Brain Injury During Childbirth – Deadline for Legal Action

Almost every day in Tennessee a child is born that suffered a brain injury during childbirth.  Brain injuries can arise for many reasons, some of which can be prevented with prompt medical diagnosis and treatment and some of which cannot.

If you have a child you have suffered a brain injury during childbirth, it is important that you promptly contact an experienced Tennessee birth injury lawyer.  Tennessee law provides that any lawsuit for birth injuries to a child must be commenced before the three-year anniversary of the act causing the injury.  The failure to file statutory notice and file a lawsuit within the time period required will result in a loss of rights.

If the injury results in the death of the child, the lawsuit must be filed within one year of act causing the injury that later resulted in the death of the child.   Contrary to the thoughts of some, the deadline is not one year from the date of death.

Three years may seem like a long time to take legal action, but it is not. First, many parents hope what they fear to be a brain injury will not impact the child and thus they wait and see if the child meets the milestones he or she is expected to meet.  Other parents are just so busy with caring for the child and dealing with the rest of life that they put off seeing a lawyer.  Others come from states that grant more time and just assume that Tennessee has a law gives them five, six or even more time to bring a lawsuit.

Evaluating these cases is a big job, and therefore it is important to contact an experienced lawyer promptly so that he or she can do an adequate investigation.  A careful review of the medical records is the first step, and it often takes four to six weeks to obtain a complete set of the medical records.  Then, following an internal review of the records, appropriate experts must be located to assist is determining if a valid case exists.  (Review our Legal Guide called "Understanding Medical Malpractice Claims in Tennessee" to learn about proving medical malpractice claims.)

Therefore, we recommend that you contact an experience birth injury lawyer promptly after the child’s birth so that you can determine what rights you have.  The lawyer may advise you to wait or may suggest an immediate investigation.  But, one way or the other, you will have professional guidance to help you make an informed decision on the matter.