What to do if my son was born 2 months early and almost died, as well as I almost bled to death, due to my doctor not diagnosing me with full placenta priva?

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What to do if my son was born 2 months early and almost died, as well as I almost bled to death, due to my doctor not diagnosing me with full placenta priva?

My son had to stay in hospital for 2 months after his birth and we were told he would always be prone to getting sick a lot worse then a full term baby and would also have respritory issues. We have enormous medical bills and would like to know if we would have a good malpractice suit?

Asked on October 24, 2012 under Malpractice Law, New Jersey

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Medical malpractice is negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable medical practitioner in the community would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).

Your case and your son's case are separate claims.  It would be advisable to have both your and your son's medical records reviewed by another obstetrician, who can write a report supporting your medical malpractice claim.

Prior to filing a lawsuit for negligence against the first doctor, it may be possible to settle your case and your son's case with the first doctor's malpractice insurance carrier.  The claims would include the medical bills, medical reports and in your case if applicable, documentation of any wage loss.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of the injuries and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.

If both cases are settled with the first doctor's malpractice insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  If one, but not both cases are settled, only the party whose case was NOT settled would proceed with a lawsuit for negligence against the first doctor.  If neither case is settled, both you and your son would file a lawsuit for negligence against the first doctor.  You will need to be appointed guardian ad litem to file a lawsuit on behalf of your son since he is a minor.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the first doctor's malpractice insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file the lawsuit for negligence.  If the case(s) is/are not settled, the lawsuit must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you and your son will lose your rights forever in the matter.


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