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Did Your Newborn Suffer Cerebral
Palsy or Another Brain Injury Before
or During Labor and Delivery?

Learn More

Our Birth Brain Injury Resource Guide

the guide

Get a FREE guide of resources available throughout Ohio to children and families of children who were born with brain injuries.

Our guide can help you build a foundation of knowledge and tools that will help you help your child
now and in the future.

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Legal Options for Ohio Families

Parents of infants who suffer from pediatric brain injuries have a lot to think about. The most important concern is getting proper care and treatment for your baby. The care of an infant with brain injuries may be very expensive. Further, the child may require ongoing treatment and care and could be disabled. These issues could make it financially difficult for families to provide what is necessary for their child. When the injury was due to negligence on the part of the doctor or other medical professional legal action may be taken.

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What Happened to My Child?

Elk & Elk

Parents are focused on the infant’s health, especially in the first days after birth. The parents may begin to wonder exactly how their child was injured and what caused the injury. There could be confusion between a birth defect and a birth injury. A birth defect is something that occurred naturally to the child during the gestation period that caused a problem. A birth injury is something that happened to the infant during labor or delivery. The infant would have been healthy if the injury had not occurred at birth.

It can be difficult to determine exactly who is to blame for a birth injury. Although some injuries are unavoidable, many can be prevented. If a doctor fails to take actions that are necessary to prevent an injury from occurring it is considered negligence. Doctors are held to a standard of care for patients. They are required to provide proper care as when compared with what is expected treatment and what other professionals would do in a similar circumstance. If your child was injured at birth it is important to learn as much as you can about how the injury occurred.

Do I Have a Legal Case?

Parents wonder whether they might have a legal case. Birth injury cases can be complex and it can be difficult to gather the information necessary to make a legal claim. To bring a successful case you must be able to prove that the child was injured because of the negligent actions of the doctor or others on the medical team. This is also known as medical malpractice. A medical malpractice case can only be brought if the patient suffered a severe medical injury that resulted in damages.

Complicated pediatric brain injury cases require legal assistance. The important first step is to discuss the details of your situation with a qualified attorney. While there is much information online, it is difficult to know whether the data is relevant or even whether it is correct. For this reason it is advisable to talk to an attorney about the injury. When possible, choose a lawyer that specializes in pediatric brain injury cases. A consultation is the first meeting with an attorney. A consultation may be free or there may be a nominal fee. The purpose of the consultation is to find out whether or not your case qualifies for legal action.

Initial Consultation

Bring as much information and documentation regarding your child’s injury as you can obtain to the consultation. Make a list of questions that you want to ask at the meeting. The attorney will have some questions for parents in order to get more details of the case. If the lawyer feels that medical negligence is likely to have occurred, the case may proceed. There will be much more information necessary and more meetings with the attorney before a lawsuit is filed.

One of the most common questions that parents have is how much money they may be able to get if they file a lawsuit. Although monetary settlements vary, those who prevail in medical malpractice lawsuits will get money to cover current and future medical care, rehabilitation and treatment expenses and other costs that have been or will be incurred because of the injury. The law limits the time to file a case. In general medical malpractice cases a claim must be filed in one year of the injury. In cases of birth injuries, the law extends the time to file to four years if the injury is not immediately known.

Making a Life Care Plan

A life care plan is a document that details the treatment and care that will be needed for the child over his entire lifetime. The plan is important because it gives a full understanding of the financial and other types of support that will be required for a disabled child. It is advisable to seek professional help in making the plan. Include information from medical doctors and psychologists, teachers and others to ensure that the plan is as complete as possible. The monetary needs of the child will provide parents with the knowledge they need when filing a lawsuit.

Filing a Lawsuit

If your situation qualifies for legal action you may file a lawsuit. Your attorney will take care of all the details of the case from start to finish. While cases such as these may be lengthy, you can be assured that your attorney is always fighting to protect your child’s rights and to get the best possible results. Many of these types of cases are resolved before they go to court. These settlements are made with negotiations between your attorney and the attorney for the other party. You have the right to accept a settlement if one is offered. If negotiations do not result in a satisfactory resolution the case will go to trial. Your lawyer will present your case and provide all the necessary medical documentation and witnesses to prove your position.