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Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers > Blog > Articles > The Statute of Limitations in Birth Injury Cases

The Statute of Limitations in Birth Injury Cases

This Article was created in partnership with Fox45 News

Birth injuries range from bone fractures to cerebral palsy to birth asphyxia to many other varieties. Each one can have profound and lasting impacts on children and their families. These injuries may result from medical malpractice, complications during labor and delivery, or underlying medical conditions. Prompt medical intervention and legal action are essential to ensure that affected families receive the necessary support, care, and compensation.

When filing a birth injury case, one crucial aspect that families must understand is the statute of limitations, which sets a deadline for filing a claim related to the incident. If the deadline passes, the right to sue may be lost forever. Each state has its own laws governing the statute of limitations for birth injury cases, and the time frames can vary significantly. Knowing these time limits and acting quickly can make a significant difference in the outcome of a case.

In Maryland, here are the birth injury guidelines to keep in mind:

1. Standard time frame: The statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice claim, including birth injuries, is five years from the date the injury occurred. Under the discovery rule, the deadline may also be three years from when the injury was discovered. The shorter of the two timeframes is the one that is honored.

2. Exceptions for minors: Many states, including Maryland, provide exceptions for minors, allowing a longer period for filing a claim. This can extend the deadline until the child reaches a certain age, often 18 years old, plus an additional period (usually three years after reaching adulthood). Wais, Vogelstein, Forman, Koch & Norman in Baltimore recommends calling a lawyer even if you think it’s too late to file a claim because it often isn’t. An experienced birth injury attorney will know the ins-and-outs of Maryland law and will be able to build the best possible case.

Sooner is always better in these types of cases. Families should diligently pay attention to anything that appears wrong with the delivery process or the baby’s health. Legal experts advise people to act early for the following reasons:

Preservation of evidence: The sooner a case is initiated, the easier it is to collect and preserve evidence. Medical records, witness statements, and expert testimonies are critical for building a strong case.

Timely medical care: Early identification and treatment of birth injuries can improve outcomes and reduce the severity of long-term complications. Prompt legal action can also secure the financial resources needed for medical care.

Legal rights: Understanding and adhering to the statute of limitations ensures that families do not lose their legal right to seek compensation. Missing the deadline can result in the case being dismissed, regardless of its merits.

Selecting a qualified birth injury lawyer is essential for navigating the complexities of these cases, ensuring that the statute of limitations is met, and allowing families to focus on recovery rather than legal processes. That selection should be influenced by experience and expertise, medical knowledge, communication skills, and an oft-overlooked trait, compassion. An empathetic lawyer or law firm will not only provide legal guidance but will also connect with the affected family and take an interest in the baby’s health and how the family is handling the challenge emotionally.

Ultimately, understanding the statute of limitations in birth injury cases is essential for ensuring that families can seek the compensation they deserve. By acting promptly and choosing a qualified birth injury lawyer, justice can be served, and families can move forward from this harrowing experience as best they can. That being said, it is never too late to speak to a lawyer and get answers about your case.

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