Children can be defenseless victims of medical malpractice. If a medical practitioner doesn’t help a child in their time of need, the parents have the right to seek legal advice for the child. They may also have the right to compensation. Attorneys can provide numerous ways for parents to get what is rightfully theirs. When the child in regard is not of legal age, or when the child has a mental handicap which doesn’t allow them to defend themselves, the parents can pursue justice for the child.
What Is Pediatrician Negligence?
Any healthcare professional who assists in the medical care of children, must have a required amount of medical skill and are required to use their skills the same way for all patients. If the practitioner fails to do so, the patient’s condition becomes worse and/or the patient dies and there is a sufficient evidence to prove malpractice in a court of law, the child or his or her parent(s) may be able to file a lawsuit. Each state has its own standards for opening cases, but most states normally require:
- Evidence that the physician provided medical care for the patient before the time of first malpractice incident
- Evidence that an incorrect diagnosis was made
- Evidence of an inadequate or incorrect treatment plan of the medical situation
- Evidence that prescription medication(s) were given or prescribed incorrectly
- Proof that the patient received a lack of attention and/or did not receive proper monitoring of their situation
- Proof that patient complications that may have developed were not taken care of properly and/or within a necessary time to hinder further problems
If the conditions above are met, the parents and the attorney must file a personal injury suit. If death resulted from the malpractice, they can file a wrongful death lawsuit provided the incident was within the state’s statute of limitations.
Children and parents should understand that no physician is a miracle worker. Although pediatricians have lower incidences of malpractice suits than other practitioners, courts often award larger compensation to children and/or parents due to the victim’s young age and her pain and suffering. Children are not always able to provide the types and/or amount of evidence adults can, but a child/parent may be able to receive compensation for incidents including:
- Pain and suffering
- A loss of income
- Medical bills/prescription costs
- Cost of long-term care
- Loss of enjoyment of life