Complicated deliveries put more than just the infant at risk; surgeries and other emergency procedures can affect the mother in negative ways as well. When doctors and other medical professionals have to make quick decisions in the heat of the moment, they may not be able to take every precaution into consideration.
If you or your child suffered an injury during delivery, you may be wondering whether you should file a birth injury lawsuit. Before filing your claim, however, it’s helpful to know what you may be getting into and what damages you may be able to recover.
Not every birth injury is eligible for a lawsuit, since not every injury is a result of medical malpractice. The process associated with filing a childbirth injury lawsuit is therefore the same as filing any other medical malpractice claim.
What to Know Before Filing
First, keep in mind that medical malpractice is a highly complicated law practice that is best navigated alongside an experienced birth injury attorney.
Second, don’t wait to start treatment because you’re waiting for a settlement offer from a lawsuit. If you file a claim successfully, you will be reimbursed for any and all relevant medical bills after the fact. The most important thing to do immediately after the injury is take care of yourself and your baby. Once you’ve recovered, you can consult with an attorney to determine if you have a legitimate malpractice claim, according to the criteria below.
Starting Your Claim
The first step in filing a childbirth injury claim is proving that the injury resulted from a case of medical malpractice. This means you (or your attorney) must provide reasonable evidence that the doctor in charge of delivering your child committed an act of negligence that caused injury to either you or your child.
These two pieces — determining negligence and proving causation — are crucial to the birth injury lawsuit process. Doctors who face medical malpractice claims like this will almost always defend themselves by hiring an expert to testify on their behalf. This is why working with a qualified birth injury attorney can help strengthen your case: they will locate suitable experts to argue your position from a medical standpoint.
Settling Your Claim
Some birth injury claims are settled before they ever reach court. In most scenarios, both parties involved know that preparing for trial only increases costs and stress.
However, some birth injury cases do end up in court, whether because the defendant chooses not to concede or because insurance companies won’t accept crucial pieces of evidence without the objective decision of a judge.
The dollar amount associated with a successful birth injury settlement or trial victory will vary based on the severity of the injury, the type of treatment, and whether the case went to trial or not.
In general, medical malpractice claims attempt to compensate victims for the associated medical costs and any relevant noneconomic damages that resulted from the injury. For birth injuries, these can include:
- Past and future medical expenses for the injury in question
- Past and future lost wages because of one or both parents taking time off work to care for the child
- Compensation for pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
However, the state of Indiana also places limits on how much victims can receive from their medical malpractice claim. Currently, the malpractice cap is set at $1.65 million, although it is set to increase to $1.8 million in 2019. Though this sounds like a large sum, compensating victims of medical malpractice for costly medical procedures and intangible emotional distress can rise to this limit quickly.
Contact an Indiana Birth Injury Attorney
If you’re researching the birth injury lawsuit process, remember your first priority is to take care of your and your child’s wellbeing. The birth injury claim will still be there once the major health concerns are addressed.
When you’re ready to file a claim, you don’t have to do it alone. The medical malpractice world is complicated and can quickly overwhelm people with paperwork, unfamiliar terms, and intimidating communication. An attorney will file all your paperwork, keep you ahead of deadlines, and communicate on your behalf throughout your claim.
If you’re ready to get started, call us or contact us online. Your conversation with us is totally free.