Ask a Lawyer: What to Expect from a Birth Injury Case
Chances are, the last thing you expected was to suffer a birth injury in your family. The process of filing a lawsuit might seem overwhelming, but getting compensation and closure can greatly improve your child’s quality of life. When you work with a birth injury lawyer in Baltimore, MD, you increase your chances of walking away with the settlement you deserve.
A birth injury can be experienced by either the child or mother during or before childbirth. There are many causes and types of birth injuries, including:
- Cerebral palsy
- Brachial plexus injuries
- Injuries from improper monitoring
- Injuries caused by the incorrect use of surgical instruments
- Untimely C-sections
Birth injuries can heal with time, or they can lead to complications that seriously impact the victim’s quality of life or even result in death. When the injury your family experienced was caused by a negligent medical professional, you stand a good chance of winning a medical malpractice lawsuit or receiving a settlement offer. Here are some things you should expect from the legal process regarding birth injury cases:
Working With a Birth Injury Lawyer in Baltimore Will Give You a Big Advantage
While you can legally represent yourself, it is almost never a good idea, especially when the stakes are high. Birth injury cases can yield millions of dollars, depending on the type of damages suffered and their severity. The higher the value of your claim, the more likely defendants are to push back against it.
Working with a birth injury lawyer in Baltimore can help you build a solid case while upholding legal protocols. In addition to appearing in a professional manner, your lawyer can help you meet all legal deadlines on time and follow protocols correctly.
Birth Injury Claims Have More Steps Than Other Personal Injury Claims
One of the reasons why it is so important to work with an attorney is the fact that medical malpractice is one of the most complicated areas of the law. Before filing a claim, many people choose to issue a demand letter to the doctor who caused the harm. This letter typically outlines the damage done and requests a certain amount of compensation. If the doctor agrees to the demands, the process ends without even filing a claim.
If the doctor does not agree, there will be a formal medical board review to determine whether or not you have grounds to proceed. If your case passes the review you will be issued a Notice of the Right to Sue.
You Build Your Case During the Discovery Phase
Your lawyer will help you build evidence that supports your claim and anticipates counter-arguments. This evidence can include:
- Medical records pertaining to your child’s injury
- Hospital bills
- Witness testimonies from people who were on-site when the injury occurred
During this phase, your lawyer will also work with you to project how costly the injury will be over the course of your child’s life. Expenses you can claim include any medical equipment you need at home, ongoing treatments, and emotional damages.
The Case Might Not Go to Trial
Filing a claim for medical malpractice doesn’t necessarily mean you need to go to court for a trial. Many of these claims actually end in a settlement, meaning that the defendant offers the plaintiff a certain sum to resolve the case out of court. Before going to trial, your lawyer will negotiate with the defendants to obtain a settlement offer.
There are pros and cons to accepting a settlement offer. It can save years and months of litigation time, however, the amount you receive might be smaller than what you would be awarded at the end of a trial. Consider, also, that if you lose a court case, you receive nothing. Your lawyer can help you weigh your options as you decide whether or not to accept a settlement offer.
After Negotiation, the Next Step Is a Trial
If your case does go to trial, your lawyer will argue it in front of a judge and, potentially, a jury. Your side and the defendant will have opportunities to present evidence and question witnesses. In the case of medical malpractice, expert medical testimonies usually weigh heavily on the outcome. Once a verdict is reached, the losing side has the opportunity to file an appeal.
Making the Outcome Worth the Time
When you decide to file a birth injury claim, you can expect to follow a process that involves medical experts, negotiations, and legal protocols. While it does take some time to work through the various steps, getting financial support for your child’s healthcare is worth the investment. In many situations, working with a birth injury attorney can reduce the time it takes to get a payout and increase the amount you ultimately receive.