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How long do you have to file a birth injury claim?

For many parents, it is unfathomable to think about filing a legal claim for the birth of their children. Yet, for parents with children with severe and costly disabilities — disabilities that the mother’s doctor and her medical team could have prevented — a medical malpractice lawsuit is often the best course of action. You may understand this if your child suffered a serious injury during childbirth.

Naturally, you may struggle with the decision to file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, you do not want to go back and forth on the topic for too long, as birth injury lawsuits come with statutes of limitations.

The statutes of limitations for birth injury claims in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, the delivering parent who is injured during labor and delivery, ordies, has two years from the date of injury or death to file a medical malpractice claim for birth injuries. If your child dies during birth or due to complications of the birth injury, you have two years from the date of their death to file a wrongful death claim.

The statute of limitations differs for child claimants who are injured seriously

A lawsuit filed because your child was permanently injured will include the value of pain, suffering, inconvenience, loss of life’s pleasures, mental anguish and humiliation and disfigurement, plus the cost of future medical expenses, at-home care, equipment and similar costs projected through the child’s life expectancy.

The statute of limitations does not begin ticking until your child reaches the age of maturity, and the child has until his or her 20th birthday to sue. However, as a parent and guardian, you can sue for your child at any time during their minority. In fact, with the risk of evidence being lost or harder to amass as time progresses, it is best to consult a lawyer as soon as possible to determine when it is best to commence the suit.

If your child sustained a severe and life-altering injury at birth, the best thing you can do is to seek legal advice as soon as possible. Though you may not feel comfortable filing a claim initially, the amount you recover may help you give your child the best quality of life possible.