Boise, ID – Medical malpractice is the general term for all kinds of mistakes made in hospital settings and by doctors, including birth injuries that happen while a child is delivered or shortly afterward. When a mother or her newborn child is injured during this process, they have the option of following certain procedures under Idaho law to try to receive compensation for their losses and additional medical treatment. A medical malpractice case requires a number of different steps beyond what a victim must do to bring a standard negligence case.
The state’s pre-filing process before a medical malpractice lawsuit
Idaho has a pre-filing procedure to bring civil medical malpractice cases like many other states in the country. However, this is unique in the sense that the findings of the screening panel do not have to be followed by courts at a later time or used in settlement negotiations. The victim can still technically bring the case even if the panel thinks the claims are without merit, but they need to be brought through the pre-filing procedure anyway. This process is outlined in Section 6-1001 of the Idaho statutes.
The Idaho State Board of Medicine is mentioned in the statute, and they are essentially given the task of assembling hearing panels to pre-judge the merits of any malpractice case brought in the state. The panel will review the evidence related to the case, the documents that are included with the pre-filing, and they may even hear statements and testimony from witnesses. In some cases, there may be an agreement on the party that is likely to prevail in the case and an amount for a damage award in a settlement agreement. However, there may be other times where the panel does not reach a decision and the parties will have to resort to formal litigation.
Estimating damages after a birth injury
Damages are one of the most significant aspects of any civil lawsuit, as this represents the amount of compensation that the victim will receive. As a general rule, a more severe birth injury will result in a much larger damage award than minor injuries that can be treated and healed in a short period of time.
If a baby is injured to the point where they will not develop into a normal functioning adult, the doctor or hospital system responsible may have to compensate the family for the victim’s future lost wages and opportunities. This can add up to significant amounts. A lawyer who focuses on malpractice claims in Idaho should be consulted before attempting to estimate available damages.
Legal advice is available after a birth injury
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