Every stage in a child’s development is a watershed moment. Serious injuries and illnesses early in life can permanently impact a child’s growth and ability to thrive as an adult.
Parents trust doctors and medical professionals to provide appropriate care for children as they grow. Unfortunately, medical negligence during infancy, childhood, and adolescence can have adverse effects on a child’s well-being, resulting in injuries that can impact their life short-term and long-term.
If your child suffered injury as a result of medical negligence, Henry Carus + Associates can help. Our lawyers have extensive experience navigating the complex nature of these claims, including gathering compelling evidence of the future expenses and hardships facing children after they have been harmed by a medical error.
What Types of Medical Negligence Affect Children?
Children are at risk for many of the same medical errors as adults. The principle difference is that when something goes wrong, the results can not only be catastrophic but they can affect a much larger portion of the victim’s life.
Some of the most common types of medical negligence claims involving children include:
- Birth injury claims arising from negligent medical care before, during, and after the child is born
- Paediatric negligence (generally involving the failure to diagnose and treat a serious illness or injury)
- Emergency room negligence (e.g., misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis and care, etc.)
- Surgical errors and anaesthesia errors
- Medication and pharmacy errors
Even seemingly minor complaints can lead to long-term or permanent damage if the child’s case is mishandled. For example, parents often take their kids to the doctor or emergency room for symptoms such as fever, vomiting, lethargy, and/or laboured breathing. These symptoms may be indicative of a variety of conditions – from influenza to meningitis or septicaemia.
Doctors may assume that common symptoms mean a common condition. However, without prompt examination and thorough testing to rule it out, something much more serious (like meningitis or septicaemia) may otherwise go undiagnosed and untreated.
For example, it is not uncommon for young children with meningitis to be misdiagnosed with the flu. Unfortunately, this error can lead to permanent brain damage, paralysis, and other serious complications.
Undiagnosed sepsis can lead to organ shutdown and emergency measures like amputation and ICU care. Children can die from undiagnosed and untreated sepsis, but – if it is treated early – children will make a full and fast recovery.
Why You Need a Lawyer If Your Child Was Injured by Medical Negligence
Medical negligence claims are always complicated. However, when the victim is a child, obtaining fair compensation can be even more challenging.
Children have their whole lives ahead of them. When they are injured as a result of negligent medical care, it is important to account not only for the current damages (such as medical expenses, the child’s pain and suffering, etc.) but the losses that will arise in the future.
The lawyer you choose needs to understand how injuries develop over a lifetime as your child grows and becomes an adult. This understanding is critical for achieving the full compensation entitlement possible.
Many lawyers and law firms lack the knowledge and experience to get these claims right. At Henry Carus + Associates, we dedicate a significant portion of our medical negligence practice to representing children and their families.
Example: Hiring the Right Lawyer Can Make a Difference
Henry Carus + Associates recently handled a claim where a child developed scoliosis in the thoracic and thoracolumbar spine as a result of medical negligence. We made a claim for treatment not only of the scoliosis but also for fusion surgery to the lumbar spine in 20 years’ time.
Our team obtained evidence to prove that the scoliosis in the thoracic spine would place increased stress on the joints of the lumbar spine. This, in turn, would predispose the lumbar spine to injury and problems in adulthood, necessitating fusion surgery when the child is an adult.
Most lawyers would only focus on recovering compensation for treatment of the scoliosis. They likely wouldn’t understand that the fusion surgery would be necessary in 20 years, nor would they know how to collect the evidence to prove it.
Without this advanced knowledge, families are deprived of the ability to obtain full compensation for the current and future damages they may be entitled to for a medical injury to their child. At Henry Carus + Associates, we delve into your child’s medical records and consult experts to assess the full impact of negligent care – both at present and in the future.
No parent wants their child to come to harm. And, when they take their children to the doctor, they have a right to expect that medical care will improve their child’s health, not make it worse.
If your child has been injured by medical negligence, it is crucial to seek qualified legal guidance as soon as possible. Henry Carus + Associates have unparalleled experience handling medical negligence claims, including those involving children.
Prior to becoming a lawyer, Michelle Dubrava worked as a physiotherapist. She saw firsthand how serious injuries change over time and how these changes impact patients’ lives. Today, Michelle is our Medical Negligence Practice Group Leader. She combines her experience as a physiotherapist with her years representing clients on both sides of medical negligence claims (patients and medical providers) to achieve maximum compensation for those who have been wronged.
True to the Henry Carus + Associates philosophy of You Deserve More, our Medical Negligence Practice Group assesses all of your options for recovering damages. This is particularly important in cases involving children, as the victims and their families may face burdens that can last a lifetime.
Please call Henry Carus + Associates at 03 9001 1318 today for a free, no-obligation consultation. Our medical negligence lawyers serve clients in Melbourne and throughout VIC.