It’s hard to think of a more exciting yet simultaneously terrifying experience, than the birth of your child.
You’re carrying a precious life within you. You’d do anything to make sure your baby is healthy and safe.
Which is why you have to be prepared for anything.
While our medical system is better than it’s ever been, it’s still not perfect.
In the US, roughly 6 to 8 babies out of 1,000 suffer from a birth injury, and 76 birth injuries happen each day.* These injuries wouldn’t happen if proper medical care and attention were provided.
Fact is, it’s the hospital’s duty to provide quality care — doctors, nurses and midwives are in these positions for a reason, because they’re trained to be competent professionals. You shouldn’t have to think about your baby being at risk while in their care. But birth injuries still happen, and regularly.
Birth injury is incredibly difficult for the family. It creates physical, emotional, psychological and financial issues. However, when this happens, it’s somewhat reassuring to know that the medical professionals who contributed to medical negligence can be held accountable. And while nothing can ever truly compensate the injury of your child, compensation claims do help. They hold the responsible parties liable, provide justice, and help you recover from the financial toll.
Your birth injury lawsuit can help you recover loss from:
► Suffering and pain.
► Loss of joy and companionship
► Lost income due to caring for a disabled child.
► Medical and healthcare expenses.
Table of Contents
What is a Birth Injury Compensation Claim?
When a hospital provides negligent medical care during childbirth, they’re liable to be sued and forced to pay compensation. They can be charged to compensate victims for both economic and non-economic damages. However, before you file a birth injury claim, make sure you have legitimate claim. Keep in mind that minor birth injuries such as bruising, swelling and discomfort are common problems that have no long-term effects, so they’re not worth suing for.
But when someone is negligent and complications arise, that automatically makes the hospital and/or medical professional liable for birth injury claims. This is especially true when the complications have long-term effects.
Examples of these complications which can occur to mothers and newborns include the following:
►Issues with suturing or stitching that cause post-natal infection.
► Delayed or misdiagnosed pre-eclampsia.
► Trauma or injuries caused by caesarean section errors.
► Internal tears or damage to the perineum.
► Premature separation of the placenta from the uterus or placenta abruption.
► Fractures, cuts or wounds found on the newborn.
► Muscular injuries to the newborn such as brachial plexus or Erb’s palsy.
► Brain injuries to the infant such as cerebral palsy.
► Post-natal shock or trauma.
Some people get stressed just thinking about filing a lawsuit. But if you think you have a case and you want compensation, you should get started as soon as possible.
How do I Prove They’re Liable for my Birth Injury Claim?
To make sure you have a valid claim, keep this in mind:
► You must have had a doctor/healthcare provider-patient relationship established.
► A doctor/healthcare provider was clearly negligent during treatment.
► The birth injuries were direct effects of negligence from the doctor/healthcare provider.
► Clinical errors occurred, such as;
– Inadequate and incompetent care before, during, and after delivery.
– Mishandling of medication and birth-assisting tools.
– Putting mother and newborn in dangerous and critical conditions like failure to monitor fetal or maternal distress, for example.
– Failure to recognize and treat possible infections.
– Providing an incorrect diagnosis.
Who Can File a Birth Injury Lawsuit?
Generally, the parents or legal guardians of the infant can file a birth injury lawsuit. After all the medical expenses incurred by the birth injury fall on their shoulders. For cases that show delayed birth injury effects such as cerebral palsy or other brain injuries, the child can make the claim, if he or she is 18 years of age or older. However, this can vary depending on the state you live in.
How Much Compensation will I get from my Birth Injury Claim?
Every claim is different, with different amounts. Also, some states put a limit on the maximum amount you can claim, especially for non-economic damages. That said, you can expect compensation for these expenses:
► Physical and/or occupational therapy.
► Medical treatment expenses associated with the injury.
► Home health care provisions.
► Special education expenses.
► Cost of earnings or salary, because you missed work.
► Counseling or other psychological and mental services.
► Special damages which are treatments or rehabilitation for long-term effects of the birth injury.
Will my Claim Help me With Attorney’s Fees & Charges?
Most lawyers who agree to take on birth injury lawsuits work on a contingency-fee basis which doesn’t require you to pay them immediately. Usually, the complainant and defendant will have a settlement agreement. In that case, you’ll be able to settle out of court. But if you can’t reach settlement, you’ll most likely go to trial. When you win the case and claim reimbursement, your attorney will usually just take a percentage of the total compensation claimed. Make sure you have a clear understanding and agreement with your attorney before starting your claim.
Will I be Able to Claim my Compensation Immediately?
Keep in mind that you won’t receive your compensation immediately. It’ll take time. Honestly, you probably won’t even receive any compensation within the year, but it’s still worth pursuing. Just be sure to keep all records and documents of your medical expenses throughout the process, to ensure maximum reimbursement. If you have a strong case, they may have to compensate for both past expenses and future ones.
If you believe you have a birth injury case, please reach out to us or a law firm in your area. We’re here for you.