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Medical Malpractice on Children: Taking Legal Action
When a child has been harmed by the medical care they have received, the outcome can be very serious. These injuries can have an impact on the growth and development of the child, and the emotional trauma from the event can be devastating.
Medical negligence is not just restricted to the care received by a physician. Anyone who has provided direct medical care to your child can be held liable for medical malpractice. This includes:
- Doctors and Surgeons
- Nurses, Nurse Assistants
- Lab Technicians
- Dentists or Orthodontists
Additional members of the medical community may also be held responsible for injuries to your child if they had direct contact with your child while providing medical care.
Medical malpractice is a very complicated legal matter. Oklahoma laws have very specific requirements that must be met for anyone to file a medical negligence claim. If you suspect that you or your child has been harmed by the medical care that they received, it is crucial to contact an OKC medical negligence lawyer as soon as you discover the injury.
What Is Considered Medical Negligence?
Medical negligence occurs when a medical practitioner acts outside of the accepted standards of care when treating a patient. The medical community has many standards in place of how to treat different conditions, injuries, and diseases. If the care provider acts in a manner outside of these guidelines and injures the patient, they can be held liable for medical malpractice.
An example would be a broken arm. The standard of care for a broken arm would be for the doctor to take an x-ray to determine the severity of the break. The doctor will then set the arm and place it into a cast so that it heals correctly. If a child presents to the ER with a broken arm and the doctor gives the arm a physical exam and then places it in a sling and sends the child home without checking for a break, setting the bone or casting it to keep it in place, and then the arm heals improperly, malpractice has occurred.
Of course, medical malpractice is never quite as basic as the example given above. This is why it is necessary to work with an OKC medical negligence lawyer when you believe that your child has been harmed by the medical care that they received.
What Is Not Medical Malpractice
Medical care, even with all the recent advancements in technology and care standards, is not 100 percent guaranteed. There are no treatments that are guaranteed to be effect 100 percent of the time to 100 percent of the patients. Poor outcomes from treatment are not medical malpractice.
You must have a deviation from the standard of care that results in an injury to the patient for it to be considered a valid malpractice injury.
Four Requirements of Medical Negligence
When you believe that your child has been injured by medical negligence, your attorney will have to prove that the case can meet the following four requirements.
- Duty of Care
- Breach of Duty of Care
- The injury was a Result of Breach of Care
- Financial Damages from the Injury
The hardest requirement to meet will be the breach of duty of care. Your attorney will have to show that the actions, or inactions, of the medical care provider, was in conflict with the acceptable standard of care for the condition. This usually takes the help of expert testimony and witnesses to show where the breach of duty of care occurred.
Your attorney will use the information that you have provided as well as the medical records of your child to show that medical negligence has occurred.
Medical Negligence Statute of Limitations Regarding Minors
The Statute of Limitations is a set of laws that limits the time a legal action can be brought before the court. The Statutes of Limitations apply to civil and criminal law. These laws are in place to help protect all the parties involved in legal action.
In Oklahoma, the Statute of Limitations for filing a medical negligence case is two years from the date that the injury is discovered. The only exception to this rule is injuries that occur to minors. Minors under the age of 12 have seven years from the date of the injury to make a claim for compensation. Minors age 12 to 17 have the right to file a claim for medical negligence up until their 19th birthday.
It is very important to contact an attorney as soon as you realize that your child has been injured by the medical care that they received. If you miss out on the Statute of Limitations, you will lose your right to seek compensation for your child.
Contact An Attorney About The Injury To Your Child
It will always be in your best interest to work with an OKC medical negligence lawyer when your child has been injured by their care provider. An attorney has the knowledge and skillset necessary to deal with the insurance company covering the injury. Your attorney will also have access to experts who can help prove your case.
Your attorney will show that the care your child received has led to their injury. Your attorney will also show how this injury has impacted the current and future living standards of your child.
Childhood injuries always have the potential of having long-term issues. People grow until they reach adulthood. Injuries that interrupt growth can cause life-long disabilities or challenges for the child. Injuries that cause mental or emotional trauma to the child could lead to learning disabilities and other issues that may require long term care for your child. Sadly, some injuries may require life-long care.
Your attorney will be diligent in showing what the injuries have done to your child and what care they will need to overcome the issue. Through experience and skilled negotiations, your attorney will secure a fair settlement for your child that will help them with the challenges they face from the injury.