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FAQ About Birth Injuries

Answers you can trust from an experienced Ohio birth injury attorney

Dealing with a birth injury due to medical negligence can be overwhelming. You probably have a lot of questions about your child’s injury and the legal options available to your family. But finding accurate answers to your questions can be very complicated and challenging. There’s so much information out there. Which sources can you trust?

For more than three decades, parents dealing with serious birth injuries due to negligence have turned to Cleveland birth injury lawyer John A. Lancione for answers and solutions. Attorney Lancione and his talented legal team at The Lancione Law Firm have a well-earned reputation for skillfully handling complex cases involving birth injury claims.

Our law firm only handles birth injury and medical negligence cases. We have an in-depth understanding of how the legal system works when it comes to legal matters involving birth injuries. That’s why other lawyers regularly refer birth injury cases to our law firm. They know they can trust us to get the job done right.

What is your birth injury question?

Below, you will find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about birth injuries. If you don’t see your specific question – or even if you do – make sure to contact our law firm right away to schedule a free case evaluation. Every birth injury case is different. That’s why it’s important to have a lawyer you can trust developing a legal strategy specifically designed to address your unique legal needs.

What is a birth injury?

A birth injury is any injury an infant sustains during pregnancy, labor, delivery or soon after the child’s birth. From a legal perspective, a birth injury often involves negligence, meaning that a medical professional failed to meet standards of care and caused or contributed to the child’s injury or illness. Many birth injuries occur due to the negligent actions of healthcare professionals, meaning they did not follow standard medical protocols (failure to perform standard medical tests, for example) or they did not take any action (delayed medical treatment, failure to monitor newborn baby in a hospital, etc.).

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What is the most common birth injury?

Head injury sustained by a baby during the delivery process is the most common birth injury, according to a medical study conducted by Merck Manuals. Infant head injuries often occur due to a traumatic event, including labor and delivery problems, a skull fracture during the baby’s delivery, misuse of forceps and extractors during the birthing process and the baby being larger than normal, a medical condition known as macrosomia. Other common birth injuries include:

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How do I know if my child has a birth injury?

There are many warning signs of a birth injury. If your child has a low Apgar score soon after they’re born, they may have a birth injury. Developmental delays during your child’s first few months or years of life are another warning sign. You know your child best. If something doesn’t seem right, tell your child’s pediatrician or ask for a second opinion from another doctor. The sooner your child’s birth injury is diagnosed, the better.

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How do I know if medical negligence contributed to my child’s birth injury?

If you suspect that your child’s injury or illness was the result of negligence, trust your instincts. Tell your doctor about your child’s birth injury and explain why you believe your child’s injury or illness is due to negligence. However, don’t be surprised if some medical professionals deny doing anything wrong and simply refuse to talk with you about your concerns. This is why it’s important to talk to an experienced birth injury lawyer as soon as possible.

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Who determines who was at fault in a birth injury?

Most birth injuries are investigated by an official state agency that has oversight over the medical professional who caused your child’s birth injury. In Ohio, for example, the State Medical Board of Ohio investigates most negligence claims involving doctors and many other medical professionals. However, it’s important to note that such boards only investigate whether malpractice occurred and whether to impose sanctions against the at-fault medical professional, including revoking their medical license. They do not decide whether injury victims should be awarded financial compensation for medical bills and other injury-related expenses.

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How do you prove a birth injury?

Like most negligence cases, families of birth injury victims need to provide evidence that a birth injury occurred due to the negligent actions of medical professionals. Such evidence could be found in your child’s medical records, which show that a doctor or another healthcare professional failed to perform a medical test or perform an emergency surgical procedure in a timely manner. Other times, evidence can be a prescription error that resulted in the wrong medication or dosage amount administered to your child. An experienced birth injury lawyer knows what evidence to look for and can work with you to build a strong legal case.

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Should I accept a birth injury settlement?

If your child sustained a birth injury due to negligence, the at-fault party (or the at-fault party’s insurance company) will sometimes make a financial settlement offer to resolve all legal claims related to your child’s birth injury. You may be tempted to accept such an offer, especially if you have significant medical bills due to your child’s injury or illness. However, it’s important to understand that once you accept a settlement offer, you generally cannot ask for any additional money to pay for future medical expenses due to your child’s birth injury. This is why you should carefully consider any offer before agreeing to accept it. A birth injury lawyer can review your offer with you and help you decide what’s the right choice for you.

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What is the average birth injury settlement?

Estimates vary widely when it comes to how much money birth injury claims are worth. One estimate for the average medical negligence settlement or verdict was $329,565, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). However, such figures can vary widely. Some birth injury claims might be worth a few thousand dollars. Others might be worth millions. An experienced birth injury attorney can provide you with a more accurate estimate.

