The birth of a child should be a joyous occasion; however, for some parents, it turns out to be a nightmare, especially if their child is injured during birth. Kansas City parents may not always know when they should consult with birth injury attorneys because they don’t know the signs that their child has been injured. Here are some indications that an attorney should be consulted for a birth injury.
Two Signs Kansas City Parents Should Consult With Birth Injury Attorneys
You Notice Immediate Signs of Trauma
Many indications of a birth injury are noticeable immediately upon delivery. Unfortunately, unless you have someone in the room with you while you’re giving birth, you could miss these signs or they could be covered up by the doctors and nurses caring for you and the baby. For this reason, it’s recommended you always have another person with you to observe if any of the following signs are present:
- Blue or pale face color
- Breathing difficulties
- Slow heartbeat
- Feeding difficulties
- Swallowing difficulties
- Excessive drooling
- Arching back
- High-pitched crying sounds
- Favoring one side of the body
- Weak reflexes
- Hands curled in claw-like shapes
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle stiffness
- Poor muscle tone or arms look floppy or “boneless”
Of course, not all of these signs individually are an indication that your child suffered a birth injury, but if you notice several of these signs, it’s a good possibility that they were injured during the labor or delivery process. If you have any questions about these signs, a consultation with an attorney can help clarify your situation, especially if you suspect the medical providers are attempting to hide something related to your child’s condition.
You Notice Delayed Signs of Trauma
Some birth injuries are not readily apparent immediately after delivery, especially if you or the person in the room with you were unable to see your baby right after you gave birth for any number of reasons. The following signs are indications of a birth injury that tend to develop between the ages of 12 and 24 months:
- Inability to crawl or walk
- Lack of coordination
- Lack of speech
- Delayed speech
- Involuntary neck pulling
- Loss of control over bodily movements
- Eating or drinking difficulties
- Difficulty holding items
- Inability to sit or stand by themselves
- Difficulty hearing
The following signs are indications of a birth injury that tend to develop after two years old:
- Motor skills difficulties
- Lack of speech
- Difficulties with speech
- Vision problems
- Hearing problems
- Learning disabilities
- Difficulties with eating and drinking on their own
- Difficulties with running or climbing stairs
- Muscle rigidity
As with the signs that show up immediately after delivery, many of these delayed signs of birth injuries can be attributed to other causes, at least if they’re the only symptom. However, if your child exhibits multiple signs of trauma, you should seek both medical and legal assistance. A physician will provide an accurate diagnosis and develop a treatment plan, while a lawyer can help you seek justice for your child if it’s determined a birth injury occurred.
How Hiring an Attorney Can Help
The medical facility and professionals involved with your case are probably not going to be very forthcoming with information about what caused your child’s condition. They tend to circle the wagons when they may face a lawsuit, and you’ll find evidence of your child’s birth injury difficult to come by. An attorney has access to investigators who will interview witnesses, uncover evidence, and help build a case against the entities responsible for your child’s injuries.
Access to Expert Witnesses
Whether your case is settled or it goes to court, you’ll need expert medical witnesses to testify about the cause of your child’s injury. You will need someone who has at least the same qualifications as your doctor or higher to demonstrate that they were negligent when your baby was born. Malpractice requires a very high standard of proof, but your attorney will have access to medical experts who can explain to a judge and jury how the injury occurred.
No Upfront Costs
If you’re determined to have a birth injury case, your attorney will represent you on a contingency fee basis, which means you won’t pay for your lawyer or any of their resources (investigators, witnesses) unless your case is settled or you win an award in court. This allows you to have the best representation possible even if you’re not able to afford it upfront. Your child deserves justice, regardless of your ability to pay until your case is finalized.
When it comes to how much your child deserves in compensation, you probably don’t have any idea what your child’s future financial needs are going to be. This is where your attorney’s financial experts come in. They will determine how much you should be compensated for past and current medical bills, future medical bills, pain and suffering, education costs, and other losses you and your child have incurred or will incur as a result of the birth injury.
You don’t want to accept a settlement offer that’s too low and won’t adequately compensate you and your child for as long as the injury is impacting your lives. Your attorney will ensure that any offer you accept is reasonable and appropriate so that your child can get the treatment they need. If they’re going to need care for the rest of their life, you want to make sure the money is there to provide it.
Support When You Need it Most
You need to focus on your child’s recovery from their injury, but that doesn’t mean you should settle for less compensation than they deserve just because you’re stressed out by the case and getting your child the help they need. Hiring an attorney provides you with the support of someone who can handle the legal side of things while you take care of your family. You simply can’t put a value on this type of support.
Preparation for a Settlement or the Courtroom
While most personal injury claims are settled out of court, an experienced attorney won’t take it for granted that your case is going to settle. They’ll prepare as if they’re going to court right from the start, which means your case will be solid whether you settle or not. This is critical because if you aren’t able to settle, you need your attorney to be able to convince a judge and jury to award you the compensation your child deserves.
Negotiation with an insurance company requires a different skill set than arguing a case in a courtroom, but the right attorney will be adept at both so that you won’t have to switch lawyers midstream. Your case will be solid whether your attorney is fighting with the insurance company or fighting for justice in a courtroom, which is exactly what your child deserves.
A birth injury can be devastating both to the child and their family, and if you don’t know where to turn for help, the devastation can become even worse. Contact Yonke Law LLC today to discover how we can make sure your child gets the medical, educational, and occupational help and compensation they need to recover from their injuries.