Competent and Experienced Pediatric Malpractice Lawyers
- Over 40 Years of Experience
- More Than $3 Billion Won for Our Clients
- Thousands of Lives Changed
Children rely on adults to care for them. When children need medical care, they need medical professionals who understand treating children. While the vast majority of pediatric patients get the care they need, sometimes medical professionals make mistakes. They may miss critical diagnoses, prescribe the wrong medications, or otherwise create a situation where a child is medically harmed.
If you find yourself wondering, “Is there a pediatric medical malpractice attorney who can help?” read on to learn more about pediatric medical malpractice and how Janet, Janet & Suggs can help your family.
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Can You Sue a Pediatrician?
Treating a child may be different from treating an adult, but the duty to care for patients competently is the same. Most doctors provide great care, and most complaints or concerns can be addressed between parents and their medical professionals without the need for legal intervention. However, sometimes the mistake or negligent care is so serious that it calls for legal accountability and justice.
Studies from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) show that around one-quarter to one-third of pediatricians will face a lawsuit over the course of their career, with most cases filed one to two years after the event.
As a result of the complexity of pediatric medical malpractice, it is true that these cases can be expensive for both the plaintiff—the party who files the lawsuit—and for the defendant—the person being sued. However, medical malpractice can take many forms and vary greatly. If you are concerned you may have a claim, the best next step is seeking an experienced pediatric medicine medical malpractice lawyer to review your case.
Some of the more common situations in which pediatric medicine medical malpractice may occur include:
- Meningitis diagnosis errors
- Medication errors
- Brain injury negligence
- Fetal distress mistreatment
- Birth injuries
- Fetal distress mistreatment
- Birth injuries
- Chronic condition mismanagement
- Diagnostic procedural errors
- Failure to communicate effectively
- Other misdiagnoses
Fetal distress, birth injuries, and other misdiagnoses make up a large portion of pediatric malpractice suits. However, any time a medical professional with a responsibility to treat a child fails to live up to their responsibility, causing harm, there may be the potential for a malpractice suit.
What Are the Grounds for a Pediatric Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
Not all poor outcomes—and not even all oversights or mistakes on the part of medical professionals—are grounds for a malpractice suit. The basic criteria for any malpractice suit are when the medical professional or professionals in question:
- Had a duty to care for your child. Not all medical professionals are responsible for the care of a patient. This can be an important distinction not only when figuring out if you have grounds for a case but also when working with your pediatric medicine malpractice attorney to determine who to name in the suit.
- Failed to follow through on that duty. Malpractice requires that the medical professional failed to uphold the basic standard of care in their duty to treat your child. The standard of care can vary, but it is largely determined by research, current medical practice, and the resources available at the time.
- Caused injury. To prove malpractice, you must be able to prove there was a negative outcome or injury to your child.
- Caused injury directly linked to their actions. The injury or harm experienced by your child must not only be directly linked to the medical professional’s error but it must be proven that it could have been avoided had the medical professional acted in a manner that met the standard of care. For example, meningitis can be very difficult to diagnose, and missing it in a small infant does happen. While that is always tragic, it is not always malpractice.
Establishing grounds for a potential malpractice claim is not something you have to undertake alone; reviewing your specific circumstances is what pediatric medicine medical malpractice lawyers do.
What Is Needed for a Pediatric Medicine Medical Malpractice Case?
When a medical professional treating a child fails to provide the standard of care expected by you and required by law, the next step is making sure it can be proven that the standard of care was not met.
In many cases, this requires gathering evidence that demonstrates:
- What the standard of care was in the specific circumstance
- How the medical professional neglected to provide that standard of care
The standard of care varies from case to case and simply means the expected professional responsibility to the patient. The standard of care might require that:
- Doctors are able to competently diagnose a child who shows symptoms of pneumonia, for example
- Nurses know when a patient’s symptoms are worsening and require additional attention
- Pharmacists notice if two prescribed medications would interact dangerously
Proving a violation of the standard of care may require other professionals in the field to serve as witnesses to establish what the treating professional should have competently been able to do. This expert witness can provide testimony about what similar professionals would have done in the same circumstances.
For example, if the standard of care requires that an emergency room physician should notice the symptoms of moderate traumatic brain injury and order further treatment, a failure to do so that results in permanent brain injury could be malpractice. Calling on qualified, trustworthy witnesses, such as other emergency room physicians, helps to establish the standard of care and determine if it was violated.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Pediatric Medicine Medical Malpractice?
