What Can I Expect With a Birth Injury Lawsuit?
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
If your child was injured at birth due to negligence on the part of the doctor or hospital staff, you might be entitled to seek compensation for yourself and your child. By filing a birth injury suit, you can hold the negligent parties responsible for your child’s injuries and pursue compensation to cover your medical bills and emotional distress.
Learn what you can expect with a birth injury lawsuit and how a compassionate birth injury attorney from Cochran, Kroll & Associates P.C. can help you navigate your case.
When to Consider a Birth Injury Lawsuit
If you suspect that your child’s birth injury was caused by another’s negligence before, during, or after labor and delivery, you may consider filing a birth injury lawsuit.
Birth injury lawsuits are a type of medical malpractice case. Birth injury suits seek to hold doctors, nurses, hospital staff, and other medical professionals responsible when they fail to uphold a high standard of care for pregnant women and their babies.
Whether your child’s injuries were caused by negligence or intentional misconduct, it is crucial to stand up for your rights by consulting with a birth injury lawyer. A birth injury lawyer can assess the circumstances of your birth injury case to determine if evidence of medical malpractice exists.
Common types of birth injuries and resulting conditions include:
- Cerebral palsy
- ERBS palsy
- Brachial palsy
- Bruising or fracturing on baby’s face or head
- Caput succedaneum (soft tissue swelling)
- Facial paralysis or nerve injury
- Brain injury
Even if you are unsure if your baby received their injuries from lack of medical care, it is beneficial to speak with a birth injury lawyer at Cochran, Kroll, & Associates P.C.
Types of Medical Negligence Related to Birth Injuries
Negligent actions that a doctor, nurse, or other members of hospital staff that result in birth injuries include:
- Failure to communicate to the mother about fetal concerns
- Failure to monitor the mother or child’s vital signs
- Failure to act promptly to prevent oxygen loss or infection
- Use of forceps or vacuum that can cause swelling, fracturing, and hemorrhaging
- Failure to provide adequate medical care pre or post-delivery
- Failure to use reasonable care in delivery timing
- Intentional misconduct
How to Prove Medical Malpractice
To prove the negligence of a medical professional or organization in Michigan, you must prove three elements.
- An injury was suffered
- The medical provider did not adhere to the expected standard of care
- The healthcare provider’s negligence caused the injury
In some cases, you must prove the likelihood of your child’s birth injuries occurring were 50% or less, if not for the practitioner’s negligence. If the probability of the birth injury occurring was more than 50% because of circumstances beyond the practitioner’s control, you may not have grounds for a lawsuit.
Filing a Birth Injury Lawsuit: What to Expect
As you move forward with filing a birth injury lawsuit, there are several steps your lawyer can help you navigate. These include an initial consultation, signing a contingency fee agreement, filing the lawsuit, and negotiating a fair settlement.
Your first actionable step in seeking compensation for your child’s birth injury is to set up a consultation with a birth injury lawyer. Cochran, Kroll, & Associates P.C. offers free, confidential consultations to anyone who believes their child was injured due to negligence during pregnancy or delivery.
During your consultation, an attorney from our team speaks with you about your case. They review medical records related to your neonatal care and baby’s birth and, when necessary, enlist a review by third-party medical experts to determine fault.
Contingency fee agreement
To officially hire your legal counsel, you sign a contingency fee agreement with your consulting lawyer. This agreement states that you don’t owe any legal fees unless you win your case. Contingency arrangements allow you to pursue compensation even if you cannot afford legal counsel upfront due to the high medical expenses needed to care for your child.
Filing a birth injury lawsuit
To initiate your case, your attorney formally files the case with the court. At this time, your attorney may ask for a settlement amount from the responsible parties.
In many cases, the defendants in your case reject this initial offer and claim they are not responsible for your child’s injuries. If this occurs, your lawyer builds your case by gathering additional evidence such as witness statements, expert testimony, photos, and medical bills. They may also gather proof of pain and suffering and emotional distress that you and your child have suffered and may continue to suffer.
Negotiating a fair settlement
As your case progresses, your lawyer either settles out-of-court for a fair amount or pursue full damages in a court of law.
If you and your attorney can come to an agreement with the defendant’s legal team and insurance company, you will receive a settlement check a few weeks after signing the final settlement agreement. Your legal team takes the percentage agreed upon in the contingency arrangement, and you keep the remainder to pay for expenses related to your child’s birth injury.
If your birth injury case goes to court, you may have to attend the trial and provide testimony, depending on your lawyer’s legal strategy. In a trial case, your attorney pursues economic and non-economic damages from the defendant.
In Michigan, the legal landscape surrounding caps on different types of damages and medical malpractice laws is complex and ever-evolving. It is vital that you work with a skilled attorney who understands the law and can pursue the maximum amount possible.
What Amount of Compensation Can You Expect?
As of 2021, Michigan state law placed a $280,000 cap on non-economic damages. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, emotional distress, physical impairment, physical disfigurement, loss of consortium, and loss of quality of life.
If your baby’s injuries are severe, you may be able to receive up to $500,000 in non-economic damages. Severe injuries include:
- Birth injuries that permanently impaired cognitive capacity
- Injuries incurred by spinal cord or brain damage that cause functional loss of one or more limbs
- Prevention of procreation due to permanent loss or damage to a reproductive organ
There is currently no cap on the number of economic damages you can receive for a birth injury lawsuit in Michigan. Economic damages include hospital bills, medical care expenses, loss of employment, loss of future employment, and child care costs. If found responsible for your child’s birth injury in Michigan, the defendant may be ordered to pay you the total calculable expenses related to the injury.
Some of the birth injury settlements we have achieved for our clients include:
- $15.8 million to a young couple in Monroe, Michigan, whose son, Jason, was inflicted with cerebral palsy due to an error in the final stages of labor
- $3.8 million for a child in Southern Michigan who developed cerebral palsy and developmental delays due to lack of oxygen and brain injuries during labor
- $2.2 million ($1.3 million to a family in Brighton and $900,000 to a Detroit family) for Michigan families whose children sustained birth injuries due to medical malpractice
Working With a Birth Injury Attorney
A birth injury lawyer can help you fight for the compensation you deserve for your emotional suffering and your child’s physical injuries.
When searching for legal representation, choose Cochran, Kroll, & Associates P.C. Our team is highly skilled in legal proceedings around medical malpractice and birth injury cases.
Eileen Kroll, one of our senior partners, is a registered nurse and attorney with extensive experience in the medical industry. She earned her Juris Doctor in 1990 and immediately began specializing in medical malpractice claims, working tirelessly to maximize the outcome of each case she handles.
Schedule a Free Consultation
If you suspect that your child was injured due to medical negligence at birth, contact an experienced birth injury lawyer at Cochran, Kroll, & Associates P.C. We are passionate about helping victims of medical malpractice receive the compensation they deserve for the injuries their child has suffered.
Our contingency fee basis means we only get paid if we win your case, so there is no financial risk to you to get started. Call our law firm today at 866-MICH-LAW and schedule your no-obligation, free case evaluation.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.