When medical errors during labor and delivery result in catastrophic injury to your child, filing a birth injury claim can secure vital compensation for their lifelong care. However, these cases face complex legal hurdles. Understand the challenges ahead, criteria for a valid claim, optimal timing to file, expert support needed, and what compensation covers so you can obtain justice.
Overcoming Legal Obstacles
Rightfully obtaining compensation for an injured child is extremely difficult due to systems favoring doctors and hospitals. Statutes of limitations restrict filing to as little as one year in some states. Hospitals have access to massive legal teams and resources.
You also must definitively prove negligence occurred and directly caused the injury, which requires extensive medical evidence. Defense lawyers will argue complications were unavoidable. Most legitimate claims still get denied or face lengthy disputes. Extensive preparation is essential to overcome these obstacles.
Qualifying for a Claim
For a case to qualify, certain criteria must be met. The foremost requirement is demonstrating the medical team failed to meet the standard of care during delivery and these errors directly caused the injury. Without proof of substandard practices, there is no basis for a claim, regardless of the severity of damage.
Secondly, the impairments must have resulted in catastrophic, permanent injury to qualify as a birth injury. Minor or temporary issues do not warrant compensation. The defects must also be documented early through medical records and imaging. Late-emerging issues are harder to link to delivery events.
Importance of Immediate Action
Due to stringent statutes of limitations, the most crucial step is contacting an attorney immediately to evaluate your case, even if emotions are raw. Skilled birth injury lawyers can determine if you have grounds for a claim and preserve your rights during the narrow window to file.
If you delay moving quickly also assists in gathering evidence while details are fresh. Records can be secured, witnesses interviewed, and medical reviews conducted to build a strong case proving negligence surpassed the statute dates. Late action jeopardizes the claim.
Selecting a Birth Injury Lawyer
Victims need a highly specialized birth injury lawyer rather than a general personal injury lawyer. The right lawyer has extensive experience specifically with birth trauma cases and understands the long-term care needs involved. They also must have the resources to battle major hospitals.
Ask prospective attorneys detailed questions about their related expertise, case success rate, support staff, legal fees, and view of the case merits. Meet with several and evaluate who seems most capable and passionate about obtaining just compensation for your child.
What Compensation Covers
If awarded compensation, funds are placed in a special needs trust for the child’s benefit. Parents cannot directly pocket the money. Approved uses include:
- Medical expenses like surgeries, therapies, medications, equipment
- In-home nursing care and assistance
- Special education costs
- Housing and vehicle modifications
- Lost wages for parents providing care
- Trusted caregivers during parents’ respite
- Any needs enabling improved quality of life
While no amount can undo the injury, substantial compensation ensures your child’s needs are met now and for their entire life. Justice provides peace of mind and financial stability.
The process is arduous, but you are fighting for your child’s rights. With extensive preparation, dedication, and the right attorney, families can successfully hold the medical system accountable and obtain the support their child deserves.