Parents and guardians have legal options when doctors and other such medical professionals negligently injure their children (or allow their children to be injured). In Massachusetts and the surrounding New England states, if you can demonstrate that your child was harmed because a doctor or other health care provider was negligent to a degree that represents a substantial breach of their duty of care, you may file a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit.

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The main reason to file a claim or sue a doctor (or their employer) is to seek compensation for losses your child may have sustained as a result of the doctor’s negligence. For example, if a doctor injured your child, they may have needed to undergo additional medical treatment. You could take legal action to pursue compensation for the cost of said treatment.

However, perhaps compensation isn’t all you’re after. Maybe you believe a doctor’s negligence was so great that they deserve to lose their license to practice medicine.

Can a doctor lose their license after injuring a child if the parents or other such parties sue? Typically, filing a lawsuit against a doctor isn’t enough to put their license in jeopardy. While there may be exceptions, they’re very uncommon.

Why a Doctor Can Keep Their License Even When a Parent or Guardian Sues Them

Medical malpractice cases are very complex. Someone isn’t necessarily owed money whenever a doctor makes an error that results in harm. To prove they deserve compensation, the victim (or their representatives) must show that the extent of a doctor’s negligence was great enough to qualify as a departure from accepted standards of care for those in their profession.

In other words, a child suffering harm due to a medical error is owed compensation only when a doctor or other medical professional makes a mistake that constitutes “negligence”, requiring a showing that known applicable professional medical standards were violated.

Proving you have a viable medical malpractice case is challenging. This is one of the many reasons it’s wise to hire a lawyer when seeking compensation for a doctor’s negligence. A legal professional with experience handling cases like yours can help you gather evidence showing how a doctor’s actions or inactions fell below the standard of care for medical professionals in their area of practice.

Even if a victim presents enough evidence to demonstrate they deserve compensation, they would likely need to provide even stronger evidence to show a doctor deserves to lose their license. If they’re able to present such evidence, it’s still important to understand that filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against a doctor is not a means of preventing them from practicing medicine. In other words, a separate process involving state licensing boards is necessary for a doctor to lose their license. A victim may not have the opportunity to initiate this process directly.

The main reason to file a claim or sue a doctor (or their employer) is to seek compensation for losses your child may have sustained as a result of the doctor’s negligence.

What Claims Can You Pursue When a Doctor Harms Your Child

You may be somewhat disappointed to learn you can’t prevent a doctor from practicing medicine simply by filing a claim or lawsuit after they injure your child. However, it’s wise in these circumstances to instead focus on what you can pursue by taking legal action.

Again, if your child needed additional medical treatment to address injuries they sustained because of a doctor’s negligence, taking legal action allows you to seek compensation for the cost of said treatment.

You might also pursue compensation for your child’s pain and suffering. This highlights another reason to enlist the help of a lawyer. Although an attorney can’t promise you will receive a specific amount of compensation, they can help you calculate the potential dollar value of pain and suffering and similar losses that aren’t objectively economic.

A lawyer can also help estimate the cost of future medical care, often with the assistance of medical cost or economic experts.. If your child’s injuries are severe, they may need ongoing treatment that is likely to continue even after you resolve your case. Thus, you may need to determine the  cost of said future treatment to ensure you’re pursuing all the compensation your child deserves. A lawyer can assist with this task, with the assistance of a lifecare planning expert.

In addition, some medical malpractice victims are eligible to receive compensation for lost wages and lost earning potential. Usually, young children are not eligible to receive such compensation, however, a minor who may have limited earning potential as a result of an injury caused by a doctor’s negligence may account for such losses when negotiating a settlement or seeking damages from a jury.

At Swartz & Swartz, P.C., a Boston medical malpractice attorney is on hand to review your case and determine exactly what type of damages it may involve. Learn more about what we can do for you and your child by contacting us online or calling us at (617) 742-1900 today.

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If you or someone you know, needs help from a lawyer, contact the law offices of Swartz & Swartz, use our live chat, or send us a message using the form below and we’ll get in touch to assess your case and how we can help.

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About the Author: James Swartz
Mr. Swartz, our Managing and Principal Attorney at Swartz & Swartz P.C., is a nationally recognized and respected trial attorney as well as consumer advocate. His practice focuses on cases involving negligence, torts, products liability, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and other claims involving catastrophic injuries.

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