Birth Injury Frequently Asked Questions

Nationwide Cerebral Palsy Resource Network

When clients speak with Stern Law, PLLC for the first time during their initial consultation, they often pose similar questions that many clients regularly ask. Here is a look at some of these common questions, as well as answers gained from more than 30 years of experience as a law firm dedicated to birth injury cases.

Stern Law, PLLC isn’t your average law practice. Our medical-legal team has the knowledge and information necessary for any parent to make an informed decision in a birth injury case. Overall, our collective goal is to provide you with the tools necessary to become empowered with the knowledge that will help you take control and fight for your child’s rights. To discuss your case for free, please give us a call at (800)462-5772 today.

Question No. 1: What constitutes a birth injury?

Birth injuries generally refer to serious injuries that a child sustained either during pregnancy, labor or delivery. For instance, during pregnancy there are a number of maternal conditions that without proper treatment can result in harm to your unborn child. With regard to labor and delivery, this is a critical time in which you and your child should be closely monitored in order to avoid injuries arising from, for instance, fetal distress and the failure to timely perform a cesarean section (c-section). Monitoring for trauma due to excessive force during delivery and improper use of forceps or vacuum extractors is also crucial.

After all, you put your fate and the fate of your child in the hands of a complex variety of medical practitioners, which may include doulas, midwives, nurses, physicians, obstetric specialists and hospital staffs. Discovering what went wrong requires a thorough evaluation of your case. Speaking with a birth injury attorney can help you determine whether your child sustained an avoidable birth injury and if you have a claim against a physician, other medical professional, or hospital.

Question No. 2: What does a birth injury case specifically involve?

Birth injury cases typically involves a lawyer working with medical experts to develop the evidence necessary to prove a violation of the medical standard of care which caused harm. Damages may include the potential lifetime costs associated with caring for a special-needs child. These costs can include, but are not limited to, medical expenses, therapy, round-the-clock attendant care, physical rehabilitation, and medical equipment, as well as home and transportation modifications.

Question No. 3: When should a parent contact an attorney?

Regardless of the circumstances, it’s crucial to speak with an experienced birth injury attorney as soon as possible. This is especially important if a child’s injuries are extensive. There are statutorily imposed time frames by which birth injury cases must be filed in the state where the malpractice occurred. But there is also the chance that with the passage of time, evidence will disappear, records could be altered, witnesses will relocate, and the memories surrounding the facts of a case will fade. Acting as quickly as possible to avoid these concerns will maximize your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve to support your child with special needs.

When Should A Parent Contact A Cerebral Palsy Attorney?

Question No. 4: Could medical malpractice have caused my child’s cerebral palsy?

Many parents who come to Stern Law, PLLC are struggling to support a child with cerebral palsy, a condition that often manifests as a result of fetal hypoxia or oxygen deprivation that can occur during labor or delivery. Specifically, cerebral palsy affects a child’s body movement, muscle control, muscle coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture and balance. It can also impact fine motor skills, gross motor skills and oral motor functioning.

A child’s case of cerebral palsy may be due to genetics, medical negligence, or some other cause. In order to make this determination, an experienced birth injury attorney must thoroughly examine, for instance, all of your prenatal and birth records, fetal monitoring strips, and the child’s newborn records. For more information on cerebral palsy, parents can call (800)462-5772  to learn everything they need to know about the causes of, treatments for, and prevention of this serious and sometimes life threatening condition.

How Do You Pursue A Birth Injury Case?

Question No. 5: What will pursuing a birth injury case cost?

Stern Law, PLLC typically takes birth injury cases on a contingency fee basis. By taking on a client’s case with a contingent fee arrangement, the lawyer’s right to be paid a fee becomes dependent upon successful outcome of the claim. The so-called, “no fee until you win arrangement,” provides high quality legal services to many clients who would not otherwise be able to afford these services. In this type of arrangement, the lawyer is at risk for loss of an investment of time and money if the case is not successful. Yet a meritorious case can and should reward the client and the lawyer who has agreed to limit any right to compensation to a successful outcome for the client.

A medical malpractice attorney who represents a client in a birth injury case on a contingency fee basis is hedging a substantial risk. He or she is agreeing to a portion of the settlement upon successful litigation and not requiring any funds up-front from the client to pay for expenses accumulated at various stages in the process. If the case is lost, a lawyer working under a contingency fee agreement will not receive compensation for his or her efforts. Therefore, this is a substantial investment risk for a lawyer and the law firm.

An initial consultation can help the client and the lawyer decide whether they would like to contract for services and under what terms. Both will agree on a fee structure for litigating and/or settling a case.

Generally, in a contingent fee arrangement, court costs and other additional expenses of legal action must be paid by the client. The percentage fee will be computed before or after expenses are deducted from the recovery in accordance with state laws.

Question No. 6: How long will it take to litigate a case?

The amount of time it takes to litigate a birth injury case is highly dependent on your individual circumstances. While this is not always the ideal answer that parents want to hear, there is no crystal ball that can demonstrate early on exactly how long a case will take, and what issues attorneys will face before a lawsuit concludes. Sometimes cases that attorneys believe are rather straightforward end up being hotly contested in court, while others that are more challenging on the front-end result in a quick and early settlement. Accordingly, since there are so many variables associated with each birth injury case, it’s important to speak with an experienced birth injury attorney who, upon examination of an individual case, can provide you with more guidance in this regard.

Question No. 7: What should a parent look for when hiring an attorney?

Birth injury cases require a significant amount of experience, skill, time and financial resources. It is no surprise that these types of cases are some of the most complicated of all medical negligence litigation matters. For instance, in addition to the focused knowledge of the law and medicine which these challenging cases require, birth injury cases often require a team of medical expert witnesses, in-depth reviews and investigations. A law firm should have the resources and a track record of successfully handling birth injury cases before undertaking representation in this type of case. Parents need and deserve legal counsel who can guide them accordingly, while providing thoughtful and compassionate legal advice. Stern Law, PLLC meets all these requirements and goes above and beyond to fight for your rights and the rights of your special child.

Why Is It Important To Hire A Birth Injury Lawyer?

Question No. 8: Why should a parent hire Stern Law, PLLC?

For over three decades, our law firm has assisted families fighting for the compensation and all the benefits necessary to sufficiently address the requirements of their special needs child. As such, we don’t just file lawsuits – we also help clients fight for all the governmental and insurance benefits, special education rights, lifetime planning and strategies, and providing access to cutting edge treatments and therapies that can give a child a chance to fully maximize their potential.

When medical negligence happens and it results in birth injury, Stern Law, PLLC has a team of medical-legal professionals who are experienced in dealing with all the issues, both legal and non-legal, that a parent must now regularly contend with. Let us provide the experience and knowledge to enable every special child to receive all the benefits they may deserve. Please call (800)462-5772 to speak with a member of our team.