If your child was injured during labor and delivery, then you may be entitled to compensation under the law, this is known as a birth injury lawsuit. Success will vary from case-to-case, depending on the circumstances. In most cases, you’ll have to prove that the medical professionals involved were negligent, or engaged in medical malpractice.
Lawsuits aren’t always straightforward, and the consequences of an injury can be severe and lifelong. As such, the “stakes” are high. We encourage you to work with experienced birth injury attorneys for guidance.
If you aren’t sure whether you have the right to pursue a birth injury lawsuit, it’s worth consulting a lawyer. Here at 1-800-THE-LAW2, our birth injury attorneys offer free and confidential consultations, so you can have your case evaluated with no downside. You’re not required to move forward with your case if you don’t feel like it.
Of course, we understand that you may want to learn a bit more about the law before you talk to an attorney. This article explores some basics of the birth injury lawsuit process:
- What are birth injury lawsuits?
- When should I file a birth injury lawsuit?
- Example of a birth injury
- Types of birth injuries
- What to expect from the lawsuit process
What Are Birth Injury Lawsuits?
Birth injury lawsuits are a legal means by which you can secure compensation for the losses that you and your child incurred due to a birth injury. They can be filed against a hospital, doctors, and other medical professionals who were negligent during pregnancy, labor, or delivery.
It’s worth noting that the large majority of lawsuits end in a settlement. That being said, some defendants may be hostile, or otherwise unwilling to make a reasonable settlement offer. In these cases, the dispute will likely proceed to trial litigation.
When Should I File a Birth Injury Lawsuit?
A birth injury lawsuit should be considered if you believe that someone else’s negligence caused or contributed to your child’s injury. Medical professionals can make many mistakes that lead to birth-related injuries. Consider a situation where a nurse uses forceps to grip your child’s head, but squeezes too hard. This can cause a skull fracture or even brain damage to the child. You’d have every right to be frustrated and angry with the medical team who was responsible for ensuring the safe delivery of your child. Frustration is not enough, however. You may be entitled to compensation for injuries sustained during the birthing process.
It’s worth noting that birth injuries don’t exclusively involve injuries that occur during labor and delivery, they can also involve injuries that occur shortly after birth. If a doctor fails to diagnose a condition in your newborn baby, for example, this misdiagnosis can cause your baby to suffer long-term. Under these circumstances, you could potentially have a legal claim against the doctor.
Birth Injury Example
For example, suppose that a mother goes through complicated labor, and this results in nerve damage to the baby. Further investigation may reveal that the doctors failed to recognize that the complications warranted a C-section delivery. Under these circumstances, the doctors could be considered medically negligent and therefore liable for damages.
Types of Lawsuits for Birth Injuries
Birth injuries vary in scope from case to case. 5 common birth injury types, or categories, are:
Cerebral Palsy, or CP, is a movement condition that is caused by brain damage. It results in painful and spastic muscle activity, slowed development, and other cognitive impairments.
Placing too much pressure on the skull can cause fractures that can potentially lead to brain damage, bleeding, and other dangerous complications.
If there is asphyxiation during birth, your child can suffer permanent brain damage. This may result in cognitive impairment or changes in behavior that won’t be seen until later. In severe cases, brain damage can even lead to paralysis.
Mishandling of the baby during labor can cause spinal damage that leads to further health complications. While this is less common than brain damage, it is a serious situation that warrants a birth injury lawsuit.
Nerve damage can cause paralysis, loss of sensation, and physical weakness over time. Depending on the set of nerves that are damaged, this can lead to a form of palsy, like Erbs Palsy.
What To Expect From the Birth Injury Lawsuit Process
Although every personal injury lawsuit is different, there is a legal process, or litigation, for pursuing your injury claim. If you know what to expect from your case, you will be better equipped to successfully navigate the litigation process. The process includes 3 steps. They are:
How to File a Birth Injury Lawsuit Claim
To begin the process, you must first file a legal claim. The aid of an attorney is beneficial at this stage, as they will help you determine what factors are crucial to a successful claim. A birth injury attorney can also help you make sure that forms are filled out correctly and that you are in compliance with any applicable statutes of limitations or deadlines for filing. Your lawyer will also help you identify what economic and non-economic damages you are due.
What Happens After You File a Birth Injury Claim?
Once your claim has been filed, you need to wait for the defendant to respond. Their response will either involve them accepting the claim and entering into negotiations or denial of the claim. In instances where the defendant denies your claim, you have the right to take them to court to pursue total compensation.
Birth Injury Lawsuit Settlements
Negotiations or Trial?
A majority of birth injury claims are settled without any need to go to court. If you have a lawyer with you during the negotiation process, your odds of reaching a successful compromise are higher. Though, you should never accept a low settlement just because you are in need. Instead, rely on your legal team to help you acquire a fair and equitable settlement from the negligent party.
If your claim was denied, your case will go to court. Throughout this process, your legal team will provide you with a variety of services, including research and evidence collection. It could take months to finish this process, so be prepared to wait a long time to go to court. Once discovery is done, the trial will begin. A judge will hear both sides and determine whose case is stronger. If the judgment is made in your favor, you will be awarded compensation for your losses.
Contact an Experienced Attorney About Your Birth Injury Lawsuit Claim
You cannot go back in time to prevent birth-related injuries, but you can seek justice and financial compensation for the pain and suffering caused. It’s important to get a birth injury lawyer involved in your personal injury case at an early stage. If you wait too long, you could miss important filing deadlines, preventing you from recovering damages altogether, so don’t delay!