The birth of a child is the most exciting and joyous time of a parent’s life. But the experience can turn into persistent worry and heartache if a child sustains a birth injury. Not only does it create both financial and emotional burden on the family, but it also takes you a step back from focusing on the good things. From medical bills and loss of income to emotional pain – the family is left to bear a number of costs. New parents might find it hard to tackle the situation. However, in some cases, the parents can seek compensation for their loss due to a birth injury.
For example, if the injury was the result of medical malpractice, you have the right to file a lawsuit against the responsible medical party and claim your monetary compensation. If you’ve gone through a similar case or anyone in your family, here are a few things you must know to best understand your rights as parents.
Common Causes of Birth Injuries
Other than medical negligence, the chances of birth injuries increase in the absence of little to no prenatal care. Monitoring the pregnancy stages and the development of the fetus is crucial to ensure the birth of a healthy and happy baby. Besides, premature infants are more susceptible to birth injuries and delayed birth (more than 18 hours of labor), which also increase the risk.
Due to difficulties in delivery, injuries like brain bleeds and head trauma are the most common. Other minor bends and traumas are treatable through medical care and attention. In rare cases, lifelong medical problems can occur due to birth injury. These disabilities can be hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, cerebral palsy, and periventricular leukomalacia.
Who Is Responsible for Birth Injuries?
In most cases, if there are numerous health complications during birth, medical experts send infants to the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) for further medical support. Unfortunately, many cases of birth injuries get worse due to complicated diagnostic situations and the lack of attention from NICU staff. Besides, the birth expert handling the risks during the birth can also be held responsible if their decisions were not medically sound.
Deciding who is responsible for the cause of the birth injuries is a crucial decision, hence needs to be taken with keeping a lot of factors in mind.
Statute of Limitations
In relation to legal assistance, parents should be aware that, similar to practically all legal proceedings, birth injuries are subject to a statute of limitations. As a result, depending on your state, you only have a limited window of time to submit a claim or file a lawsuit for birth injuries. To get proper legal guidance on filing a lawsuit, it is better to consult a birth injury lawyer or a legal representation for birth injury victims, as these professionals are well-versed with legal terminologies.
Things can get very tricky when it comes to proving birth injuries due to medical malpractice, especially when parents become aware of their children’s problems years after the birth accident happened. California also grants parents a three-year window, compared to most states’ two-year statutes of limitations (Texas, Utah, Arkansas, Virginia, or Arizona, to name a few).
How Can an Attorney Help?
Finally, think about seeking legal advice from an experienced birth injury and medical malpractice litigation firm. Consult with law offices that offer complimentary consultations to better understand your legal alternatives and determine the value of your case. A lawyer would advise you not to consult the medical agency directly and to keep your calm so that they can build your case and find the necessary evidence to strengthen your case. With the necessary pieces of evidence, your lawyer will be able to file a lawsuit against the party and claim compensation for the emotional and financial damages you had to bear.
To hire an attorney, make sure to check a couple of factors, including their area of expertise, educational background, client reviews, history of successful and failed cases, personal history, and their approach towards settling your case.
The Bottom Line
If you’ve just become parents and have been situated to deal with a birth injury case, things can be pretty hard for you. And since this might be your first time, know that birth injury cases are complicated and need proper legal assistance if you wish to receive compensation. Hence, make sure to hire an experienced birth injury lawyer who can study your case well and fight for it to protect your rights. And hey, remember, staying patient along the way is the key!