No parent ever want to hear that their child is born with a birth injury. Yet approximately seven out of every 1,000 babies born in America will have a birth injury of some sort. Furthermore, many of those birth injuries are preventable but occur due to the negligence or mistake of a medical provider.
When a child has a birth injury potentially caused by a negligent doctor or physician, the parents are faced with the decision of how they want to go about pursuing fair compensation. How do they file a claim and what do they need to know about it if and when they do? Knowing what to expect of a birth injury claim can help reduce some of the stress and unknowns of the future.
Here are some basic factors every parent should know about birth injury lawsuits:
- Signs of a birth injury: To begin, each parent should know about some telltale indicators a child may have a birth injury. Sometimes doctors will not tell a parent they suspect a birth injury occurred, perhaps to try to avoid a lawsuit. If there are not obvious malformations or harm, then a child may be most likely to exhibit birth injury symptoms through a lack of development, mentally and physically. If your child has always struggled with balance or seems to have trouble with new concepts, it could be the sign of a birth injury related to underlying muscle or brain damage.
- Possible causes: There are numerous types of birth injuries and many ways each one can occur. The possible causes parents should be aware about are lack of option and overexertion. Babies who do not get enough oxygen during birth can suffer cerebral palsy, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), fetal stroke, and more. Overexertion can cause shoulder or arm paralysis, head injury, and other permanent disabilities. Go back through your child’s medical records and you may be able to notice where a problem occurred.
- Liability: When there is a birth injury and you suspect the source of the cause, you will next need to think about liability. Specifically, what evidence is there of the medical provider’s mistakes? In the end of a successful birth injury claim, liability plays a significant role in deciding how much compensation the parents can be given. 100% liability placed on the medical provider means, in theory, 0% of the cost should be shouldered by the parents.
- Compensation: The compensation you can pursue as part of your birth injury claim may vary depending on the actual damages you experienced. Parents of a child with birth injury may be able to seek compensation for medical costs related to delivery and hospitalization. You need to also think far into the future when calculating compensation since your child’s birth injury is likely permanent.
- Filing and response: At some point, it will be time to actually file your claim against the liable parties. Be prepared for a response from the medical provider or hospital group that is not to your liking, as it is nearly guaranteed the defendant will deny liability. Keep also in mind you must file your birth injury claim before the statute of limitations expires. Each state has a varying statute – Illinois has an eight-year statute of limitations for most birth injury claims, meaning you need to identify the birth injury and take legal action before your child’s eighth birthday.
Want to Know More? We Can Help!
As thorough as we can be when talking about the parts of a birth injury claim parents should know, there is still much more to discuss. Contact Beam Legal Team and our Chicago birth injury lawyers today and we can talk about what you should do as a parent if you suspect your child has a birth injury caused by the neglect of a medical provider. Call 866.766.3806 to request a free consultation. We represent clients nationwide.