Birth injuries can be one of the scariest medical situations out there. After as many as nine months of anticipating the birth of a healthy child, when something goes wrong and the baby or mother is hurt during birth, things can get complicated quickly. Hiring a birth injury lawyer, getting support from other parents, planning for the future, and working with medical staff for second opinions and continued care can all be ways to navigate the birth injury process. If you’re considering filing a birth injury claim or are already there, read on for tips and tricks on how to get through this difficult time.
Hire an attorney.
If you or your child have suffered from a birth injury, it’s important to get legal help as soon as possible There are birth injury attorneys in Chicago, for example, who are well-versed in all that can go wrong in the delivery room. While some parents are distracted by their child’s condition and what the future might look like, or even mourning the death of a child, getting a lawyer on your side now will be important going forward.
Medical expenses, future care, assistive devices, loss of income, and more are on the line after a birth injury, and while your health insurance may pick up some of the bills, there will most certainly be leftovers for you. On top of these things, a birth injury lawyer can work to get compensation for your suffering, too. It’s their job to do a systematic review of your case and work to give you your best shot at a good quality of life post-birth injury. Whether it’s that your child suffered a birth injury due to a lack of oxygen at birth which caused serious injury or that your child may suffer brain damage due to doctor error, these attorneys will know your legal options. They’ll offer a free consultation and be able to help you understand what a birth injury case entails. Never try to handle a negligence or medical malpractice case alone.
Have paperwork in order.
Maybe you’ve been through medical paperwork and filing for claims before. Perhaps you have experience with chronic disease management due to an autoimmune disorder. If this is the case, you have the advantage of knowing a little about how the system works. Like with any other claim, even a small claims case in court, you’ll want all your paperwork in order. While your attorney will talk you through it and ask you for releases so they can get you or your child’s medical records directly, things will move faster if you start now.
File a request for all medical records surrounding the birth. You’ll want records from the pregnancy, prenatal care, and anything that’s happened since your child was born. If you’ve seen specialists or sought second opinions in other facilities, those records will be important too. If the claim is for you, you’ll also want your full medical history. When meeting with your attorney, also ask for any additional information they think you may need. Having your paperwork in order will help them to better advocate for you.
Attend to current medical issues.
While other parents may have the pleasure of celebrating their recent addition and planning a night out in that white cocktail dress for the first date night alone, parents of kids with disabilities or birth injuries don’t have the luxury of much time to themselves. Like any new parent, the health and safety of your child will come first, but after a birth injury, attending to current medical issues and conditions can feel more like a full-time job.
Depending on the severity of your child’s injuries, it will be important to work with your spouse or other family members to see that your child’s needs are met. Parents of children with birth injuries deserve compensation for this, but while your attorney is handling it, it’s important that your main focus is advocating for your child. Be sure to find comprehensive primary care and a doctor you trust who will walk with you every step of the way through navigating your child’s injury. Because your baby will need more than the usual care, you’ll want someone you trust to refer you to specialists and help you to understand decisions that need to be made in the months and years to come.
Seek support from family and other parents.
For many, there’s comfort in knowing they aren’t alone. While no one would ever wish a birth injury upon someone else, knowing there are other parents in the same situation can often help. Parents often struggle with trusting people in the medical profession after a birth injury. Finding new doctors can be a real challenge. Maybe you’re from Staten Island and are looking for a referral to a new doctor like primary care services in Staten Island, NY. Becoming involved in a support group could lead you in the direction of a doctor who will be a better fit for you. Better than recommendations and referrals, other parents will be there to both understand and listen to you.
Anticipate future needs or challenges.
Doctors, staff, and occupational therapists you’re working with will be able to give you answers on what to expect in the future. After your child has been through testing, they may be able to help if your child will have developmental or speech issues going forward. Whether there are learning disabilities or developmental delays, you’ll need answers about possible supports you’ll need in the future. Maybe your child will need a paraprofessional to help them navigate public schools, or your child could have mobility issues that require wheelchairs or other assistive equipment. Getting as much information as you can about where things are heading in the future will go far for helping your attorney advocate for you in the courtroom or mediation.
In the end, just like children, no two births or birth injury situations are exactly the same. Because of this, legal decisions and damages are decided on a case by case basis. Whether you need long term care, how serious the injury is, and what the future ramifications might be will all come down to how you and your attorney handle the claim from here. With proper planning, research, and support, you can use a birth injury claim to help better secure the future not only for you but your child and other children, too.