How Can a Birth Injury Attorney Help Me?
The goal of a birth injury attorney is to win your case and make the legal process easier for you and your family.
Children living with a birth injury may require expensive medical treatment for months, years, or even their entire life. Birth injury lawyers strive to help you get the highest possible amount of compensation to alleviate any financial burdens placed on your family.
Financial compensation from a birth injury lawsuit can help 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
Working with an attorney that specializes in birth injury claims may increase your chances of winning your case. Many birth injury attorneys have years of experience, so they know how to build strong claims and pursue the maximum amount of compensation available to you.
Birth injury lawyers also strive to bring justice to those who caused your child’s preventable birth injury. Your lawyer will work with your family to ensure the health care professionals that showed medical negligence are held responsible.
IS YOUR CHILD MISSING DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONES?
Take Our Milestones Quiz
Taking note of your child’s physical, social, and emotional skills can help you determine if they potentially suffered from an injury at birth. An early diagnosis can help your child get the treatment they need as soon as possible.
Q1: How old is your child?
0-2 MONTHS DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONES QUIZ
- Q2: Can your child hold their head steadily on their own?
- Q3: Can your child push themselves up when they are lying on their stomach?
- Q4: Has your child started to make smoother movements with their arms and legs?
- Q5: Does your child smile at other people?
- Q6: Can your child bring their hands to their mouth?
- Q7: Does your child turn their head when they hear a noise?
- Q8: Does your child coo or make gurgling noises?
- Q9: Does your child follow things with their eyes?
- Q10: Does your child try to look at their parents or caregivers?
- Q11: Does your child show boredom, cry, or fuss when engaged in an activity that hasn’t changed in a while?
3-4 MONTHS DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONES QUIZ
- Q2: Can your child hold their head steadily on their own?
- Q3: Does your child push down on their legs when their feet are on a flat surface?
- Q4: Has your child started to roll over from their stomach to their back?
- Q5: Can your child hold and shake a toy such as a rattle?
- Q6: Does your child bring their hands to their mouth?
- Q7: Does your child play with people and start to cry when the playing stops?
- Q8: Does your child smile spontaneously, especially at people?
- Q9: Does your child copy some movements and facial expressions of other people?
- Q10: Does your child babble with expressions and copy sounds they hear?
- Q11: Does your child cry in different ways to show hunger, pain, or tiredness?
- Q12: Does your child respond to affection like hugging or kissing?
- Q13: Does your child follow moving things with their eyes from side to side?
- Q14: Does your child recognize familiar people at a distance?
5-6 MONTHS DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONES QUIZ
- Q2: Can your child roll over on both sides (front to back/back to front)?
- Q3: Has your child begun to sit without support?
- Q4: Does your child rock back and forth?
- Q5: Can your child support their weight on their legs (and perhaps bounce) when standing?
- Q6: Has your child begun to pass things from one hand to the other?
- Q7: Does your child bring objects such as toys to their mouth?
- Q8: Does your child know if someone is not familiar to them and is a stranger?
- Q9: Does your child respond to other people’s emotions, such as a smile or a frown?
- Q10: Does your child enjoy looking at themselves in the mirror?
- Q11: Does your child look at things around them?
- Q12: Does your child respond to sounds they hear by making sounds themselves?
- Q13: Does your child make sounds to show joy or displeasure?
- Q14: Does your child respond to their own name?
- Q15: Has your child started to string vowels together, such as "ah," "eh," or "oh," or started to say consonant sounds such as "m" or "b"?
- Q16: Has your child begun to laugh?
7-9 MONTHS DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONES QUIZ
- Q2: Can your child crawl?
- Q3: Can your child stand while holding on to something to support them?
- Q4: Can your child sit without support?
- Q5: Can your child pull themselves up to stand?
- Q6: Does your child play peekaboo?
- Q7: Can your child move things from one hand to the other?
