According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3,791,712 infants were born in the United States in 2018. Although a small percentage of parents opt to deliver at home or in a birthing center, most children are born in hospitals.
Although many parents can celebrate the safe arrival of a healthy child, not all deliveries go smoothly. In the United States, 28,000 infants born each year are affected by birth injuries. Birth injuries can also affect the health of the mother. When a parent or infant sustains a birth injury, the family can opt to pursue a birth injury claim.
Gathering information and consulting an attorney.
Complications that arise while giving birth can affect your physical and mental well-being. You may be medicated or distraught at the time. Document the events that occurred that led to the birth injury as soon as possible. Include the names of any medical staff, family members, and others who may have witnessed the events that led to the birth injury.
Contact a birth injury lawyer. Birth injury attorneys are personal injury lawyers. These legal professionals represent people who’ve been injured due to an accident, faulty product, or medical malpractice. Google “Chicago birth injury attorneys” to locate a personal injury lawyer in your area who has experience with birth injury cases. It’s essential to hire an attorney who understands personal injury law because they’re familiar with case law that could be relevant to your claim. They’re familiar with the grounds for compensation that apply to your case and will fight to ensure you receive the maximum amount of compensation possible. You’ll receive a free consultation, which means you can talk to a lawyer and get a sense of how strong your case is before you hire an attorney. Once you hire a lawyer, they’ll guide you through the legal process and ask for the information they need to build your case.
Your lawyer will file your case, have legal papers served to defendants, and secure witnesses and evidence to support your claims. Your lawyer will also prepare you for questioning and explain what to expect when you go to court. Hiring an attorney will ensure all legal requirements for your claim are met, so you can have your day in court without learning how to file legal paperwork or build a case yourself.
Birth injury lawyers know medical experts who may be able to testify on your behalf or shed light on the severity of the birth injury you or your infant sustained.
Health Care Factors to Consider When Pursuing Your Case
Victims of birth injuries may have short-term or long-term physical health injuries. Birth injuries can also increase an infant’s risk of developing health issues in the future. Infants delivered with forceps can suffer from brain damage or cerebral palsy. Studies have shown that infants who sustain a head injury are more likely to develop a brain tumor. Other common birth injuries affecting infants include fractured collarbones, nerve damage, spinal cord injuries, and facial paralysis. Parents may suffer from a ruptured uterus, hemorrhaging, or a prolapsed uterus.
It’s also common for parents to suffer from post-natal depression (PND) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Parents must pursue whole person care after giving birth, mainly if they’re exhibiting any symptoms of PND or PTSD. Whole person care considers how a patient’s mental health may cause physical health issues and focuses on addressing the root cause of their condition instead of treating symptoms.
Address all of your physical and psychological systems. Seek a comprehensive diagnosis and pursue treatment. Your lawyer will pursue compensation for medical expenses caused by your birth injury case. Promptly pursuing treatment will expedite the healing process and help ensure all health issues stemming from your birth injury are considered with your claim. If you doubt the diagnosis or feel symptoms are being overlooked, seek a second opinion. When possible, see a specialist, and take all recommended medical tests to ensure all injuries are correctly identified.
Long-Term Needs That Could Affect Your Birth Injury Claim
If your infant suffers a birth injury, the extent of their injuries may not be immediately apparent. Investigate the potential challenges you’ll face based on the severity of their birth injury. For example, oxygen deprivation can cause a wide assortment of physical and mental health issues. Infants affected by oxygen deprivation are more likely to develop a learning disability or be diagnosed with anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, or epilepsy. Oxygen deprivation can also affect an infant’s heart, lungs, and muscles.
You may need to pursue alternative education options for your child, such as online charter schools, to meet their needs. Your child may also need nursing care or personal assistance, which could mean you need personal care aides or home health aides to assist with your child’s needs when you’re at work. Legitimate future expenses can directly bear your birth injury claim and the amount of compensation you receive.
Once you’ve identified the nature of the birth injury, search for support groups for parents of children with a similar birth injury. These parents may be able to shed light on potential expenses you haven’t considered and other factors that may be relevant when you’re preparing a birth injury claim.
Consider your needs when you go to court.
Ask your attorney what to expect before court dates. If possible, visit the courthouse, and familiarize yourself with the building. Some parents suffer from incontinence stemming from birth injuries, and you may be more comfortable if you know where the bathrooms are before your hearing.
Take time to prepare a professional outfit that will convey your respect for the court and the legal process. Pair women’s dress jackets with a dress, dress pants, or a skirt. Choose clothes that are suitable for the court and suitable for your physical condition. For example, if you’re still in physical pain, you may need to wear loose clothing. If you need to bring your child to court, you may want to have a family member or caregiver come with you, so they can take your infant out of the courtroom and look after changing and feeding your baby.
Parents and infants can suffer birth injuries. Following a birth injury, you may opt to pursue a legal claim. Victims of birth injuries may be eligible to receive compensation for medical malpractice and pain and suffering. It’s also possible you’ll be reimbursed for medical expenses related to the birth injury. Consulting an experienced birth injury lawyer is crucial when building a birth injury case. Your lawyer will ensure you have all relevant evidence required to support your claim and help you prepare for your day in court.