Pediatric Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Omaha
It is a horrible and terrifying experience for a parent when their child is ill or injured. It is even more difficult to bear if a child’s condition has been caused or worsened by medical negligence. We have no choice but to trust doctors and healthcare professionals for the care our children need. Pediatric medical providers who are negligent or incompetent must be held accountable for the harm they cause.
Medical Malpractice Services
To prove that the healthcare providers who treated your child committed pediatric medical malpractice, your attorney must show that the following elements exist in your claim:
- The medical professional had a duty to treat your child.
- The medical professional failed in that duty: This element is established by showing that the healthcare provider failed to meet the accepted standard of care. This standard is the level at which the average, prudent, similarly qualified practitioner would have managed your child’s care under the same or similar circumstances.
- The negligent medical professional directly caused your child’s injuries and other damages.
Not all negligence leads to damages, and not all worsening medical conditions are the result of negligent care. To establish that pediatric medical malpractice occurred and win your case, we must show a direct correlation between the quality of care provided and your child’s injuries and/or exacerbated condition.
Physicians and medical providers make the same types of mistakes when treating children as they make when treating adults. The difference is, because they are smaller, still growing, and relatively fragile, children may suffer more serious harm from medical errors than grown adults would. Common types of pediatric medical errors include:
- Delayed diagnosis
- Surgical errors
- Anesthesia errors
- Prescription errors
- Dosage errors
- Postoperative negligence
- Failure to monitor a hospitalized child
Two common pediatric mistakes are a misdiagnosis of meningitis and appendicitis. Either can lead to life-threatening illness or death of the child. No parent should have to suffer the loss of child because of medical incompetence or negligence.
The incidence of medication errors in hospitals is much higher in pediatrics than it is among adults, as stated in an article published by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Medication errors among adults range from 1% to 30% of all hospital admissions. Among children, however, the rate of medication errors is as high as one in 6.4 orders. In one study, researchers found that the rate of medication errors resulting in harm or death in pediatric patients was 31%, as compared to 13% in adult patients. The most commonly reported medication error in pediatrics was incorrect dosing, which included errors in dosage computation and dosing intervals.
According to a study published in the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, covering a recent ten-year period, the rate of hospital-reported medical errors in hospitalized children under the age of 18 ranged from 1.81 to 2.96 per 100 discharges. Researchers found a statistically significant relationship between higher median household income and increasing medical error rates consistently across four years. Children with special needs or dependence on medical technology also suffered significantly higher rates of medical errors. Private, for-profit hospitals consistently reported lower error rates, while urban teaching hospitals reported the highest numbers of medical errors.
Damages can be substantial in a pediatric medical malpractice claim, depending on the severity and how long-lasting your child’s injuries are. In too many cases, children who have been victims of medical malpractice will have to cope with the complications for the remainder of their lives. Under the law, victims of pediatric medical malpractice are entitled to seek compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Any treatment associated with the injury, such as additional surgeries, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and long-term medical care.
When a child is the victim of medical malpractice, the parents or guardians can sue responsible parties for damages on the child’s behalf. The statute of limitations (time limit imposed by law) for medical malpractice claims in Nebraska is two years. Your claim must be filed within two years of the date the malpractice occurred. An exception is when the injury was not discovered and could not have been discovered over those two years. In such a case, you can still file a claim for up to one year from the date of the discovery.
The first step toward recovering damages and holding negligent medical professionals accountable is to speak with an experienced Omaha personal injury lawyer. At Bottlinger Law L.L.C., we have been practicing law since 2006, handling a range of personal injury matters. If you and your child have suffered from pediatric medical malpractice at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center or any other healthcare center, call us at (402) 505-8234 to schedule a free consultation. We can advise you on your options under the law.
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