While it is important to note that proving pediatric medicine medical malpractice is generally easier when the event is relatively recent—when memories and fresh and evidence is easier to collect—the amount of time you have to sue for malpractice that affects a child is generally much longer than it is for an adult.
In most states, the countdown to the statute of limitations begins at the time of the injury or when it is discovered. For pediatric medicine medical malpractice, the statute of limitations generally continues until the child is an adult plus additional time; in many states, this is two years.
So, if a two-year-old child suffers a permanent brain injury as a result of a delay in diagnosis of meningitis, a lawsuit can be filed at any time over the next 18 years—16 years until the age of majority plus two more years. If the brain injury was not noticed until that child began demonstrating delays in school, such as at the age of eight, the statute of limitations would, in this case, last for 12 years.
Every state has its own laws, and it is important to speak to a pediatric medicine malpractice attorney as soon as you believe you may have a case. A lawyer will help you determine your next steps toward the best quality of life and peace of mind for your family.
How Much Can You Sue for in a Pediatric Medicine Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
Because pediatric medicine malpractice cases happen early in a patient’s life and result in children having to cope with the complications for the rest of their lives, pediatric lawsuit payout judgments average on the larger side of medical malpractice claims.
While not every case results in a record-breaking, multi-million dollar judgment, preventable injury or wrongful death of a child is devastating, which is why Janet, Janet & Suggs, LLC is committed to fighting for the maximum compensation you need to address the financial burden of malpractice. This compensation may include:
- Medical treatment costs—past, present, and future
- Pain and suffering of the child harmed
- Treatment associated with the injury, such as future surgeries, rehabilitation, physical therapy, or even long-term care or placement in a nursing home
Why Hire a Pediatric Medical Malpractice Attorney?
Nothing compares to the devastation of seeing your child go through the worst kinds of pain and injury. And when you suspect that it could have been preventable, it is even more difficult.
Hiring an attorney can help you navigate the complicated and stressful process of seeking justice, accountability, and compensation for what your family has gone through. Experienced pediatric medicine medical malpractice attorneys like the team at Janet, Janet & Suggs know how to work through the system and make the process as easy as possible for you so you can focus on what matters most.
What Locations Do We Serve?
JJS is proud to offer birth injury representation for families across the country, including New York, Maryland, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. JJS also practices on a case-by-case basis in courtrooms across other states.
Meet the Leaders of JJS's Medical Malpractice Division
Howard Janet is one of the nation’s top plaintiffs’ medical malpractice attorneys and has uncovered medical mistakes other lawyers have missed, recovering record-breaking results throughout much of the country. He is the author of multiple books, including Navigating a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit, Representing Plaintiffs in Medical Malpractice Cases (lead author) and Patients’ Rights and Doctors’ Wrongs – Secrets to a Safer Pregnancy and Childbirth (with Dr. Giles Manley).
Ken Suggs, a navy veteran, has long been considered one of the nation’s premier medical negligence trial lawyers, and served as President of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (now known as American Association for Justice), the leading national plaintiff’s bar association. He is a relentless advocate for his clients.
Dr. Giles Manley, a board-certified OBGYN, practiced medicine for 20 years before becoming a medical malpractice attorney. The value his medical knowledge and experience brings to his clients cases is priceless.
Gerald Jowers has produced extraordinary results for service members, veterans, and their families in military medical malpractice cases, both at the settlement table and in the courtroom.
What are Our Practice Areas?
In addition to representing victims of pediatric medical malpractice cases, JJS represents those who have been harmed in a variety of practice areas.
- Medical malpractice
- Brain injuries
- Cancer misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis
- Cerebral palsy
- Defective pharmaceuticals and medical devices
- Military medical malpractice
- Misdiagnosis or failed diagnosis
- Nursing home negligence
- Organ damage
- Sexual abuse
- Surgical errors
- Wrongful death
Why Choose Janet, Janet & Suggs for Your Pediatric Medicine Medical Malpractice Case?
Backed by a strong record of helping to secure multimillion-dollar settlements and verdicts, JJS represents victims of pediatric medicine medical malpractice across the United States. Because we operate on a contingency fee basis, we do not collect money from you unless we win.
If you or a loved one believes they may have grounds for a pediatric medical malpractice lawsuit, contact Janet, Janet & Suggs to schedule a consultation.