When Should I Need a Birth Injury Lawyer?
In this post we will talk about when you should consider contacting a birth injury attorney.
This information comes from birth injury attorneys who have years of experience mediating and trying birth injury cases, and contains answers to common questions that parents have about the process. If your child has suffered a birth injury such as Cerebral Palsy, HIE, Erb’s Palsy, or other birth injuries due to a preventable medical error, then a birth injury attorney may be able to help.
Read on to learn more.
Nothing can ever fully prepare a parent for receiving bad news after a difficult labor and delivery. The happy and joyful emotions of welcoming a new child into the world can be overwhelmed by negative thoughts of sadness, anger, and confusion when you get the bad news that something is wrong. Although unfortunate, these feelings are completely normal. Having questions is also normal.
After you have had time to process the shock of what happened, you may find yourself asking a lot of questions. Why was my baby injured? Why did it happen to us? Could anything have been done to change what happened? Could my child’s injuries have been prevented with better medical care?
If you’ve had similar questions about your child’s injury, then you should consider speaking with a birth injury attorney. When a parent first contacts a birth injury attorney, the first thing the attorney can do to help is to ask questions so that she can understand your pregnancy and your child’s injuries.
What Happens When You Reach Out to a Birth Injury Attorney:
1. First Contact
At Brown Trial Firm, when you call in to speak to a birth injury attorney, the first thing that will happen is that a secretary will take down your contact information and begin gathering information. She may ask you basic questions about your pregnancy, about any medication you may have been on, about any complications that occurred during the pregnancy, and about the delivery itself, and anything else that may be relevant.
The secretary will then pass that information along to a birth injury attorney. The attorney will carefully review the secretary’s notes so that she can prepare herself to speak with you. This is an important step, because the attorney wants to be as helpful as possible to you when she speaks with you on the phone.
2. Attorney Interview
Next, the attorney will call you back and talk through what happened. The attorney may ask a series of follow up questions to understand specific details about your pregnancy and delivery.
Based on that initial consultation, the attorney will decide whether to direct you to other resources, or to further investigate your child’s injuries. Unfortunately, an attorney can only accept a case if there has been a preventable medical error–but there are still many helpful resources that a birth injury attorney can point you to in any case.
At Brown Trial Firm, if you would like to meet with an attorney in person, our birth injury attorneys are also happy to meet face to face. If you are unable to travel, we will come to you.
3. Investigative Phase
If the attorney believes there might have been a preventable medical error, the next step is to further investigate what happened. The attorney may reach out to the hospital or to the medical professionals that were involved in your labor and delivery and ask for additional information. For example, the attorney may ask for additional medical records of the mother and of the baby. The attorney may also consult with medical professionals and experts to review the records for evidence of a preventable medical error. Regardless of whether a preventable medical error is discovered, the attorney will follow up with you and do everything she can to help.
4. Filing a Birth Injury Lawsuit
If evidence of a preventable medical error is discovered during the early investigation stage, the next step is often to file a lawsuit. By filing a lawsuit, the attorney is then able to conduct what is called “discovery.” Discovery is the legal term for the official process where the attorney is able to dig deeper into the facts surrounding the injury to confirm whether the birth injury was the result of a preventable medical mistake.
5. Mediation Phase
Many cases settle at some point during or after the discovery process. If a case doesn’t settle at this point, the next step is often to go to mediation. During mediation, both parties will meet and make their case to a neutral mediator. The mediator will try and help the parties come to a mediation agreement. The case may not settle during the first mediation, but many cases will eventually settle either at some point later or during a follow up mediation. If the case does not settle during mediation, then the next phase is to go to trial. Some cases also skip mediation and go straight to trial.
6. Trial Phase
At trial, both parties will have a chance to put on all of their evidence either before a jury or before a judge. Your attorney will be able to call witnesses and ask them questions about the injury and about the medical standard of care. At trial, everyone has a chance to be heard. The goal of trial is to make sure that justice is done and that a fair result is reached. If your attorney is successful at trial, then a verdict will be found in your favor. A successful verdict will confirm that there was medical error, that it was preventable, and that the medical error caused the birth injury. A sum of money will be awarded. After trial, the verdict may be appealed.
7. Appeals Phase
An appeal happens when an issue comes up during trial that can be reviewed by a higher court. Frequently, cases do not have any issues that may be appealed. However, if the verdict is appealed, then a similar process may be repeated at the Court of Appeals, and may be repeated again at the Supreme Court. After all potential appeals have been exhausted, then the case is drawn to a close.
8. Exit Interview
Last, your attorney will arrange to meet with you to sign paperwork and to do an exit interview. At the exit interview, we will go over any questions you may still have and ask you for feedback about how we performed representing you. At Brown Trial Firm, we care that you and your child do well now and into the future, too. We often follow up with our clients from time to time to make sure everything is going well. We also welcome you to contact us at any point in the future if you have additional questions or concerns and we will always do our best to help you! Once we join your team, we are always there for you.
Contact a Cerebral Palsy and Birth Injury Attorney
Getting help for a child with a birth injury can make a big difference. Because early intervention is often key to helping improve a child’s wellbeing, it’s important to act swiftly.
If you have questions about whether your child’s birth injury was caused by a preventable medical error, then our attorneys at Brown Trial Firm may be able to help.
Case Review at No Cost or Obligation
If you would like help investigating your child’s birth injury, please contact us. Our birth injury attorneys will be happy to give you a free case evaluation. We can also point you to great non-legal resources that can help you figure out your next steps.