Hepatitis B is a viral infection that affects the liver and can cause life-threatening conditions such as cirrhosis and liver cancer. According to the Hepatitis B Foundation, the virus is most often transmitted from an infected mother to her baby during childbirth. Thanks to vaccinations, only about 1,000 babies are infected in the United States each year. Yet most of these cases occur as a result of medical malpractice, which is when a medical provider fails to diagnose and/or treat the condition properly.
If your obstetrician, physician, or midwife misdiagnosed the hepatitis B virus in you or your child, a Los Angeles hepatitis B virus misdiagnosis lawyer may be able to help. The team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you pursue justice and financial awards to compensate you for damages, including medical bills, long-term treatment costs, and emotional pain and anguish. Call us today at 800-794-0444 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
Consequences of Failing to Diagnose Hepatitis B Virus
Children under the age of six are at the highest risk of developing chronic liver infections from the hepatitis B virus. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 80 to 90% of infants who are infected before their first birthday develop chronic illness, while 30 to 50% of children who are infected before the age of six develop chronic infections. In contrast, less than 5% of healthy people who get the virus as adults develop chronic conditions.
Transmission from a mother to child during labor can have devastating consequences. It is crucial that a medical professional immediately diagnose and diligently treat the virus to reduce the risk of permanent and potentially life-threatening illness. A doctor or other healthcare provider who fails to do so may be in breach of their duty of care.
A Medical Provider’s Responsibility
Medical providers are responsible for providing patients with an expected duty of care. When it comes to pregnancy and delivery, this includes hepatitis B infection screening. If a mother tests positive, she is at high risk of passing it along to her baby. The healthcare provider has the responsibility to diagnose the condition and inform the mother. They must also take steps to prevent transmission and protect the baby.
Once the baby is born, they should also receive a vaccination. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) specifically recommends that newborns receive a hepatitis B vaccination within 24 hours after birth. With a full course of vaccinations, about 98% of babies develop lifelong immunity to the virus. Prompt treatment is particularly crucial if a baby’s mother has the virus. Any delay in medical treatment can increase the child’s risk of severe and potentially life-threatening illnesses.
If a medical provider does not test the mother or fails to provide an accurate diagnosis, they may not take the necessary steps to protect the child either. In this situation, the obstetrician, physician, midwife, or other healthcare provider may be liable for medical malpractice.
A baby with hepatitis B can suffer devastating, permanent effects and may even die from their illness. While no amount of financial compensation can take away your child’s suffering or your family’s emotional anguish, monetary awards may equip your family with the resources needed to pay for treatment, long-term care, or funeral and burial expenses if your child has passed on.
Contact the team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at 800-794-0444 for a free consultation to determine if you have grounds for a medical malpractice case.
For a free legal consultation with a Hepatitis B Virus Misdiagnosis Lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (800) 794-0444
Legal Options for Birth Injuries
If your family has suffered because of a hepatitis B misdiagnosis, a Los Angeles hepatitis B virus misdiagnosis lawyer may be able to help you pursue justice and financial compensation for your losses.
Damages that are typically part of a medical malpractice suit include:
- Past, current, and future medical bills
- Costs of long-term treatment for your child’s condition
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Cost of funeral and burial expenses (in the case of wrongful death)
Statute of Limitations
Each state has a statute of limitations regarding medical malpractice claims. This is the timeframe in which you can bring a suit against another party. Normally, in California, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice is one year. However, according to California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) § 340.5, the statute of limitations is different for birth injuries.
A parent has until a child turns eight years old to pursue a suit for this type of claim. This additional time allows families to determine the severity of their child’s injury as well as the costs of long-term treatment and care. For example, after a hepatitis B misdiagnosis, evidence of chronic liver infection may take years to develop.
It is also important to note that if your healthcare provider was part of a public entity, such as a state hospital, the statute of limitations is significantly shorter. If your child was born and injured by a provider who worked for a public health facility, you have just six months to bring a medical malpractice suit. The process for pursuing legal action against a public entity is also significantly different than pursuing a suit against an individual or private entity.
A Los Angeles hepatitis B virus misdiagnosis lawyer can help you navigate the intricate legal process and ensure that you abide by all relevant rules and procedures, including the statute of limitations. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to learn more.
Los Angeles Hepatitis B Virus Misdiagnosis Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Consult with a Lawyer Today
The first years of a child’s life are some of the most precious, but they are also some of the most vulnerable. It is up to medical professionals to support parents by providing the expected duty of care to protect babies from potentially life-threatening illnesses and injuries, including the hepatitis B virus.
If your medical provider misdiagnosed the hepatitis B virus and your family suffered, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm is here to help. A Los Angeles hepatitis B virus misdiagnosis lawyer can help determine if you have a medical malpractice case. Call our team today at 800-794-0444 for a free, no-obligation consultation.