How Much Does It Cost for a Birth Injury Lawyer - morgan and morgan
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How Much Does It Cost for a Birth Injury Lawyer?

How Much Does It Cost for a Birth Injury Lawyer?

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How Much Does It Cost for a Birth Injury Lawyer?

The birth of a child should be the most joyous occasion in our lives. Finding out that your precious baby suffers from a devastating and preventable birth injury can be crushing. Apart from the emotional rollercoaster and physical consequences that a birth injury can cause, it can also put an extreme financial strain on a family for years to come.

Some birth injuries can be prevented by adequate medical care and attention during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. If you believe that a medical professional’s carelessness caused your child’s birth injury, Morgan & Morgan can help. The cost of a birth injury lawyer should not keep families from getting justice. When we take your case, you pay only if and when you receive compensation. Start the process of getting justice for your baby today and contact us for a free consultation.

Medical Malpractice and Birth Injuries

A birth injury can occur due to medical staff’s negligence in prenatal care, labor, birth, and treatment of a newborn. Especially during labor and delivery, medical professionals must closely monitor the health of the mother and baby and intervene when any issues arise.  Birth injuries can occur when doctors or nurses neglect to monitor or fail to intervene during this critical time, particularly when there are clear signs of fetal distress. 

If medical staff miss or ignore obvious signs of fetal distress and fail to initiate a C-section quickly, the consequences can be catastrophic. Birth injuries can also occur when physicians incorrectly use instruments such as forceps and vacuum extractors. 

The Concept of “Standard of Care” in Medical Malpractice

In legal terms, medical malpractice occurs when a medical provider fails to follow the “standard of care” when treating mother and child, resulting in injury and damages. Standard of care stands for the type of treatment that a reasonable health professional would provide under the same or similar circumstances. A medical professional deviating from the standard of care is generally responsible for the harm caused due to their actions or inactions. 

Common Birth Injuries  

During labor and delivery, physicians and nurses frequently have to make split-second decisions to save a baby’s life and health. It can be heartbreaking for a family to find out that their baby suffers from a debilitating birth injury due to medical professionals’ carelessness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), unintentional birth injuries are one of the leading causes of infant death in the United States. Common birth injuries can include: 

Caput Succedaneum

Caput succedaneum is the swelling of a newborn baby’s scalp. The condition typically appears after a difficult birth with the help of delivery instruments such as vacuum extractors or forceps. In mild cases, the swelling goes away on its own after a few days. 
However, caput can potentially lead to jaundice which, if untreated, can result in complications such as brain damage, hearing loss, and others.

Erb’s Palsy

Erb's palsy can cause loss of motion and weakness in the neck, arms, hands and fingers due to nerve damage. The condition can be caused by prolonged labor or a difficult delivery and typically involves the overstretching of a baby’s neck on one side. In some infants, Erb’s palsy can heal over time with physiotherapy and daily exercises. However, if severe, the injury can cause permanent loss of motion. Multiple surgeries may be required to help a child regain function and movement.

Bone Fractures

The risk for bone fractures rises with a complicated delivery or long labor. According to Stanford Children’s Health, fracture of the clavicle or collarbone can be common during delivery. Factors that can lead to bone breaks in newborns include:

  • A large baby
  • A baby in breech position
  • The use of assistive instruments during delivery

Complications of bone fractures during birth can include subsequent problems with nerve and muscle function.

Facial Paralysis

Damage to an infant’s facial nerve can occur with forceps or by otherwise applying too much pressure to a baby’s face during labor. A long pregnancy or labor, large baby size, birth trauma, and the use of an epidural can contribute to facial paralysis. Paralysis of a newborn’s face can be apparent when the baby cries as there is typically no movement on the affected side. 

In minor cases, facial paralysis can reverse on its own. However, if the facial nerve was torn during delivery, surgery may be required.

Oxygen Deprivation

Oxygen deprivation at birth can have tragic consequences. Depending on how long a baby’s brain was starved of oxygen at birth, the result can be devastating disabilities, permanent brain damage, or even death. Oxygen deprivation can potentially occur due to various factors, such as umbilical cord complications and placental abruption. However, in some cases, a medical professional’s hesitancy or wrong decision can lead to avoidable oxygen deprivation.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal injuries can occur due to overstretching or applying too much pressure to the spinal area during a complicated delivery. In infants, spinal cord birth injuries can range in severity from bruising to complete spinal cord severance. While milder cases can heal with the appropriate medical treatments, babies with severe spinal cord injuries will most likely need care throughout their life.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a muscle control disorder that can develop before, during, or after birth. Some babies develop the condition due to prolonged or difficult labor. Causes of cerebral palsy can include oxygen deprivation, head trauma, and other medical mistakes during delivery. Cerebral palsy is incurable. Those suffering from the condition have lifelong problems with posture and movement. Some individuals experience intellectual disabilities, seizures, and other life-limiting medical disorders. 

Birth Injuries Can Turn Lives Upside Down

Birth injuries can have dire consequences on a person’s physical health and mental well-being throughout life. Significant birth injuries can also cause extreme financial hardship for families. Cerebral palsy alone can cause average lifetime costs of over one million dollars, according to cerebralpalsy.org.

