Having your child should be a joyous occasion, not marred by injury. Injuries can happen and for a variety of reasons. However, if you know they were caused by medical negligence or careless mistakes then you should take action. A birth injury attorney can help you hold the responsible party accountable.
Type of Cases
Most lawyers in this field focus on a variety of injuries. Occasionally, some will specialize in one type such as cerebral palsy, which is the leading documented impairment in the United States. Other ailments include bone fractures, spinal cord injuries, brain damage, Erb’s palsy, lacerations, perinatal asphyxia, and even death.
When you are discussing the case with a lawyer, make sure that they are experienced in handling your baby’s affliction.
You should start by finding if there is a birth injury attorney in your area. You can easily do this with an Internet search. Make sure you specify which kind of lawyer you are searching for when you are looking because you want someone who is specialized in that area.
A general search may pull personal injury lawyers as well. Yes, these types of cases are considered personal injury. However, a birth injury attorney is well versed in how to approach this type of case and a traditional representative may not have as much experience, so be mindful.
By doing an online search, you can also see reviews and testimonials from previous clients. These are important to help you narrow your search to a manageable list. You should talk to each one on your list. The interview is important because it will help you ensure you find someone whom you are comfortable working with.
Rates for your birth injury attorney will depend on how much experience and if they have a specialty. Each one will set their fees at what they think they are worth. You might find a huge variation between them.
Some of them, however, work on a contingency basis. That means that you won’t pay until your lawyer recovers for you. He or she will then take a portion of the award. If the lawyer works on a contingency basis, you should make sure to ask what the percentage is.
It will be best for you to look for someone who works only on contingency. You already have the burden of medical expenses, so paying legal bills is the last thing you need to worry about. In addition, someone who works for a percentage of the award has the financial resources to work on your case. This gives you the best chances of winning your case.
What They Do
In order to move forward, your chosen lawyer will ensure that you have a case first. To help move the process forward, you should bring all medical documents to the meeting. You should also bring any other information that you believe will be beneficial to your case.
If your legal representative believes you have a case, that person will begin collecting additional evidence, speaking to experts and witnesses, and obtaining additional documentation. He or she may speak with the party you are suing at which point a settlement may be offered. It is up to you to decide if the amount is enough. You, and the other party, must agree to the terms of the settlement. Otherwise, you may have to go to court.
If you and your birth injury attorney decide to go through with litigation, you will file in civil court. The defense only has so much time to answer the complaint and then the discovery stage begins. At this point, your lawyer must show the defense what he or she has against them including all information that has been gathered.
The defense may negotiate a settlement if they determine it will be easier to settle than go to trial. Otherwise, your case will go before the court and the trial will begin. The defense can offer a settlement at any time up until the last week of testimony.