What Is a Birth Injury Lawsuit?
A birth injury lawsuit is a type of legal action filed against negligent doctors, nurses, hospitals, or other medical professionals that caused a child to develop a preventable birth injury.
Money won from a medical malpractice case can help pay for the medical treatment to give your child the best chance at improving their quality of life.
More specifically, compensation can help pay for:
- Adaptive equipment
- Mobility aids
- Nursing and special care
- Occupational therapy
- Physical therapy
- Special education costs
- Speech therapy
- Other related expenses
According to a study from the TDC Group, the average medical malpractice claim payout for a child under one month old was almost $1 million.
You may be eligible to file a lawsuit if your child developed an injury caused by preventable mistakes before, during, or shortly after birth. Get a free case review to see if you can work with an experienced birth injury attorney to get the money you deserve.
Do you suspect your child’s birth injury was caused by medical malpractice?
Why Should I File a Birth Injury Lawsuit?
There are many benefits to filing a birth injury lawsuit. Lawsuits can ease some of the burdens of caring for a disabled child and protect other families from birth injuries.
Learn more about why you should file a birth injury lawsuit below.
Cover Costs of Care
If your child has suffered a severe birth injury, their care requirements may be more costly than the average costs of raising a child.
According to a study from Massachusetts General Hospital, 40% of families who have children with special health care needs experience a financial burden from paying for their child’s condition.
Financial compensation from a lawsuit can help you afford treatment to potentially improve your child’s overall quality of life.
Birth injuries can affect your child for their entire life. They may not be able to move, walk, eat, or speak properly depending on the severity of their brain injury.
By filing a birth injury lawsuit, you can hold negligent medical professionals accountable for their preventable mistakes. Although it cannot undo the errors made, you can find some peace of mind knowing you won’t have to pay the medical costs for an injury that could have been avoided.
Help Other Families
Lawsuits can also help you raise awareness about a particular doctor or hospital. While your child may have been harmed due to an unavoidable problem, it may also mean that the doctor should not be practicing. Through a lawsuit, your story can alert other families who could be at risk.
Further, filing a lawsuit may also encourage other families who suffered a birth injury to also take legal action and get the compensation they deserve.
Types of Birth Injury Lawsuits
There are a couple of different types of birth injury lawsuits that can be filed depending on your specific case. Work with an experienced birth injury lawyer to find out which one you may be eligible to file.
Learn more about the types of birth injury lawsuits below.
Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
Doctors commit medical malpractice when they fail to give quality medical care and keep the mother and baby safe during childbirth.
Medical malpractice claims must prove that your child’s injury was caused by medical negligence during the birthing process.
Some examples of medical negligence include:
- Failure to detect signs of fetal distress such as low heart rate
- Failure to perform a medically necessary C-section (cesarean section)
- Failure to treat maternal infections such as meningitis
- Failure to treat newborn jaundice or other conditions
- Improper use of forceps or vacuum extractors
- Use of force when pulling the baby out of the womb
Medical negligence can cause injuries such as brain damage, cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, and more.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Unfortunately, severe birth injuries can lead to death or intrauterine fetal demise if a doctor does not quickly respond to the trauma.
You may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit if your child died as a result of preventable mistakes made before, during, or shortly after childbirth.
Birth Injury Lawsuit Process
Although every case is different, most birth injury lawsuits follow a similar process. The first step to filing a lawsuit is to contact a lawyer with experience in birth injury cases. A lawyer can help you file your case, gather evidence, strengthen your claim, and potentially win compensation.
Learn more about the steps in the birth injury lawsuit process below.
1. Free Case Review
A top birth injury law firm will give you a free case consultation. Before you file your claim, you must determine if you are eligible to file a birth injury lawsuit.
If your personal injury lawyer finds that you have a strong case, they will then determine how much compensation is needed to treat your child’s condition throughout their lifetime.
2. Gather Evidence
Your lawyer will need to prove that your child’s injuries or death were caused by medical negligence. They will gather information and evidence related to your case to build a strong and successful claim.
