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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 Questions

When parents learn of their child’s intracranial hemorrhage and the resulting diagnosis they often have many questions including questions about legal issues. It is important to know that there are various legal options available to you.

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While the thought of filing a lawsuit may be daunting, it is essential to realize that if negligence caused the injury, you and your child are entitled to compensation. You’ll likely need this money because caring for a disabled child is an extremely expensive undertaking.

Do I Have a Legal Case?

The most important question and one that most people want to know is whether they have the grounds to file a legal case. Every case is different, but in general, Ohio law allows you to file a case on behalf of your child when there has been medical negligence, also known as medical malpractice. The doctor, nurse, or other medical practitioner is held to a high standard of care. When a mistake is made that causes serious harm to a patient, the doctor may be held responsible because of his negligent actions or lack of actions in the situation.

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What Are the Time Limits for Filing a Case?

It is important to file a legal case in a timely manner. In Ohio, the law requires you to file a medical malpractice case within two years of the incident. It is important to note, however, that the time frame starts only when you know about the problem. For example, if your child suffered an injury at birth but you did not realize it until he missed important developmental milestones; you would have two years to file after finding out about the injury.

What Type of Lawyer Should I Hire?

There are attorneys who specialize in various aspects of the law. It is advisable to seek an attorney with expertise in medical malpractice or birth injury lawsuits. Another option is to choose a lawyer specializing in brain trauma cases. These attorneys deal with medical malpractice matters on a daily basis and know the current laws regarding them. You are more likely to get the best results with a lawyer who understands the many intricacies of your specific type of case.

What Kind of Information Do We Need to Provide?

It is essential that you keep all information and documentation regarding your child’s brain injury. Starting with the child’s birth, you will need to keep all medical records and information you have been provided. It is helpful to keep a notebook and calendar, so you will more easily remember the dates of diagnoses and treatments. You’ll also need to keep copies of all medical bills that you have incurred because of the injury, including the portion that was paid by insurance, your co-pay, and any bills that are yet unpaid. It is also necessary to keep documentation about any medical devices, rehabilitation costs, treatments and ongoing care along with any associated expenses.

Will We Need Expert Testimony?

Generally, an expert will be needed to testify about your child’s condition. Your attorney will be helpful in locating an expert that can be used for testimony if needed. The doctor will need to evaluate your child and will review all medical records to provide an independent medical opinion. The doctor will usually be a specialist in the area of concern, such as a neurologist. Several evaluations are sometimes helpful in developing a complete case.

How long will a Legal Case Take?

Cases vary greatly depending on the factors of the situation. However, in general, a legal case may take about a year and a half to two years to go to trial. While this may seem like a long time, keep in mind that it may take a lot of time and effort for your legal team to gather the information necessary to present a successful case. It is also worth noting that many cases are settled before they go to trial. In such instances, your attorney will negotiate with a representative from the insurance company to resolve the matter favorably. If a settlement cannot be reached, the matter will proceed to trial.

It is best to learn as much as you can about the legal issues regarding a brain injury case. You will typically be able to meet with your lawyer for an initial consultation. During this meeting, you’ll be able to get answers to your questions and learn more about the legal process as it applies to your case.