Though every case is different, most birth injury lawsuits follow a similar process. The first step to filing a lawsuit would be to contact a lawyer with experience in medical malpractice in birth injury cases.
A lawyer would be able to help you file your case, gather evidence, strengthen your claim, and potentially win compensation. Let’s learn more about the steps to filing a medical malpractice birth injury case.
- Seek a Lawyer
The first thing you should do is seek a lawyer for your case. A birth injury lawyer would be able to give you a free consultation. However, you must first determine if you are eligible to file a birth injury lawsuit before filing a claim.
If your lawyer finds out that you have a strong case, they would determine how much compensation would be needed to treat your child’s condition throughout their lifetime.
- Gather Evidence
Your lawyer needs to prove that your child’s death or injury was caused by medical negligence. And to this, they need to gather evidence and information related to your case to build a successful and strong claim.
The information could include medical records that describe the conditions your child suffered due to the birth injury. Health records that outline issues during pregnancy. Detailed series of events before, during, and after the delivery process.
- File Lawsuit
After your lawyer has collected all relevant information, the next step is to file a lawsuit. You will become the plaintiff, while the hospital or the doctor being sued will be the defendant. The court would issue a schedule for the cases, such as trial dates or mediation dates.
- Waiting for a Response
After you and your lawyer have filed a birth injury claim, the defendant has about 30 days to respond. After that, the defendant either accepts the claim and enters into negotiations or denies the claims. In case of a denial, you can take the defendant to court to fight for compensation.
While waiting for the defendant to answer your complaint, you and your lawyer would work on building your case. But, first, your lawyer would gather every piece of evidence that would prove your birth injury lawsuit and the defendant’s negligence.
This evidence could include testimony from medical experts, previous complaints against the doctor, eye-witness statements from the delivery room, and pharaohs of injuries. Then, you and your lawyer would work together to bring about a comprehensive legal strategy.
- The Court Process
If your birth injury claims require a lawyer, the court will start a discovery phase. Discovery involves hosting interviews with parties from both sides, evidence gathering, and research. Unfortunately, it can take several months to get medical records and other pieces of evidence since hospitals are usually slow to respond to requests.
In the discovery phase, the judge would request documents from the other party, and they would take depositions from the witnesses. A vital part of medical malpractice discovery is testimony from an expert medical witness. After the discovery ends, the trial would start.
A jury or a judge would listen to both sides and conclude if the plaintiff has fulfilled their burden of proof against the defendant. If so, the court would award an appropriate judgment amount to compensate the victim for their losses. If not, the plaintiff would have to file an appeal.
- The settlement, Trial, and Verdict
Birth injury lawsuits are usually resolved by a trial verdict or a birth injury settlement agreement. The defendant could agree to a birth injury settlement. This settlement involves paying a sum of money to the plaintiff.
A majority of birth injury lawsuits usually end in settlements. However, in a few cases where the birth injury settlement is not agreed upon, the case moves to a trial. During the trial, the judge or jury will listen to arguments from both parties and decide if the plaintiff deserves to be compensated by the defendant.
Most birth injury lawyers usually try to negotiate a settlement instead of going on court trials which are risky, costly, and time-consuming. If the court does not rule in your favor, you might not receive financial compensation.
If your child has cerebral palsy or any similar condition, you should seek help from an excellent birth injury lawyer. Medical miracle lawyers are specialized in dealing with such cases.
They would serve as your guide throughout the legal process while making your child’s needs their top priority. When you work with a trusted legal team, you would be assured of getting compensation and ensuring your child receives the right treatment.