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What to Expect When Filing a Birth Injury Lawsuit in New York

— November 21, 2022

Medical records may go missing and people’s recollections of something that happened years ago will fade. 

New York, NY – Some types of birth injuries are obvious from the moment the baby is born. In many other cases, it may take the parents months or years to realize that their baby’s development was affected by a birth injury. No matter what type of birth injury your child sustained, New York laws allow you to file a lawsuit against the doctor, nurses, anesthesiologist, pharmacist, or the hospital itself.

Such a lawsuit is particularly complex, so the sooner you reach out to an experienced birth injury lawyer in New York, the better.

Main steps in filing a birth injury lawsuit in New York

Before you can file a lawsuit, you must make sure that you have a case. Here are the main steps in filing a birth injury lawsuit in New York City.

Collecting evidence

Once you’ve spoken with knowledgeable New York birth injury lawyers, they’ll start gathering evidence. You will have to sign an affidavit allowing them to request your medical records concerning your pregnancy, as well as the labor and delivery process. 

You and your partner will prepare a written account of what happened during your labor and delivery. Try to write down everything you remember as even seemingly minor details may be relevant to the case. Your lawyers will also want to interview witnesses, such as nurses and other hospital staff.

Reviewing the case

To file a birth injury lawsuit, you must obtain a certificate of merit. In order to prevent frivolous lawsuits, the law requires you to present the opinion of a medical expert qualified to say that your case has merit.

Seasoned birth injury lawyers can refer you to such an expert who will review all the evidence you have so far. The certificate of merit will state that the expert agrees you have reasons to believe your child’s health issues were caused by something that happened during the pregnancy or at birth. The most common causes of birth injuries include:

  • Failure to detect, monitor, and treat infections in the mother
  • Failure to detect and promptly treat prolapse of the umbilical cord
  • Failure to monitor signs of fetal distress 
  • Improper use of tools to facilitate the birth (such as forceps or vacuum extractor) 
  • Delays in performing a C-section

Filing a lawsuit

Gavel on copy of lawsuit; image by Wirestock, via
Gavel on copy of lawsuit; image by Wirestock, via

The certificate of merit will be filed along with the lawsuit. The doctor or any other medical professional you’re suing will be served with a summons. 

Under New York laws, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits is 30 months. However, when a minor is concerned, the parents have ample time to seek justice. You can file a birth injury lawsuit within ten years of learning about the injury and up to 30 months after the child turns 18.

As an example, if you only become concerned that your child is not developing well when he or she is about 2 and then you spend years trying to understand what’s wrong, you may discover that the child suffered a birth injury only when they turn 6. According to the law, you have 10 years after that to file a lawsuit. 

However, you should act as quickly as you can. Keep in mind that if you don’t take action soon enough your lawyers will have a tough time gathering evidence. Medical records may go missing and people’s recollections of something that happened years ago will fade. 

If your baby suffered a birth injury, don’t waste any time. Schedule a free consultation with a reliable lawyer at Uptown Injury Law, PLLC right away. You don’t have to worry about legal fees. You don’t have to pay anything until they win the case for you.

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