpractice claim, can become incredibly complicated, and you, as a grieving family member, should not have to handle this alone.
When you have an advocate by your side, you have someone who can use their resources to fully investigate every aspect of the incident. A birth injury attorney can obtain assistance from trusted medical professionals who can evaluate the situation and determine whether or not any medical negligence was involved. Your lawyer will help guide you when making a decision about what type of claim to move forward with.
In the state of Kentucky, there is a statute of limitations in place for medical malpractice claims. In general, medical malpractice victims have one year after the date of the cause of the action to file their claim in civil court. Kentucky operates under what is called a “discovery rule,” which means that the statute of limitations clock only begins after the plaintiff knew or should have known about the medical negligence that caused their injury or illness.
There are exceptions in the Kentucky medical malpractice statute of limitations, and one of those exceptions revolves around injuries that occur to minors.
The time frame in place for minors harmed by the negligence of a medical professional is different. It is possible for the statute of limitations to be “tolled,” which means it is put on pause. For a minor, the statute of limitations will be tolled in Kentucky until the individual reaches the age of 18 or marries. From that point, the individual has one year with which to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Kentucky civil court.
That is not to say that parents and guardians cannot file a claim before their child turns 18. They certainly can, and that is most often what happens. Individuals usually know about birth injuries to their child long before the child turns 18. The law in Kentucky requires that my parents file a medical malpractice lawsuit one year after a birth injury is discovered. This most often occurs when a child’s injury is not noticeable or discovered right after their birth.
This statute of limitations tolling mentioned above is in place for individuals whose parents or guardians did not file a claim on their behalf while they were a minor and unable to do so on their own.
In order to prove that medical malpractice occurred in a birth injury claim, there are four elements of negligence that must be established. Briefly, these elements include:
1.Duty. The first element in proving a birth injury claim is showing that there was a professional relationship between the child and the defendant. This means establishing that there was a doctor-patient relationship involved. In these types of relationships, physicians owe certain duties of professional care. Some of the duties that physicians and other medical professionals owe in these situations include:
2. Breach. After establishing a duty of care existed between the plaintiff and the defendant, it must be shown that the defendant breached their duty of care in some way. This can occur in a variety of ways for a medical malpractice claim, including:
3. Causation. After establishing that a breach of duty of care occurred, it must be shown how this breach directly caused the birth injury in question. Just because a breach of duty occurred does not necessarily mean that the breach caused the birth injury in question. There are certainly times when medical professionals make mistakes, but they take the steps necessary to adequately address these mistakes when they occur. If a mistake happens and does not cause an injury, there will not be enough evidence to pursue a medical malpractice claim.
4. Damages. Finally, the plaintiff must establish that they suffered some sort of monetary loss as a result of the breach of duty that caused the birth injury. This can include a range of losses, including medical bills, disability costs, loss of quality of life, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and more.
Working to prove medical malpractice claims is incredibly challenging, and we strongly encourage you to contact a skilled birth injury lawyer in Louisville who can help you every step of the way. An attorney will get involved quickly and take over the investigation into the case. If necessary, they will enlist assistance from trusted medical experts who can examine the facts of the case and provide testimony to insurance carriers and personal injury juries to help you win your case.
There may be various types of compensation recoverable as a result of a wrongful death claim after a woman loses her life during childbirth. If it is indeed proven that there was medical negligence involved and the wrongful death claim is successful, the following types of compensation may be available to the surviving family members and the estate of the deceased:
There is no set amount of compensation available for a maternal wrongful death claim in Kentucky. The facts and circumstances surrounding each particular situation will dictate how much is recoverable, and your attorney will work with trusted medical and economic experts to properly calculate the correct amount.
Some states around the country place caps, or limitations, on the total amount of compensation medical malpractice victims can receive. However, in Kentucky, there are no limits on economic or non-economic damages. Birth injury victims can claim the full amount of compensation they are entitled to.
There is no set amount of compensation set aside for birth injury victims in Louisville. Rather, the total amount of compensation paid to family members and the birth injury victim will vary depending on the facts surrounding their particular claim. Some of the factors that can affect total birth injury compensation amounts include the severity of the injury, whether or not the child is able to recover, the level of any disability that occurs, the documented level of pain and suffering involved, and more. A skilled birth injury lawyer in Louisville will work diligently to help families recover complete compensation for their losses in these situations.
If you suspect someone else’s negligence or wrongful act harmed your child, contact our birth injury lawyers for a free consultation. As parents, you could recover just compensation for your medical bills, mental anguish, and lost wages. Your child could separately recover for his or her harms, including pain and suffering and lost quality of life. Let our Louisville personal injury lawyers review your birth injury case, let you know if it has merit as a birth injury claim, and extend our legal services to your family if applicable. Call our Kentucky law firm at (502) 589-2700 for a free case evaluation to learn more about your the legal action we can take for your injured child.