The health prospects of a child inflicted by a permanent birth injury are often compromised, and many children in such cases require continuous care and medical attention for the rest of their lives. That is why so many families depend on resources and funds gained through medical malpractice lawsuits to account for the needs of their injured children long into the future. Following in the footsteps of states like New York, one state is currently considering changes to malpractice policies that may have serious consequences on birth injury cases.
It’s not uncommon for birth injury cases to go to court to determine who, if anyone is liable. And in cases involving permanent injuries and/or disability, damages awarded from a malpractice lawsuit are often necessary to provide the victim with the level of continued care they require. Inspired by personal experience, one Maryland senator has proposed a piece of legislation that would create a birth injury fund for victims and their families. And while the fund would help to cover medical expenses and care needs, it would also prohibit victims from filing medical malpractice suits.
Critics of the proposed bill claim that having the option to sue doctors and medical facilities is crucial to enforcing accountability and upholding the rights of victims. Furthermore, opponents argue that many permanent birth injuries result in lifelong expenses and needs, which may not be met if a limit is placed on how much malpractice victims are entitled to.
Proponents of the bill argue, however, that the measure would not stop liable physicians and other parties from facing disciplinary action or being held responsible legally, and that the fund would address issues over unreasonable lawsuit judgments and malpractice coverage costs. The senator proposing the bill also notes that it would expedite the process of giving families the resources they need to care for injured children.
Source: wbaltv.com, “Legislators push Maryland birth injury fund,” David Collins, Feb. 28, 2014