Although birth is a natural process, many things can go wrong from the day a mother learns of her pregnancy to when the baby is born. Even so, most of the time, mother and baby will be fine through childbirth. Sadly, some babies are still injured due to the negligence of medical professionals. What are the scenarios where someone may need to hire a birth injury attorney?
Medical negligence or medical malpractice are responsible for most birth-related injuries. Either can occur when a doctor or other healthcare provider does not meet their high duty of care for an expecting mother or her fetus before birth, or in the delivery room. Most prenatal birth injuries are caused by negligence, where the doctor or healthcare provider was lax in caring for the expectant mother. This includes failure to have certain tests performed when circumstances suggest they should, or prescribing drugs that have adverse or dangerous side-effects on mother or baby.
In these situations, it is likely the negligent healthcare provider is liable for the resulting injuries and must pay legal damages to the family of the injured mother or baby. Read more about some of these injuries below.
Injury to the baby during delivery:
- Brain injuries such as anoxia or hypoxia – both involve oxygen starvation to the baby: hypoxia causes meningitis or cerebral palsy, and anoxia is usually fatal
- Muscle-related or physical injuries such as Brachial Plexus, Erb’s Palsy, Klumpke’s Palsy, Shoulder Dystocia
Birthing injuries to mothers:
- Vaginal tears or fissures during delivery
- Incorrect suturing (stitching) following an episiotomy or a Caesarean section (C-section)
- Failure to manage pre-eclampsia or other infections during pregnancy
- Hemorrhaging during delivery
Many mothers do their part to maintain the health of their growing baby and themselves during pregnancy. The doctor should also live up to their end of the bargain in keeping mothers and their babies safe. Doctors may miss signs and symptoms of infections that can harm the baby, or ignore warning signs that the baby is in trouble. When doctors don’t meet the standard of care for treating pregnant women, children can be harmed and the healthcare provider may be liable for an injury to the baby or the mother.
Filing a Claim or Contemplating a Birth Injury Malpractice Lawsuit?
If a baby has been harmed, one way to take control is by filing a birth injury claim or lawsuit. There are many good reasons to hire an experienced attorney to handle your case. And your seasoned lawyer can likely be the difference between getting the money your son or daughter deserves for their total lifetime care, or losing your case and ending up with no compensation. Malpractice insurers have their own experienced lawyers. Shouldn’t you have one to protect your interests?
If you hire a lawyer, here’s an example of what might happen, step by step.
STEP 1: The Investigation
Your attorney’s investigative team of medical specialists finds out what happened, why, and who is liable. They also help to identify witnesses to depose, and the value of your child’s lifetime financial needs
STEP 2: The Demand Package
This is submitted to the defendant and describes the accident, injuries, damages, how your life, and that of your child has been permanently affected, and calculates the financial worth of your claim.
STEP 3: The Negotiation
More than nine of every ten injury claims end here and never go to trial. Here’s where a seasoned birth injury lawyer shines — because of their ability to make a compelling case and negotiate with the defendants who likely don’t want to go to trial anyway.
STEP 4: The Settlement
Once the defendants make an acceptable offer, your case can settle. The lawyer’s value is in their ability to convince the defendants to pay you fully and fairly. If the defendants refuse to pay what your attorney determines is a reasonable amount, then a trial in court may be necessary.
STEP 5: File a lawsuit
Should your attorney file a lawsuit, the defendants will likely try to string-out the process with motions while they continue to negotiate. This is where an experienced attorney can sidestep distracting tactics and move the litigation process along.
STEP 6: Trial Preparation
As your birth injury attorney prepares your case for trial, steps your lawyer may take include written discovery, which involves asking questions and requesting documents to gather even more facts about your case; taking depositions or sworn statements from witnesses before a court reporter; and preparing your expert witnesses – some of whom could be on your lawyer’s investigative team that looked into the events surrounding your child’s birth injury.
STEP 7: Trial
Once a trial date is set, you, your attorney, and the defendants go before a judge and/or jury. Both sides present their best case. After all testimony is given and evidence is presented, the judge and/or jury renders a decision – a judgment.
Isn’t it Time to Hire a Seasoned Birth Injury Lawyer?
A birth injury lawsuit is a complicated case to win. The doctor, hospital, and insurance companies’ lawyers mount a vigorous defense. A seasoned birth injury lawyer will pursue all potential damages.
Our Houston birth injury attorneys have extensive experience helping families in their greatest time of need. Please call Terry Bryant today at (800) 444-5000 or fill out a FREE initial consultation form to arrange your no-cost case evaluation.