Birth injuries can happen for a number of reasons, but when caused by medical negligence, you have the legal right and option to hold the responsible healthcare provider accountable.
A qualified birth injury lawyer will help you to understand your rights while working assiduously to ensure that you have a good chance of winning the case. Before you start looking for legal representation, you should understand what they do and how they can help.
What types of cases do birth injury lawyers take on?
Although some birth injury attorneys specialize in one type of injury, most of them focus on many, including:
- Infant brain damage
- Bone fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Facial paralysis
- Fetal lacerations
Regardless of the kind of injury that an attorney handles, what matters most is his/her extensive experience and proven track record when representing clients. These cases are very intricate and though they fall under personal injury cases, personal injury lawyers may not have the experience or expertise needed to handle them.
Where can you find experienced birth injury attorneys?
While you can always search for lawyers through traditional routes such as the Yellow Pages, most people are now turning to the internet when looking for legal representation. Because of the readily available testimonies, areas of practice, reviews, and the ability to check the lawyer’s past infractions through a simple internet search, attorneys are increasingly going online.
Although the internet makes things easier, you have to ensure that you are comfortable with the lawyer that you choose. You should always feel at ease with your lawyer to be able to ask the necessary questions.
What can a birth injury lawyer do to help?
If you believe that either you or your baby was injured because of medical negligence, your lawyer should first determine whether you have a case. He or she will start by going through the facts of your case to determine its validity. To help this process along, you should avail your medical documents and other things that might be useful in your case.
Later on, the lawyer starts pre-litigation: a process in which additional documents, evidence, witness, and expert lists are collected. At this time, the attorney might propose a settlement to the defense. If you and the defendant agree to this amount, there is no need to proceed to trial. However, if a settlement cannot be reached, the litigation part of the case starts and your lawyer files a complaint in civil court.
Once the complaint has been filed, a defendant is given some time to answer. At this stage, the discovery process starts and the defense asks to see the proof that you have against them. This includes the witness list, evidence, and any other information that is crucial to the case. The defendant may choose to negotiate a settlement when they see that you have incontrovertible evidence.
If this does not happen, you should get ready for a trial. However, the defense may choose to settle at any point after the trial begins, up until the last week of the trial.
How long will the case last?
Birth injury cases can take a long time to resolve. However, the time it takes will depend on the factors of your case, including the number of witnesses you have, severity of the birth injury, and medical records. They rarely get resolved in a few months; therefore, you should be prepared to spend a lot of time in court.
How much compensation can you get?
All birth injury cases are different and it is difficult to estimate how much compensation you will get beforehand. In fact, you should be wary of birth injury lawyers who promise you a certain amount because so many factors go into each individual case that it would be impossible to guarantee a win. However, if you win, you are entitled to compensation.