Although every expectant mother hopes to have a safe delivery, sometimes, the negligence and incompetence of medical personnel in the delivery room can result in serious birth injuries to the infant or the mother. When these injuries occur, you have a right to sue the hospital and the medical professionals involved for compensation.
Unless you’re a qualified birth injury attorney, you’ll need to hire an attorney to help you file a successful lawsuit against the people responsible for the injuries. Fortunately, qualified attorneys in South Carolina, like those at Strom Law, understand birth injury laws and have extensive experience in handling such cases.
What Is a Birth Injury Lawsuit Settlement?
A birth injury lawsuit settlement is the compensation paid by a negligent hospital, doctor, or medical assistant for causing harm to an infant, its mother, or both during delivery. This compensation can be in the form of cash or any other corresponding reward that the plaintiff may demand during the hearing of the case.
The settlement is designed to offer the plaintiff and their family the financial and medical support they need to take care of the child or mother who suffered injuries during birth. For a hospital or its staff to agree to compensate you, the court has to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that they are directly liable for the injuries. However, sometimes, the defendants might agree to offer you an upfront settlement, especially if they already accept their responsibility and don’t want a lawsuit.
Of course, it’s vital to make sure you have a qualified birth injury lawyer to help you negotiate with the defendant for an appropriate out-of-court settlement. A lawyer has the knowledge and experience to push the defendants to compensate you appropriately. Furthermore, they have a better understanding of the birth injury law and any loopholes that the defendants might use to deny you your rightful compensation.
A specialized attorney also becomes necessary when you opt for a lawsuit because they’ll increase your chances of winning the case against the negligent hospital or medical personnel and getting an appropriate payout. Your lawyer will strengthen your claim by helping you gather strong evidence and present it in court in the most convincing way.
Your lawyer should be familiar with the birth injury statute of limitations and advise you on the right time to file your lawsuit against the negligent medical institution or personnel. The South Carolina law provides a three-year birth injury statute of limitations, which starts to run from the day the birth injuries are discovered or sensibly should have been revealed. This duration shouldn’t exceed dix years from the day the injuries occurred.
However, these limitations differ for government-run institutions. Therefore, your attorney should help you understand the specifics of your lawsuit so that you can file it at the appropriate time. It’s advisable to file your case as soon as possible, even if you’re still within the statute of limitations period–this is important because your evidence will still be fresh and strong, and your witnesses will be readily available and more credible.
Importance of Birth Injury Lawsuit Settlements
Some birth injuries can leave the infant or the mother with permanent defects that will require long-lasting medical care. For instance, the child might suffer a brain injury, Erb’s palsy, cerebral palsy, and other serious injuries that require various long-term medical treatments.
Therefore, you’ll need a good settlement to help you pay for the long-lasting birth injury treatments and any other type of medical care that you or your child will need to live a fulfilling life. Birth injury lawsuit settlements help to cover various expenses, including:
- Assistive devices
- Adaptive equipment
- Physical and psychological suffering
- Lost wages
- Occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
- Physical therapy
- Special education
- Transport modifications
A birth injury lawsuit settlement can be determined by the court or the lawyers representing both sides. This settlement is different from a trial verdict, in which the court issues a sentence requiring the defendant to pay a fine or serve a jail term. This means that if the court ruling doesn’t favor you, you may be denied any type of compensation.
This is why many birth injury attorneys will advise you to pursue a settlement instead of a trial verdict. Aside from denying you compensation, trial verdicts can also be very costly and time-consuming. A birth injury lawsuit settlement, on the other hand, helps to hold the negligent hospital or medical professional accountable for their mistakes.