Your baby’s birth injury has turned your world upside down. A thousand questions flood your brain. Now you’re considering pursuing a birth injury claim. But where do you begin?
As leaders in birth injury litigation, we know this process can be overwhelming. So let’s dive into the basics of birth injury claims.
What is a Birth Injury?
A birth injury is any harm or damage that occurs to a baby during the process of labor and delivery. Birth injuries include, but aren’t limited to:
- Cerebral palsy
- Erb’s palsy
- Fractures/broken bones
- Brain injuries
- Soft tissue injuries (such as bruising, swelling and lacerations)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Shoulder dystocia
Birth injuries can range from mild to severe. They may be temporary or permanent.
They can occur due to various factors, including:
- Fetal positioning
- Maternal health condition
- Medical negligence or mistakes during childbirth
- Other complications related to labor and delivery.
When a medical professional’s negligence causes an injury, it opens the door to filing a birth injury claim.
What is a Birth Injury Claim?
A birth injury claim is legal action that parents (or guardians) take on behalf of their injured child. It’s also known as a birth injury lawsuit.
The purpose of this claim is to get compensation. Children with birth injuries can require a lot of medical care to recover. Some need special care for their entire lives. But parents shouldn’t have to shoulder that burden, especially when the injury was preventable.
Birth injury claims can cover many types of damages, including:
- Medical expenses (past, present, future)
- Pain and suffering (experienced by both the baby and parents)
- Loss of earning capacity
- Disability and disfigurement
- Loss of quality of life
- Caregiver expenses
- Punitive damages (if applicable).
Note that the types and amounts of damages that may be available in a birth injury claim can vary widely. Your results can depend on the specific facts of your case. Laws of the jurisdiction where the claim is filed come into play, too.
You can get an estimate of what damages you might recover by meeting with an attorney. For best results, consult an experienced birth injury lawyer specializing in birth injury cases.
Do I Have a Viable Birth Injury Claim?
Your baby’s been injured. Now you’re considering heading down the path of legal action. But there’s one question you need to answer first. Is it worth it?
A birth injury claim is only worth your time, energy, and resources if it’s viable. So the first thing you have to determine is whether your circumstances meet the legal requirements for filing a claim. Then you have to decide whether the amount of damages you can recover will exceed lawsuit costs.
But don’t worry, you don’t have to figure all of this out yourself. Make a call to a birth injury lawyer. They will be able to point you in the right direction. If it appears you do have a case, you can schedule an initial consultation. Most firms will review your case for free.
In general, here’s what you need in order to be eligible for a birth injury claim:
- A diagnosis of a birth injury.
- Evidence that a professional’s negligence caused the injury.
- Time. The time limit set by statute of limitations can’t have expired. In most states, you only have 2-3 to file a claim. Usually, the clock starts ticking from the time the injury occurred.
What are the Different Types of Birth Injury Claims?
There are two major types of birth injury claims:
- Medical malpractice
- Wrongful death
If your child has an injury due to negligence, you would file a malpractice claim. If your baby died from a birth injury, you would file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Here are some examples of how medical malpractice can lead to a birth injury claim:
- Failure to monitor. Healthcare providers might fail to properly monitor the mother and baby during labor and delivery. They can miss signs that something’s wrong, and cause an injury.
- Improper use of instruments. Doctors might apply excess force while using vacuums or forceps to aid delivery.
- Medication errors. Incorrect dosage of medication can cause a birth injury, or even be fatal.
- Inadequate prenatal care. Prenatal care must involve proper monitoring, testing, and health management. Otherwise, both the mother’s and baby’s health are in jeopardy.
- Failure to perform a timely cesarean section (C-section). Emergencies can happen during delivery. One example is placental abruption. During emergencies, a C-section is often needed to prevent birth injuries. In some cases, it’s the only way to save a baby’s life.
Get a Fair Settlement with Your Claim
Has your hospital offered you money to “buy your silence?” We’re not fortune tellers by any stretch. But we can already guess that the insurance company isn’t offering you a fair settlement.
Often, the only way to get fair compensation is through filing a lawsuit. We know this is a difficult process. But it’s the best way to get the funds you need to give your child a better life. If you’re ready to discuss your case with an experienced birth injury lawyer, we’re ready to listen. Contact us here.