How Long Do You Have to File a Birth Injury Lawsuit?

How Long Do You Have to File a Birth Injury Lawsuit?

by / Wednesday, 11 March 2020 / Published in Birth Trauma, Michigan Law
Mother holding baby in towel after birth

Whether it’s a car accident case, a slip and fall, a dog bite, or medical malpractice, one of the most common questions people have about personal injury lawsuits is this: How long do I have to file my lawsuit? Generally speaking, one of the best things you can do if you’ve been injured is get in touch with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible so that you don’t miss the statute of limitations and lose your ability to file a lawsuit. But what if you don’t even know an injury has occurred until years later?

When people are injured, it’s not necessarily easy to tell right away and this is particularly true when it comes to injuries caused by birth trauma. Birth trauma can occur in many different ways and while some types of birth trauma have symptoms that are immediately obvious or easy to detect right after birth, in other cases, parents or caretakers might not begin seeing symptoms until the child is a few years old.

In the time leading up to a baby’s birth, expectant parents often spend a lot of time learning about all the different developmental milestones their baby will meet and when they should be meeting them. Some of those milestones can be ones a child should reach within the first year or so of life, such as crawling, sitting up, talking, standing, and beginning to walk. Other milestones might not occur until a child gets closer to school age, like being able to follow instructions and hold crayons and pencils. So as their child grows and they don’t meet those developmental milestones as expected, it may be cause for concern.

Many different types of birth trauma have been linked to developmental delays, including birth asphyxia, spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, and injuries caused by improper use of birth-assisting tools. If a doctor doesn’t properly monitor conditions during delivery or fails to order an emergency C-section in a timely manner, the more likely it becomes that a child will experience an injury that can result in developmental delays.

Medical malpractice is very often a cause of birth trauma, but birth injury cases aren’t necessarily covered by the same statute of limitations that applies to other types of medical malpractice cases. Since so many birth injuries result in developmental delays that take time to become evident, Michigan law gives parents some extra time to file a lawsuit over their child’s injuries. In the state of Michigan, the statute of limitations for birth injury cases is the child’s 10th birthday. However, if you suspect your child has a birth injury before that point, don’t hesitate to contact a birth trauma lawyer.

When parents don’t realize their child is showing symptoms of a birth injury until years after birth, they often think it’s too late to do anything. But that’s just not the case. Even if your child is a few years old, you may still have legal options. At The Law Offices of Goodwin & Scieszka, we’ve helped many people who have been in your shoes. Contact us today to get help with your case.