Injuries resulting from medical malpractice are very disturbing and can have lifelong effects on the victim and their family. However, pediatric medical malpractice can be even more devastating because, in many instances, the victim cannot articulate their damages or advocate on behalf of themselves. Massachusetts medical malpractice lawsuits are typically complex, and victims and their families should retain qualified and experienced attorneys to handle these lawsuits.
Pediatric medical malpractice lawsuits often stem from birth injuries, misdiagnoses, delayed diagnoses or treatment, medication errors, or mismanagement of symptoms and diseases. For example, the American Academy of Pediatrics states that meningitis is one of the most commonly misdiagnosed illnesses. When medical professionals fail to diagnose or treat meningitis appropriately, the damage may be irreversible and potentially fatal. Furthermore, another frequently mistreated pediatric ailment is appendicitis. Other common conditions, such as urinary tract infections and pelvic inflammatory disease, often mask the symptoms of appendicitis. However, trained doctors and medical professionals should be able to accurately and quickly diagnose appendicitis. A misdiagnosis can cause young children to encounter unbearable pain and lifelong issues.
Finally, medication and vaccine errors can cause young children to experience a severe and potentially irreversible injury. Research indicates that over five percent of pediatric medical malpractice lawsuits occur after a medical professional incorrectly orders a medication, improperly administers a vaccine or medication, or provides incorrect information regarding a dose. For example, recently, a federal appellate court addressed a case in which a premature four-month-old died after receiving his routine vaccines. In that case, medical examiners concluded that the child died as a result of SIDS; however, the incident highlighted the importance of proper administration and follow-up care of particularly high-risk patients, including premature babies.
The statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Massachusetts can be complicated because there are varying deadlines, depending on discovery and age. Generally, medical malpractice victims have three years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit. However, the discovery rule extends the statute of limitations in instances in which the victim could not have discovered the injury until a later date. In these situations, the statute of limitations may start running at the time when the victim had notice of the injury. Finally, under Massachusetts law, minors must file their medical malpractice claims within three years from when their parents knew about the victim’s injuries. However, an exception exists for children who are under six years old. Those minors have until they are nine years old to file a lawsuit.
Has Your Child Suffered Injuries Because of a Negligent Medical Provider?
If a child suffers an injury because of a negligent health care provider, the child’s parents or guardian may be entitled to compensation through a Massachusetts medical malpractice lawsuit. At the Law Offices of Barry Feinstein & Affiliates, P.C., our affiliates have represented numerous medical malpractice victims in lawsuits against negligent health care providers. These cases can be emotionally daunting and often require a thorough understanding of complex evidentiary and procedural laws. Our clients have recovered substantial sums for the injuries that they sustained due to a medical provider’s malpractice. Compensation often includes payments for past medical bills, ongoing rehabilitation and medical treatment, and pain and suffering. Contact our office at 800-262-9200 to schedule a free initial consultation.