Filing a birth injury claim is a complex legal process. It’s much like navigating a maze while wearing a blindfold. Sure, childbirth injury settlements are often in the millions of dollars. But the road to obtaining them is paved with potholes—and traps set by insurance companies who will do anything to avoid a payout.
What is a Birth Injury Claim?
A birth injury claim is the legal way to hold a negligent health care worker accountable for malpractice that took place during childbirth.
Birth injuries can result from a variety of factors. These include errors made by healthcare providers during prenatal care, labor, or delivery. Birth injuries can have long-term or even lifelong consequences for the child (and/or mother). They may require extensive medical treatment and care.
Childbirth injury settlements can pay for this care. Such a payout can relieve family members from huge financial burdens.
Basic Steps for Filing a Birth Injury Claim
If you believe that a healthcare provider’s negligence or medical malpractice led to a birth injury, you may be eligible to file a birth injury claim. Below, we’ll give you the general steps to follow:
Consult an Attorney
Did you know that you’re much more likely to win your case if you work with an attorney? Going back to the maze illustration, think of it like taking the hand of someone who already knows the way out. It’s much easier than fumbling blindly around the labyrinth yourself.
You’re also much more likely to get a larger childbirth injury settlement with an attorney’s help. But don’t call just any attorney. Consult one with expertise in birth injury claims.
Gather Your Records
Proof, proof, and more proof. That’s what you need to win your birth injury claim. Any and all records are crucial for establishing the negligence of a healthcare provider. Collect all medical records and documentation related to the birth injury. This includes prenatal, labor, and delivery records, as well as postnatal records.
Investigate the Case
Don’t worry, it won’t be your job to play detective. Your attorney will thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the birth injury. They may also consult medical experts to determine if there was medical negligence or a breach of the standard of care.
Pinpoint the Responsible Party
Sometimes it’s easy to tell who messed up—like in this clear cut case where nurses held a baby’s crowning head inside a woman for six excruciating minutes. The ordeal left her with a severe permanent nerve injury. That case turned over one of the largest childbirth injury payments of its kind: a whopping $16 million.
Other cases are more obscure. In some cases, it’s more than one person´s fault. Your attorney will help you identify the parties responsible for the birth injury, which may include doctors, nurses, hospitals, or other healthcare providers.
File Your Complaint
Your attorney gives you the green light. You have a viable case. So what’s next? They will file a complaint in court against the responsible parties. This document outlines the allegations and the relief you are seeking.
Next is the discovery process, where both sides gather evidence, exchange information, and depose witnesses. Your attorney will work to build a strong case by obtaining additional medical expert opinions and evidence.
Negotiation and Settlement Phase
Did you know that most birth injury claims are settled out of court? At this stage, attorneys negotiate with defendants to reach a fair settlement. If a settlement is reached, the case is resolved without a trial. Childbirth injury settlements can save both parties a lot of time and money.
Go to Trial
Let’s say the responsible party offers a pittance of a settlement. It’s not nearly enough to cover your injured child’s medical expenses. Or, perhaps they offered you no settlement at all. In any case, if there’s no settlement agreement, the case will go to trial. Your attorney will present the evidence and arguments in court, and a judge or jury will make a determination.
If the court rules in your favor, you may be awarded damages to compensate for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other losses related to the birth injury. If either party is dissatisfied with the court’s decision, they may choose to appeal the verdict.
Remember, medical malpractice laws can vary by jurisdiction. So make sure you work with an attorney who understands the specific laws in your area. If you’re looking for competent, compassionate representation in Texas, contact us here. As experts in birth injury claims, we’re ready to help you navigate this difficult journey and maximize your chances of a successful outcome.