Choosing a Birth Injury Lawyer
Discovery of a birth injury to an infant is the start of an overwhelming and trying time for many families.
There are many questions about what the future is going to look like and how they will possibly afford all the necessary care.
Amid the heartache, frustration and questioning, there is a key decision to be made: Choosing a birth injury lawyer. At The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, our Boston birth injury attorneys do recognize that some families may not want to deal with even the thought of a lawsuit. But the fact of the matter is, although the process may be arduous, it will ultimately make life easier because many of those financial burdens will be relieved.
What many parents are fighting for is not vengeance against the doctor or health care provider who harmed their child, but rather to ensure their child has access to the care he or she needs to thrive.
In cases where an infant has suffered a wrongful death as a result of a birth injury, parents want to ensure the same thing doesn’t happen to another child or family.
Birth injuries occur because physicians and other health care providers failed to abide the accepted standard of care for their profession. Those individuals do need to be held to account, and families harmed by negligence have every right to demand recovery.What a Birth Injury Lawyer Does
Anytime a person suffers an injury or fatality as a result of someone else’s wrongful action, it is reasonable to ask for fair compensation.
While it is advisable to at least consult with a personal injury attorney on any potential civil case, it is imperative to hire one in a medical malpractice action.
Doctors are not automatically held responsible for damages resulting from a medical procedure. In order to prevail in an action, plaintiff must show the doctor or health care provider was negligent. A poor outcome alone isn’t proof of that. Rather, one must show the doctor or health care professional failed to meet the minimum standards accepted by the medical community.
One of the key elements to proving this is expert witness testimony. In the 1984 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling in Forlano v. Hughes, it was held expert witness testimony MUST be presented in order to support a claim for medical malpractice.
That means someone of defendant’s same expertise has to be hired to analyze the facts of your case and present evidence in court in your favor. That is needed just to get a foot in the courtroom door. Many families don’t personally have the resources to do this on their own, nor would many even know where to start looking.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman have access to substantial resources and expert contacts. By utilizing a contingency fee arrangement with clients, we ensure they will not need to pay these costs upfront. In fact, we collect nothing unless you win your birth injury case.
Your attorney should:
- Conduct a thorough investigation of the facts in your case;
- Identify all potential defendants in the medical malpractice action (i.e., doctors, nurses, hospitals, laboratories, etc.);
- Consult with and hire an experienced expert witness (sometimes more than one);
- Initiate the claim by providing appropriate notice and filing;
- Conduct a thorough “discovery” of the facts, which includes gathering facts and witness testimony from numerous sources, including defendants;
- Filing motions with the court throughout the procedure to gain strategic advantage;
- Update you regularly on the status and what is required of you;
- Engage in settlement negotiations, if appropriate;
- Be prepared to take the case to trial.
It’s important for parents to understand that because birth injury cases involve highly technical medical details, they are often long, drawn-out affairs. Defendants in these cases tend to be represented by well-funded defense firms. At minimum, you are looking at engagement in the process for a matter of months.
More often, successful resolution of a case can take years. Even if you win at trial, the defense has the option of appeal. You need a law firm that is committed to working side-by-side with you until the end, with compassionate, dedicated and knowledgeable attorneys with the resources and the time to take up this kind of fight.
That’s why the choosing the right birth injury lawyer is an important decision.Questions to Ask Your Birth Injury Lawyer
Because of the long-term nature of these cases, finding a lawyer who is committed and in whom you trust is important. It’s a good idea to interview several attorneys at different law firms to ascertain who might be the best for your situation.
Some questions you may consider asking include:
- What is the firm’s record of settlements and verdicts?
- What percentage of your firm’s injury cases is birth-related?
- Do you ever represent hospitals or other defendants in injury lawsuits?
- What will our communication be like throughout the litigation process?
- What depth of knowledge and/or experience do you have in handling cases that involve the specific types of medical ailments I or my child experienced?
Our lawyers are prepared to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have about this process.