- Q8: Can your child pick small things up, such as a piece of cereal, with their thumb and index finger?
- Q9: Does your child look for things that they see you hide?
- Q10: Does your child watch the path of something as it falls?
- Q11: Does your child show fear when around strangers?
- Q12: Does your child become clingy with adults who are familiar to them?
- Q13: Does your child have favorite toys?
- Q14: Does your child use their fingers to point?
- Q15: Does your child understand “no”?
- Q16: Does your child make a lot of repetitive sounds, such as “mamama” or “bababa”?
- Q17: Does your child copy the sounds and gestures of other people?
10-12 MONTHS DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONES QUIZ
- Q2: Can your child stand alone with no support?
- Q3: Does your child walk while holding on to furniture?
- Q4: Can your child take a few steps without holding on to anything?
- Q5: Can your child get into a sitting position without any help?
- Q6: Does your child bang two things together when playing?
- Q7: Does your child poke with their index finger?
- Q8: Has your child started to use things like hairbrushes or drinking cups correctly?
- Q9: Does your child find hidden objects easily?
- Q10: Does your child play peekaboo or pat-a-cake?
- Q11: Does your child become shy or nervous around strangers?
- Q12: Does your child repeat actions or sounds to get attention?
- Q13: Does your child put out an arm or leg to help when getting dressed?
- Q14: Does your child cry when a parent leaves the room?
- Q15: Does your child show that they have favorite things or people?
- Q16: Does your child show fear?
- Q17: Does your child say things such as “mama,” “dada,” or “uh-oh”?
- Q18: Does your child try to say the words you say?
- Q19: Has your child started to use gestures like waving or shaking their head “no”?
13-18 MONTHS DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONES QUIZ
- Q2: Can your child walk by themselves?
- Q3: Does your child walk up stairs and run?
- Q4: Does your child pull toys while walking?
- Q5: Can your child drink from a cup on their own?
- Q6: Can your child eat with a spoon on their own?
- Q7: Can your child help undress themselves?
- Q8: Does your child have occasional temper tantrums?
- Q9: Does your child show affection to familiar people?
- Q10: Does your child become clingy in new situations?
- Q11: Does your child explore their environment alone with parents close by?
- Q12: Can your child say several single words?
- Q13: Can your child say and shake their head “no”?
- Q14: Does your child point to show things to other people?
- Q15: Does your child scribble?
- Q16: Does your child know what ordinary products such as phones, spoons, and brushes are used for?
- Q17: Can your child follow one-step commands such as “sit down” or “stand up”?
- Q18: Does your child play with a doll or stuffed animal by pretending to feed it?
19-23 MONTHS DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONES QUIZ
- Q2: Has your child begun to run?
- Q3: Has your child kicked a ball?
- Q4: Can your child climb down and onto furniture on their own?
- Q5: Can your child walk up and down stairs while holding on?
- Q6: Can your child stand on their tiptoes?
- Q7: Has your child thrown a ball overhand?
- Q8: Does your child copy others, especially people older than them?
- Q9: Does your child get excited around other children?
- Q10: Has your child shown more independence as they've aged?
- Q11: Does your child do what they were told not to do and become defiant?
- Q12: Does your child point to things when they are named?
- Q13: Does your child know names of familiar people or body parts?
- Q14: Does your child say 2 to 4-word sentences?
- Q15: Does your child repeat words they hear?
- Q16: Does your child complete sentences and rhymes in familiar books?
- Q17: Does your child name items in books, such as dogs, cats, and birds?
- Q18: Does your child play simple pretend games?
- Q19: Has your child started to use one hand more than the other?
- Q20: Has your child begun to sort shapes and colors?
- Q21: Does your child follow 2-step instructions, such as “pick up your hat and put it on your head?”
24+ MONTHS DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONES QUIZ
- Q2: Can your child run easily?
- Q3: Can your child climb?
- Q4: Can your child walk up and down stairs with one foot on each step?
