What Are Birth Injury Attorneys? How Can They Help Me?

You wouldn’t entrust open heart surgery to a general practitioner. That’s a complicated job requiring the expertise of a heart surgeon. Likewise, you need a specific type of attorney when it comes to cases of negligence in pregnancy and childbirth: a birth injury attorney. 

But what makes birth injury attorneys different from medical malpractice attorneys or personal injury lawyers? Below we’ll tell you what sets them apart, and how they can help you when your child is injured due to negligence. 

Attorney providing legal counsel to a client.

What Are Birth Injury Attorneys?

Birth injury attorneys specialize in cases where a baby or mother gets injured during childbirth. They represent families who believe that a medical professional’s negligence or malpractice during the labor and delivery process caused harm. Many birth injuries leave children disabled for their entire lives.

For example, they may be diagnosed with conditions like:

Treatment for these conditions can come at a high cost–often too high for the typical family. For example, families of children with cerebral palsy can expect to pay a lifetime average of $1.6 million for their care. 

This is one of the reasons why birth injury cases draw huge amounts of compensation, often in the multi-millions. Compensation from settlements or verdicts can relieve families of the enormous financial burden. It can also compensate them for non-economic damages like emotional pain and suffering. A birth injury lawyer’s job is to help you file a claim and get the maximum compensation possible. 

What Birth Injury Attorneys Do

Not only are birth injury cases lucrative, they’re also very complex. This is why birth injury attorneys are the only type of lawyer you should hire for these cases. 

Note that many law firms say they handle birth injury cases, but they don’t specialize in them. If that’s the case, you may want to look elsewhere. Medical malpractice cases have unique nuances that are very different from other types of lawsuits. 

While they’re not doctors, birth injury attorneys have ample knowledge about medical malpractice. They also have access to medical experts. These experts are often crucial to winning birth injury cases because they present testimony to help prove that a doctor didn’t do what they should have. 

The responsibilities of a birth injury attorney include:

  • Investigating what happened during childbirth 
  • Reviewing medical records
  • Consulting medical experts
  • Gathering evidence to determine if there was negligence or malpractice 
  • Prepare a strong case on behalf of clients
  • Negotiate with insurance representatives to reach a fair settlement
  • Represent clients in court if no settlement is reached
A mother holding her newborn baby after delivery, with tears of worry streaming down her face.

Types of Cases Birth Injury Attorneys Handle

Birth injury attorneys deal with a range of cases related to pregnancy/childbirth injuries. These cases involve alleged medical negligence or malpractice.

Here are some types of cases they might take on:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Erb’s palsy and brachial plexus injuries
  • Oxygen deprivation or traumatic injuries that lead to brain damage
  • Shoulder dystocia
  • Negligent forceps or vacuum extraction
  • Failure to perform a necessary C-section
  • Medication errors during pregnancy or delivery
  • Failure to monitor fetal distress
  • Failure to diagnose and treat maternal infections
  • Wrongful death cases (when a birth injury causes the death of an infant)

How Much Compensation Can I Get for a Birth Injury?

In most birth injury cases, families are entitled to the entire cost of their child’s medical care. That’s true even if the family’s health insurance covers some of the cost.

Families can also recover damages for:

  • Wages you lost because you had to care for your child
  • Lost future earning capacity (of the child)
  • Physical pain and emotional distress
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Punitive damages (These are awarded only in rare cases where a health worker’s actions were very egregious or reckless.)

If you’d like to see examples of amounts recovered in birth injury cases, check out our case results page.  There you’ll find examples of compensation amounts our birth injury attorneys have recovered for clients, plus dollar amounts for attorney’s fees and expenses. 

Remember, each case is different. Many factors influence the amount families receive. For instance, two babies may have cerebral palsy, but if one has more severe symptoms, such as complete loss of motor function and cognitive impairment, they may be awarded higher compensation compared to a child with milder symptoms.

Also, If one family faces higher economic damages due to more extensive medical treatments or longer-term care requirements, their compensation may be higher.

Non-economic damages can also be very distinct for each case. For example, if a child’s birth injury has a profound impact on their daily life and well-being, the non-economic damages awarded may be higher.

Other factors that influence your compensation outcome include:

  • Legal jurisdiction: Some regions put caps on certain types of damages.
  • Insurance coverage: The limits of a healthcare provider’s insurance may affect the maximum amount you can recover.
  • Quality of your legal representation: Does it matter who you hire to handle your case? Yes! The experience, skills, and effectiveness of the birth injury attorney can also influence the compensation outcome. An attorney who thoroughly investigates the case presents compelling evidence and effectively argues on behalf of the family may achieve a more favorable result.

How Can I Find the Right Birth Injury Attorney?

It may be tempting to type in “best birth injury attorneys” into a search engine and see what pops up. You’ll most likely get plenty of results from firms claiming to be “the best”. 

But what makes a lawyer “the best”? That’s an ambiguous term. What you need to look for is the right attorney for your specific case. So, to get started, take a look at various firms.

In particular, you want to look for the following:

  • A firm that specializes in birth injury law
  • Consistent good reviews 
  • A proven track record of success
  • Accolades and awards held, if any

Next, you should give the firms you’re interested in a call. They may ask you for general information about your case. During that first phone call, they’ll probably let you know whether they’re interested in your case. If the interest is mutual, you can set up an initial consultation for free. 

During this consultation, the firm will most likely review your case for free. If they charge you a fee just to hear your case, you may want to choose a different firm. 

Five stars representing a top-rated medical malpractice firm.

How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Birth Injury Attorney?

How to pay for a lawyer is a common worry among families impacted by medical negligence. They already have enough medical bills piling up, without adding the burden of retaining a lawyer. 

But here’s some great news. If you hire a birth injury attorney, you shouldn’t have to pay anything upfront. These lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. That means they pay all expenses associated with your case. 

Then, if they win your case, they’ll take those expenses, plus attorney’s fees, out of your monetary award. If you don’t win, they don’t get paid. As you can imagine, this gives the law firm the motivation to ensure your case is successful. It also makes them selective about the cases they handle. 

As you search for birth injury attorneys, you may find plenty to choose from. We recommend carefully comparing their experience, outcomes, and resources. As a Tier 1 Medical Malpractice firm, Hampton & King is committed to providing state-of-the-art representation. We invite you to learn more about our firm or contact us for a free initial consultation whenever you’re ready.