What Is a Birth Injury Attorney?
A birth injury attorney, also called a birth injury lawyer, specializes in helping families affected by cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, and other conditions that stem from birth trauma.
Birth injury attorneys can see if your child’s condition could have been prevented through proper medical care. They can then file a lawsuit against the hospital, obstetrician, and/or other health care providers that may be responsible.
The ultimate goal of a birth injury attorney is to get financial compensation for your case.
The money a birth injury attorney secures can pay for:
- Adaptive equipment like wheelchairs
- At-home nursing care
- Different types of therapy
- Lost wages if you need to quit your job to care for your child
- Other personal and medical expenses
You should not have to pay the costs that follow a birth injury if a doctor could have prevented it. If you’re interested in working with a birth injury attorney, reach out to our team today. We can review the details of your case and connect you with legal help if you qualify.
Do you suspect your child’s birth injury was caused by medical malpractice?
Why Do I Need a Birth Injury Attorney?
Hiring an experienced birth injury attorney may greatly increase your chances of winning your case.
Skilled birth injury lawyers offer the following benefits:
- Saved time: A birth injury attorney can investigate and file your case in a timely manner. This can make a big difference because each state has statutes of limitations — time limits to take legal action. A lawyer can help make sure your case is filed within these deadlines.
- Experience: Many birth injury attorneys have years (if not decades) of experience handling these types of cases. As a result, they know how to build strong claims and pursue the highest amount of compensation available.
- Resources: Birth injury attorneys at top law firms have access to resources needed to win your case. This includes testimonies from previous clients and relationships with trusted health care providers who can be called on as witnesses.
- Less stress: Lawyers will do most of the work that comes with building your case, filing the lawsuit, and working toward compensation. You will be able to solely focus on caring for your child.
You may not have these advantages if you work with a lawyer at a general personal injury firm. Further, attorneys without experience in birth injury lawsuits may not know how to get the most money from your case.
Birth Injury Attorneys and the Lawsuit Process
If you’d like to file a birth injury lawsuit, you first need to find an attorney who will take on your case. If a reputable and experienced birth injury attorney wants to work with you, it is a good sign that you have a chance of winning.
Once you have chosen a lawyer to work with, you must provide them with all the needed evidence they request to build your case. Your lawyer will then file the lawsuit and work to get compensation.
Most birth injury attorneys will try to negotiate settlements with lawyers representing the doctors who may have harmed your child. This saves you and your family from the stress of going to trial in court. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, however, your lawyer will be prepared to represent you in court.
Get a free case review from an experienced birth injury attorney today to learn more about the lawsuit process and what options you may have.
Types of Cases Birth Injury Attorneys Handle
Birth injury attorneys handle cases where a baby suffered harm due to medical malpractice or negligence. Medical malpractice is a broad term used to describe a patient being harmed by a health care professional while under their care.
Many serious injuries at birth have been linked to medical malpractice. Learn about these various types of birth injuries below.
Cerebral palsy is a lifelong condition that occurs due to brain damage. It can lead to mental and/or physical handicaps depending on the part of the brain that was injured.
By following proper procedures, doctors can often prevent many of the birth injuries that cause cerebral palsy. For example, they can make sure the baby doesn’t suffer from asphyxiation, as a lack of oxygen can harm the brain and lead to cerebral palsy.
Cerebral palsy lawyers will work to prove that improper care from doctors may have caused your baby to develop this condition.
Erb’s palsy, or brachial plexus palsy, is a type of nerve damage that affects the shoulders, arms, and hands. Babies with Erb’s palsy experience numbness, weakness, or paralysis until they fully recover. Some may never make a complete recovery.
Doctors who use too much force during the delivery process may cause a newborn to develop Erb’s palsy. For example, if a baby is stuck in the birth canal, they may use a vacuum extractor or forceps too roughly and damage the baby’s nerves.
An Erb’s palsy lawyer helps determine if a doctor’s actions injured the nerves in your child’s shoulder and takes legal action so you can afford treatments.
Spinal Cord Injuries
The spinal cord allows signals from the brain to travel to other parts of the body. If nerves in the spine are damaged or torn, numbness and/or paralysis may occur.