- Q5: Can your child dress and undress themselves?
- Q6: Does your child show affection for friends without being told?
- Q7: Does your child take turns when playing games?
- Q8: Does your child show concern when others are crying?
- Q9: Does your child understand the idea of “mine" and "theirs"?
- Q10: Does your child show many different emotions?
- Q11: Does your child copy adults and friends?
- Q12: Does your child separate easily from their parents?
- Q13: Does your child get upset when there is a major change in their routine?
- Q14: Does your child say words such as “I,” “me,” “we,” “you,” and some plural nouns?
- Q15: Can your child say their first name, age, and gender?
- Q16: Can your child carry on a conversation with 2 to 3 sentences?
- Q17: Can your child work toys with buttons and other moving parts?
- Q18: Does your child play pretend with dolls, animals, or people?
- Q19: Can your child finish 3 or 4 piece puzzles?
- Q20: Can your child copy a circle when drawing?
- Q21: Can your child turn pages of a book one page at a time?
- Q22: Can your child turn door handles?
What Types of Cases Do Birth Injury Attorneys Take?
Birth injury attorneys handle cases in which a child suffered an injury due to careless and preventable mistakes during childbirth. These attorneys work with an array of families that have been affected by various types of injuries, some of which are detailed below.
Cerebral palsy is a lifelong condition that occurs due to brain damage. It can lead to developmental and/or physical handicaps depending on the part of the brain that was injured.
Doctors can often prevent many of the complications that lead to cerebral palsy. For example, they can make sure a baby doesn’t suffer from asphyxiation, as a lack of oxygen can harm the brain and lead to cerebral palsy.
Erb’s palsy, or brachial plexus palsy, is a type of nerve damage that can affect the shoulders, arms, and/or hands. Children with Erb’s palsy experience numbness, weakness, or paralysis of different parts of the body. Although Erb’s palsy is often treatable, some children may never recover completely from the condition.
Medical professionals who exert excessive 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, the doctor may use a vacuum extractor or forceps incorrectly and damage the baby’s nerves.
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.
Babies are at risk of brain damage 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.
Experienced birth injury lawyers can handle cases relating to many other preventable birth injuries.
Other potential birth injuries include:
- Caput succedaneum
- Cervical dystonia
- C-section injuries
- Infant torticollis
- Intrauterine fetal demise
- Klumpke’s palsy
- Maternal infections
- Meconium aspiration syndrome (MAS)
- Newborn cephalohematoma
- Newborn jaundice
- Vacuum extraction injuries
If you believe that your child’s injury was a result of negligent care, talk to one of our registered nurses to learn more about next steps.
Birth Injuries and Medical Malpractice
Many birth injuries are preventable, meaning they are often caused by medical negligence. Doctors and other medical professionals have a duty to give their patients a high standard of care. Failure to provide adequate care can be considered medical negligence or malpractice.
Examples of birth injury medical errors may include:
- Failing to diagnose an infection in the mother or baby
- Failing to monitor the mother and baby before, during, and after birth
- Improperly administering medications
- Improperly using forceps or vacuum extractors during delivery
- Using excessive force to deliver a baby, causing physical harm
Families affected by injuries stemming from medical negligence can face years of financial and emotional hardship. Birth injury attorneys believe the medical team that delivered your child should be held responsible for their careless mistakes.
What Can I Expect While Working With a Birth Injury Lawyer?
Your birth injury lawyer will work hard on your behalf to prove your case and get the greatest amount of money possible in the least amount of time.
Although every case is different, most birth injury lawsuits follow these steps:
- Contact and Investigation Once you contact a lawyer for a free case review, the lawyer will conduct an investigation into the facts presented to see if you have a valid claim.
- Filing If the attorney decides to accept the case, a lawsuit is then filed against the defendant (generally the medical professional who delivered your baby).
- Discovery Your attorney, as well as the defendant’s attorney, will collect evidence and information to try and prove their side of the case.
