Every year, too many parents in Oregon get the news that their child suffered an injury during the birthing process. This news can be devastating, both emotionally and financially. Those who find themselves in this situation tend to have numerous questions about their legal options and possible compensation. This week, this column will address just a few of the most frequently asked questions about birth injury claims.
Question number 1: Do I have a claim?
Not all birth injuries are the result of medical negligence. In some cases, medical negligence is easy to spot. In others, it may take some detective work to discover if it was a contributing factor. Legal counsel can review the details of a case and help file civil actions if doing so is deemed appropriate.
Question number 2: What happens if my case goes to trial?
Many medical malpractice cases are settled out of court. Some do end up going to trial, however. In cases that do make it to court, it can take more time to resolve. Both sides will have time to prepare and present their arguments. Then it will be up to a jury to decide if medical negligence occurred. They determine this by listening to the evidence, as well as various experts brought in to testify.
Question number 3: What damages may be awarded in a birth injury case?
The awarding of monetary damages goes to the child. The amount of the settlement, or judgment, is based on the child’s current and future emotional, financial and physical needs. Parents may also be entitled to receive monetary compensation for any documented economic and non-economic damages suffered as a result of the medical malpractice.
Birth injuries are common, but not all give way to medical malpractice claims. Parents in Oregon who believe their medical provider’s actions or inaction contributed to their child suffering a birth-related injury can turn to an experienced attorney to discuss potential legal options. Under the right circumstances, maximum relief may be achieved through out-of-court negotiations or, if necessary, litigation.