Due to the potential fractures and injuries that can happen during birth, 28,000 babies are born injured every year. While birth can be a traumatic and painful experience for mothers, it’s most dangerous for babies who are improperly handled. If you or your child experienced birth injuries, it’s vital to have an attorney in your corner who can help.
Here is what to look for in a birth injury lawyer.
It Should Be a Specialty
While there are many attorneys who will handle personal injury cases of all types, there aren’t so many that are aware of how to handle a birth injury. Birth injury cases take much more care than the typical personal injury case. Some medical malpractice lawyers might know relevant lingo, but it’s important to find a lawyer who knows the specifics of cases like this.
Many of the firms who will jump at the chance to represent you might only refer birth injury cases to niche firms they have a relationship with. In exchange for this referral, they’ll collect a portion of the settlement.
However, you and your child deserve an attorney who makes these kinds of cases their focus. When you work with a firm specializing in birth injuries, you get support from across the firm. You’ll have a series of highly qualified people with many different strengths offering insight and knowledge.
They Should Have a Network of Medical Experts
Attorneys who work in any kind of injury law should have a medical professional in their corner. They’ll have people who can provide insight and knowledge on how to interpret medical records and understand complex medical info. Having people who understand obstetrics, neonatal care, and birth will make a case stronger.
Firms that specialize in birth injury should have more than just a set of outside medical experts to call. They should also have in-house medical teams.
Members of these teams should be able to sit in on meetings with your lawyer to help advise and ask questions. Together, lawyers and in-house medical experts ensure that your case is bulletproof.
The Specific Birth Injuries Matter
When talking with your attorney, they should have some familiarity with cases like yours. It’s vital to ask directly for information if they claim to have handled cases like yours in the past. If you’re dealing with ignored signs of fetal distress, a light should go off for your attorney.
If they’re unwilling to provide an account of their specific experience, beware. In cases as sensitive as these, it’s important to have someone with real, honest, specific experience.
Cases of birth injury can involve cerebral palsy among other severe conditions. It’s important that the people who you work with have an understanding of and a sensitivity to these conditions. Ask honest questions and expect clear answers.
Look At the History of Settlements
Any lawyer proud of their work will be straightforward about the settlements they’ve been able to get in the past. A birth injury lawyer with a strong history of achieving wins for their clients will happily list the kinds of verdicts they’ve gotten.
Look for lifelong medical treatments and therapies for injuries that cause permanent debilitation. For parents who now have to take care of injured children, settlements could also compensate for a loss of wages. There could also be a trust funded by a settlement to help children with needs that follow the passing of their parents.
Smaller settlements will include coverage of medical or mobility equipment, home modifications, and vehicular compensation. Any personal care or lifestyle support needs that are covered are also a plus.
Some attorneys list verdict and settlement amounts on their website. Check and see what numbers they’re looking to make public. Ask and see how typical those results are.
Consider Price and Personality
While you don’t have to become best friends with your attorney, it’s likely you’re going to be working with them for a while. If you find that you can’t handle the way they communicate, consider finding someone else. Your attorney should make you feel heard and comfortable while kindly offering any advice or suggestions they have based on their experience.
If your attorney is hard to reach and never seems to listen to you, talk to other attorneys before agreeing to work with them. They could be more trouble than they’re worth.
Also, consider how much they’re charging you. While most birth injury lawyers will work on contingency, only getting paid when you do, some will demand money upfront. You should be able to find a high-quality lawyer who cares about your interest and will only charge you if the case is settled in your favor.
Ask how much they’re planning to take from your settlement so that you have an understanding of how much it’s truly going to cost you in the end.
You should be reassured of their qualifications after meeting with your attorney. However, if you’re still struggling to find representation, contact the Birth Injury Litigation Group to see if they can recommend someone for you to work with.
Your Birth Injury Lawyer Should Care About You
When advocating on behalf of your children and your family, it’s easy to be overwhelmed with emotions and struggle to deal with the outcome. Find a birth injury lawyer to take those concerns off of your shoulders. The right birth injury lawyer will ensure that you get what you deserve without putting your family through more than they’ve already been through.
If you’re worried about your birth injury case being filed as a birth defect, check out our guide for more info.