When can you sue for medical malpractice?

My son was born with Gastroschisis, a condition in which the intestines are on the outside of the body at birth. My son was in the hospital for days, and eventually they managed to get all his intestines back into his body, and sew him up. The surgeon came into the room and told us, “You are very lucky. You can take him home in a couple days. There were a couple of gray areas on his intestines but my professional opinion is that he will be just fine.” So he smiled, and bid us farewell. A couple days later our son had an intestine rupture, he almost died. The “gray areas” on his intestine exploded. Can we sue?

Asked on March 26, 2011 under Malpractice Law, Maine

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Oh my goodness.  I am so sorry about this situation.  The best thing for you to do is to seek consultation for a medical malpractice attorney in your area.  The consultation should be free.  They will ask for an authorization to obtain your son's medical records and to review them in order to see if a lawsuit is viable.  Medical malpractice law is unique and it is very involved and sometimes has a high threshold.   In Maine, the statute of limitations for suing someone for medical malpractice is 3 years from the date the action or omission took place.  Sometimes that is very difficult to determine, so you should talk to an attorney immediately.  As a minor his time to sue is different but seek help now.  Good luck to you all.


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