All parents hope and pray for an easy delivery and a healthy baby. Throughout the pregnancy and delivery process, parents place a tremendous amount of trust in healthcare professionals. While medical knowledge and technology have increased significantly in the last few years, preventable birth injuries are still very much a reality.
Such birth injuries are sometimes the result of a healthcare professional failing to exercise due diligence. This medical negligence results from doctors failing to follow what are known as “standards of care.” These standards are put in place to provide patients with the highest level of care and prevent injuries.
When a healthcare professional fails to follow what is considered to be a reasonable standard of care, they may be held legally accountable when their negligence results in a birth injury.
If your child experienced a birth injury and you’re looking for legal help, it’s important to know how to find the best birth injury attorney to handle your case.
What does a birth injury lawyer do?
A birth injury lawyer specializes in handling cases in which a child experienced a birth injury resulting from the negligence of a medical professional. In addition to doctors, such cases may involve the negligence of healthcare workers as well as hospitals.
When searching for an attorney to handle your case, it’s crucial to seek out an attorney who specializes in representing these types of cases. Birth injury cases can be particularly complex. In fact, they’re often even more complex than regular medical malpractice cases, which are complicated in their own right.
The job of your attorney will include the following:
- Establishing the standards of care to which medical professionals should adhere to in similar situations,
- Proving that such standards of care were not followed, and
- Proving that your child’s birth injury was a direct result of that negligence.
What types of cases do birth injury lawyers take?
Unfortunately, each year, children suffer from a variety of birth injuries. The first thing you should understand is that birth injuries differ from birth defects.
- A birth defect is a type of health condition that occurs while the child is still developing within the womb. Such defects are often the result of genetics. These conditions may include cleft lip, clubfoot, Down syndrome and other conditions.
- A birth injury is an injury that occurs either at or near the time of birth. Such injuries are not the result of genetics. Sadly, many such injuries could be prevented and are typically the result of negligence or medical error.
Some common birth injuries include:
- Nerve damage
- Spina bifida
Tragically, birth injuries can also result in death.
Among the most significant issues in determining whether a case is considered viable is the severity of the injury.
It can be extremely expensive to pursue a birth injury malpractice case. Therefore, the injury must be severe enough in nature to justify the expense involved.
For instance, if the injury is mild enough that it can be treated and resolved on its own, it may not be worth the financial expense of pursuing a legal case. Of course, this doesn’t dissolve the trauma of the injury, but it simply may not be severe enough to justify the time and expense that would be involved in bringing such a case to trial.
How to locate the best birth injury lawyer
As you begin the process of finding a good medical malpractice lawyer, keep in mind that this field is highly specialized. While you could enter a search online for “birth injury lawyer near me” and find plenty of options, it’s vital to do some research and find out precisely what you should be looking for in such an attorney.
The most important element involved in locating an experienced birth injury attorney is to find a lawyer with a verifiable track record when it comes to successfully representing birth injury lawsuits.
You should also pay careful attention to any available reviews from other clients about the attorney.
Questions to ask before hiring a birth injury attorney
Below are some questions you should consider asking a birth injury attorney before hiring them to represent you. Their answers to these questions can help you determine if they’re the right person to take on your case.
Does your firm specialize in medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice is the general term for a type of legal practice that is as varied as the medical field itself. Doctors specialize in an area of medicine. Similarly, malpractice lawyers specialize in areas that correspond to medical specializations.
When looking for the right birth injury attorney, parents should thoroughly research law firms that specialize in birth injury cases similar to theirs and attorneys who have a proven track record of success in that area.
What is your success rate in cases similar to mine?
Not every personal injury attorney who takes birth injury cases specializes in birth injury law. Because personal injury law is a vast field, you’ll want to know whether a potential attorney has been successful in the particular area that you require representation.
An attorney who has never lost a car accident case may only have a success record of less than 50% in birth injury cases. Choosing an attorney who specializes in birth injury law and has a robust success rate with cases like yours is of paramount importance.
How many years of experience do you have in medical malpractice cases?
Even after narrowing your search to attorneys who specialize in birth injury cases, the outcome of your potential claim can vary based on your attorney’s level of experience. Attorneys who have spent more time in the courtroom are likely to be more familiar with relevant laws, recent court cases and civil procedures. These lawyers may also have a more extensive professional network that can potentially benefit your case.
Experience does not always determine the quality of legal representation. However, asking about a birth injury lawyer’s experience level allows them to demonstrate their knowledge of birth injury law.
