Watching your child suffer is heartbreaking. As a parent, you will do just about everything to make them feel better. When your kid is sick, you take them to the doctor to search for a solution that will allow them to heal as quickly as possible. But what happens when their doctor makes a mistake that makes them sicker instead of better?

If you believe your child’s physician or other healthcare professional did something to harm them, a Clearwater pediatric malpractice lawyer could help you pursue justice through a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Pediatricians Are Supposed to Help Patients

Pediatricians are general practitioners who work exclusively with infants and children. These types of doctors have the most contact with children and their families. Many pediatricians begin seeing children as newborns and follow them through their teen years and into early adulthood. Pediatricians meet with their patients and perform regular checkups as part of their responsibilities.

At these well-visits, they examine their patients for any abnormalities in physical, emotional, or cognitive growth and ensure that children receive their scheduled vaccinations. Pediatricians regularly screen patients for common childhood illnesses and disorders. If a pediatrician notices any abnormalities that they cannot address and treat by themselves, they should order diagnostic testing and refer their patients to the appropriate specialists. They should also consult with specialists on their patients’ conditions.

A pediatrician’s mistakes can lead to lifelong consequences for a child. A compassionate Clearwater pediatric malpractice attorney could help a family pursue justice for their child’s harm.

Common Types of Pediatric Errors

Mistakes that result in serious health consequences to children can occur anywhere that provides medical care to underage patients, including:

  • Hospitals
  • Pharmacies
  • Doctors’ offices
  • Maternity wards
  • Operating rooms
  • Emergency rooms
  • Radiologist’s offices

Some of the most common kinds of malpractice involving pediatric patients are the following:

  • Failure to manage immunizations appropriately
  • Surgical mistakes, including post-operative negligence
  • Lack of communication between pediatricians, specialists, and a child’s family
  • Failure to manage illnesses correctly, such as by not referring a child to the appropriate specialist
  • Emergency room mistakes, often involving misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis
  • Birth injuries due to mistakes during a mother’s pregnancy, labor, delivery, and immediately following delivery
  • Medication errors, including giving the wrong type of medicine or the incorrect dosage — Giving a child the dosage meant for a full-grown adult could result in life-threatening or fatal complications
  • Failure to identify and manage developmental delays and common childhood disorders, such as when a child does not meet their developmental milestone markers — Early intervention to address developmental delays can often have a significant impact on how a child progresses, so when a pediatrician fails to recognize a problem, the child can lose out on the chance of early intervention therapy to quickly address it

Our dedicated Clearwater pediatrician negligence lawyers could perform a detailed investigation of a child’s medical records to learn precisely what happened and who is to blame.

Filing a Pediatric Malpractice Claim Can Be Complicated

Malpractice claims involving children are often complex.

Not All Negative Medical Outcomes in Children Are Malpractice

Doctors do not know everything, and they cannot cure every illness to make every child healthy. Unfortunately, modern medicine does not have treatments available for every sick patient. Despite having access to the best technological advances and the highest level of care, some patients do not get better. Even if a pediatrician gives the patient proper time, consideration, and effort, some kids get sicker. Sadly, some children even die after receiving medical care. However, as tragic as this is, the doctor’s actions might not amount to malpractice if there were no mistakes that resulted in a patient’s harm.

Not all Pediatrician Mistakes Are Malpractice

Pediatricians and other medical providers who treat children occasionally make mistakes. If a medical mistake harms a child, their family might wish to hold the provider accountable for their error. However, not every mistake a pediatrician makes rises to the level of actionable medical malpractice. To prevail in a legal claim for justice and compensation, a child’s family must show that the medical provider breached the accepted standard of care and acted negligently.

Our knowledgeable legal team at Perenich Law Injury Attorneys could spend one-on-one time with a family to help them review their legal options.

Proving the Elements of Negligence in a Pediatric Malpractice Case

To win a claim against a pediatrician, the family of an injured or deceased child must establish the four elements of legal negligence.

Duty of Care

A child’s family must show that the pediatrician or other healthcare provider owed a duty of care to the child. For instance, if a child goes to a doctor complaining of pain in their lower right abdomen, a doctor has a duty to provide competent care to the child.

Breach of Duty

The family must show that the pediatric doctor breached their duty of care because they acted negligently. For instance, if the pediatrician in the above example ignores the child’s complaints of abdominal pain and fails to perform a physical examination or order an ultrasound, they might fail to make a diagnosis of a problem with the child’s appendix that another doctor could have made with a standard examination.

Breach Causes Injury

The family must show that the pediatrician’s errors caused the child to experience an injury. In the above example, failure to make a timely diagnosis of a problem with the child’s appendix could cause the child to suffer a possibly life-threatening appendix rupture.

Breach Causes Damages

The family must prove that the pediatrician’s mistake caused the child to suffer actual damages. For instance, a child who needs surgery to repair their ruptured appendix could experience pain and suffering and have to miss school as they recover. Their parents might also have to miss work to care for them, resulting in lost wages.

Our caring team of attorneys in Clearwater takes a personalized approach to each case and works diligently to find evidence to support a family’s pediatric negligence claim.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Clearwater Pediatric Malpractice Claims?

In most claims in Florida, the statute of limitations for malpractice is two years from the date of injury. However, if the effects of the malpractice and the injury do not appear immediately, Florida courts grant claimants an additional two years. As outlined in Florida Statutes § 95.11(4)(c), different rules can apply when the injured claimant is a minor. When the child is under eight years old, the standard two-year statute of limitations and an additional two years for discovery do not apply because some injuries might not be apparent until the child is older. Generally, families must file a claim within two years of the discovery until the child turns eight.

The statutes of limitations involving Florida minors can be confusing. A well-informed legal team could help explain how the rules might apply to a particular situation.

Call a Clearwater Pediatric Malpractice Attorney at Our Firm

Medical care throughout a child’s life is critical. As they grow and develop, working with a knowledgeable pediatrician who can look out for problems and areas of concern is crucial. Unfortunately, pediatricians and other medical providers who work with kids sometimes make mistakes that can lead to devastating outcomes. There is a lot riding on a legal claim that involves your child. Picking the right attorney to help you and your child is crucial.

Call a Clearwater pediatric malpractice lawyer if you suspect your pediatrician made an error that harmed your child. Let our seasoned legal professionals evaluate what happened to determine if you might have a viable case. At Perenich Law Injury Attorneys, we are 3 Brothers Helping Others.

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