Without proper care, doctors can cause a spinal cord injury if they pull too hard on a baby’s neck or head. Some doctors may also fail to diagnose and treat conditions that cause spinal cord injuries, such as spina bifida.
If your doctor fails to keep your baby safe from a spinal cord injury, a lawyer can help you pursue compensation from them.
Babies are at risk of brain injuries if they suffer from oxygen deprivation during birth, experience head trauma, or if an infection is passed to them from their mother while in the womb.
Some brain injuries are relatively mild, but others lead to permanent disabilities like cerebral palsy. This is why it’s very important for doctors to monitor any possible health issues that could lead to brain damage.
A birth injury attorney can help you hold doctors accountable if your baby suffered preventable brain damage.
Experienced birth injury lawyers can handle cases relating to many other preventable health problems in babies.
Other potential birth injuries include:
- Klumpke’s palsy
- Maternal infections
- Caput succedaneum
- Meconium aspiration syndrome (MAS)
- Cervical dystonia
- Infant torticollis
- Cesarean section (C-section) injuries
If you believe that a birth injury happened because a health care worker’s conduct fell below a basic standard of care, you may have a case.
Do you suspect your child’s birth injury was caused by medical malpractice?
What To Look for in a Birth Injury Attorney
The right lawyer for you will keep your best interests at heart at all times. You must be able to trust your lawyer and know that they are doing everything possible to help you. Find some of the qualities top birth injury attorneys have below.
Track Record of Success
When you first meet with a birth injury attorney, ask them how they’ve helped other people like you. See if the attorney can provide examples of verdicts or settlements they secured for past clients. This can give you a better idea of how experienced the attorney is.
No Upfront Fees
Credible birth injury attorneys work on a contingency basis. This means there are no upfront costs and you only pay them if you win compensation. The lawyers receive their fee once they have reached a strong settlement or have won compensation through a trial on your behalf.
Connections To Medical Experts
The best birth injury lawyers don’t have just legal experience — they also have relationships with respected doctors, nurses, and other health care providers. These experts can testify on your behalf and explain what could have been done to prevent your child’s birth injuries from a medical standpoint.
Some birth injury law firms may even have on-staff nurses that can answer questions about birth injuries and teach you about treatments that can help your child’s condition.
Questions To Ask a Birth Injury Attorney
As you speak to lawyers about filing a birth injury lawsuit, it can be helpful to ask questions to learn more about the services they provide.
Questions to ask when looking for a birth injury lawyer include:
- How long have you been practicing law?
- How many years have you been handling birth injury cases?
- How long will the entire birth injury lawsuit take?
- How often will we be in contact?
- Do you handle your cases in-house or through another firm?
- Do you have references or testimonials from previous clients?
- Are you connected with medical professionals?
Birth Injury Attorney FAQ
If you’ve never worked with an attorney before, the process may seem confusing. Find answers to common questions about working with a birth injury attorney below.
When should I hire a birth injury lawyer?
You should hire a lawyer as soon as you think your child suffered a birth injury. You can even hire a lawyer before your child is officially diagnosed.
Hiring a lawyer as soon as possible can help jump-start the legal process and hopefully get you compensation in the shortest amount of time possible. They can also help you file a case before the statute of limitations passes.
How much does my lawyer get from my settlement?
The percentage a lawyer takes is relatively small in most cases, but it can vary depending on the attorney you work with. Ask your lawyer how much they will get from a settlement before you let them handle your case.
How much compensation might I get?
The average birth injury medical malpractice lawsuit paid out $447,034, according to data published in 2017.
That said, how much you’ll receive depends on the specific factors in your case. It’s not uncommon to receive millions of dollars from a birth injury lawsuit.
How do I know my child’s birth injury was caused by malpractice or negligence?
You might not know for sure if medical negligence or malpractice caused your child’s injury — this is another reason you should work with a lawyer. Birth injury attorneys can investigate your case and collect evidence like medical records to see if a health care provider is responsible for harming your child.
Find a Birth Injury Attorney Near You
If your baby has suffered from an injury that may have been caused by medical malpractice, seek help from a skilled birth injury attorney. There are legal teams around the country who handle birth injuries specifically, and they are standing by to help you right now.
To get in touch with a nearby birth injury attorney, get a free case review from the Birth Injury Justice Center. Our team can connect you with a lawyer if you qualify to file a lawsuit.