Pediatric and infant care malpractice is a serious problem in Colorado and throughout the United States. According to the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics¹, 21% of pediatric doctors have been the subject of at least one malpractice complaint. For the victims, the harm may be life-changing. Victims of pediatric and infant care malpractice may deserve financial compensation for their losses.
What Is Pediatric and Infant Care Malpractice?
Pediatric and infant care malpractice occurs when a child suffers harm because of inadequate medical care. When a health care professional fails to provide appropriate health services for the child’s age, symptoms and medical history, they may be responsible for malpractice. The occurrence of negligence may subject the medical professional to financial liability to the child for damages.
What Are Some Examples of Pediatric Malpractice?
If you don’t have a legal background, it can be confusing to know whether your child has suffered from pediatric malpractice. To help, here are some common examples of pediatric malpractice:
- Failing to recognize symptoms of meningitis
- Misdiagnosing appendicitis as a urinary tract infection or other illness
- Medication prescribing and dosing errors
- Ignoring signs of a dangerous heart condition
- Infant jaundice
- Bowel obstructions
- Allowing pneumonia to be left untreated
- Delayed diagnosis
- Missed symptoms at wellness visits, not taking action for missed developmental benchmarks
- Not referring to a specialist when the symptoms warrant
- Failing to recognize signs of autism, ADHD and sexual trauma
- Not following standard practices in any way that results in harm
If you suspect medical malpractice regarding your child, speak to a legal professional. You may be entitled to receive compensation for your family’s economic damages, pain and suffering.
How Do You Claim Compensation for Pediatric Malpractice in Colorado?
To claim compensation for pediatric malpractice in Colorado, you must initiate a legal claim. Because pediatric malpractice is a type of medical malpractice, the plaintiff must file a certificate of review shortly after they begin the case. The legal standard is based on accepted practices in the medical industry, specifically for children. The victim must prove every requirement, including the appropriate amount of compensation.
What Is the Legal Standard for Pediatric Malpractice Compensation in Colorado?
Colorado uses a negligence standard for pediatric malpractice compensation. The negligence standard is based on the care that is appropriate for a young child. A caregiver must use reasonable skills in order to recognize symptoms.
They must also use their judgment to adequately provide preventative care, wellness care and treatment for signs of injury and illness. Negligence is a professional standard that includes specialized training that is appropriate for a pediatrician. Whether negligence occurs is an individual determination that requires a review of the facts present in the case.
Why Are Children at High Risk for Medical Malpractice?
Children are at high risk for medical malpractice for several reasons:
- Their physiology is immature
- Because of their smaller structure, malpractice may be more impactful than it may be for a typical adult
- Communication barriers are more difficult about symptoms and treatment
- Children are not as experienced in recognizing symptoms and seeking medical treatment
- They are not as able to self-administer care and monitor medication dispensing
Because it can be difficult for children to communicate how they are feeling or recognize that something isn’t right, it’s essential to be their advocate when it comes to medical malpractice.
How Much Is Typical Compensation for a Pediatric Malpractice Lawsuit?
According to the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics¹, the typical amount of compensation for a pediatric malpractice lawsuit in 2018 was $128,000. The amount of total payment depends on many factors, including the extent of the victim’s injuries, the availability of evidence and the state laws for medical malpractice in place at the time of the crash. A victim may receive more or less than the typical compensation amount for a pediatric malpractice lawsuit.
How Do I Know if I Have a Pediatric Malpractice Lawsuit?
You may have a pediatric malpractice lawsuit if your child has suffered from any of the following injuries because of inadequate medical care:
- Wrongful death
- Brain damage
- Lung damage
- Harm to vital organs
- Vision or hearing damage
- Poor coordination skills or mobility limitations
- Mental capacity
- High risk for future complications
- The need for additional medical oversight or procedures
Any physical harm or complication that results from pediatric malpractice may be the basis for a legal claim.
What Compensation Can You Claim for Pediatric Injuries and Infant Care Malpractice?
Because pediatric malpractice impacts the very young, damages may be significant. At the same time, there may be challenges in proving the appropriate amount of compensation because the future is so uncertain for a young child. It’s crucial to thoroughly prove to a medical certainty what the long-term damages and implications are for the child. Some examples of compensation that you can claim for pediatric injuries and infant care malpractice includes:
- Immediate medical care needs
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Mobility devices
- Assisted care, if needed
- Nursing care
- Additional diagnostic requirements, surgeries and interventions
- Pain and suffering
- Compensation for diminished quality of life
Pediatric medical malpractice impacts the entire family. A parent may be unable to work and assume the role of a caregiver. The child may need frequent office visits, specialists and interventions that may last throughout a lifetime. Whatever the severity of the injuries, the child deserves to have their injuries fully compensated, including the secondary effects that may change the entire family’s quality of life.
How Can an Attorney for Pediatric Injuries Help Me?
When your child suffers an injury because of inadequate medical care, how you handle the situation can significantly impact your child’s future. It can also provide the peace of mind to know that your child is cared for in the future. When a child suffers serious injuries, many components go into planning for the future. How you structure any payment that you receive may impact your child’s eligibility for financial assistance programs that may greatly help them afford care and living expenses.
An attorney can help you with all of the many facets involved in the claim. From working with the right experts to build the medical evidence to tough negotiations about your final settlement, an attorney can assist you with your claim from start to finish. With the help of an attorney for pediatric injuries, you can have the peace of mind to know that you are doing all you can to seek justice for your child.
Attorneys for Pediatric Injuries
If your child has been injured because of medical care, contact our attorneys for your free consultation. Time is limited to file your claim. We’re ready to help you get justice for your child.
¹Steven A. Bondi, Suk-fong S. Tang, Robin L. Altman, Jonathan M. Fanaroff, William M. McDonnell and John W. Rusher. (April 2020). Trends in Pediatric Malpractice Claims 1987–2015: Results From the Periodic Survey of Fellows. Retrieved 15 July 2021 from https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/145/4/e20190711