During labor, a baby’s life can be altered in minutes if not careful.
Brain damage can occur if an otherwise healthy baby is deprived of oxygen for just 6 minutes. Approximately 30,000 babies a year suffer from birth injuries, and many will face lifelong consequences.
While not all birth injuries are preventable, many are with proper care and awareness by medical professionals. If your baby experienced birth injuries that you believe were preventable, reach out to a birth injury lawyer.
Learn more about what a lawyer can do for you, the stages of alawsuit, what to bring to your consultation, and where to find an experienced attorney.
What does a birth injury lawyer do?
An experienced birth injury lawyer can assess the details of your claim and figure out if you have a case.
Some firms, such as Grover Lewis Johnson, offer free consultations to review and explain your legal options.
We’ll begin by using the evidence you already have and help build your case against the responsible medical professional and/or facility.
After filing your claim within the appropriate court of law, your case may go to trial or reach a settlement without one.
Upon settlement, you’ll receive financial compensation to help cover lifelong treatments, medical bills, or other losses.
Cases a birth injury lawyer takes on
Some of the most common cases that birth injury lawyers accept involve:
- Brain injuries
- Brachial plexus injury
- Bone fractures
- Cerebral palsy
- Infant hematoma
- Intrauterine fetal demise
- Fetal hypoxia
- Severe jaundice
- Spinal cord injuries
This is not an exhaustive list of birth injuries, so always get in touch with an experienced malpractice lawyer to see what your options are.
Stages of a birth injury lawsuit
Malpractice lawyers will be by your side through each stage of your birth injury lawsuit.
It can be a lengthy process but generally you can expect the following stages in a malpractice suit.
During consultation, lawyers will determine if there was a preventable medical error during pregnancy, labor, or delivery. If there is no medical malpractice or negligence evidence. This can be difficult to do so make sure to bring all receipts, medical records, and other useful documentation to the initial meeting.
If your case is accepted, it will enter the investigative phase. During this stage, your lawyer will further investigate what happened.
This may include speaking to the hospital and medical staff that was involved in your labor, requesting medical records, and consulting with other medical professionals to review your records for errors or evidence of a preventable birth injury.
File a lawsuit
After obtaining enough evidence, your lawyer will draft and file a civil complaint in court. The complaint will name the hospital or facility, and healthcare professionals that are responsible for your baby’s injuries.
After your complaint is filed, the defendants will have a set period of time to respond and answer the complaint.
A mediator is professionally trained to help two parties facilitate an agreement. Using a mediator can help parties stay out of the courtroom.
However, if both parties cannot come to an agreement and settle during mediation, it increases the chances of going to trial.
There can be more than one mediation or no mediation. If you bypass mediation you go straight to court without discussing a settlement.
Settlement or trial
Trying to negotiate a fair settlement is usually the first route taken.
Lawsuits can take a long time and cause both parties stress, which is why most birth injury cases settle before going to trial.
If you must go to trial, you and your lawyer and the defendant and their lawyer will present evidence, call expert witnesses, and have a chance to be heard.
A jury will determine the verdict and if you should be awarded for your and your family’s pain and suffering.
During an exit interview you will meet with your lawyer and sign paperwork. This last meeting also gives you a chance to ask any final questions you may have.
Questions to ask a birth injury lawyer
Before your initial consultation, consider what you want to ask the lawyer and write it down.
With the stress of traumatic labor, delivery, or birth, it may be challenging to remember everything you want to know. Below are some questions you should be sure to understand the answers to.
How much does a consultation cost?
Mant compassionate attorneys will waive this fee.
At Grover Lewis Johnson—consultations are always free. We understand our client’s pockets and well-being may be suffering enough already.
When will I need to pay my legal fees?
This answer will vary by firm.
At Grover Lewis Johnson, we don’t ask our clients to pay any legal fees upfront during this challenging time. Our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we will not ask for a single payment until your case is won.
How much compensation could I receive?
Each case is unique, so a lawyer will only be capable of giving you an estimate.
The amount awarded is based on the severity and type of injury sustained, how much you have already spent on medical treatment, loss of wages, and what you may need to pay in the future, and more.
How long have you been practicing medical malpractice cases?
Our Michigan-based lawyers, for example, have over 25 years of professional experience.
We have a proven track record of successful cases, some even involving millions of dollars. With years of experience, our team is able to offer clients expert advice and fight for their case.
Have you handled cases like mine before?
The ideal malpractice lawyer will have years of experience with medical malpractice and birth injury lawsuits, in particular. Make sure they’ve handled cases like your situation before.
What to bring to first consultation with lawyer
Bring as much evidence as you can to your first meeting with your lawyer. This can help them see if you have a medical malpractice or negligence case.
Gather the following information and documents:
- Photographs that were taken of the accident injury
- Medical information
- Documents stating diagnoses and treatments
- Doctor and hospital bills
- Bills from a physical therapist, psychologist, chiropractor
- Documents explaining future treatments needed
- Name and address of the hospital or facility you delivered your baby
- Name and address of ambulance service used (if applicable)
- Dates you and your baby were admitted and released from the hospital
- List of current prescription medications
- Insurance information
- Paperwork explaining health care coverage
- Lost wages or income due to injuries (including dates missed)
- Copies of all official resorts
- Witness testimonies
Where to find a birth injury lawyer
Grover Lewis Johnson is a Michigan-based law firm that has been winning cases for our clients for over 25 years.
We are there for our clients through each stage of their lawsuit, helping them reach the best outcome for their case.
Proving that medical professionals could have prevented your baby’s birth injury may be challenging or simple. Either way, our lawyers will fight for you and help you receive your deserved settlement—and if you don’t win, we don’t get paid.
Contact us to learn more about our team and services.