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Best Birth Injury Lawyer in Pittsburgh
It is supposed to be one of life’s most joyful moments: the birth of a child. Sometimes, the most joyful moment can turn into a nightmare because of the negligence of a healthcare provider. When a newly born infant suffers an injury, the medical team that delivered the baby and the facility where they work might be legally liable for causing a birth injury. If your newborn infant suffered an injury during childbirth, you need to answer the question, “How can I find the best birth injury lawyer in Pittsburgh?”
The birth injury attorneys at Morgan & Morgan understand the immense pain and suffering you have endured because of a birth injury. Because it takes all your energy to rebound from the worst setback possible, you should delegate the responsibility for litigating your case to an experienced team of lawyers that has won favorable judgments for clients since 1988. We have litigated personal injury cases that have earned our clients more than $7 billion in monetary damages.
You cannot afford to hire an inexperienced team of Pittsburgh birth injury lawyers. Hospitals fight back hard against charges of medical malpractice, which means you need to hire an experienced team of litigators that never back down when fighting for the rights of clients. We will sit down with the lawyers representing the healthcare provider to negotiate a favorable settlement. If the other party’s attorneys refuse to settle your case, then we will aggressively pursue legal action in a civil courtroom.
We know you are devastated by what happened, but you cannot afford to delay taking legal action against the healthcare provider that committed medical malpractice during childbirth. Schedule a free consultation with one of our birth injury attorneys to determine the best legal strategy for your case.
Morgan & Morgan
What Are the Most Common Types of Birth Injury Cases?
Medical malpractice cases, especially those involving a birth injury, can be highly complex cases to litigate. For example, the healthcare provider under legal scrutiny might claim your child suffers from a birth defect, not a birth injury. The difference between the two medical terms is a birth defect develops while a child is in the womb, while a birth injury occurs at the time of childbirth.
A birth injury lawyer in Pittsburgh also must understand the differences in the most common types of birth injuries. At Morgan & Morgan, our birth injury lawyers have a detailed knowledge of the following common types of birth injuries.
- Head trauma
- Nerve damage
- Cerebral palsy
- Deprivation of oxygen
- Paralysis of the face
- Erb’s palsy
- Spina bifida
Your Pittsburgh birth injury lawyer conducts a thorough investigation into your case to determine the seriousness of the birth injury. Medical malpractice cases such as a birth injury take more time to litigate than other types of personal injury lawsuits, such as car accidents and premise liability. If your child suffered a relatively minor injury at birth and it appears the injury will heal, we might try to negotiate a settlement to keep your case out of the often backed-up judicial system.
What Does a Birth Injury Lawyer Do?
We cannot emphasize this enough: You need to find an attorney who specializes in litigating birth injury cases. The first thing a birth injury lawyer does is schedule a free case evaluation with a prospective client. During the free case evaluation, you can expect the lawyer sitting across from you to ask several questions regarding your case. The Pittsburgh birth injury lawyer examines the evidence you bring to the meeting, with special attention paid to medical records that are associated with the birth of your child.
The lawyer you hire should explain your rights as established by both state and federal laws. You have a limited amount of time to file a civil lawsuit. Your attorney helps you meet the deadline for filing every required document. Birth injury attorneys conduct thorough investigations that include interviewing every member of the medical team that was present during the childbirth. Your lawyer will meet with medical experts to determine whether the healthcare provider committed one or more acts of negligence that led to a birth injury.
If your attorney cannot reach a favorable settlement with the other party, your case will go to trial. During the trial, your lawyer presents evidence that supports your claim of negligence, as well as calls witnesses to the stand to testify on your behalf. You can expect to testify as well, which means your attorney will prepare you for perhaps the most critical phase of the trial. Before the trial reaches the verdict stage, your lawyer will ask for monetary damages to help you recover the costs associated with the healthcare provider’s act or acts of negligence.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Birth Injury Lawsuit?
Every state sets a period for filing a birth injury lawsuit called the statute of limitations. In Pennsylvania, plaintiffs have two years to file a birth injury lawsuit. Although two years seems like more than enough time to file a civil lawsuit, birth injury cases require more time to gather and organize evidence. Because of the complexity of birth injury cases, you should schedule a free case evaluation with a Pittsburgh birth injury lawyer as quickly as possible after the birth injury incident.
