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What Does a Birth Injury Lawyer Do?
Birth injury lawyers are specialized personal injury attorneys who help families file lawsuits in response to birth injuries caused by medical negligence or malpractice. These injuries can occur when doctors or other medical professionals make crucial errors during childbirth.
Many birth injury attorneys have registered nurses on staff who can determine if a birth injury was the result of medical malpractice. Acts of medical negligence can leave children with lifelong disabilities. Many families may struggle to afford the costs associated with treating their child’s condition.
A birth injury attorney can help parents of children with birth injuries file a lawsuit against the health care providers responsible. A legal claim will seek financial compensation to help families cover the costs of birth injury treatment.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average lifetime cost to care for a child with cerebral palsy is around $1 million.
Why Should I Hire a Birth Injury Lawyer?
It’s important to work with a specialized birth injury lawyer to file your lawsuit. Since general law firms may not have the resources to successfully handle your claim, you should hire an attorney with birth injury experience.
The birth injury lawyers in our network do not charge any out-of-pocket fees, meaning your family will not have to pay any money upfront to file your claim.
Your attorney will work to file your claim within your state’s statute of limitations, which places a deadline on how long you have to file. Their legal team will handle your claim efficiently throughout the process, so you can focus on taking care of your child.
Learn more about what a birth injury lawyer can do for you below.
Free Case Review
Birth injury lawyers will give you a free case review to determine whether you have a viable case. During this consultation, a lawyer – along with a registered nurse – will ask you questions about your pregnancy, birth, and your child’s current condition.
If the lawyer believes you have a case, they will then calculate the estimated lifetime cost to treat your child’s injury. This figure will be used to determine how much compensation will be requested in the lawsuit.
In order to recover compensation from your lawsuit, your legal team must prove your child’s birth injury was preventable and caused by medical negligence.
Your birth injury lawyer will collect important supporting pieces of evidence, such as medical records, imaging tests, and firsthand accounts of the events before, during, and after birth.
Filing the Lawsuit
Once your lawyer has gathered all the necessary evidence, they will file your medical malpractice lawsuit. The claim will ask the defendant (whoever is responsible for the injury) to pay out compensation to the plaintiff (you). The defendants will generally have 30 days to respond to the complaint. If they refuse to pay for your child’s injury, each side must try to prove their claim.
You don’t have to worry about filing any lengthy paperwork, as your attorney will take care of it for you. You can focus on your child’s treatment while your birth injury lawyer handles your claim.
During the discovery phase, your birth injury attorney will gather even more evidence to back up your claim.
They may request more supporting medical records to prove your child’s injury was preventable, as well as witness testimonies from family members, loved ones, and medical experts.
Settlement or Trial
Your birth injury attorney will try to secure financial compensation through a settlement or trial verdict. About 95% of birth injury lawsuits end in a settlement, which occurs when the defendant agrees to pay a lump sum of money to the plaintiff.
If the defendant does not agree to a settlement, the case will move into the trial phase. During a trial, a judge or jury will listen to both sides of the argument and determine whether the defendant is responsible for the birth injury. If they are found responsible, the court will determine how much compensation the plaintiff wins.
Many birth injury lawyers will negotiate for as much compensation as possible through a settlement. Although trial verdicts can yield higher compensation amounts, they can be time-consuming, costly, and risky.
You can trust that your birth injury lawyer will do everything in their power to get you the financial compensation you deserve.
What Are Common Birth Injuries?
There are many different types of birth injuries that can be caused by medical negligence. These birth injuries are often caused by trauma before, during, or shortly after childbirth.
Common birth injuries include:
- Brain damage
- Cerebral palsy
- Erb’s palsy (brachial plexus palsy)
- Kernicterus (brain damage caused by high levels of bilirubin the blood)
- Newborn cephalohematoma (blood pooling between the scalp and the skull)
- Skull fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
The best birth injury lawyers work with a team of registered nurses with years of medical experience. These nurses can listen to your story and determine if your child’s birth injury was caused by medical negligence.
If your child’s birth injury was in fact caused by malpractice, you may qualify for financial compensation.
What Is the Average Birth Injury Settlement?
Although every case is different, and there is no guarantee of compensation, a study from the TDC Group found that the average medical malpractice claim for a child under one month old was almost $1 million.
The amount of compensation awarded in a settlement depends on a few factors. The severity of your child’s injury and the cost of treatment can affect how much compensation your family receives.
Birth injury settlement compensation can pay for:
- Adaptive equipment
- Lost wages
- Mobility aids
- Occupational therapy
- Pain and suffering
- Physical therapy
- Special education costs
- Speech therapy
- Transportation equipment
Some notable birth injury lawsuit settlements and verdicts include:
- $9 million for a child diagnosed with cerebral palsy
- $5.8 million for a child diagnosed with microcephaly and cerebral palsy
- $975,000 for a child diagnosed with Erb’s palsy
- $950,000 for a child diagnosed with Erb’s palsy
How Long After a Birth Injury Can You Sue?
Each state has a statute of limitations, which places a time limit on how long you have to file your lawsuit. If you do not file your lawsuit within the deadline, you could miss your chance at justice.
Although statute of limitations vary by state, many give families several years to file their claims. However, some states give as little as one year to file after the date of injury.
A birth injury attorney can help determine when and where to file your claim. Since filing a claim is a time-sensitive matter, it’s critical to contact a birth injury lawyer as soon as possible to start the process.
Even if you believe time has run out, reach out to an attorney, as there may be other compensation options available.
Who Is the Best Birth Injury Lawyer?
The best birth injury lawyers have years, if not decades, of experience handling medical malpractice claims involving birth injuries. With prior experience, you can trust your attorney knows how to file your claim correctly and in a timely manner.
The best birth injury lawyers also have many resources to help support your claim, such as registered nurses on staff and access to top doctors. These resources can help prove your child’s injury was caused by medical negligence.
You should also choose an attorney with a track record of success. Ideally, you should only work with a birth injury lawyer who has secured significant compensation for families like yours.
How Do I Find a Birth Injury Lawyer Near Me?
LawFirm.com has a nationwide network of birth injury attorneys who are experienced, qualified, and who never charge upfront or out-of-pocket fees. These lawyers have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for families like yours.