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Birth injury cases are among the most difficult and complex cases litigated. They involve emotional as well as legal and medical issues, which must be carefully handled by your attorney. As with any injury there are sensitive issues when one is disabled. When that injury involves permanent disability to an infant who will have to live with these injuries for a lifetime, the emotional as well as the financial issues can be devastating. It is an important for your attorney to be aware of these issues and keep them in the forefront of his/her mind when prosecuting these types of cases.
As has been made clear in other pages of this web site: Litigating Complex Negligence Cases & Medical Malpractice Basics, such cases involve much time and expense and require the participation of experts from many disciplines as well as numerous medical experts to support the client's injuries. When there is permanent disability that will have lifetime impact on an infant’s ability to function and earn a living, the role of these experts becomes even more important.
Typically, birth injuries involve determining whether a medical professional has deviated from the standard of care in the birth or prenatal care of the infant. Your attorney must prove that the medical professional in question has not acted as a reasonable person with the same expertise would have acted under the same circumstances.
When we agree to investigate a potential birth injury case, there are numerous steps involved:
- The case must be evaluated prior to filing suit.
- To evaluate a case all of the medical records must be obtained.
- These records must be evaluated by the attorney and then provided to an appropriate expert to review the case.
- If the expert believes that medical malpractice occurred, then he must evaluate whether the malpractice is the cause of the birth injury and if this can be proven, then a lawsuit can be filed.
In every birth malpractice case damages must also be proven. This will also often require multiple facts, medical, and other expert witnesses to testify about the infant’s injury. This will also include medical experts on both sides who will testify about how the injury will affect the child now as he/she grows into adulthood. Usually, each side's experts will disagree as to the extent or the infant’s injuries. The physician testifying on our clients’ will be properly prepared and the other side’s expert will have to have his opinions and/or credibility successfully challenged by us. Aside from medical testimony there are often other experts that will be needed. For example:
- If the infant’s injuries are such that it is likely to affect future earning potential, then a permanent wage loss claim will be made. A vocational expert may be required to present evidence of the difference in wage earning capacity between what the child would likely have been able to earn without being injured as compared to the diminished earning capacity as a result of the injury.
- An economist might be called to explain to the jury how much a diminished earning capacity will cost the injured child over the course of their lifetime, taking into account inflation and changes in wages.
- The infant may have injuries severe enough to require assistance to simply get by in day-to-day living. In such a case, a life care planner is often required to show what accommodations are needed and how much they will cost, such as the cost of a wheel chair or the cost of building ramps in one’s house.
The birth injury case brings with it issues and difficulties that are specific to these kinds of cases. At Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman, and Darby LLP, we are sensitive to these delicate issues. We also have the experience, knowledge and resources to prepare and litigate the complex birth injury cases and we stand ready to prosecute these cases zealously on behalf of our clients.