The clock for the statutes of limitations typically starts on the day when the birth injury occurred. Some birth injuries do not cause immediately recognizable symptoms. This is particularly true for brain trauma cases. If your child did not show symptoms of a birth injury at the time of childbirth, the clock starts ticking on the day when your pediatrician notices the development of birth injury-related symptoms.
What Are the Steps for a Birth Injury Case?
When you sit down with one of our Pittsburgh birth injury lawyers, you will learn about the steps that commonly unfold during the litigation process.
The first step of the litigation process is to try to avoid litigation. Your lawyer sends the healthcare provider a demand letter that requests compensation. A demand letter demonstrates that you hold the healthcare provider responsible for causing your child harm. The healthcare provider can respond to the demand letter or simply ignore it.
Collect and Organize Evidence
While you wait to hear from the healthcare provider, your attorney continues to build a strong case for litigation. Three elements constitute a strong birth injury case. First, when did the medical malpractice take place, and at what facility? Second, could the healthcare provider have prevented the birth injury? Finally, who is responsible for causing your child harm?
File the Lawsuit
Once your Pittsburgh birth injury lawyer feels confident in building a compelling case, the next step is to file the proper paperwork to initiate a civil lawsuit. After filing the lawsuit with a court clerk, you become the plaintiff in the case. The healthcare provider that has become the defendant has a limited amount of time to respond to the lawsuit.
Negotiate a Settlement
When you sent the demand letter, your attorney asked for compensation. After filing a civil lawsuit, your Pittsburgh birth injury lawyer can ask the legal counsel for the defendant to negotiate a favorable settlement. Negotiations can take place at any time, but they typically occur after the discovery phase of a civil lawsuit.
Discovery brings both parties to the table. Each party hands over evidence and information to the other side’s attorney. The discovery phase of a civil lawsuit includes the depositions provided by witnesses. Depositions do not carry the same legal weight as court testimony, but they help determine the strength of a birth injury case. Medical experts such as pediatricians provide information during a deposition that can be used by either side.
If your case goes to trial, a judge or jury will hear your case. Either a judge or jury issues a verdict that determines whether you receive monetary damages for the birth injury incident. If a judge or jury denies your request for just compensation, then you have a right to file an appeal for a second chance at receiving monetary damages.
What Are the Types of Monetary Damages?
The judge or jury hearing your case can award you up to four types of monetary damages.
Special Compensatory Damages
Special compensatory damages represent the direct costs of a birth injury incident. Also called economic damages, special compensatory damages pay for past medical expenses and just as important, future medical expenses. Many types of birth injuries can take years and even a lifetime to treat.
General Compensatory Damages
Watching your child suffer from a birth injury can trigger considerable mental anguish and emotional distress. General compensatory damages do not cover any tangible expenses. Instead, your attorney calculates a figure that best represents how much the birth injury has caused you and your family pain and suffering.
Wrongful Death Damages
The most severe birth injuries can lead to the death of an infant. Wrongful death damages often exceed the compensation awarded for the other three types of monetary damages. Sympathetic judges and juries like to award substantial sums of money to grieving families.
As the term implies, punitive damages punish the defendant for committing one or more acts of negligence. Punitive damages do not pay for your family’s medical bills or the pain and suffering that constitutes general compensatory damages.
How Do I Find a Birth Injury Attorney in Pittsburgh?
The first factor to consider for hiring a Pittsburgh birth injury attorney is experience and not just any kind of experience. Your lawyer must have compiled a record of success that spans more than 10 years. At Morgan & Morgan, we have successfully litigated personal injury cases for more than three decades. Next, you want to work with a lawyer who has your best interests in mind. Maybe you think settling the case is better than going to trial. Whatever your wishes, your Pittsburgh birth injury lawyer must honor them.
One of the keys to finding the right birth injury attorney is the time you spend during a free case evaluation. A free case evaluation not only provides you with insight into a lawyer's skill set, but you also can learn whether the attorney brings compassion to the table. Compassionate legal counsel is a must for a highly sensitive birth injury case.
Schedule a free consultation today with one of our experienced Pittsburgh birth injury lawyers.