Birth Injury FAQs
“Birth trauma” refers specifically to mechanical damage sustained during delivery (such as nerve damage and broken bones). The term “birth injury” may be used in two different ways:
- The ICD-10 uses “birth injury” and “birth trauma” interchangeably to refer to mechanical injuries sustained during delivery;
- The legal community uses “birth injury” to refer to any damage or injury sustained during pregnancy, during delivery, or just after delivery, including injuries caused by trauma.
Birth injuries must be distinguished from birth defects. “Birth defect” refers to damage that occurs while the fetus is in the womb, which may be caused by genetic mutations, infections, or exposure to toxins.
Here are some frequently asked questions and what you can do if you’ve been affected by birth injury:
What is a birth injury?
A birth injury is an injury to your baby that occurs at or around the time of birth. There are many different potential causes for a birth injury.
What is Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)?
Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy, referred to as “HIE”, is a birth injury when the baby’s brain does not get enough oxygen and it causes damage to the baby’s brain. The impact of the brain damage varies.
How will my baby be impacted?
In many instances, more time is needed before the impact of the birth injury is known. Testing can be done to give you a better understanding of what the future holds for your child.
How do I know if there has been a birth injury?
Consult with an experienced birth injury lawyer. Your medical providers should tell you that there is a concern or to watch out for certain symptoms, but sometimes, parental instinct kicks in.
Many times, parents come to me and say, “something did not seem right.” The best way to know whether your baby has suffered an injury at or around the time of birth is to consult with a medical malpractice attorney who will review the records for you. Many lawyers will do this for free. Merson Law does not charge for an initial consult and we have a physician at the firm.
When should I consult with a lawyer?
Immediately. There are statute of limitations that put a time limit on when you can file a lawsuit. Generally, you must begin the lawsuit for a birth injury within ten years after the birth. However, the time limit varies for each case. For instance, if the birth injury occurred at a City, State or government hospital, a notice of claim needs to be filed within ninety days. As such, if there has been any indication that a birth injury has occurred, you should consult with an attorney immediately to determine how long you have to begin a lawsuit if necessary.
How much is my case worth?
Merson Law handles many birth injury cases and the value of your baby’s case depends on many factors. However, the goal in every case is the same: to make sure that your baby gets the help and medical care that is needed for as long as possible.
How much will it cost to retain the services of a lawyer?
Zero, unless you receive a monetary settlement. At Merson Law, we do not charge any consultation fee. Some firms do charge a consult fee of $500 or $1,000. We want our legal services to be available to everyone who needs them. If you believe that your child has suffered a birth injury, we want to assist you as much as possible. In the event that there has been neglect at or around the birth, Merson Law will take your case on contingency, which means that the attorneys fees will be paid only if your case is successful and your family receives compensation.
What if I have any questions that are not covered by this FAQ?
At Merson Law, we want to answer all of your questions.