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How much is my birth injury claim worth?

There’s no set dollar amount when it comes to certain types of birth injury claims. That’s why it’s important not to compare your case to a similar type of birth injury claim. Each claim is different. The bottom line is you should be financially compensated for all your child’s birth injury-related expenses. This includes all past, present and future anticipated expenses, including:

  • Surgical procedures
  • Follow-up medical care
  • Doctor’s appointments
  • Prescription medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Medical equipment
  • Childcare
  • In-home nursing care
  • Replacement income if you or your spouse has to work less to care for your child

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Should I file a birth injury lawsuit?

Some people choose to file a lawsuit seeking damages (financial compensation) for birth injury-related expenses. Many people choose to pursue this path to justice in response to medical professionals denying a birth injury claim or refusing to negotiate a settlement offer in good faith. Whatever the circumstance of your birth injury case, it’s important to carefully consider your legal options. That’s why it’s critical that you meet with a birth injury lawyer right away.

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How much time do I have to take legal action after a birth injury in Ohio?

The deadline to take legal action in cases involving medical negligence is known as the statute of limitations. This deadline varies from one state to another. However, determining how much time you have to take legal action can become complicated, especially in cases involving birth injury claims.

In general, the deadline to take legal action in cases involving birth injuries does not start until the child turns 18 years old. This is due to the exception for minors rule in Ohio, according to Ohio Revised Code (ORC) § 2305.16. Parents then have either one (1) year or four (4) years to take legal action depending on which Ohio regulations apply.

One exception to these rules is if your child died as a result of a birth injury. In such situations, families in Ohio only have two (2) years to file a wrongful death birth injury lawsuit, according to Ohio Revised Code (ORC) § 2152.02(D).

This is why it’s critical that families talk to an attorney as soon as possible. Only an attorney can tell you which deadlines apply to your case. The sooner you consult with a lawyer, the sooner you can learn about your legal options. Your attorney can also start investigating your case right away. This is critical since important pieces of evidence can disappear or be destroyed over time.

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How does Ohio’s “Statute of Repose” law apply to birth injury cases?

Ohio’s “Statute of Repose” law as it applies to medical negligence cases can be found in Ohio Revised Code (ORC) § 2305.113(C). This state law gives plaintiffs (the people filing a lawsuit) up to four (4) years to take legal action in medical negligence cases in certain circumstances.

The key to receiving this additional time to take legal action involves when someone could reasonably know that someone has an injury. However, in order for the deadline to apply, the plaintiff needs to prove that they could not have reasonably known about the injury earlier.

Such regulations and timelines can be confusing. Make sure you don’t miss your opportunity to take legal action and to demand the compensation you rightfully deserve for your child’s birth injury. Talk to an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

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Can I sue for a birth injury years after a child’s birth?

The short answer? Probably. The deadlines for taking legal action vary from one state to another. In Ohio, for example, parents have until their child’s 19th birthday in most cases to file a lawsuit or take other legal action related to a birth injury.

Normally, the deadline to file a medical negligence lawsuit in Ohio is one (1) year from the date of the injury, according to Ohio Revised Code (ORC) § 2305.113(A). However, that one-year deadline does not start in birth injury cases in Ohio until the child turns 18 years old, according to Ohio’s exception for minors rule, which can be found in Ohio Revised Code (ORC) § 2305.16.

Again, however, only an attorney can tell you which deadlines apply in your situation. The sooner you talk to an experienced birth injury lawyer, the better.

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Why should I hire a birth injury lawyer?

Medical negligence cases involving birth injuries can be complicated legal matters. Often, the doctor, nurse or another medical professional who caused your child’s injury will deny doing anything wrong. And even if they do admit wrongdoing, they (and their attorneys) will often do everything they can to pay your family as little as possible or nothing at all.

When you have an experienced birth injury attorney on your side, you can demand the money your family deserves. You can also make sure that your child’s injury receives the attention and the respect you would expect in such a serious situation.

More important, your lawyer can be your voice is heard loud and clear. Without an attorney, you will likely not be able to negotiate a settlement offer for your child. Filing a birth injury lawsuit or taking other legal action against the at-fault party without a lawyer can be extremely difficult as well. Make the most of your opportunity for justice. Talk to an experienced birth injury attorney right away.

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Don’t give up hope. We can help. Contact our Ohio law firm

Your path to justice can be long. Take the first step. Contact The Lancione Law Firm and schedule an appointment with Ohio birth injury attorney John A. Lancione. Our law firm has recovered more than $350 million and counting for our clients, including one of Ohio’s largest medical negligence verdicts. You can reach us online or call (440) 331-6100 or (877) 515-4369 to start your legal journey with us.

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