A Comprehensive Guide to Birth Injury Settlements
Most people see childbirth as a celebration of life. However, giving birth is also a high-risk procedure where anything could go wrong. Both the mother and the baby could easily be injured during delivery.
Birth injuries are more common than most people think. Studies have shown that seven of 1,000 babies will be born with some physical trauma from birth.
Several factors cause these injuries. In most cases, they result from unavoidable circumstances like delayed childbirth. However, they can also occur due to someone else’s negligence.
If you believe your baby has been injured due to a medical error, we’re here to help. This blog will discuss everything you need to know about birth injury settlements in California.
What is A Birth Injury?
Birth injuries are physical injuries sustained before, during, and after childbirth. They range from mild cuts to severe nerve damage.
Due to how strenuous labor can be, it’s common for some babies to get minor injuries during delivery. Some newborns are fortunate enough to get ones that heal independently, while others aren’t as lucky.
Here are the different types of severe birth injuries a baby can sustain:
When a baby’s brachial plexus is stretched or torn during childbirth, it results in nerve damage.
The brachial plexus includes five nerves running from our neck to our chest and armpit. They’re responsible for controlling our shoulders, arms, and hands.
Erb’s palsy is one of the most common conditions newborns sustain when the nerves around their shoulders and upper arms are injured. There are also instances where patients sustain facial paralysis due to nerve damage.
Spinal Cord Damage
Spinal cord injuries happen when the connecting nerves between the brain and the body are damaged. The severity of these injuries ranges from mild bruises to complete spinal tears.
Some newborns are fortunate enough only to experience reduced sensation. At worst, spinal cord birth injuries could lead to complete immobility and brain damage.
Jaundice is a highly common condition among newborns. Around 60% of babies in the US are born with excessive bilirubin in their body, a substance that can cause their skin to look yellowish.
Most cases of jaundice can easily be treated with light therapy. If not, a blood transfusion may be required to remove the bilirubin in the blood.
When there’s a buildup of ruptured blood vessels within the tissue that covers the baby’s skull, it results in cephalohematoma.
Mild cases of this birth injury typically heal on their own. On the other hand, severe cases could lead to fatal complications if the hematoma is never properly treated.
Vacuum Extraction Injuries
When a mother has difficulty giving birth, doctors may use assistive delivery devices like a vacuum extractor. If not used properly, the extractor could lead to various injuries, including the following:
- Scalp wounds
- Skull fractures
- Internal bleeding
- Brain damage
- Erb’s palsy
What Causes Birth Injuries?
Several conditions could lead to birth injuries. But the majority of these injuries are caused by medical malpractice and negligence. What makes them different from one another is intent and awareness.
It’s considered negligence when someone else’s recklessness injures you or a loved one. For example, if a doctor exerts too much force during delivery and causes the newborn to sustain injuries, it’s considered medical negligence.
On the other hand, malpractice is when a medical professional chooses to ignore the potential dangers of a procedure. All medical professionals are trained and expected to be extremely cautious. It’s the only way to provide their patients with the highest standard of care possible.
What Are Birth Injury Settlements?
Birth injury settlements are monetary compensation awarded to victims. They’re meant to cover the cost of the following:
- Medical bills
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Assistive Devices
- Lost wages
The average amount for birth injury settlements is around $1,750,000 to $2,000,200. This number could still change depending on the specifics of your case.
Things like the type of birth injury, the estimated cost of life-long care, and other similar factors will affect the amount of your claim.
It’s also worth noting that California limits the amount you can recover for non-economic damages to a maximum of $250,000. This regulation was placed in 1975 under the California Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA).
How to File For A Birth Injury Settlement
According to California law, victims can file a claim for birth injury settlements within two years from the date of the injury. If the incident led to wrongful death, they have a 3-year statute of limitation.
Here’s what you need to do to file a claim for birth injury settlements:
Find A Lawyer
Coping with a birth injury incident is difficult; what more if you have to deal with the legal ramifications of the situation without help?
Cases that involve medical malpractice are more complicated than you think. Finding a reliable lawyer with plenty of experience handling similar cases is best.
Working with an experienced birth injury lawyer increases your chances of winning a fair claim. Your attorney will help you determine whether you have a valid claim. Once they assess your claim, they’ll build a robust case on your behalf.
Build Your Case
Your lawyers will proceed to the discovery stage if they take your case. They’ll start gathering evidence and conducting their investigation of the incident. Additionally, they may ask you to provide them with your medical records and prenatal care.
In some cases, your lawyers will be the ones to review these documents to establish your case, or they’ll hire a medical expert to help them assess the evidence.
Once they’ve successfully built a case for you, they’ll start negotiating your birth injury settlement. Most medical malpractice cases are settled before it reaches a court. Your lawyer will immediately submit a demand package outlining how the incident unfolded to your healthcare provider.
The package will include all the evidence they found during discovery and your birth injury settlement amount.
Most of the time, the at-fault party will try to make a counteroffer. If your attorney thinks their proposed settlement isn’t enough, they’ll continue negotiating with them until they reach an agreement.
Lawsuits will only be filed if your lawyers and the defendant’s representative can’t agree on your birth injury settlement amount.
Why Should You Pursue A Birth Injury Settlement?
As a parent, seeing your child suffer from an injury that could’ve been easily prevented is upsetting. Under such circumstances, seeking justice for your family is only right.
By filing a birth injury settlement against the at-fault party, you can secure a better future for your child. You’ll be able to get their injuries in condition and improve their overall quality of life.
Get all the help you need in filing a birth injury lawsuit and contact Adamson Ahdoot today.
Adamson Ahdoot is a full-service civil litigation firm with over 100 years of combined legal experience handling birth injury cases.
With our help, you can trust that the best lawyers will handle your case with the intimacy and attention to detail of a boutique firm, with the expertise of a larger one.
Our team will help you negotiate with the at-fault party. We’ll use the evidence you’ve gathered to determine the true value of your claim and help you assess any settlement they may offer.
We proudly serve a diverse clientele with their car accident cases and offer free English and Spanish consultations. Call us at (800) 310-1606 and start building a robust claim today.
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