Misperception #1: Permanent birth injuries tend to be immediately obvious.
The permanent effects of a birth injury may not become apparent for days, weeks, months, or even years. For example, the long-term outcomes for children with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (a type of brain damage caused by oxygen deprivation), can vary widely. Vigilant medical professionals can diagnose this condition very shortly after birth and provide a cutting-edge treatment called therapeutic hypothermia, which can minimize permanent brain damage. Some children make a full recovery, but others develop lifelong conditions such as cerebral palsy (CP), epilepsy, or intellectual disability. Determining a child’s individual prognosis may involve waiting to see if they miss developmental milestones. Some children begin to exhibit subtle developmental delays and signs of conditions that were not apparent in early infancy.
Misperception #2: If it doesn’t happen during birth, then it isn’t a birth injury.
Many birth injuries do happen during labor and delivery. However, the term “birth injury” can also be used to describe any type of harm to a baby that occurs in late pregnancy (e.g. mismanaged intrauterine growth restriction) or early infancy (e.g. mismanaged jaundice, a neonatal infection contracted in the hospital, or damage from overventilation).
Misperception #3: Parents can pursue a birth injury lawsuit at any time.
There is a statute of limitations (SOL) on birth injury cases, which is a limit on the amount of time you have to pursue a case. Parents sometimes ask if we can extend the SOL, and unfortunately we cannot because it isn’t up to us; this is determined by state or federal law. If you would like to know when your SOL expires, please contact us and we can help you figure it out. Even if you aren’t sure whether you would like to pursue a case, it’s good to know how long you have to make a decision.
Misperception #4: Parents have to pay a lawyer out of pocket in order to pursue a birth injury case.
The best birth injury lawyers operate on a “contingency fee agreement,” which means that clients pay nothing unless the attorney obtains a verdict or settlement. Since firms with contingency fee agreements are investing financial resources into their cases – rather than taking money from clients upfront – they typically only take cases when they are very confident in their ability to win.
Misperception #5: It’s important to hire a lawyer who has an office near me.
When looking at firms, many people prioritize location, believing that a local lawyer will have a better understanding of the relevant state laws and that communication will be easier. However, when people simply choose the nearest lawyer advertising for birth injury cases, they often end up with a large firm that does not focus exclusively on this area of law. As our firm owner Jesse Reiter puts it, “You wouldn’t trust a general practitioner to perform complex microsurgery –why trust a general personal injury attorney with your child’s birth injury case?”
Moreover, simply having a local office does not mean the firm actually prioritizes close communication.Some firms have such a high case load that their interactions with clients are very minimal and impersonal. ABC Law Centers has a small, family-like atmosphere, and we pride ourselves on the relationships we build with clients. Not only do we aim to get you the best verdict or settlement possible, but also to improve your and your child’s quality of life in any way we can. This is true regardless of whether you live down the road or across the country. Our physical office is located in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, but we handle cases all over the United States.
About ABC Law Centers
ABC Law Centers was established to focus exclusively on birth injury cases. A “birth injury” is any type of harm to a baby that occurs just before, during, or after birth. This includes issues such as oxygen deprivation, infection, and trauma. While some children with birth injuries make a complete recovery, others develop disabilities such as cerebral palsy and epilepsy.
If a birth injury/subsequent disability could have been prevented with proper care, then it constitutes medical malpractice. Settlements from birth injury cases can cover the costs of lifelong treatment, care, and other crucial resources.
If you believe you may have a birth injury case for your child, please contact us today to learn more. We are happy to talk to you free of any obligation or charge. In fact, clients pay nothing throughout the entire legal process unless we win.
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“Jesse and Rebecca did an AWESOME job of being sympathetic, patient, understanding and caring in their handling of our son’s case. Because of their hard work and persistence we are now assured of Matthew’s future care. This is a HUGE weight off of our minds because, as many parents, we were concerned of Matthew’s future for when we would no longer be around.”– Phil, Jamie, Matthew and Andrew
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