Injuries that occur at birth can have lifelong impacts on infants. While some birth injuries are acts of nature and do not result from any departure from the standard of care, sometimes they happen because the doctors, healthcare providers, nurses, or others are negligent in their duties. Families deserve compensation when such negligence leads to serious birth injuries. That’s why ASK LLP fights tirelessly for justice.
If your child suffered an injury during birth in Michigan, Minnesota, or Wisconsin, you should speak with an ASK lawyer as soon as possible. It’s crucial that we take on your case early so that we can preserve evidence, take statements from witnesses while memories are untainted by time, and begin building a strong case for the compensation your child deserves.
Elements of a Birth Injury Claim
An injury during the birth process does not automatically qualify a person for compensation. In order to get compensation, your attorney will need to prove several elements. We do this through the gathering of evidence and testimony.
Duty of Care
First, your birth injury lawyer will need to show that the person you are holding responsible for the birth injury had a legal duty to provide care. This is usually straightforward, as the following people have a clear-cut duty to provide reasonable medical assistance without harm:
- Birthing centers/hospitals/other healthcare facilities
Failure to Uphold the Standard of Care
Next, there must be an instance of negligence, which in this case means that the at-fault party failed to provide the proper level of medical assistance. A birth injury attorney needs to show that the at-fault person either took incorrect and dangerous actions outside the standard of care accepted by other healthcare professionals in similar situations or failed to take actions that the medical community deems appropriate in these circumstances.
This may be the most difficult part of a birth injury case to prove. In order to get compensation, you’ll need to show that the negligence of the at-fault party directly contributed to your child’s birth injury. Even a proven deviation from the standard of care will not be enough to warrant compensation if it had no ill effect or no connection with your child’s birth injury. Below is a brief example of how the chain of causation may work in a specific birth injury claim.
- The doctor or nursing staff failed to monitor your child during a critical part of the birth process.
- During this time, the child lost oxygen to their brain, resulting in significant injuries.
- Experts in the field testify that this loss of oxygen would have been prevented had the staff been monitoring the birth as they were supposed to.
Compensation in a Birth Injury Claim
If your child suffered a birth injury your compensation should cover many elements and forms of damage. By speaking with a lawyer about any possible settlement offers, you can be sure that the amount offered adequately covers the monetary costs, emotional trauma, and other issues for which your child and you deserve to be compensated.
The more concrete form of damages includes all the ways that your child’s birth injury brings monetary harm. This is not to say that economic impacts are the most important. Far from it. However, they are often the easiest form of damage to consider, as they come with clear-cut monetary values. Examples of monetary harm due to a birth injury include:
- Medical bills associated with your child’s recovery from the injury
- The cost of medical care in the future (such as lifelong therapy sessions, repeated surgeries to correct the injury, or the cost of medications your child will need to take for the rest of their life)
- Your child’s lost earning capacity if their birth injury will likely render them unable to join the workforce when they come of age
- Lost wages as a result of having to miss work to care for your child
The more difficult form of damage to assess is the non-economic harm you and your family endure after a birth injury. This kind of damage includes the emotional suffering, physical pain, and other subjective forms of harm that result from your child’s birth injury. Since these do not come with receipts or bills that show an objective dollar amount, they can be tough to valuate. This is one area in which having a skilled Minnesota, Michigan, and western Wisconsin birth injury lawyer on your side can help you get a fair settlement offer or jury award (if your case goes to trial).
In rare circumstances, a court may decide to punish the at-fault party for actions or negligence that are well beyond the norm. For example, a doctor who was inebriated while trying to provide medical care may be considered exceptionally negligent and a jury may decide to award you additional compensation called punitive or exemplary damages. However, this is rare and is entirely up to the court. Your attorney cannot directly argue for punitive damages but can try to paint a compelling picture of the egregiousness of the at-fault party’s behavior to steer a jury toward that decision.
Get Help with a Birth Injury Lawsuit Today
If your child suffered a birth injury, they and your family may be entitled to significant compensation. You have suffered enough and likely face hardship in the future caring for a child that requires additional care and assistance. While you and your family recover from this devastating incident, allow the birth injury lawyers at ASK LLP to handle the legal side of the issue and seek the compensation you deserve.
Get in touch with us today for a FREE consultation on the ways that our attorneys, licensed in Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, can help you fight for your child’s rights.