Read these 9 Birth Injury Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Personal Injury tips and hundreds of other topics.
Often the best way to find a lawyer of any type is to get personal referrals. Talk to people you know that have been through the same situation you have. You can meet people at support groups and they might be able to refer you to a great birth injury lawyer. A birth injury attorney will have experience dealing with these types of cases and will be able to help you with the court process.
Although a doctor can be the direct cause of birth injury, they can also be your child's most important ally. Make sure that you alert your doctor if you believe there is a possibility your child was born with an injury, and let them know that you want your child to have a full evaluation. Push for all the tests that you feel need to be done to be completed, such as hearing, x-rays and blood work. Also be sure to ask for copies of all the results. The doctors are usually going to be willing to help you in any way possible, and if a doctor refuses, ask for a second opinion.
If you don't have any people available around you to refer you to a good lawyer, you might be able to find one that you feel comfortable with online. Often a birth injury attorney will have set up a Web site with information about his/her practice and beliefs, and this can make you feel more at ease when you set up an appointment with them. Birth injury attorneys with websites online also give you a chance to "preview" the type of law that they practice, that way you can get to know the lawyers before choosing one.
Many birth injury cases will be settled out of court. The lawyer will contact the doctor, and his malpractice insurance carrier will negotiate with your lawyer. You might not have to appear in court, instead giving a deposition in a conference room or something similar. There is no way to know ahead of time whether your specific case will be handled this way, so it is best to talk with a birth injury lawyer to find out exactly what will happen.
When you retain, or hire, a birth injury lawyer, he/she will often work on contingency. This means that you will not have to spend any money on the lawyer's services up front, rather he/she will take a percentage of any money you win in your court case. This is good because if you do not win, the birth injury lawyer will not charge you any attorneys' fees. It is also a good idea because there is really nothing to lose by bringing a birth injury case to court - you should be compensated for your injuries without having to feel as if you must spend a lot of money.
If you suspect that something has gone wrong in your child's delivery, don't panic. There are many laws in effect that protect you as the patient (and patient's parent). Most hospitals have a Patients Bill of Rights that attest to that fact. You have the right to be present when any treatment is being performed on your child, as well as having the right to copies of any medical records your child has. If you suspect that there is a problem, make sure to be there for treatment as well as getting those records copied. A birth injury lawyer will need to see them to find out if you have a case.
Birth injury affects seven out of every 1000 births in the United States, and happens when a mistake, either accidental or neglectful, occurs during a baby's delivery. These injuries can range from minor bumps and bruises from rough handling of the newborn, to severe disabling conditions if proper care was not taken in the baby's delivery. If you think that your baby might have been injured during birth, you should consult your doctor and contact a birth injury lawyer.
When a child is born, healthy or not, you must make sure to contact your health insurance provider immediately. This will open the baby's policy and make the child a dependent on your plan. It can also be helpful if you are going to pursue a case in court for birth injury, as all of the medical bills submitted will be recorded. The copays that you have to pay to the insurance company will probably be covered if there is a judgment in your favor in court, as the doctor's (or hospital's) malpractice insurance will have to cover your medical bills.
Before you get ready to meet your birth injury attorney, you may want to get together some information about your case. You should know what you feel was done incorrectly in your child's birth, as well as what the baby's injury is. The lawyer will then be able to help you get the proper information from your doctors, any other witnesses, and insurance companies. A lawyer will also be able to prepare you for the next steps in your case. Be sure to ask any questions you have of the lawyer at this first meeting.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|