Boston, MA – Birth injuries are problems that occur when a mother goes to a hospital to deliver her child. This can include a number of issues that happen during labor, delivery, and in the time span immediately following the birth. Because this is a sensitive time for both the mother and her child, birth injuries can result in long term or permanent damage if a doctor or nurse who was involved in the procedure makes a serious mistake. Any injury that occurs during a medical procedure or hospital visit is technically considered a form of medical malpractice by the law. Massachusetts has unique medical malpractice laws that complicate the process of filing a lawsuit through certain mandatory requirements. Due to these requirements, it is important for victims to consult with a lawyer who focuses on medical lawsuits in Massachusetts. An overview of some basic requirements to bringing these types of cases can assist victims with the process to receive compensation.
Offer of Proof
Most states have a filing requirement for medical malpractice and birth injury actions where the allegations in the initial pleadings must be reviewed by medical professionals. In Massachusetts, this process is called an offer of proof. The documentation for the offer of proof must be brought before a panel of three individuals. This includes an independent lawyer, a superior court judge, and a doctor who works in the same field as the defendant and has knowledge of the issues in question.
Appellate courts in the state have ruled that an offer of proof must meet three basic requirements. The defendant needs to be shown to be some kind of provider of healthcare, the specific procedure in question must have deviated from good standards or accepted standards in the field, and that damages resulted from this negligence by a doctor or provider. There is also an exception in the state that says even if the offer of proof is rejected by a tribunal, the plaintiff can choose to file a $6,000 bond to proceed with the case anyway.
Statute of limitations
There are time limits on medical malpractice lawsuits in the state. In general, the case must be brought within three years of the date of the procedure or injury. Some exceptions exist when the problem could not have been reasonably discovered immediately after the negligence occurred, but the absolute time limit on medical malpractice cases in the state is seven years, even if the injury was discovered at a later time.
Getting specific legal advice
USAttorneys.com contains listings of lawyers who assist clients with birth injuries and related problems. Anyone who is looking for legal help can choose a relevant practice area and their state to get more information about civil lawsuits in Boston and other cities.