Parents of injured children often struggle with questions such as – Should I hire an attorney to pursue compensation in a birth injury claim? The answer depends on the extent and cause of the injury.
An attorney can provide legal representation if a parent believes a doctor or hospital’s mistake caused a birth injury, such as Erb’s palsy or cerebral palsy. A Florida lawyer can help a parent pursue fair and adequate compensation in a birth injury claim or lawsuit. Hiring an attorney may improve a victim’s chances of securing a successful settlement or award.
Determining the Need to Hire an Attorney after a Birth Injury
Many attorneys will provide victims a free initial consultation to determine whether there are grounds for a birth injury case.
During this first meeting, the attorney and parent(s) may discuss matters including:
- What is the extent of your child’s injuries?
- What are your injury-related expenses?
- Will your child require surgery or long-term care?
- What was the extent of your prenatal care?
- Did your doctor talk to you about injury risks or offer alternative birthing options?
- Did anything happen in the delivery room that indicated doctor error or negligence?
- Did the doctor or hospital attempt to blame you for your child’s birth injury or discourage you from contacting an attorney?
An attorney may then discuss the option to pursue a birth injury claim if he or she believes there are sufficient grounds and evidence for legal action. The parent has the right to hire the attorney that best suits his or her needs.
Why an Attorney May be Necessary for a Claim
An attorney is positioned to handle all of the complex, detailed casework that otherwise might overwhelm a busy parent.
Some of the tasks an attorney can handle include:
- conducting investigations into how and why the injury occurred and who is liable;
- interviewing witnesses and securing witness testimony;
- consulting medical experts;
- collecting evidence to substantiate a claim;
- facilitating all conversations with hospitals and insurance companies; and
- determining a fair settlement offer that encompasses all past and future damages.
- An attorney acts as an advocate for an injured child and his or her parents in the pursuit of fair compensation.
Choosing a Florida Birth Injury Attorney
Birth injury claims benefit from attorneys experienced in similar cases. Factors to take into account when choosing an attorney include:
- How many birth injury cases has the attorney prosecuted?
- Who will actually handle the investigation and courtroom work (will an associate or paralegal conduct most of the legwork or will the attorney handle the case personally)?
- What kinds of compensation does the attorney intend to pursue in a birth injury claim?
These are just a few of the examples of what to discuss in an initial consultation with a Florida birth injury attorney.