- Mediation With the help of a third-party mediator, such as a judge, each party will present their evidence in an attempt to come to a fair resolution and avoid a trial.
- Settlement If your attorney proves your child’s injury was preventable, the defendant is likely to make a birth injury settlement offer to avoid going to trial.
- Trial If a case cannot be settled outside of court, it will go to trial where both parties will argue their side to a judge. Sometimes, a settlement is reached during the trial process, however, if this does not happen, a jury or judge will decide who wins the case.
How Long Will an Attorney Work On My Case?
A birth injury attorney will work with you for the entirety of your case. The length of time it takes for a birth injury lawsuit to reach a resolution varies. Some cases may take a few months to reach a settlement, whereas other cases may last for several years.
Many birth injury lawyers recommend settling out of court to help their clients receive financial compensation faster than they would during a trial. The trial process adds more time to your lawsuit and may not result in compensation if the judge rules in the defendant’s favor.
What to Look for When Choosing an Attorney
It is very important to find a birth injury attorney who has successfully helped other clients receive compensation for their child’s preventable injuries. Do not feel obligated to work with the first lawyer you consult. You should choose an attorney that you trust and feel comfortable with.
Be sure to research and take your time finding a lawyer with experience and resources — it will greatly increase your chances of winning compensation to pay for your child’s birth injury treatment. Below, learn more about what to consider before hiring a lawyer.
Work with a lawyer who has handled other birth injury cases similar to yours. If you work with a lawyer who does not have prior experience in birth injury claims, they may not know how to effectively prove your case.
Attorneys that work at national birth injury law firms can help you file your claim in the best state for your specific case, as the best state for you to file may not be the one in which you live. National birth injury law firms will work to maximize your potential compensation and cater to your case’s needs.
No Upfront Fees
Reputable birth injury lawyers will evaluate your case at no cost to you and will not charge any upfront fees. Most birth injury attorneys will only get paid if you win your case and are awarded compensation.
Top birth injury attorneys have access to comprehensive medical databases that contain evidence to help defend your claim.
National law firms also often have on-staff medical experts, including nurse case managers and other medical professionals, who can use their extensive knowledge and resources to help prove your child’s birth injury was preventable.
Find a Birth Injury Attorney Near You
If your child has suffered from a preventable birth injury caused by medical malpractice, you may want to consider seeking help from a skilled birth injury attorney. There are experienced attorneys around the country standing by to help you pursue justice as soon as possible.
Get a free case review today and learn more about your legal options.
Birth Injury Attorney FAQ
When should I contact a birth injury lawyer?
Skilled birth injury lawyers can investigate your case and file your claim in a timely manner within your state’s statute of limitations. This law places a time limit on how long you have to take legal action. A birth injury attorney is able to ensure your claim is filed within the deadline.
If you are considering filing a lawsuit, you should contact a birth injury lawyer as soon as possible to determine whether the statute of limitations for your case may have passed.
How much do birth injury lawyers cost?
Personal injury lawyers generally do not require any upfront costs or fees and work on a contingency basis. You will only have to pay your birth injury attorney if you win your lawsuit and are awarded financial compensation.
How much does my lawyer get from my settlement?
Your birth injury lawyer will generally take a small percentage of your earnings from your settlement or trial verdict. Before you let them handle your case, ask your lawyer how much they will get from your awarded compensation and if they take a fee even if your case is not successful.
How much compensation may I receive?
Since every case is different, the amount of compensation you may receive from your lawsuit can vary. Experienced birth injury lawyers are able to calculate the future costs of care for your child, which influences your case value. Your attorney will fight for the highest amount to be awarded in your settlement or trial verdict.
How do I know my child’s birth injury was caused by malpractice or negligence?
It can be very difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of your child’s birth injury. An experienced birth injury attorney can investigate your case and collect evidence like medical records to see if your health care provider may have been responsible for your child’s injury.