This information may include:
- A detailed series of events before, during, and after the delivery process
- Maternal health records outlining any issues during pregnancy
- Medical records describing the conditions your child suffers from due to the birth injury
3. File Lawsuit
Once your lawyers collect all relevant information, they will formally file your lawsuit. You will become the plaintiff, and the doctor and/or hospital being sued will become the defendant. The court will then issue a schedule for the case, such as mediation and trial dates.
Your lawsuit will ask for money from the defendants and they usually will have around 30 days to respond. If they do not respond, you will automatically win the case. If they do respond and refuse to pay you, they will explain why they are not responsible for the child’s injury.
After the defendants respond to the complaint, your lawyer will gather more information to strengthen your case.
During this time, your lawyers may request additional medical records and other documents related to your child’s birth to provide more in-depth information. You, your loved ones, and medical experts may also have to give statements or answer questions under oath during this time.
5. Settlement vs. Trial
A birth injury lawsuit will be resolved by either a birth injury settlement agreement or a trial verdict. The defendants may agree to a birth injury settlement, which involves paying a lump sum of money to the plaintiff. About 95% of birth injury lawsuits will end in a settlement.
In rare cases where a birth injury settlement is not agreed upon, the case will move on to trial. During a trial, a judge and/or jury will hear both arguments and determine if the plaintiff deserves financial compensation from the defendant.
Most birth injury lawyers will try to negotiate a settlement instead of going to court because trials are time-consuming, costly, and risky. If the court does not rule in your favor, you may receive no financial compensation at all.
Notable Birth Injury Lawsuit Amounts
Your birth injury lawyer will help determine your potential payout by calculating your case value. A case value is how much money your lawsuit is worth. Birth injury lawsuit case values vary by the specifics of your case.
Factors that may affect settlement amounts include:
- The calculated lifetime cost of care for your child
- Loss of income to care for a child’s injury
- Past and present medical expenses
- The severity of the birth injury
- State limits on compensation amounts
The best way to determine the value of your claim is to get a free consultation from an experienced birth injury lawyer.
Although each case is different, it can be helpful to know how much compensation has been won from past lawsuits.
Notable birth injury lawsuit compensation amounts include:
- $10.4 million for a Pennsylvania family
- $9 million for an Alaska family
- $8 million for a New York family
- $7.8 million for a Florida family
- $4.25 million for a California family
- $950,000 for a New Jersey family
File Your Birth Injury Lawsuit Today
If your child has cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, or a similar condition, consider seeking help from a dedicated birth injury law firm. Medical malpractice attorneys at these specialized firms understand the fear and concerns that come with an injury at birth. They will serve as your guide throughout the legal process and make your child’s needs their top priority.
By working with a trusted legal team to pursue birth injury lawsuit compensation, you can rest assured knowing your child can get the treatment they deserve.
Get a free case review today to see if your child’s birth injury may have been preventable and if you qualify to file a lawsuit.
Birth Injury Lawsuit FAQs
Was my child’s birth injury preventable?
The best and only way to know if your child’s birth injury was preventable is to contact a lawyer for a case evaluation.
Doctors have a duty to uphold a high standard of care. An experienced attorney specializing in birth injury cases can help you determine if your child’s injury was caused by negligence and if you can file a birth injury lawsuit.
How much does it cost to file a birth injury lawsuit?
Filing a birth injury lawsuit with a top attorney should come at no cost to you. The best lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they do not collect any upfront costs.
Your lawyer will only get paid if you win your lawsuit and secure compensation. Your legal team will collect a small percentage of the overall total won in your lawsuit.
How long does a birth injury lawsuit take?
How long a birth injury claim will take depends on your specific case. One of the most influential factors is whether your lawsuit reaches a settlement or goes to trial. Trials can add more time to the case, as they typically occur only if lawyers try to reach a settlement but fail to do so.
Your lawyer can give you a better idea of when you will get money from your birth injury lawsuit as the case progresses.
When should I file a birth injury lawsuit?
You should file your birth injury lawsuit as soon as possible. Each state has a statute of limitations that places a time limit on how long you have to file a lawsuit. You may lose your right to sue forever if you file after the deadline has expired.
Get a free case review today to see if you can file a birth injury lawsuit today.