Dealing with the birth of a child with a severe birth defect or disability is an emotionally and financially overwhelming experience for any parent. In such situations, some parents consider filing a wrongful birth lawsuit to seek compensation for the costs associated with raising a child with special needs.
This guide will provide you with six essential tips to help you navigate the process of filing a claim for a wrongful birth case.
Seek Legal Counsel
When you’re contemplating a wrongful birth claim, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced attorney specializing in medical malpractice or wrongful birth cases. Your attorney will serve as your advocate, helping you understand the legal aspects of your situation and guiding you through the complex process.
Choose an attorney with a successful track record in similar cases like a brachial plexus birth injury attorney and someone who can provide compassionate support during this challenging time.
Gather Medical Records
To build a strong case, you’ll need to collect all relevant medical records and documentation related to your child’s birth and prenatal care. This includes, obstetric records, ultrasound images, medical test results, doctors’ notes and communications and hospital records.
Your attorney will use these documents to establish a timeline of events and demonstrate any negligence on the part of medical professionals involved in your prenatal care.
Prove Negligence of Medical Professionals
To succeed in a wrongful birth claim, you must demonstrate that medical professionals were negligent in their duty to provide you with accurate information or options regarding your child’s condition. Proving negligence typically involves:
- Showing that your healthcare provider failed to diagnose or adequately inform you about your child’s birth defect or disability.
- Demonstrating that, had you been informed or had the option to make an informed decision, you would have chosen differently.
- Providing evidence that this negligence resulted in the birth of a child with a severe birth defect or disability.
In a wrongful birth case, damages often include the additional costs associated with raising a child with special needs. These can include:
- Medical expenses may include surgeries, therapies, medications, and ongoing medical care.
- Educational expenses such as education programs, tutoring, and other learning resources.
- Therapeutic services like physical, occupational, and speech therapies.
- Any home modifications that you need to adapt your home to accommodate your child’s needs, such as wheelchair ramps.
Your attorney will work with you to calculate these damages and seek the appropriate compensation.
Understand Statutes of Limitations
It’s essential to be aware of the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful birth claim in your jurisdiction. Statutes of limitations vary from state to state and can limit the time frame within which you can file a lawsuit.
Your attorney will ensure that you meet all deadlines and filing requirements.
Prepare for Emotional Challenges
Filing a wrongful birth claim can be emotionally draining. You may encounter opposition from medical professionals, face judgment from others, or experience feelings of guilt or anger.
It’s essential to prepare yourself emotionally and seek support from friends, family, or a therapist who can help you navigate these challenges.