Premature birth, or a child coming any earlier than 37 weeks of gestation, is a relatively common occurrence that can happen for many reasons, or no known reason at all. One possibility is premature birth due to medical malpractice. If you believe that medical malpractice contributed to your child’s premature birth, you may be entitled to financial compensation through a civil lawsuit in Texas. Consult with an attorney in Dallas for more information.
Common Health Issues Associated With Premature Birth
Premature birth is dangerous, as a child needs enough time to properly and fully develop in the womb before being born. Preterm birth can come with many associated health risks and long-lasting issues, including the individual’s organs not fully or correctly developing. Some of the most common health problems associated with premature birth are:
- Low birthweight
- Breathing problems
- Digestive problems
- Cerebral palsy
- Cognitive challenges
- Vision and hearing problems
- Failure to thrive/death
Some people experience long-term or permanent disabilities related to premature birth. These disabilities can impact a victim physically, developmentally, emotionally and cognitively for the foreseeable future. Although no amount of financial compensation can reverse these damages, holding a negligent doctor accountable can deliver justice and less financial stress.
What Types of Medical Malpractice Can Cause Premature Birth?
If a doctor had the power to prevent a premature birth but negligently failed to do so, he or she could be held responsible for all of the victim’s related losses, including lost quality of life, related medical costs and lost capacity to earn. Your family may have grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Texas for the premature birth of a child if the physician committed any of these preventable mistakes:
- Failing to diagnose an abnormality in the cervix
- Failing to properly treat maternal infections
- Failing to notice the symptoms of preeclampsia
- Failing to order bed rest for an at-risk mother
- Prescribing medications that are dangerous for pregnant women
- Failing to prescribe medications that could slow preterm labor
The burden of proof in a malpractice case is generally to establish that a doctor-patient relationship existed, that the doctor didn’t act according to the accepted medical standards of care (he or she was negligent), that the doctor’s mistake caused or contributed to the premature birth, and that the victim suffered compensable damages as a result. If the premature birth would not have occurred but for the doctor’s malpractice, your family may have grounds for a lawsuit.
Texas Medical Malpractice Laws
A medical malpractice claim in Texas must be brought within no more than two years from the date the malpractice occurred or was discovered. This is called the statute of limitations. There is also a statute of repose of 10 years. This means that regardless of when the medical malpractice was discovered, a lawsuit must be brought within 10 years of the date of the act. Filing later than your deadline will most likely result in the loss of the right to recover.
Once you file a medical malpractice claim, the burden of proof lies with you, the plaintiff. You or your attorney have the requirement to prove that medical malpractice more likely occurred than not. You must do this using clear and convincing evidence of medical malpractice in connection to your child’s premature birth. It can be difficult to prove a medical malpractice lawsuit in Texas. The best way to protect your family’s rights during the legal process is to hire an attorney.
Contact an Attorney to Find Out if You Have a Case
Your family deserves justice. Working with an experienced attorney can optimize your chances of holding a negligent doctor or hospital responsible and recovering fair financial compensation for your family’s related costs. Find out if your family has grounds for a premature birth lawsuit in Dallas by contacting The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C. today. We offer free initial consultations.