The joy of being a parent for the first time is immeasurable. It fills both parents with a sense of responsibility and puts them in a state of bliss. Most parents start dreaming about their child when they get news about being pregnant and begin planning about their upcoming child. They have a sudden paradigm shift and start viewing things from a different perspective. Most first-time parents try to prepare themselves for what lay ahead. They read about pregnancy and newborn babies, look into matters after birth, and research different aspects. Aside from happiness, they feel nervous and scared of the labor. While they often think about the moment they will hold their child for the first time, they do not consider the potentiality of birth injuries.
Birth injuries generally happen due to the negligence of the medical staff. In some unfortunate cases, their carelessness can lead to severe injuries in the child or, in the worst-case scenarios, loss of life of child or mother. Parents’ dreams and hopes come tumbling down, and their first reaction is initial shock and refusal to accept reality. After recovering from the initial distress phase, they realize they can sue the responsible people for birth injury malpractice and earn compensation.
Birth Injury Cases
Birth injury cases refer to lawsuits where parents can file court cases on the people whose inattentiveness is the cause of their children’s health problems. Many aspects of birth injury cases are the same as other court cases. Still, first-time parents are often ignorant about their rights. Usually, birth injuries require parents to seek continuous medical treatments that can be heavy on pocket. Filing birth injury lawsuits can earn them rightful compensation, and they can utilize this money for their child’s medical needs.
Suppose healthcare practitioners’ decision goes against standard procedure and results in newborn babies’ injuries. In that case, parents can file a claim against medical malpractice. Medical professionals have to stay alert and provide their best services to patients. The inability to do so can make them face the consequences. Sometimes healthcare professionals could have prevented babies’ or mothers’ death, but their negligence leads to fatalities. Parents or immediate family can sue them under ‘wrongful death birth injury.’
The following are some points that can serve as a guide for time-parents on birth injury cases:
1. Hire an Attorney
The first step of filing a claim for birth injury cases is to search for competent lawyers. It is ideal for getting one on board who has experience in dealing with similar issues. First-time parents may be overwhelmed with grief and anger, but they must not let their emotions cloud their decisions. They must research and learn about lawyers’ track records before hiring them.
2. Gather Shred of Evidence
Lawyers need to prove that injuries or death could have been prevented and medical professionals’ inattentiveness is the cause behind them. To prove this, they need to collect evidence that may include a series of events before, during, and after birth and children’s health conditions. Moreover, they must also have basic knowledge of the labor process to build a strong case.
Once lawyers have got their hands on evidence, they move to the following official step and file a claim. Filing claims will make the other party, who are generally medical facilities staff, defendants. First-time parents will now become plaintiffs. The court issues the defendant’s notice and schedules the case.
3. Discovery or Response
Court will set a deadline and compel defendants to respond within it. Meanwhile, plaintiffs’ lawyers get some additional time to strengthen the case. The time is referred to as the discovery process. Usually, defendants deny and counter these claims, and parents’ attorneys have to prove their claims. Parents need to support their lawyers and help them attain more documents that provide in-depth information about children’s injuries. Sometimes parents and other related people also have to answer lawyers’ questions under oath. While parents’ lawyers build their case, defendants’ lawyers build theirs to ward off the claim in court.
Sometimes defendants go for settlement before cases reach the trial. First-time parents may find themselves in confusion about accepting and deciding the conditions and amount of the payment. In most cases, when parents go for settlement, they receive money faster than the trial, as court cases often take time. The plaintiffs must weigh the pros and cons of both decisions, consider their lawyers’ suggestions, and decide accordingly. They must remember that opting for court can prolong the case, add legal expenses, and do not even guarantee compensation.
When plaintiffs decide to go for trial, then the judge or jury determines the outcome. Court listens to both sides of claims, analyzes their pieces of evidence, and concludes accordingly. If the courts rule in the plaintiffs’ favor, they earn a decided compensation over a period. In other cases, plaintiffs have an option of going for appeal, which takes some more days.
Most people say that being a first-time parent is inexplicable, and it is the ecstatic they felt in their whole life. Almost all parents have a tingling feeling of nervousness. Still, never in their wildest dreams do they think of any mishap during birth. Unfortunate circumstances occur, and sometimes birth injury cases lead to significant health problems in newborn babies. Parents can file lawsuits against involved people and hold them accountable. If a child passes away due to negligence, they can file for a wrongful death claim. If it results in health problems, parents can go for medical negligence. Taking competent lawyers onboard raises chances of acquiring rightful compensation and wrapping a case in a few hearings. Earning a reward does not fill the void of losing a child. Still, it helps in making the responsible people face the consequences of their carelessness.