When patients suffer as a result of medical error, the consequences can be wide-ranging. Depending on the nature of the error and its severity, patients may experience pain, medical complications, an increased need for medical treatment, lost wages due to temporary disability, and a need for recovery time and a host of other challenges. It is therefore understandable that many patients choose to file a personal injury action after being injured by medical error, as personal injury damages may help to stabilize the financial consequences associated with a care provider’s negligence or recklessness.
If you or your child’s other parent has been harmed as a result of medical error, you may be wondering what this situation means for any child support obligations that you or your child’s other parent regularly owes to the other on behalf of your child. There is no hard and fast rule that applies in situations like this. However, it may be possible to seek a child support modification, depending on the nature of the circumstances involved.
If a Claim Has Not Yet Been Filed
If the parent who has suffered harm has not yet filed a personal injury claim, it may be an option worth considering. Successful medical negligence claims may result in both economic and non-economic damage awards that can assist in paying for medical bills and making up for lost wages. Not every medical error results in solid grounds for a claim, but if you speak with an attorney about the specifics of your family’s situation you will be able to better determine if this is a good option for everyone involved.
Until a claim is completed, it may be possible to request a temporary child support modification order if your child’s needs or family’s financial situation has been altered dramatically as a result of the medical error. Please consider speaking with an attorney if you or your child’s other parent is having difficulty paying any court-ordered child support obligations presently.
If Damages Have Already Been Awarded
If you or your child’s other parent has already been awarded a significant personal injury damage amount, this change in financial circumstances may provide grounds upon which to base a child support modification order. This is especially likely if the award is so substantial that it has changed one parent’s standard of living. If both parents agree mutually to change support obligations, your attorneys can simply request that the court approve the modification. If one parent refuses to accept the other’s request, the court will need to determine the outcome of this action.
Modification Assistance Is Available
If you have questions about child support generally or modifications specifically, please consider contacting a lawyer. Child support can be a tricky set of obligations to navigate because financial circumstances and family needs can change significantly in the blink of an eye. An attorney who specializes in family law will be able to advise you of any legal options that may be available to you and your family. A lawyer will also be able to help you make informed decisions as your family and its needs continue to evolve for the remainder of your child’s years as a minor.