Though the odds of experiencing a birth injury are relatively low, even ONE birth injury is a tragedy. Birth injuries can result in serious and permanent disabilities, or even death. But the worst part? Most of these tragic injuries are due to doctor negligence.
Do you believe your infant was the victim of medical malpractice? If so, you’ve probably considered hiring a birth injury attorney. But is hiring a lawyer necessary? Is it possible to fight your case on your own? We’ll answer those questions and more below.
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When Tragedy Strikes, A Birth Injury Attorney Can Help
Cassie Huemer-Sanfilippo assumed she would carry her baby to full term. Like many expectant mothers, she spent weeks gathering the essentials and preparing her son’s nursery. But at just 27 weeks pregnant, Cassie had to take an unexpected trip to the hospital. She was bleeding, and an ultrasound revealed fetal distress.
Doctors at Jersey Shore Medical Center induced labor. Cassie delivered her baby vaginally, but in breech position. His breathing was shallow; his little heart struggled to beat. After he failed to respond, doctors had to resuscitate him.
Unfortunately, little Gabriel was severely injured by this ordeal. He had hydrocephalus, a condition that requires shunting to remove fluid from the brain. He also has a permanent brain injury, meaning he’ll have developmental disabilities and epilepsy for life.
Seeking Justice For A Preventable Injury
This was a terrible tragedy for Gabriel and his family. Worst of all, his condition was preventable! So Cassie and her family sought the help of a birth injury attorney. They were able to win a lawsuit against the medical center and two physicians.
Cassie’s attorney argued that her doctors failed to follow the standard of care. Instead of performing a C-section, they had her give birth vaginally. In addition, the lawyer proved that the doctors were negligent when they relied on a portable ultrasound, instead of one from the radiology department.
A Monmouth County Superior Court judge approved the 2.75 million dollar settlement on February 17th, 2021. Thanks to a hard-won fight by their birth injury attorney, little Gabriel will have the funds necessary to meet his medical needs.
Should You Contact A Birth Injury Attorney?
Some injuries during birth are unavoidable, but others occur because of improper care on the part of the medical staff. When this happens, you have a medical malpractice case on your hands, and contacting a birth injury attorney is crucial.
But the question is…are you a victim of medical malpractice, or not? This isn’t an easy question to answer. However, if staff did any of the following in your case, you probably have legal grounds to sue:
- Made an improper diagnosis
- Handled prolonged labor incorrectly
- Improper use of forceps
- Failed to act when baby was in distress
- Ignored mother’s low blood pressure
- Failed to treat pre-eclampsia (dangerous condition in which mother has high blood pressure)
- Wrong use of Pitocin or other medication
- Caused infection with unsterilized tools
Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list. There are many other causes of birth injury related to malpractice. Sometimes, figuring out if and how you should file a claim can be tricky!
Contact a birth injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case, even if you aren’t sure if medical malpractice took place. Chances are, your lawyer will uncover crucial evidence that will help you prove your case.
But how necessary is it to hire a birth injury attorney to help you seek justice? We’re glad you asked. Read on for the answer.
Why You Should Hire A Birth Injury Attorney
The main reason you should hire a birth injury attorney? Simple: the odds of winning your case will be much higher.
Here are several other reasons to consider:
- A lawyer will help you file on time. Medical malpractice claims have a time limit (this varies by state).
- You won’t have to navigate the process alone. Lawsuits are emotionally taxing, and you’ve already gone through a lot. Let your attorney do the heavy lifting.
- Hospitals will do whatever they can to avoid admitting guilt. Your birth injury attorney is battle-worn and knows what it takes to win.
- High expectations? Low expectations? Your attorney will explain what a reasonable outcome looks like for your case.
- The end goal is getting compensation. More often than not, receiving monetary damages isn’t possible without a birth injury attorney.
Of course, no amount of money can take away the pain you feel when your child suffers. But a birth injury attorney can help you get compensation that will pay for all or at least most of the treatment your child needs. That way, you can give your child the best quality of life possible.
What If My Child Passed Away?
In the unfortunate event that a child passes away, having a birth injury attorney handle your case can prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future. The settlement funds you receive can help you rebuild your life and support your family.
Can I Hire A “Regular” Lawyer?
Remember, a birth injury attorney specializes in birth-related medical malpractice cases. It’s important to choose a lawyer with this type of expertise, because birth injuries are a legally complicated issue.
Next, we’ll discuss how your birth injury attorney will go about proving your claim.
How Birth Injury Attorneys Prove A Claim
You, the plaintiff, have the legal burden of proof. That means you have to show sufficient evidence that medical malpractice took place. You also need to show that your child suffered harm as a direct result of malpractice.
That’s easier said than done–especially when medical centers have top representation on their side. But if you get a birth injury attorney involved, this task won’t seem like a climb up Mount Everest.
Here are the steps your birth injury attorney may take to prove your claim:
- Hold an initial consultation with you to discuss your case.
- Gather all documentation (medical files, etc.).
- Conduct a forensic investigation.
- Seek expert testimony. (Send documentation to an independent healthcare provider. This expert will provide an opinion on whether medical malpractice occurred).
- Determine the amount and type of compensation to pursue (for pain and suffering, to cover medical costs, etc.)
- File the birth injury claim or lawsuit
- Negotiate with the healthcare provider’s insurance company (in case they offer to settle).
- Help you decide whether to accept or reject a settlement
- If you reject a settlement, your birth injury attorney can represent you in mediation or take your claim to court.
Remember, the exact steps your birth injury attorney takes will depend on the specifics of your situation. Contact our award-winning team of compassionate attorneys to discuss your case today. Let our 60+ years of experience work to your benefit! Get the compensation you and your family deserve.