Confusion, anxiety, and a feeling of helplessness go hand-in-hand with having a child injured at birth. Both children and parents are thrown into an entirely new world of co-existence. In the case of a birth injury, all parties experience the stress of facing the family life with additional questions of finance, lawyers, and potential medical malpractice.
How To Approach A Birth Injury Case
What is the first step if a child experienced an injury in the birthing process? Obviously, the first step is to make the child comfortable in their new life. This process may include some growing pains for the parents, too. Once the family has adjusted to each other, the next step is to contact a birth injury lawyer. It is important not to wait too long; every state has a statute of limitations, and filing the case outside of the deadline may mean that it will get automatically dismissed. From there, the family needs to find a legal representative. Most lawyers will offer a free consultation. Based on this consultation, the parents can decide if they want to move forward with the case.
A Birth Injury Trial
After deciding to commit to taking legal action, the real fun begins. The party responsible for the birth injury (the defendant) may choose whether to deny, accept, or settle. If they deny the claim, then the parents will go to court. This particular path will probably take more than a year. Most cases end in a settlement because it is easier for the hospital. Usually, the settlement is an amount deemed appropriate to cover the medical expenses of the incident, both for when it happened and in perpetuity.
What To Expect
If taken to court, the plaintiff (the family suing the hospital) will need to build a case. The plaintiff needs to demonstrate the injury, prove that the hospital had a responsibility to prevent the injury, prove that the doctor shirked his/her responsibility and that this failure led directly to the birth injury. All of these points must be proved with a ‘preponderance of the evidence’, or ‘in all likelihood’. Lawyers will be concerned about these topics and how best to present them to the jury.
Families that suspect medical malpractice in the delivery room may be eligible to talk to a lawyer about a birth injury case. Often, a family member will notice suspicious behavior on the part of the medical staff. This event could indicate a reaction to a mistake or the mistake itself. Because most legal consultations are free, it is a good decision to follow gut instinct. Even if the family is not sure that they have a case, experts in the field may be able to prove the gut feeling that the family could not put into words.
A child that starts life as the recipient of a birth injury deserves compensation, and so does the family. By taking action, the new family can ensure comfort for their child in the years to come.
Costa Ivone, LLC
311 N Aberdeen St #100B, Chicago, IL 60607