Help Is Available

Most families cannot and should not shoulder the astronomical medical costs that an avoidable birth injury causes. If your baby was hurt due to the negligence of medical professionals, you deserve justice and compensation. A Morgan & Morgan birth injury lawyer can help you initiate legal action against those responsible.

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FAQ

Morgan & Morgan

  • What Is a Birth Injury Lawsuit?

    If your baby suffers an injury during labor or delivery due to medical malpractice, you could file a lawsuit against the hospital or responsible health care professional. A birth injury lawsuit is generally intended to provide the injured child and family with financial compensation to pay for the child’s medical care and any other needs arising from the birth injury. 

  • Whom Can I Sue?

    In most lawsuits, the defendants are the medical professionals that delivered your child. Those responsible for the birth injury can include your doctor, nurse, or anyone else who negligently caused or contributed to your baby’s birth injury. Depending on your specific case, you could sue the hospital responsible. 

  • Can I Afford a Birth Injury Lawyer?

    The cost of a birth injury lawyer can vary, depending on which law firm you hire. Generally, attorneys do not charge upfront fees for birth injury cases but instead work on a contingency basis, which means they recover a percentage of your final settlement as a fee. 

    However, you should always discuss the fee structure with your attorney before signing any agreements. Not all firms work on a contingency fee basis, and medical malpractice lawsuits can be expensive. Morgan & Morgan has the resources to litigate even complex and lengthy medical malpractice cases and can fight for what you deserve.

  • What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Birth Injury Lawsuit?

    The timeline for filing a birth injury lawsuit, also called the “statute of limitations,” varies from state to state. Waiting too long to file a suit can mean losing your right to legal recourse and compensation. Consulting with an experienced birth injury lawyer as soon as you can after your child suffered a birth injury can be essential. An experienced attorney from our firm can ensure that you do not miss any vital deadlines.

  • Which Damages Can I Recover in a Birth Injury Lawsuit?

    If your child tragically suffered a birth injury due to medical malpractice, filing a lawsuit against the medical provider can help you receive the financial compensation your family needs. The financial future of your family and your child could depend on holding the negligent party to account. Damages you could receive will depend on the facts of your case and your child’s injuries and can include awards for:

    Medical Expenses

    A birth injury can result in lifelong medical expenses. You could be entitled to your child’s past, present, and future healthcare expenses, including the cost of surgeries, specialist appointments, rehabilitation therapies, medications, medical devices, and others.

    Permanent Disability 

    If your child is permanently disabled due to medical malpractice, you could be entitled to a variety of damages, including but not limited to:

    • A live-in nurse
    • Modifications to your home and car
    • Special needs education
    • Speech therapy or occupational therapy

    Lost Income

    Parents caring for a child with special needs may have to miss work often or may be unable to work full-time due to their child’s requirements. Parents could be entitled to compensation for lost income and future lost income. 

    Non-Economic Damages

    Non-economic damages seek to compensate victims for any physical pain resulting from a birth injury. Non-economic damages can also include, among others, awards for emotional suffering and reduced life enjoyment.

    Punitive Damages 

    In cases where a hospital or medical provider acted particularly maliciously or recklessly, a court can award punitive damages in addition to the compensatory awards mentioned above. 

    If you are wondering about the potential worth of your birth injury case, our dedicated lawyers can advise you after analyzing your specific case and circumstances.

  • How Can a Birth Injury Lawyer Help Me?

    Malpractice cases can be challenging and lengthy, typically requiring considerable evidence of negligence and expert witness testimony. Initially, a birth injury lawyer will analyze your case and determine whether your baby’s injury is the result of medical malpractice. 

    An Attorney Can Build Your Case Against Those Responsible 

    Your birth injury lawyer can obtain and review the relevant medical records, collect evidence, and interview physicians. In medical malpractice cases, attorneys typically call on medical expert witnesses to assess whether the mother and child were treated according to the applicable standard of care.

    Other ways in which a birth injury lawyer can help you hold those responsible for your child’s injury to account can include: 

    • Helping you navigate the legal process 
    • Filing the necessary documents for your lawsuit
    • Gathering the evidence to prove your case
    • Negotiating a fair out-of-court settlement if possible 
    • Presenting your case strongly at trial

    Do not hesitate to seek help and justice for your child’s ordeal and suffering. Holding the responsible parties to account for their failures, while it cannot turn back the time and make your baby healthy, can avert financial hardship and provide some comfort.

  • Morgan & Morgan Can Help You and Your Baby

    The cost of a birth injury lawyer should never be a barrier to those who have suffered harm and deserve justice and compensation. We understand that the parents of an injured child can have a lot on their plate and may not know what to do for the best. The sheer thought of filing a lawsuit may seem overwhelming at this time.

    However, legal action may be the only way to get justice for you and your baby. Our compassionate and experienced birth injury lawyers can be by your side every step of the way, help you navigate the legal process, and deal with all aspects of your case, leaving you free to concentrate on your family.

    The time for filing a lawsuit is generally limited. Acting fast can be crucial for recovering the compensation you need to rebuild your life and safeguard your child’s future. Take action now and contact us to determine whether you have a case.

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