According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), medical malpractice claims involving babies and children are among the most common types of lawsuits that go to trial. This is likely because negligently treated babies and children often have the worst injuries and outcomes. When a baby, child, or teenager suffers injuries because of a negligent Indiana health care provider, the medical professional may be liable for the damages that they caused. Babies and children are particularly vulnerable to medical malpractice, since these groups either are unable to communicate or have difficulty effectively communicating their symptoms and conditions.
Under the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act, most physicians, nurses, midwives, dentists, chiropractors, psychologists, paramedics, and other medical professionals may be liable for injuries that their negligence causes. Pediatric negligence takes many forms and can have devastating consequences. Pediatric malpractice lawsuits often arise after birth injuries, misdiagnoses, delayed diagnoses, incorrect prescription orders, inaccurate laboratory results, failures to follow up, and botched surgeries.
When a medical professional fails to adhere to their standard of care and commits medical malpractice, the consequences can be dire. Pediatric malpractice injuries often cause irreversible damage because babies and young children cannot always effectively fight off infections and recover from severe trauma to their bodies. For example, recently, a mother filed a lawsuit against a medical provider after her infant died following his routine vaccinations. The infant was born prematurely but was generally in good health when he received his vaccinations. Shortly after his shots, he became feverish, and his parents gave him fever medication and put him down for a nap. A few hours later, his mother found him unresponsive in his crib. The defendants successfully argued that they were not liable for his death because medical examiners established that he died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. However, this case highlights the importance of follow-up care, especially when patients are very young.