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.
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, contact a birth injury attorney to learn more about your legal options.
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.
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.