Legal Resources for HIE
In our last section, we covered a list of Community Resources for HIE. In this section we will discuss how a birth injury attorney can investigate whether a child’s HIE was due to a preventable medical error and whether you may be owed compensation.
This information has been compiled from government sources, medical sources, and from consulting with experts on HIE and Cerebral Palsy.
Continue reading to learn about Legal Support for families and children affected by HIE and Cerebral Palsy.
What Is a Birth Injury Attorney?
A birth injury attorney is an attorney who focuses primarily on injuries that occur at or near the time of birth. This practice area is part of the broader category of personal injury law.
You may associate personal injury attorneys with ads on TV talking about car accidents, slip-and-falls, and medical malpractice. However, birth injury attorneys differ from more general medical malpractice and personal injury attorneys in several important ways.
An experienced birth injury attorney will have accumulated knowledge and exposure to the complicated medicine surrounding birth injuries. When it comes to injuries that occur at or near birth, the medicine is often complex.
Medical professionals, including nurses and doctors, are required to uphold a certain standard of care. They are required by law to abide by this standard of care. When medical professionals do not follow the standard of care, they can put the mother and child at risk of injury.
A birth injury attorney can help investigate the facts surrounding a birth injury to find out whether the medical professionals upheld the standard of care. If you have questions about whether a birth injury was preventable, a birth injury attorney can help find out if the injury could have been avoided.
Finally, because of the sensitive nature of birth injuries and because of the complexity of the law and medicine, many birth injuries feel that birth injury practice is truly their calling. They often have a deep desire to serve the families and children who have been affected by birth injuries. As counselors, guides, and lawyers, birth injury attorneys want to join your team and help advocate for what is best for you and your child.
How Can a Birth Injury Attorney Help?
A birth injury attorney can help in two ways: by providing support and non-legal resources to help inform and guide your strategy for managing a birth injury, and by evaluating and pursuing legal action.
Because of their exposure to the birth injury community, many birth injury attorneys are well connected with the support groups and information resources related to birth injuries. Even if you do not have a legal cause of action, speaking with a birth injury attorney may result in finding great information related to birth injuries.
If the birth injury was caused by a preventable medical error, then a birth injury attorney can help you evaluate pursuing legal action. In that event, you may be able to recover money damages to compensate you and your child for the medical malpractice that resulted in the birth injury.
A successful recovery can open up early intervention and treatment options that may otherwise be financially burdensome, and can provide long term peace of mind that the child will receive the medical care that they need.
What Happens When You Contact a Birth Injury Attorney?
On first contact with a birth injury attorney, you will likely speak to a secretary or paralegal. This staff member will collect basic information, like your name, your child’s name, when the injury occurred, where it happened, facts about the injury, and the present condition of the child.
The staff member will bring a summary for the birth injury attorney so that the attorney can prepare for a follow up interview.
After preparing their questions, a birth injury attorney will call you to do an initial interview. During this interview, the attorney will introduce themselves, get to know you, and ask you questions to fill in the details about the facts surrounding the birth injury.
At this point, the birth injury attorney may already know whether further legal action is appropriate, and they may advise you on that question at the end of the interview. Often times, more information is required.
If a birth injury attorney believes or has questions after the interview about whether the injury was caused by a preventable medical error, the next step is to investigate. During the investigation process, the attorney may ask the hospital or medical professionals for records related to the birth and injury.
The attorney may also seek advice from medical experts, asking medical professionals to review the records and verify whether they see an injury that was caused by a preventable medical error.
If at the end of the investigation, the attorney believes that the birth injury was due to a preventable medical error, then the next step is often to file a lawsuit.
During the lawsuit, both sides will have opportunities to ask each other questions, perform discovery, and interview key witnesses. It is common that many lawsuits settle at some point during this process before trial.
If the case is hotly disputed between the parties, then the case may end up going to trial, where the attorneys will put the facts before a judge or a jury. Once the judge or jury has made a determination, then a verdict is entered. If your attorney succeeds, then the verdict will include a sum of money that will be paid to compensate you and / or your child for the birth injury.
After the case is over, your attorney may follow up with you from time to time to check in on how your family is doing. A good attorney will have an open door policy, encouraging you to contact them at any time down the road if a new problem develops.
About Brown Trial Firm
Getting help for a child with HIE or Cerebral Palsy can make a big difference. Because early intervention is often key to helping improve a child’s wellbeing, it’s important to act swiftly.
At the Brown Trial Firm, our birth injury attorneys can help you investigate your case, find answers to your questions, and determine whether you are entitled to compensation.
We offer case reviews at no cost or obligation. Many birth injuries that cause cerebral palsy could have been prevented. Don’t wait, get help today. Call us toll free at +1 (866) 223-7465 or email us a [email protected].