Statute of Limitations to File a Birth Injury Claim in New Jersey
When you discover your child’s problems stem from a birth injury, you may feel devastated that your healthcare team injured your child. Now, you and your child live with the consequences. Since the injury happened at birth, you wonder if you have recourse against those that injured your child, leaving you with the burden of caring for a loved one with special needs. Needing advice, you might turn to a lawyer about whether you can still file a birth injury claim against the health providers who caused your child’s difficulties.
When your child or even yourself have been affected as a result of birth injuries, it is critical to seek legal advice as soon as possible, as there are time constraints for filing a lawsuit in New Jersey that we are going to address here. Contact the law offices of Fronzuto Law Group, to explore the options and time limitations to recover damages due to medical negligence with our team of birth injury lawyers. To get started, call (973)-435-4551 or fill out an online contact form. The consultation is always available free of charge.
What is a Statute of Limitations?
A statute of limitations is the legal limit of time to file a civil or criminal claim against a wrongdoer. Statutes of limitations vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and by the type of case. For example, a medical malpractice case statute of limitations is two years from the date of discovery of the injury in the majority of situations. Typically, the personal injury statute of limitations is two years from when the injury occurred or from the time you discovered or reasonably should have discovered the damage. For those claims that do have limitations, filing your claim past the deadline date means you can no longer pursue your claim via the courts. The statute of limitations aims to preserve evidence and witness memories.
How Long to File a Civil Claim for Birth Injury in New Jersey
The deadline for filing a lawsuit against negligent actors causing injuries to your child at birth may be more extended than you think in New Jersey. Birth injuries are tricky. A baby may not appear injured, especially to new parents. Thus, if a parent discovers their child has cognitive deficiencies when they enter school, that may be years after the injury occurred. Therefore, New Jersey extends the statute of limitations for birth injury claims to the child’s 13th birthday (N.J.S.A. 2A:14-2). The state recognizes that birth injuries may be lifelong when a doctor, nurse, or other medical practitioner causes injury to a child before, during, or immediately after birth. For example, fetal distress that goes unnoticed can lead to injuries, including brain damage from oxygen deficiency. The effects of that oxygen deficiency may not materialize until the child is older.
Statute of Limitations for Birth Injury Actions filed by Parents
When an injury materializes after childbirth negligence, the parent may file a lawsuit on behalf of the child up to their thirteenth birthday. The parents are the plaintiffs in the lawsuit as guardians of the child. The parent or parents should work with a birth malpractice lawyer to file a lawsuit seeking damages for the doctor’s nurse’s, or hospital’s wrongful actions.
Time Constraints Filing a Claim as an Adult for Pediatric Injuries
The birth injury statute of limitations is distinct from the statute of limitations for pediatric malpractice claims. If an individual suffers harm due to medical negligence in childhood, they may sue the medical personnel or another party responsible for their injuries once they turn 18 and before the two-year statute of limitations tolls. As an adult, they can hire an attorney and put their name on the lawsuit as a plaintiff once they turn eighteen and then for two years afterward. In that way, they can decide what happens in the case and whether they accept a settlement or go to trial for a verdict damages award.
Contact an Accomplished Birth Injury Lawyer Before the Statute of Limitations Runs Out in NJ
One thing is sure. Birth injury actions can be lengthy, complicated, and time-consuming. As time passes, not only do memories fade, but hospital personnel change, doctors retire, and hospitals change hands. Getting the evidence you need to prove your birth injury claim may be more difficult. It is important to have a trained legal professional handling every element of your legal action to ensure that your child is in the best possible position when they need treatments, therapies, and medical attention for years or even the rest of their life. Speak with an accomplished birth injury lawyer at Fronzuto Law Group as soon as you know about your child’s injury at birth.
Our attorneys want to gather everything we can regarding your child’s birth injury, the pregnancy, and the childbirth itself. We find out everything there is to know about the length of labor, the doctor’s decisions, and the assisting medical personnel handling the pregnancy and delivery. We thoroughly investigate your claim by obtaining medical records and engaging with the right medical experts. Medical experts who explain what the treating physician or others did and should have done are critical to proving your case and obtaining top damages. Regardless of whether you settle or go to trial, our dedicated birth malpractice team will work with your family in a personal way and fight for the compensation your child so deserves. Call (973)-435-4551 today for a free consultation and case review.