Has your child been injured during or shortly after their birth? If so, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
This is because their injury may be caused due to medical negligence or a careless mistake by your healthcare provider. If you’re thinking of hiring a birth trauma lawyer because you feel you have a case, read on to find out what you can expect and how they can aid you through the process.
Birth Injury Cases Lawyers Take
A birth injury is an injury to your child that happens before, during, or after childbirth. Some injuries are preventable, such as something going wrong that is out of everyone’s control, including the doctor’s.
However, there are many birth injuries that could have been prevented had your healthcare provider not been negligent in their duties. The child’s family can file a medical malpractice lawsuit and recover compensation for those injuries.
Some of those injuries include:
- Erb’s palsy
- Infant brain damage
- Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
- Wrongful death
- Bone fractures
- Facial paralysis
- Spinal cord injuries
- Fetal lacerations
- Shoulder dystocia
Mothers can also suffer injuries from a negligent healthcare provider. Any of the following can be considered a birth injury:
- Vaginal tear
- Lack of an aesthetic awareness
Many of these injuries are due to the doctor not recognizing fetal or maternal distress. They might have not used birth-assisting tools correctly, or failed to order a C-section when it was necessary.
Worse, they may have failed to correctly diagnose medical issues, along with promptly treating infections and other medical issues.
Birth Trauma Lawyer Expectations
Birth trauma lawyers will help you navigate the complicated world of birth trauma cases. Ensure that you have all medical documents in order that you think will help your case so that they can look over them.
Before doing anything else, they’ll determine if you have a case or not by going over these documents thoroughly.
If they believe your case is valid, your lawyer will begin the pre-litigation process. They’ll collect additional documents, evidence, witnesses, and an expert list.
At this time they may propose a settlement amount to the defense, though it’s not always guaranteed that the defense will settle. You and the defendant need to agree on a settlement amount.
If a settlement is unable to be reached, the litigation phase of your case begins. Your lawyer will formally file a complaint against the defendant in civil court.
Afterward, the defense has a certain amount of time to formally answer, which typically begins the discovery stage. During this stage, the defense can see “what’s stacked up against them” – the evidence, witness list, and other information that was gathered by your lawyer.
Most defendants will negotiate a settlement after they’re able to view all the evidence against them. They know that it will be easier to settle than fight a case.
It’s rare that a settlement is not negotiated, but if this happens you’ll need to be prepared to go to trial. It’s still not uncommon for the defense to agree to a settlement after the trial has begun.
Once the defense agrees to a settlement, you can be awarded various damages:
- Compensatory/general damages for pain and suffering
- Special damages for pecuniary losses – specific expenses that include past and future medical expenses and loss of income
- Punitive damages to punish the defendant for wanton misconduct/negligence
- Emotional pain and anxiety
- Costs of special education and in-home care
- Punitive damages
Each birth injury case is different, so it’s hard for a birth injury attorney to tell you the exact amount you’ll win. It should raise a red flag if a lawyer gives you a specific number, because that can’t be guaranteed.
Length of Time
The time it takes to complete a case depends on a number of factors, such as: how severe the injuries are, the amount of witnesses, the accuracy of medical records, how willing the defendant is to resolve the case, and more.
These cases rarely resolve in a few months and are usually long and time-consuming. Although it may take long, a professional and reliable attorney is doing everything in their power to ensure that you win and that everything is thoroughly investigated.
How Much Are Birth Trauma Lawyers?
The good news is that most birth injury lawyers work on a contingency fee. This means they only get paid when you successfully win your case and get paid damages.
These lawyers understand those most families can’t afford lawyers on top of their medical expenses, so they’re paid a percentage of your final compensation amount after the case is won.
With this in mind, always look for lawyers who work on contingency fees. Moreover, you should never be charged for an initial consultation because that’s when your lawyer is deciding whether they’re able to take your case or not.
The percentage they take after your case is won is based on the amount of time they represented you. Extra costs also may include office expenses, court costs, including the fees for filing the lawsuit, and costs associated with copies of additional witness and medical reports.
Find Your Birth Trauma Lawyer
If you believe you have a case, don’t hesitate to reach out to companies to find a professional birth trauma lawyer to take it on.
Nationally rated for excellence, if you live in NYC The Medical Attorney will provide you with a free consultation to see if you have a case. Contact them today to get the justice you deserve.