When Should I Talk to a Birth Injury Lawyer?
Consult with a birth injury lawyer if your baby has suffered an injury or is ill after being born without a satisfactory explanation. There may be no one to blame; your child’s injury could be a tragedy that could not have been prevented. However, in many cases, a baby’s birth injury resulted from negligence. Some examples of birth injuries that may have been caused by a doctor’s preventable mistake include:
- Skull fractures or brain damage from excessive force during delivery
- A nerve injury, such as Erb’s palsy, resulting from excessive force and pulling on the neck
- Cerebral palsy as a result of the loss of oxygen to the brain during labor or delivery
- Complications that went unnoticed and unaddressed, resulting in brain damage or illness
- Newborn jaundice not detected or treated that leads to brain damage
These are just a few examples of what can go wrong during labor and delivery and shortly after birth. If your baby has been harmed, even if you aren’t sure someone is at fault or negligent, talk to an experienced birth injury lawyer about the situation. They can clarify it and help you determine if negligence played a role.
How Can a Birth Injury Lawyer Help Me?
Helping you understand what happened and if you have a case for medical malpractice is the first important thing a good lawyer will do for you. Here are the other ways they can help during this challenging time:
- Provide Expertise
Birth injury lawyers are personal injury specialists who have helped clients in similar situations. They know the laws, and they know the ins and outs of medical malpractice. Other lawyers will not have the same expertise or experience. These lawyers also have access to networks of other important experts, such as doctors, nurses, and investigators.
- Act as a Liaison with Insurance Companies
Technically you can go it alone when trying to get compensation from an insurance company in these situations. However, keep in mind that their legal teams prioritize protecting their doctors. An experienced lawyer will be able to negotiate more effectively on your behalf.
- Recover Maximum Damages
Whether they do it by settling with the insurance company or taking your case to trial, a birth injury lawyer will maximize damages. Compared to what you could get on your own, you will get more compensation to help care for your injured child with a lawyer’s guidance. Birth injuries can cause permanent and costly disabilities, and you need the maximum compensation to help them throughout their lives.
- Provide Peace of Mind
During an incredibly stressful, scary, and difficult time, the right lawyer can reassure you. Know that you are doing the best for your child by working with an experienced lawyer who will advocate for your family.
What to Look for in a Birth Injury Lawyer
Hiring a lawyer can be an overwhelming experience. The advertisements are persuasive and plentiful. Try starting with a family member or friend for a referral. Local advocacy groups for disabled children and your state bar association can also direct you to good law firms.
Whether you get a referral or not, look for these aspects of a lawyer or law firm to ensure you choose the right one for your family:
- They should specialize in personal injury cases, preferably with experience in birth injuries.
- A good birth injury lawyer should have experience negotiating a major settlement for clients and be willing to share those results with you.
- They should also be able to litigate, taking cases to trial to recover the appropriate amount of damages.
- Make sure they can show you that they have experts and resources to investigate and prove negligence in your case.
- The right lawyer will be easily accessible, prepared to answer all your questions, and able to spend time on your case.
Some of the red flags to be aware of when choosing a lawyer include a guaranteed outcome, up-front fees, and confusing fees. They should never ask you to exaggerate your baby’s injuries or be difficult to contact. It is also important to choose a lawyer you feel comfortable having on your side as an advocate for your child.
What Should I Bring to the First Meeting with My Lawyer?
When it’s time to work with your birth injury lawyer, be prepared. They will need to ask you a lot of questions and get information to build your case. Come prepared with the following:
- Any notes you or witnesses in the delivery room have about what happened
- Any physical evidence of your child’s injuries, such as photographs of bruising or other symptoms
- You and your child’s medical charts and reports
- All bills related to your child’s injuries
- Other related expenses, such as how much income you have lost due to the medical situation
- All contact and insurance information on the hospital and medical professionals involved in the delivery and your child’s subsequent care
Questions to Ask Your Birth Injury Lawyer
Meeting with your lawyer can be stressful and overwhelming. They will ask you a lot of questions, some difficult. You also need to ask questions to get the most out of the meeting:
- What are the chances that I will get a settlement or recover damages?
- What is my case worth?
- Which lawyer will handle my case?
- How will you prove negligence and malpractice?
- How long do you think it will take to complete a settlement or lawsuit?
- Can you litigate my case if it comes to that?
- Can you show me past cases you won for clients like me?
- What are your fees, and how does billing work?
Coping with this difficult situation requires having an experienced and dedicated advocate on your side. The right birth injury lawyer will do what it takes to recover damages so that your child gets the care needed to manage their injuries and disabilities.