Parents of a child injured during the birth process are faced with an awfully difficult decision: Should I bring a birth injury lawsuit against the doctor or the hospital for the harm done to my child? Sometimes the answer is very easy but sometimes it is very, very difficult.
Did the Doctor’s Mistake Cause the Birth Injury?
This question assumes, of course, that a medical mistake made by a doctor or other health care provider warrants a birth injury lawsuit. Clearly, it does not necessarily follow that a birth injury means that it is the fault of the doctors. Sometimes, bad things happen to good people, including innocent children.
But, just as clearly, some birth injury lawsuits are the result of doctors not doing what they should do to keep infants and their mothers safe. If malpractice was the cause, it adds to the parents’ frustration and anger caused by knowing that so much suffering could have been so easily prevented.
Too often awful injuries happen to babies because a complication is not recognized in time or a c-section is not performed as quickly as is necessary to avoid a birth injury. Many child birth injuries can require a lifetime of care and treatment and desperate clients have only a lawyer to turn to in an effort to get compensation for this catastrophic loss.
The Process of a Lawsuit
The first step in the process to bring a birth injury lawsuit is to contact a lawyer. Don’t call the first one you see – even if you are seeing our law firm’s website first. Investigate, do a little research on the experience and philosophy of the law firm and their lawyers and then pick up the phone or email a request for an on-line, telephone or in person free consultation. There is no shortage of birth injury lawyers; when successful, these cases may yield millions of dollars so some of the best lawyers in the country handle birth injury cases.
You initial meeting with a lawyer should be a free consultation. If a lawyer wants to charge you to discuss your potential birth injury case, you are almost certainly talking to the wrong lawyer. Most birth injury lawsuits are handled under a contingency fee agreement where the birth injury lawyers agree to front the costs and expense of the case and collect a fee only if the lawyer obtains a recovery.
Any lawyer you contact is going to need to collect and review your child’s medical records to determine whether a birth injury lawsuit will have a good chance of obtaining a settlement or a verdict at trial. The goal is to get a significant settlement before filing a malpractice lawsuit. But this is not always possible not because the insurance company won’t eventually offer a settlement but because more information needs to be obtained through the lawsuit process to determine the extent of the injuries and/or to flush out whether the doctor was negligent.
Typically, this process requires medical experts – hired by both sides – to determine the extent of the disagreement over whether the doctor was at fault and how serious the child’s injuries are. In a birth injury litigation, any expert asserting that an injury to a child was preventable, must produce evidence that the failure to deliver the child soon caused an injury.
Typically, a life care planner and an economist are also required to determine exactly how much the injury will cost the child over the course of their lives. In making this determination, it does not matter if medical insurance is paying most or all of the medical bills. For the purpose of a trial or settlement in a birth injury case, the assumption is that there is no medical insurance and all of the present and future medical bills must be paid by the child’s parents.
Contacting a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Again, birth injuries do not always warrant a lawsuit. What we will do for you is help you determine if a lawsuit should be filed in your case and let you make the choice fo what is best for your family.
If you want to investigate your potential birth injury lawsuit, call our birth injury malpractice lawyers at 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation.
More Birth Injury Lawsuit and Settlement Information
- Birth Injury Claims (an overview)
- Negligence in Caring for the Mother During Pregnancy