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The importance of timing in a birth injury case

All parents want their child to enter the world in a safe and healthy manner. While pain is to be expected during the delivery process, injury to the baby or mother is not. While most deliveries proceed without serious complications, sometimes birth injury or harm to a baby's mother occurs. This is often due to a doctor's negligence, such as a critical error during labor. These situations are frequently instances of malpractice; affected families have only so much time to file suit.

In the state of Massachusetts, the plaintiff in a medical malpractice case has only three years to file suit after the incident of malpractice. While there are some exceptions, in general the victim has only three years to initiate their lawsuit. In some cases the plaintiff may have up to seven years to file - one exception to this seven-year limit is when a negligent doctor leaves a foreign object inside the body of a patient.

Fortunately, most pregnant women will never have to ponder a medical malpractice lawsuit. Still, for families whose loved ones have been affected by birth injuries, the process of beginning a suit can seem overwhelming. Families must act quickly in order to avoid the statute of limitations passing them by. Once the time limit has passed, it can be extremely difficult to hold negligent parties accountable and to recover compensation for damages.

In a birth injury case, the need for compensation can be severe. A birth injury can spark a long-term disability in which a child - and eventual adult - requires extensive care and rehabilitation. In addition, a birth injury can cause physical pain, the need for immediate medical treatment and mental anguish for parents. Compensation for damages is possible, though, through proper timing and an appropriate and thorough presentation of the facts of the case.

Source: Massachusetts Legislature, "General laws - Section 4: Certain tort or contract actions for malpractice, error or mistake," accessed Aug. 21, 2015 

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