Birth injury cases are civil lawsuits filed when a parent or infant sustains an injury during birth. You or your child may incur short-term or long-term medical or personal expenses stemming from the birth injury, and you may need to pursue a legal case to ensure you receive appropriate compensation.
Lawsuits can be stressful and frustrating. Take these steps to prioritize the care you or your child need, minimize your stress, and navigate the legal process gracefully.
Start by addressing immediate health needs.
Fear and stress may affect you after a birth injury. This is natural, but some physicians may be reluctant to treat birth injuries or comment on the nature of the injuries sustained if they believe your priority is pursuing a legal case against another medical professional. If your immediate concern is obtaining a comprehensive diagnosis and receiving appropriate treatment, you may be able to expedite the healing process. Focus on immediate health needs. Whether you or your child suffered the birth injury, you must complete all medical tests your doctor recommends. Ask questions to ensure you understand the implications of any symptoms or diagnosis. If you have any doubts about the medical care you’re receiving, seek a second opinion, or consult a specialist. You will increase the likelihood that you’ll be aware of the full extent of the birth injuries you or your infant sustained.
It’s also natural to prioritize physical health issues over mental health challenges because physical health problems can be life-threatening or cause chronic pain. Still, mental health issues shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s common for parents to suffer from postpartum depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after giving birth. If you or your baby suffered a birth injury, it’s more likely you’ll develop PTSD. PTSD can cause insomnia, which may affect your cognitive abilities. You may also experience pain, nightmares, and anxiety. PTSD can affect your ability to perform regular tasks, participate in regular activities, or work. Postpartum depression can cause anxiety, depression, fatigue, irritability, anger, and panic attacks.
Consult a therapist to address any mental health issues you’re experiencing. Seeing a licensed therapist can help you understand your condition and learn how to manage your symptoms. Your therapist may be able to help you cope with any anger you’re feeling, which may help you address your legal case without making personal attacks. A therapist can also help you cope with the stress of your lawsuit.
Hire a birth injury lawyer.
Birth injury attorneys are personal injury lawyers. It takes approximately seven years of postsecondary studies to earn the degrees required to become a lawyer. Lawyers are also required to pass the bar exam before they can practice law. Find a qualified attorney who’s authorized to practice law in the state where your case will be heard.
Google “Chicago birth injury attorney” to find experienced birth injury lawyers in the Chicago area. Experienced birth injury attorneys will offer a free consultation. This means you can determine how strong your case is and find an attorney you feel comfortable with before hiring anyone. Find a lawyer who has experience with similar cases because they’ll be familiar with relevant case law and other factors that could affect your case. Your attorney will also be able to let you know about other forms of compensation you may be eligible for and ensure all relevant factors related to your birth case are considered before you go to court.
Your attorney will eliminate some of the stress caused by your lawsuit because they will look after all the legal matters that must be addressed. They can also explain what to expect when you go to court and advise you about presenting yourself at trial. Consider their advice when shopping for petites you can wear in court. Find professional attire that’s comfortable. Dressing appropriately conveys your respect for the court and the legal process and will help you make a good impression on the judge presiding over your medical malpractice claim.
Your lawyer will advise you about what not to say in court. Your attorney can also help you remain calm and avoid an outburst if you’re upset by statements made in court.
Plan for the future.
Parents who suffer birth injuries may be affected by pain, hemorrhaging, or a ruptured uterus. Birth injuries can also cause infertility. Parents with birth injuries may have medical needs that will affect their daily lives. How a birth injury may affect you for years to come is relevant when pursuing your case because you may need to hire people to perform household tasks or require expensive long-term medical care.
Infants can suffer a wide range of birth injuries, including nerve damage, broken collarbones, facial paralysis, and oxygen deprivation. Infants delivered with forceps may also suffer head trauma. Birth injuries can also cause cerebral palsy and brain damage. Infants who suffer from birth injuries are also more likely to develop epilepsy. People with epilepsy are more likely to have dental issues, which may mean they’ll require special pediatric dentistry care. This could have an impact on your future dental expenses as your child gets older and should be considered when determining an appropriate amount of compensation for a birth injury.
Birth injuries may also cause brain damage, and, as a result, your child may need daily assistance. Investigate the cost of assisted living facilities to ensure you’ve considered reasonable care costs stemming from their birth injury. Residents at assisted living facilities receive assistance from caregivers who address their daily living needs.
Your child may also need occupational therapy, physical therapy, or speech therapy. Occupational therapists help individuals learn to perform routine tasks, such as tying their shoes or printing their names. Physical therapists focus on treatments that reduce pain and increase the patient’s range of motion. Speech-language pathologists work with patients who have swallowing or speech issues.
If possible, connect with parents with birth injuries or who have children with birth injuries. Search for a support group in your area. Talking to other parents with birth injury experience can help you anticipate future needs you or your child may have. Connecting with other people who’ve had similar experiences can also reduce your feelings of isolation and provide emotional support while you’re preparing your birth injury case.
Focus on addressing your immediate health needs and understanding the potential long-term implications of your birth injury. Hire an experienced attorney who can build your legal case and guide you through the process. Your attorney will help you avoid making mistakes or overlooking relevant information. Seek support from others who’ve experienced a birth injury or a professional therapist who can help you cope with mental health issues stemming from your situation. Receiving medical treatment for physical injuries, legal guidance for your lawsuit, and therapy for mental health issues will promote your recovery and help you get through the legal process gracefully.