The Intake Process
When your child has just been diagnosed with a birth injury and you’re looking to get legal advice, it can be difficult to figure out where to start. At ABC Law Centers, we strive to make the process as simple as possible.
The intake process begins when you contact our firm by phone, live chat, or our contact form; there is no cost for a legal consultation. In fact, you would pay nothing throughout the entire legal process unless we win your case or obtain a settlement in your favor.
When you call ABC Law Centers, you will speak with a trained intake specialist who will ask you to recount your story in detail. The intake specialist will then ask you specific questions regarding your pregnancy, labor and delivery, and your child’s current condition. You will have the opportunity to tell us what happened to your child, and where you think malpractice may have occurred (it’s ok if you are confused or unsure whether there was malpractice; our legal team can help to determine this).
The intake specialist can offer you some comfort during this difficult time; if you need to vent or get emotional, it’s perfectly fine. We understand that many of our potential clients are struggling to come to terms with their child’s injuries and want to help however we can. We strive to provide information, resources for you and your family.
After you complete the initial intake, the intake specialist will then write up a detailed account of the events you have described and forward it to the attorneys for review. The attorneys will then review the write-up and look for any red flags that may indicate medical malpractice. The attorneys will then communicate with the intake specialist if they believe there may have been malpractice, and the intake specialist will contact you to let you know.
What if I do have a case?
If the attorneys at ABC Law Centers believe medical malpractice may have occurred, we will contact you and let you know we would like to investigate your case. The attorneys will then explain to you how the law works and what the retainer agreement will say. We will then send you a retainer agreement to sign that explains there is no cost unless we win as well as other details regarding your case. In addition to the retainer agreement, we will ask you to sign medical record authorizations and send them back to us.
Once we have received the signed retainer and medical record authorizations, the staff at ABC Law Centers will begin investigating your case. The process begins with ordering medical records relating to the mother’s prenatal care, labor and delivery, as well as the child’s neonatal and pediatric care. It can take anywhere from one to three months for us to receive all of the records that we need, and then the completed records will be reviewed in detail by our attorneys.
If the attorneys believe malpractice may have occurred, they send the medical records to our in-house nurse, who combs through them and creates a detailed chronology. This process can take 6-9 weeks or longer to complete as we may need to order additional records to have a complete chronology.
The completed chronology will then be sent to medical experts who ultimately determine if and when medical malpractice occurred. Each review duration can vary depending on the expert, the volume of records, and the type of malpractice.
We strive to keep our clients in the loop every step of the way. If you ever have any questions or concerns, you can call us at any time and a member of our staff will provide you with an update.
What if I don’t have a case?
If the attorneys feel that they cannot assist you with your case, one of two scenarios may happen. First, we may refer you to another attorney’s office in your area. The attorneys we refer you to will handle your case in house, but our firm will still collaborate and be involved with your case. The attorneys we may refer you to are very reputable, are a part of the Birth Trauma Litigation Group, and will work closely with our firm to make sure you receive the best legal help possible.
There may be a scenario in which our firm cannot help with your case and is unable to refer you to another attorney. If this is the case, please do not be discouraged. We encourage you to contact another law firm who handles the type of case you’re looking to pursue to see if legal help is available.
How much time do I have to pursue a case?
Every state in the U.S. has a different Statute of Limitations, or the amount of time that you have to pursue a case. Because each state is different, please be sure to check with the intake specialist or attorney to make sure that your Statute of Limitations is still within the acceptable time range.
How to pursue a case
MS. PLASTIRAS: Well, the statute of limitations for mental retardation would be the same statute for the case. So, for example, when we pursue many of our cases many of our clients suffer from mental retardation or cognitive damage because of the brain damage that they have suffered from the birth injury.
MS. WALSH: Considering the law in this state, you have to file the notice and wait six months. When that six months is up, we would then file the lawsuit. Currently, while the case is in suit, it takes an additional 18 to 24 months to get through the discovery process, the settlement process, and ultimately to a trial if your case were to go to trial. Infants have until their tenth birthday to file suit but in Michigan you have to file a document or a letter called a Notice of Intent before you can file suit.
So really the statute of limitations in Michigan is when the child is nine and a half years old, but keep in mind that there is investigation that goes on before that that could take months. So don’t wait until the last minute or in all likelihood you’ll be–your case could get thrown out because the statute has run. In addition to that, if the mom is injured, she has a two-year statute of limitations to file any claims for her injuries.
Within medical malpractice, really birth injury is a subspecialty. There are some lawyers who dabble in it but it’s important if you want to get the best possible attorneys you can you make sure that they have experience handling birth injury cases, they know what the law is, they know what the medicine is because frequently birth injury cases are the type that judges and defense attorneys attack on whether or not the experts have the necessary qualifications to testify.
MS. PLASTIRAS: Some of our clients will come to us because they have failed to see their children develop appropriately. They receive information from the treating doctors that their child is developmentally delayed or has suffered certain types of injury. So then they feel that they may need to contact an attorney because they’re unsure about the situation.
To learn more about the legal process and working with ABC Law Centers, visit these links:
- The Legal Process
- Our Birth Injury Attorneys
- How Much Money Will My Child Get From a Settlement or Verdict?
Attorneys helping children with HIE, cerebral palsy, and other birth injuries
A birth injury is any type of harm to a baby that occurs during or near the time of birth. This can include oxygen deprivation (birth asphyxia), excessive pressure on the baby’s head or body (birth trauma), contracting an infection, and other complications. Although some birth injuries are very minor and leave no lasting impact, others can result in hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), cerebral palsy (CP), and other permanent disabilities. In many cases, physicians can prevent birth injuries by following standards of care, carefully monitoring the health status of the mother and child, and promptly addressing any suspected issues that may arise during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. If a medical professional fails to do these things, and their negligence results in a birth injury, they have committed medical malpractice.
At ABC Law Centers (Reiter & Walsh, P.C.), we focus solely on birth injury cases. We have been advocating for children since our inception in 1997. Our Michigan-based attorneys and in-house medical staff have helped families throughout the country obtain compensation for lifelong treatment, therapy, and a secure future.
Contact our birth injury attorneys and legal nurses in any of the following ways with any questions you may have. We do not charge any fees for our legal processes unless we win!
Free Case Review | Available 24/7 | No Fee Until We Win
Phone (toll-free): 888-419-2229
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