How many cases have you successfully settled before trial?
In addition to inquiring about their experience, be sure to ask about your potential birth injury attorney’s settlement rate. An attorney who charges a lower fee but also has a lower rate of successful pretrial settlements will likely need to take your case through a lengthy trial and may be less likely to prevail on your claim.
How many cases have you taken to trial, and what is your success rate?
Most plaintiffs prefer to settle outside of court than go through a lengthy trial process. However, you should be sure that your attorney has the skills to successfully argue your case if it goes to trial.
Insurance companies are generally more likely to offer a fair settlement if they know your attorney is willing to go to trial and capable of successfully opposing a corporate insurance attorney during the litigation process, so understanding your potential attorney’s success rate in court is a must.
How many cases do you manage at any given time?
In addition to being able to reach your attorney whenever you need to, you’ll also want to feel like your case is receiving the attention it deserves. Ask potential birth injury lawyers how many cases they usually manage at one time. In addition, ask whether the firm has additional support staff who help manage their ongoing caseload.
Have you received any awards or professional recognition for your work?
Awards or professional recognition provide further confirmation of a lawyer’s skill level and performance track record. Attorneys who have received recognition are more likely to have an extensive network within the legal profession and other industries that are relevant to the attorney’s area of practice. A highly esteemed birth injury attorney may also have contacts within the medical field who can benefit your case by testifying as an expert witness.
How much does it cost to hire a birth injury attorney?
Naturally, new parents may wonder how much it costs to hire a birth injury attorney. The last thing you want to do is take on more costs when you’re probably already facing expensive medical bills related to labor and delivery.
Here’s the thing:
It shouldn’t cost anything for you to hire a birth injury attorney.
This is because birth injury attorneys typically work on what is known as a contingency fee basis. With this fee structure, the attorney will represent your case and even pay for all of the expenses associated with the case on their own.
The attorney will only receive a payment if they’re able to obtain a settlement or award for your case. That payment will amount to a percentage of the total payment award. So in the event that you don’t receive a financial award for your case, you won’t owe your attorney anything.
Begin your search for the best birth injury attorney with Brown Trial Firm
If you’re in need of an experienced birth injury attorney, contact Brown Trial Firm today. Attorney Laura Brown has many years of experience in birth injury law, and her practice focuses solely on birth injury claims. Laura has an excellent track record of winning birth injury cases and helping families like yours get the compensation they deserve. What’s more, she serves clients nationwide.
Contact us today for your free consultation.
- Cerebral Palsy
- Caput Succedaneum and Cephalohematoma
- Neonatal Intracranial Hemorrhage (Childbirth Brain Bleeds)
- Hydrocephalus (Extra Fluid in the Brain Cavity)
- Cervical Dystonia
- Hemiplegia (Brain or Spinal Cord Injury)
- Hemorrhagic Stroke
- Neonatal Stroke
- Periventricular Leukomalacia (PVL) Brain Injury
- Infant Seizures
- Spastic Diplegia (Spasticity in the Legs)
- Top Risks for Birth Injuries
- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
- G-Tubes for Newborns
- Medical Errors
- Cesarean Section & Birth Injury
- Negligence in Brain Cooling Treatment
- Craniosacral Therapy
- Fetal Intolerance to Labor
- Jaundice (Kernicterus)
- Breech Position
- Placental Complications
- Placental Problems
- Umbilical Cord Problems
- Uterine Rupture
- Cervical Incompetence (Insufficiency)
- Blighted Ovum
- Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) - Intestinal Inflammation
- Cephalopelvic Disproportion
- Meconium Aspiration Syndrome
- Amniotic Fluid Embolism
- Birth Injury from Premature Delivery
- Developmental Delays
- Abnormal Cord Insertion
- Infections at Birth
- Chorioamnionitis Bacterial Infection
- Premature birth
- Oxygen Deprivation
- Birth-Acquired Herpes
- Placenta Previa
- Placental Abruption
- Mismanaged Fetal Malposition
- Obesity Related Birth Injuries
- Intrauterine Growth Restriction
- Blood Clots During Pregnancy
- Ectopic Pregnancy Misdiagnosis
- Myths & Facts About Birth Injuries
- Bacterial Vaginosis
- Gestational Diabetes
- Maternal Mortality Risk
- Oligohydramnios (Low Amniotic Fluid)
- Infections During Pregnancy