A hospital has a vital role to play during your child’s birth. The staff appointed needs to ensure that the mother is safe, comfortable, and in good shape to have the baby. These professionals have no room to make mistakes, nor can they mishandle your case. Yet, despite this knowledge, numerous hospitals still fail to uphold their responsibilities and continue making avoidable mistakes resulting in painful injuries.
As a parent, nothing is more unfortunate than witnessing your child get hurt, especially when they are highly vulnerable and fragile. Some of these wounds are not superficial scratches but severe nerve damage that can lead to lifelong disabilities. So, in all of these circumstances, how can you get justice and hold the guilty parties accountable for what they did? Turning to the law for help and consulting birth injury lawyers is the answer.
To help you take complete advantage of the legal entities at your disposal, here’s what you need to do:
What Is A Birth Injury Lawsuit?
According to the CDC, every seven in a thousand babies are born with birth injuries or defects. From these, Cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability, which impacts about four children in every 1,000 births. Therefore, a birth injury lawsuit can help you take legal action against those medical professionals who put your child in this position. As a result of your lawsuit, you are entitled to financial compensation, which you can use to treat your baby’s injuries or due to medical malpractice.
Medical negligence, or failing to keep a patient safe to the best of their abilities, can result in birth injuries, including cerebral palsy. Your family may be entitled to financial compensation if your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, which may result from medical negligence. For instance, if your child exhibits poor motor control and has trouble maintaining their posture, they may have cerebral palsy. In such cases, you need an expert, like a cerebral palsy lawyer, who is well aware of this condition and can assist you in drafting a valid claim. Depending on your child’s wounds, you can win up to a million from your lawsuit.
How Does A Birth Injury Lawsuit Proceed?
Every birth injury lawsuit is unique. Before submitting a claim, your child must get physically evaluated so you know the extent of their wounds. It is vital in writing your claim since you need accurate details to launch your lawsuit. Additionally, you need to file your claim within the statute of limitations. It is a legal limit beyond which the validity of your lawsuit expires, and you can no longer pursue the case. The statute of limitations differs by state, as you have about two years to seek justice from the time of discovery. Hence, when you begin the process of filing a lawsuit, here is what happens:
- Submit A Demand Letter
Your birth injury lawyer will start by sending the responsible parties a demand letter for compensation before suing them. It is an attempt to get the relevant parties to settle. The purpose of a demand letter is to explain why you believe the doctor injured your baby. It also includes details on how much monetary compensation you deserve that can help treat your child. But, there is always a chance the hospital may reject your demand letter, which is why you must consistently stay in touch with your lawyer until your claim settles satisfactorily.
- File A Claim
If the hospital doesn’t accept your demand letter, you have no other option but to sue them. A lawsuit is a comprehensive process in which your lawyer will first review your case, highlight the fundamental information that will form the basis of your claim, and draft a case accordingly. Once your lawsuit is submitted, you become known as the plaintiff, while the medical staff and the hospital become the defendant. Your lawyer will prosecute the defendants in court to get justice for your child. Following this, a court will look into your case and provide a schedule that informs you about your trial date.
A lawsuit is a legal document informing the defendants of your demands. The responsible parties have about thirty days to respond to you and submit their reply to your case. Suppose you don’t get an answer from them. In that case, you automatically win the lawsuit and get the legal right to demand compensation. But, if you get a response, you will need to gear up accordingly depending on how the other party wants to deal with the case. It can include urging for a settlement or pushing for a trial.
- Collect Evidence and the Discovery Period
Once a case is in motion, your lawyer will need additional information to prove the legitimacy of your claim. A court needs proof in the form of concrete evidence, without which they cannot pass a ruling in your favor. It may involve asking for medical receipts, your baby’s birth certificate, the doctor’s signature that delivered your child, and if you have access to any video or photos that can back up your claim. You may also need witnesses, such as your partner as you gave birth or any medical expert present during your delivery.
A lawyer may also ask you for details on the events before you went into labor, how your labor progressed, and what happened when you gave birth. They may also require your medical history and maternal health records to confirm that the injury isn’t a congenital disability. You must also submit those records if you took your baby for another physical evaluation post-birth. It helps the lawyer prove that there was indeed malpractice at play and your child suffered because of that. You should expect the defendants to do the same to disapprove your claim.
- Picking Between a Settlement and A Trial
When both parties submit their claims and need to move forward with the case, your lawyer may present you with one of two options; Either you settle and culminate the dispute without the need to go to court, or you stand in front of a jury and have a trial. A settlement is an agreement in which you and the defendant will negotiate terms such as the amount you should get paid and any additional demands you may have. A settlement always ends with compensation, and the verdict cannot get wrapped up until the defendant pays your dues. It is much faster than going to trial and concluding within a few days.
On the other hand, a trial is a much longer process and also extremely risky. Your lawyer must prepare an opening statement, bring witnesses, compile evidence, get a forensic examination, and question the defendants to convince the jury you were wronged. It can go on for months or even years before you hear a verdict, making it expensive and tedious to go through. In some instances, if the jury doesn’t find your case convincing enough, they may rile against you, resulting in no financial compensation.
The defendant can also further sue you for defamation, and you may get a fine for soiling a hospital’s reputation. But, if the trial rules in your favor, you can get even higher compensation than that offered to you in the settlement.
Learning about your child’s birth injury is painful for any parent. Your child’s condition can leave you distressed, agitated, and aggravated at the medical practitioner responsible for hurting your baby. But you are not entirely helpless; the legal system is here to look after you and give you the justice you need. Legal firms work in a specific manner. Since you’re dealing with a birth injury, you need to contact a birth injury lawyer to get your case started. This detailed process involves submitting relevant documents, compiling every piece of evidence that backs up your statements, and putting your lawsuit into motion.
From there, you may end up settling or going to trial, determining the outcome of your claim. However, when you have an exceptional lawyer representing you every step of the way, you will emerge victorious no matter how the case plays out.