A birth injury can be a devastating experience during what should be a joyful time for a family. If your child experienced an injury during childbirth, or if the child’s mother was injured due to negligent medical treatment during childbirth, these incidents qualify as birth injuries. Many birth injuries, especially those affecting babies, result in lifelong medical complications. If you believe a recent birth injury occurred due to the negligence of attending physicians or other medical staff, you likely have grounds for a medical malpractice claim.
It’s natural for any family to have difficult questions concerning their legal rights after a birth injury. It can be challenging to accurately assess the full scope of the damage resulting from birth injuries. Many children experience permanent disabilities and may even suffer fatal injuries due to negligence. Whatever your unique situation entails, it’s vital to consult an experienced attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options for legal recourse.
Why Should I Hire a Birth Injury Lawyer in San Diego?
Navigating any medical malpractice claim is incredibly difficult. Even seemingly straightforward claims are different from other personal injury claims and entail complex procedural rules. Birth injury claims are even more challenging due to the significant emotional stress and trauma these incidents cause. Attempting to manage your legal affairs on your own while simultaneously managing the aftermath of a birth injury would be a tremendous undertaking. Instead of approaching this situation alone, you should seek legal assistance from an experienced San Diego birth injury attorney as soon as possible.
Your legal team can help you understand the legal mechanisms in play during your case, allowing you to approach the situation with a clearer understanding of your rights and greater confidence. In addition, you can rely on your birth injury lawyer to help you gather the evidence you need to prove liability for the birth injury and secure compensation for the full scope of your claimable damages.
When Should I Contact a Birth Injury Lawyer?
Ideally, you should connect with an experienced and reliable birth injury lawyer as soon as possible after experiencing a birth injury. The sooner you secure legal counsel, the better your chances of holding the responsible parties accountable for your family’s damages and distress. The statute of limitations for all medical malpractice claims in California is two years, and this time limit begins on the date an injury occurs or the date that harm from the injury is discovered. While this may sound like plenty of time to file your claim, there are several procedural steps you will need to complete before you can take formal legal action for a birth injury.
Your attorney can help you navigate the medical licensing board process that is typically required before a birth injury claimant can proceed with their lawsuit. The medical board with jurisdiction over the medical professional you name as the defendant in your claim must review your case. They will determine whether your claim holds merit and provide you with guidance as to your best next steps if they deem your claim valid. You should also prepare for an extensive series of medical examinations from other health care providers who can review your situation and support your claim. Considering all the steps required to successfully file a birth injury claim, it’s best to start working on them as soon as possible.
Q: How Long After a Birth Injury Can You Sue?
A: If you intend to file a civil claim for a birth injury, you must meet the two-year statute of limitations upheld in California. This typically means two years from the birth of your child. However, if your child sustained a birth injury and symptoms aren’t immediately recognizable, you would have two years from the date you discovered the birth injury.
Q: What Percentage Does a Lawyer Get in a Settlement in California?
A: Most medical malpractice lawyers offer contingency fee billing to clients. This means clients do not pay upfront legal fees and instead pay their attorneys a percentage of their case awards. A good attorney should clearly explain their billing policies immediately to a prospective client. On average, most contingency fee agreements fall between 25% and 40% of the case award.
Q: What Is the Most Common Birth Injury?
A: The most common birth injury is brachial palsy, which affects the nerves of the neck, shoulder, and upper arm. As a baby passes through the birth canal and becomes stuck, force applied to free the baby from the birth canal can damage the nerves of the brachial plexus. While this condition may heal over time, children with brachial palsy often struggle with mobility issues during the early years of their lives.
Q: How Are Birth Injuries Treated?
A: Birth injury treatment varies from case to case. Some children will require minimal medical intervention and may heal relatively easily from birth injuries. However, other children are not so fortunate, and some may require intensive medical care, corrective surgeries, and various ongoing therapies to safely manage their conditions and symptoms.
Q: Are Birth Injuries Permanent?
A: Some birth injuries will heal completely with swift diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Others will heal over time, resulting in minimal long-term complications. Unfortunately, in other cases, children affected by birth injuries develop severe disabilities that cannot be fully corrected in the future. For example, cerebral palsy can result from any brain damage before or during childbirth, and this condition is permanent.
Experiencing any birth injury can not only turn what should be a time of celebration into an extraordinarily tragic incident but also leave the family wondering about their legal options. Navigating any birth injury case is incredibly difficult without the support of a skilled medical malpractice lawyer who can help you approach your case with a clearer understanding of the legal mechanisms in play. If your family has recently experienced a birth injury in San Diego, CA, the team at Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates can help. Contact us today for more information about the legal services our firm can provide after your family has experienced a birth injury of any kind.