When you or your infant sustains injuries during birth due to the negligence or incompetence of the medical personnel attending to you, the next course of action should be to sue the responsible medical institution or personnel. Some birth injuries are so serious that they might leave you or your infant with permanent problems.
This is why you need to take legal action against the people or institution responsible so that you can be compensated appropriately. Birth injury lawsuit settlements will provide you with the money you need to pay for long-term treatments and other forms of medical care, so it’s important to hire a specialized lawyer to help you pursue your rightful compensation.
Luckily, qualified and experienced birth injury lawyers at Strom Law can help you get the best settlement–a good lawyer will advise you on the best time to file your case based on their understanding of the state’s statute of limitations. You also need to be aware of what the birth injury statute of limitations is in South Carolina so that you can file your case promptly for quick consideration.
What Is a Birth Injury ‘Statute of Limitations?’
A statute of limitations is the specific period within which a plaintiff files a lawsuit against a defendant. Therefore, a birth injury statute of limitations is the timeframe within which you can file a lawsuit against a negligent hospital or medical personnel for injuries sustained during birth. This time restriction applies to different lawsuits and is designed to ensure that legal matters are filed in court promptly.
A birth injury statute of limitations ensures that your case is filed on time while the physical evidence is still strong and readily available; it also helps you to file your case when your witnesses are still credible. The longer you take to file your case in court, the weaker your evidence becomes. Your witnesses might become unavailable or forget some of the important accounts.
The South Carolina Law provides a birth injury statute of limitations of three years from the day the birth injuries are discovered or when they reasonably should have been discovered–this timeframe shouldn’t exceed six years. Therefore, you must gather strong evidence and identify credible witnesses as soon as you discover the birth injuries so that you can file your case within this duration.
This is why it’s important to hire a qualified and experienced attorney who understands when to file a case and how to gather enough evidence for the case within a short time. Your lawyer should advise you on the difference between limitations for private medical institutions and government-owned facilities. If you file your case when the stipulated time frame has lapsed, you risk having your case thrown out.
So, don’t wait to file your birth injuries suit if you already have the evidence and witnesses needed to support your claim. Pursue your case as soon as possible, even if you’re well within the stipulated time frame–this improves your chances of winning the case and getting sufficient compensation because your evidence is still strong and your witness statements are still fresh.
The statute of limitations recognizes that while some birth injuries can be discovered immediately after birth or during the birthing process, others can take longer before they manifest, so the law offers a limitation of several years to allow victims who discover their injuries later to pursue justice and get their rightful compensation.
Although it’s advisable to file your case as soon as possible, you still have a right to file your case a few years later when you discover the injuries you or your baby sustained during birth due to the negligence of the doctor or medical assistants involved in your delivery. The three-year period gives you ample time to observe your baby to see if they sustained any injuries at birth that may not have been visible at the time.
Some states in America recognize the mitigating situations and make allowances for them. For example, many states have longer statutes of limitations for birth injuries involving cerebral palsy because this takes longer to discover. In such situations, the clock starts to run from the date you discover that your child has cerebral palsy that may have occurred during birth due to the incompetence or negligence of the medical professionals involved. Other birth injuries that may be exempt from the three-year statute of limitations include nerve damage, contagions, paralysis, and death.